The free-groups tag has no usage guidance.

**10**

votes

**1**answer

233 views

### The set of subgroups of $F_2$

This question came up in our algebraic topology class and our Professor didn't know the answer. I also couldn't find an answer so far.
What is the cardinality of the set of subgroups of $F_2$?
...

**6**

votes

**2**answers

188 views

### Finding an “optimal” quotient in a free group

Consider the abelian free group $G = \mathbf{Z}^n$ of rank $n$ and a finite subset $A \subset G \setminus \{0\}$. Since $G$ is residually finite, there is a subgroup $H \subset G$ such that $A \cap H =...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

187 views

### finitely presented subgroup and free solvable group of class 3

Let $F(n)$ be free group of rank $n\geq 2$. Denote by $F_d(n)$ the d-th derived subgroup, that is $F_d(n)=[F_{d-1}(n),F_{d-1}(n)]$ where $F_0(n)=F(n)$. The free solvable group of rank $n$ and ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

108 views

### Genericity of irreducible automorphisms of free groups

I have seen in the literature that Irreducible outer automorphisms of a free group $F_n$ are "generic".
I would like to ask that if for example : it is true that for any generating set $X$ of $Out(...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

121 views

### Wild automorphisms of profinite groups

Is there a profinite group $G$, a continuous automorphism $\alpha$ of
$G$ and a topologically finitely generated closed subgroup $H \leq G$
such that $\alpha(H) \lneq H$ ?
Note that if an ...

**1**

vote

**0**answers

56 views

### Fully residually free groups and completion

Let $G$ be a fully residually free group with a finitely generated profinite completion. Is $G$ necessarily finitely generated?

**5**

votes

**0**answers

173 views

### Wild automorphisms of a free group

Let $F_X$ be a free group on a countably infinite set $X$. Let $\alpha$ be an automorphism of $F_X$ and $H$ a closed subgroup of $F_X$ in the profinite topology.
Is it possible that $\alpha(H) \...

**2**

votes

**0**answers

80 views

### Rank gradient in free products amalgamating a finite subgroup

Let $A,B$ be finitely generated groups with a common finite subgroup $C$. Suppose that $[A : C] > 2, [B : C] > 1$.
Must $A *_C B$ have positive rank gradient?
See Which 3-manifolds have ...

**1**

vote

**0**answers

70 views

### Salvaging Howson's theorem for free profinite groups

This is an attempt to find a correct version of Do free profinite groups satisfy Howson's theorem?
Let $F$ be a free profinite group, and let $A,B \leq F$ be closed finitely generated subgroups ...

**9**

votes

**3**answers

328 views

### Integer matrix that does not belong to a free group of rank 2

I'm given two matrices in $SL_2(\mathbb{Z})$
$$
A = \left(\begin{array}{cc}
2 & 3\\
3 & 5
\end{array}\right), \ \
B = \left(\begin{array}{cc}
5 & 3\\
3 &...

**4**

votes

**0**answers

97 views

### Example of “exotic” verbal subgroups of free groups

This will be an ambiguous question.
I am interested in various examples that appear in the literature of verbal subgroups of free groups, but which are not part of the "classical examples" like ...

**3**

votes

**2**answers

146 views

### On the Magnus Representation of Free Metabelian Group

Let $F=\langle x_1,x_2\rangle$ be a free group of rank $2$ and $\Phi=F/F''=\langle \overline{x}_1, \overline{x}_2\rangle$ where $F''$ is second derived subgroup of $F$ (i.e. $F'=[F,F]$ and $F''=[F',F']...

**9**

votes

**1**answer

258 views

### Automorphism groups for free groups with action

Let $A$ be a (finitely generated) free group and $G$ be a (finitely generated) free $A$-group - that is, a group with an action of $A$, which is free in the category of groups with an $A$-action. ...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

185 views

### pro-p dense subgroup in the free group

Let $G_p$ be pseudovariety of all finite $p$-group. The pro-$p$ topology on a group $G$ is the unique group topology such that the set of normal subgroups $N$ with $G/N$ in $G_p$ is a fundamental ...

**6**

votes

**0**answers

146 views

### A subgroup of corank 1 in a free group contains a primitive element?

Let $F$ be the free group on $\{x_i\}_{i=1}^\infty$, and let $H \leq F$ be a subgroup with $\langle H \cup \{x_1\} \rangle = F$. Must there be a free basis $B$ of $F$ for which $B \cap H \neq \...

**4**

votes

**0**answers

185 views

### Primitive elements in a free group

Let $F$ be a free group of rank $\aleph_0$ and let $H$ be a subgroup for which there exists some $a \in F$ such that $\langle H \cup \{a\} \rangle = F$. Must there be some free basis $B$ for $F$ and a ...

**0**

votes

**1**answer

166 views

### Must a group of defficiency > 1 be nonabelian?

Let $F$ be a free group of finite rank $n > 2$, and let $S \subseteq F$ be a subset of cardinality at most $n-2$. Denote by $S^F$ the normal subgroup of $F$ generated by $S$. Must $F/S^F$ be ...

**2**

votes

**0**answers

102 views

### Generating free groups by small subgroups and an element

Let $F$ be a free group of countably infinite rank, and let $L \leq F$ be a finite index subgroup. For some prime $p$ and $k \in \mathbb{N}$, let $\sigma \colon L \to \mathrm{GL}_k(\mathbb{Z}/p\mathbb{...

**2**

votes

**2**answers

346 views

### Magnus' embedding theorem

I am looking for a (preferably modern) reference to the following old result of Magnus.
Let $F$ be a free group of finite rank and
$$ F_1 = [F,F], F_2 = [F_1,F_1], \dots , F_{n+1} = [F_n,F_n], \dots ...

**2**

votes

**1**answer

109 views

### What is the corank of a proper char subgroup of a finite index subgroup of a free group?

Let $F$ be the free group of rank $\aleph_0$, let $L \leq F$ be a finite index subgroup, and let $M$ be a proper characteristic subgroup of $L$. Is it possible that there exists a finite subset $S \...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

114 views

### Thickening graphs to get honest actions

Let $X$ be a finite graph. Its fundamental group is the free group $F_n$ on (say) $n$ generators. Let further an automorphism $\phi$ of $F_n$ be given.
It is not true in general that this ...

**48**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### Do unit quaternions at vertices of a regular 4-simplex, one being 1, generate a free group?

Choose unit quaternions $q_0, q_1, q_2, q_3, q_4$ that form the vertices of a regular 4-simplex in the quaternions. Assume $q_0 = 1$. Let the other four generate a group via quaternion ...

**2**

votes

**1**answer

124 views

### Collections in direct products and freeness

I am looking for references about the following type of questions:
Let $G$ and $H$ be two groups,
let $(g_i:i\in I)\subset G$ and $(h_i:i\in I)\subset H$ be collections of group elements,
and ...

**7**

votes

**1**answer

302 views

### Products of subgroups of a free group

Let $F$ be a free group, and let $A,B \leq F$ be two subgroups such that $AB$ contains a nontrivial normal subgroup of $F$. Must either $A$ or $B$ contain a nontrivial normal subgroup of $F$?
What if ...

**21**

votes

**1**answer

496 views

### products of conjugates in free groups

While trying to carry out some technical arguments in free groups, I have encountered the following problem, to which I don't know the answer.
Let $F$ be a free group and let $g,a_1,\ldots,a_n \in F$....

**11**

votes

**1**answer

390 views

### Number of trivializations of a trivial word in the free group

Let $M$ be the free monoid on $2n$ generators $x_1,X_1,...,x_n,X_n$ and consider the set $T$ of all those elements of $M$ which map to 1 of the free group on $x_1,...,x_n$ under the homomorphism $\pi$ ...

**10**

votes

**2**answers

513 views

### History of Tarski's problems on free groups

As is known, Tarski posed his questions about first-order theories of non-abelian free groups around 1945. However, the questions were not published in his papers or books.
What is the original ...

**11**

votes

**0**answers

166 views

### Must nonunit in group algebra of free group generate proper two-sided ideal?

Let $F$ be a free group and $k$ be a field. If $x$ is an element of
the group algebra $k[F]$ that is not a unit (equivalently, that is not
a nonzero scalar multiple of an element of $F$), must the 2-...

**13**

votes

**0**answers

322 views

### Linear groups which don't contain products of free groups

Let $G \subset GL(n, \Bbb Z)$ be a f.g. linear group. The Tits alternative says that $G$ is either virtually solvable (i.e. has a solvable subgroup of finite index), or contains a free group $F_2$. ...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

325 views

### Do free profinite groups satisfy Howson's theorem?

Let $F$ be a free profinite group, and let $A,B \leq F$ be finitely generated closed subgroups. Must $A \cap B$ be finitely generated?

**1**

vote

**0**answers

71 views

### Free profinite products

Let $F$ be a nonabelian finitely generated free profinite group, and let $x \in F$. Must there be some $1 \neq y \in F$ such that $\langle x,y \rangle$ is isomorphic to the free profinite product of $\...

**4**

votes

**0**answers

127 views

### Is a finitely generated subgroup of a free profinite group virtually a retract?

Let $F$ be a nonabelian finitely generated free profinite group, and let $H \leq F$ be a finitely generated closed subgroup. Must there be some open subgroup $H \leq U \leq F$, and a closed normal ...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

92 views

### Geometric automorphism of free group respect to nonorientable suface

An outer automorphism $[ϕ]\in Out(F_n)$ is geometric if it is induced by a surface homeomorphism h:M→M, where M is a compact surface with nonempty boundary. I am wondering is it enough we only ...

**20**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### Categorical proof subgroups of free groups are free?

This is a crossport of this question from MSE.
Is there a categorical proof that subgroups of free groups are free?
How about the result that subgroups of free abelian groups are free abelian?
What ...

**2**

votes

**0**answers

115 views

### Equalizer in Free groups

Let $F_n$ be the free group generated by $x_1,\cdots,x_n$ and for each $1\leq i\leq n$, let a homomorphism $d_i:F_n\to F_{n-1}$ be defined as follows:
$d_i(x_r)=x_r$, if $i>r$;
$d_i(x_r)=1$, if $...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

142 views

### Schreier's formula and supersolvable groups

A finitely generated profinite group $G$ is said to satisfy Schreier's formula if for every open subgroup $L \leq_o G$ we have $d(L) = (d(G)-1)[G:L] + 1$. Here $d$ stands for the smallest cardinality ...

**1**

vote

**0**answers

149 views

### Can a profinite completion be free pro-p?

Is there a prime number $p$ and a finitely generated residually finite group whose profinite completion is a free pro-$p$ group on a nonempty finite set?
Thanks to YCor we see that we cannot take the ...

**2**

votes

**1**answer

127 views

### Conjugates and infinite index subgroups of free groups

Here I am asking for an analogue of Generating infinite index subgroups of a free group
Let $F$ be a nonabelian finitely generated free group, let $H \leq F$ be a finitely generated subgroup of ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

271 views

### Generating infinite index subgroups of a free group

Let $F$ be nonabelian finitely generated free group, let $H \leq F$ be a finitely generated subgroup of infinite index and let $x,y \in F \setminus H$. Must there be some $a \in F$ such that $[F : \...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

177 views

### Co-rank of a group with $a^2b^2c^2=1$ (fundamental group of non-orientable surface)

What is the co-rank of a group $$G=\langle a_1,a_2,\dots,a_h\mid a_1^2a_2^2\dots a_h^2=1\rangle,$$ that is, finitely generated group with $h$ generators and one relation?
By co-rank, I mean the ...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

169 views

### Growth of the number of generators in hyperbolic groups

Let $G$ be an infinite hyperbolic group, and let us further assume that it is residually finite (or even LERF/GFERF) so that we have plenty of subgroups of finite index.
I would like to know if one ...

**2**

votes

**1**answer

150 views

### Measuring products of finitely generated subgroups of free groups

Let $F$ be a finitely generated free group, $H_1, \dots, H_n$ finitely generated subgroups of infinite index in $F$, and $\epsilon > 0$. Must there be an epimorphism to a finite group $\phi \colon ...

**8**

votes

**2**answers

332 views

### Can a positive measure subset of a free group be nowhere dense?

Let $F$ be a finitely generated free group and let $S \subseteq F$ be a subset for which there is some $\epsilon > 0$ such that for any epimorphism to a finite group $\phi \colon F \to G$ we have ...

**9**

votes

**1**answer

419 views

### Is a free group a product of f.g subgroups of infinite index?

Let $F$ be a free group, and let $H,K \leq F$ be finitely generated subgroups of infinite index in $F$. Is it possible that for the set of products we have $HK = F$ ?

**7**

votes

**2**answers

259 views

### Is the free abstract group residually of rank d > 2?

Let $d \geq 2$ be an integer, and let $\mathcal{F}_d$ be the family of finite groups such that $G \in \mathcal{F}_d$ if and only if every subgroup of $G$ can be generated by at most $d$ elements.
Is ...

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votes

**0**answers

166 views

### Is there a nontrivial profinite word which is trivial in any group with at most d generators?

Let $F$ be a free profinite group of rank $\aleph_0$, and let $d \in \mathbb{N}$.
Let $N_d \lhd_c F$ be the intersection of all open normal subgroups $L \lhd_o F$ for which $F/L$ can be generated by ...

**1**

vote

**0**answers

69 views

### Exhausting a free pro-p group

Recall that for a profinite group $G$ we define the subgroup rank to be $$\sup \{d(H): H \leq_c G\}$$ where $d(H)$ stands for the minimal cardinality of a set of topological generators of $H$.
Let $p$...

**0**

votes

**1**answer

210 views

### Action of the pure braid group on the commutator subgroup of a free group

Let $P=P_n$ be the pure braid group on $n$ strands and $F=F_n$ the free group on $n$ generators. I'm interested in a nice description of the action of $P$ on the derived subgroup $F'$ which somehow ...

**1**

vote

**0**answers

142 views

### Explicitly showing that a free group is LERF [closed]

Let $F$ be a free group on a finite set $X$, and let $M$ be a finitely generated subgroup.
Marshall Hall's theorem states that $M$ is closed in the profinite topology on $F$. That is, $M$ is the ...

**3**

votes

**0**answers

87 views

### A Karrass-Solitar or Ivanov-Schupp for profinite groups

Let $F$ be a nonabelian free profinite group, $H \leq_c F$ finitely generated with $[F:H] = \infty$. Must there be some $\{1\} \neq N \lhd_c F$ such that $N \cap H = \{1\}$?