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16
votes
1answer
625 views

Explicit path in the unitary group of a $C^*$-algebra

For $G$ a discrete group, there is a canonical inclusion $g\mapsto u_g$ of $G$ into the unitary group of the reduced $C^*$-algebra $C^*_r(G)$. Denote by $[u_g]$ the class of $u_g$ in the (topological) ...
6
votes
2answers
186 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
1answer
184 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
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(...
1
vote
0answers
54 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
0answers
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
0answers
79 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
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 &...
1
vote
0answers
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 ...
4
votes
0answers
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
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
2answers
144 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']...
3
votes
0answers
184 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
379 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 $\pi$ ...
5
votes
0answers
99 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
0answers
184 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
1answer
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 ...
47
votes
5answers
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
0answers
101 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{...
10
votes
2answers
511 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
340 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
1answer
107 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
1answer
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
122 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
1answer
301 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
1answer
491 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
0answers
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
0answers
315 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
1answer
323 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
0answers
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
0answers
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
0answers
91 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
4answers
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
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
1answer
141 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
0answers
146 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
1answer
126 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
522 views

Commutators in free groups

Let $F_m$ be the free group with $m$ generators $S:=\{x_1,\dots, x_m\}$. I am interested in the following quantity $$ F(n):=\frac{|\{w\in [F_m,F_m]: \|w\|_S\leq n\}|}{|B_S(n)|} $$ where $B_S(n):=\{w\...
4
votes
1answer
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
1answer
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
0answers
168 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
1answer
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
2answers
325 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
1answer
416 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 $HK = F$ ?
4
votes
0answers
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
0answers
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
1answer
207 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
0answers
140 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 ...