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Abstract

Let p be a prime number, let K be a field of characteristic not p, containing the p-th roots of unity, and let r >= 1 be an integer. We compute the essential dimension of Z/p(r) Z over K (Theorem 4.1). In particular, i) We have edℚ(ℤ/8ℤ)=4, a result which was conjectured by Buhler and Reichstein in 1995 (unpublished). ii) We have edℚ(ℤ/p r ℤ)≥p r-1.