**The Thompson conjecture:** in a finite simple non-abelian group, there exists a conjugacy class such that every element of the group can be expressed as a product of two elements from that conjugacy class.

The conjecture is still open despite much progress (see below). There are plenty analogies between conjugacy classes and irreducible representations of finite simple groups (see below), so it is natural to ask what is known on the following questions:

**Question:** is it true that in any finite simple group there exists an irreducible representation $\chi$ such that $\chi\otimes \chi$ contains
all irreducible representations ? (It might be one should consider $
\chi \otimes \bar \chi$.)
What about modular representations ?
If is not true - how strongly is it violated ?

**Background 1:** Azad, Fisman 1987 An analogy between products of two conjugacy classes and products of two irreducible characters in finite groups mentions
the following nice results:

A finite group B is isomorphic to the first Janko group J, if and only if C*C = G for

**EVERY**nontrivial conjugacy class C of G. The analogous theorem in terms of characters is that a finite group G is isomorphic to J, if and only if $Irr(\chi^2) = Irr(G)$ for**EVERY**nontrivial irreducible character of G, where $Irr(\chi^2)$ is the set of all the irreducible constituents of $\chi^2$ [ACH].If $C$ and $D$ are non-trivial conjugacy classes of a finite group G such that either $CD = mC + nD$ or $CD = mC^{-1} + nD$ where m,n are non-negative integers, then G is

**NOT**a non-abelian simple group. And similar result on irreps.

The paper contains references for further analogies between products of conjugacy classes and irreps.

**Background 2.** There is lots of research devoted to Thompson conjecture.
It is strictly stronger than Ore conjecture (see MO-Humphreys for history),
which says that every element in finite simple groups is commutator.
Now it is proved.

Significant progress made by Gordeev, Ellers 1998 On the Conjectures of J. Thompson and O. Ore.

Ore conjecture finally proved in [LOST]: M. W. Liebeck, E. A. O’Brien, A. Shalev, P. H. Tiep – The Ore conjecture, J. Eur. Math. Soc. 12 (2010), 939–1008.

Bourbaki Seminar Mars 2013 by G. Malle gives overview of that works.

See also MO, MO, products of conjugacy classes are related to quantum cohomologies of curves - see MO.