# Relationship between the quotient group and direct products | ðŸ—– nosplit | â†‘ parent "Quotient group" | 297

Although quotients look a bit real number division, there are some important differences with the "group analog of multiplication" of direct product of groups.

If a group is isomorphic to the direct product of groups, we can take a quotient of the product to retrieve one of the groups, which is somewhat analogous to division: https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/723707/how-is-the-quotient-group-related-to-the-direct-product-group

The "converse" is not always true however: a group does not need to be isomorphic to the product of one of its normal subgroups and the associated quotient group. The wiki page provides an example:

Given G and a normal subgroup N, then G is a group extension of G/N by N. One could ask whether this extension is trivial or split; in other words, one could ask whether G is a direct product or semidirect product of N and G/N. This is a special case of the extension problem. An example where the extension is not split is as follows: Let $G=Z4=0,1,2,3$, and $=0,2$ which is isomorphic to Z2. Then G/N is also isomorphic to Z2. But Z2 has only the trivial automorphism, so the only semi-direct product of N and G/N is the direct product. Since Z4 is different from Z2 Ã— Z2, we conclude that G is not a semi-direct product of N and G/N.

TODO find a less minimal but possibly more important example.

This is also semi mentioned at: https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/1596500/when-is-a-group-isomorphic-to-the-product-of-normal-subgroup-and-quotient-group

I think this might be equivalent to why the group extension problem is hard. If this relation were true, then taking the direct product would be the only way to make larger groups from normal subgroups/quotients. But it's not.