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In this talk given at the New York Algebra Colloquium on Sept 12, 08, S Majewicz discusses some results of his work on Nilpotent Q[x]-powered groups.

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You are on page 1of 17

Stephen Majewicz

smajewicz@kbcc.cuny.edu

**See ”Combinatorial Group Theory”,
**

Ben Fine et. al,

AMS Contemporary Mathematics

Volume 421, 2006

for proofs and more.

1

Results Leading to R-Completions

**1. Suppose G is a nilpotent group of class c
**

and {g1, . . . , gn} ⊂ G. There exists c words (the

Hall-Petresco words) τk (ḡ) ∈ γk G satisfying

k k k

g1k · · · gn

k = τ1 (ḡ)k τ (ḡ) 2) · · · τ

( ( ) τc(ḡ) c ).

(

2 c−1 (ḡ) c−1

**2. A f.g. torsion free nilpotent group G has a
**

poly-infinite cyclic and central series

1 = G0 ¢ G1 ¢ · · · ¢ Gn = G.

The length n of any such series is an invariant

of the group, called the Hirsch length of G. If

ui+1 ∈ Gi+1 satisfies Gi+1 = gp(ui+1, Gi) for

i = 0, . . . , n − 1, then every element g ∈ G can

α

be uniquely expressed as g = u1 1 · · · uαn .

n

**We call {u1, . . . , un} a Mal’cev basis for G asso-
**

ciated with the poly-infinite cyclic and central

series {Gi}, and ᾱ = (α1, . . . , αn) the coordi-

nates of g.

2

3. Let G be as before. Then

α β f (ᾱ,β̄) f (ᾱ,β̄)

(u1 1 · · · uα n 1 βn

n )(u1 · · · un ) = u1

1

· · · unn

and

α g (ᾱ,λ) g (ᾱ,λ)

(u1 1 · · · uαn λ

n ) = u1

1 · · · unn ,

where each fi(ᾱ, β̄) for ᾱ, β̄ ∈ Zn is a polyno-

mial with rational coefficients in 2n variables

and each gi(ᾱ, λ) for λ ∈ Z is a polynomial with

rational coefficients in n + 1 variables.

R-Completions

**Definition. A binomial ring, R, is an integral
**

domain of characteristic zero with unity such

that for any r ∈ R and k ∈ Z+,

³r ´ r(r − 1) · · · (r − k + 1)

= ∈ R.

k k!

**Examples. Z, any field F of characteristic 0,
**

and F [x].

3

P. Hall’s idea: Let G be a f.g. torsion free

nilpotent group, u = {u1, . . . , un} a Mal’cev ba-

sis for G, and R any binomial domain. Define

the set

α

GR = {u1 1 · · · uα n

n | αi ∈ R}

(the R-completion of G with respect to u). Let

(f1(ᾱ, β̄), · · · , fn(ᾱ, β̄)) and (g1(ᾱ, λ), · · · , gn(ᾱ, λ))

be the multiplication and exponentiation poly-

nomials for G with respect to u. We can use

these polynomials for G to define multiplica-

tion and R-exponentiation for GR :

α β β

αn )(u 1 · · · u n ) = u 1 f (ᾱ,β̄) f (ᾱ,β̄)

1. (u1 1 · · · un 1 n 1 · · · unn

α αn )λ = u 1 g (ᾱ,λ) g (ᾱ,λ)

2. (u1 1 · · · un 1 · · · unn

where the αj ’s, βj ’s, and λ all lie in R.

**Theorem. GR is a nilpotent group of the same
**

class as G.

4

Note. Every f.g. torsion free nilpotent group

G can be embedded into a divisible nilpotent

group, and any such group is Q-isomorphic to

GQ. This is Mal’cev’s Embedding Theorem.

Definition of a Nilpotent R-Powered Group

**The notion of an R-completion triggered a more
**

axiomatic approach.

**Definition Let G be any nilpotent group and R
**

a binomial domain. Suppose that for all g ∈ G

and α ∈ R, g α ∈ G is uniquely defined. Then

this R-action on G,

G × R → G defined by (g, α) 7→ g α,

makes G into a nilpotent R-group if the fol-

lowing axioms hold:

5

1. g 1 = g, g αg β = g α+β , and (g α)β = g αβ for

all g ∈ G and α, β ∈ R.

**2. (h−1gh)α = h−1g αh for all g, h ∈ G
**

and α ∈ R.

α α α

3. g1α · · · gn

α

= τ1 (ḡ)ατ ( ) ( ) τk (ḡ) k )

(

2(ḡ) 2 · · · τk−1(ḡ) k−1

**for every α ∈ R and gi ∈ G, where k is the
**

class of the nilpotent group gp (g1, . . . , gn).

**The axioms yield (g µ)−1 = g −µ, g 0 = 1, and
**

1µ = 1 for every g ∈ G and µ ∈ R.

**We will be concerned with R = Q[x]. Recall
**

that Q[x] is a Euclidean ring (hence, a PID and

a UFD). Since every PID satisfies the ascend-

ing chain condition, Q[x] is also a noetherian

ring.

6

Examples of Nilpotent Q[x]-Powered Groups

**1. A Q[x]-completion of a f.g. torsion free
**

nilpotent group.

2. A Q[x]-module is an abelian Q[x]-group.

**3. Let R̃ be any associative ring with unity
**

which contains Q[x] in its center, and let ρ

be an ideal of R̃ satisfying ρn+1 = 0. Then

G = {1 + a | a ∈ ρ} is a subgroup of the group

of units of R̃ and is nilpotent of class at most

n. For λ ∈ R̃ and g ∈ ρ, define

³λ´ ³λ´

(1 + g)λ = 1 + λg + g2 + ··· + g n ∈ G.

2 n

Then G, equipped with this Q[x]-action, is a

nilpotent Q[x]-powered group.

7

Preliminaries.

**From this point on, G is a nilpotent Q[x]-powered
**

group unless otherwise told, and K is a bino-

mial subring of Q[x].

**Definitions. H is a K-subgroup of G, denoted
**

by H ≤K G, if H ≤ G and g α ∈ H for all g ∈ H

and α ∈ K. If H £ G as well, then H is a normal

K-subgroup of G, denoted by H £K G.

**Clearly, Z(G) £Q[x] G and the intersection of a
**

collection of K-subgroups of G is a K-subgroup

of G.

Lemma. If N £Q[x] G, then

gN = hN implies g β N = hβ N

for any g, h ∈ G and β ∈ Q[x].

8

Consequently, if N £Q[x] G, then the Q[x]-action

on G induces a Q[x]-action on G/N,

**(gN )µ = g µN for all gN ∈ G/N and µ ∈ Q[x],
**

which turns G/N into a nilpotent Q[x]-powered

group.

**Definition. If S = {x1, . . . , xj } ⊂ G, then
**

\

H= {Hi} = gpK (x1, . . . , xj )

S⊂Hi ≤K G

is the K-subgroup of G which is K-generated

by {x1, . . . , xj }, and S is a set of K-generators

for H.

Definition. Suppose that H1, H2 ≤K G. Then

[H1, H2]K = gpK ([h1, h2] | h1 ∈ H1, h2 ∈ H2)

is the commutator K-subgroup of H1 and H2.

If H1, . . . , Hi are K-subgroups of G then recur-

sively define, for i > 2,

[H1, . . . , Hi]K = [[H1, . . . , Hi−1]K , Hi]K .

9

Definition. A chain of subgroups

1 = G0 ≤ G1 ≤ · · · ≤ Gn = G

is called a central Q[x]-series if Gi £Q[x] G and

Gi+1/Gi ≤Q[x] Z(G/Gi) for i = 0, 1, . . . , n − 1.

**A lemma on products of Q[x]-subgroups:
**

Let N £Q[x] G and H ≤Q[x] G. Then HN ≤Q[x] G

and HN = gpQ[x](H, N ). If H £Q[x] G as well,

then HN £Q[x] G.

**The definitions of Q[x]-homomorphism, a Q[x]-
**

monomorphism, etc. are the same as for ordi-

nary groups and respect the Q[x]-action.

**Lemma. If φ ∈ Hom(G, Ḡ), then ker φ £Q[x] G
**

and im φ ≤Q[x] Ḡ.

**The isomorphism theorems carry over to nilpo-
**

tent Q[x]-powered groups in a natural way.

10

Two Remarks on Abelian Q[x]-Groups

**1. Every Q[x]-subgroup of a cyclic Q[x]-group
**

is a cyclic Q[x]-group (since Q[x] is a Euclidean

ring).

**2. Every Q[x]-subgroup of a finitely Q[x]-generated
**

abelian Q[x]-group is finitely Q[x]-generated abelian

(since Q[x] is a noetherian ring).

**Direct Products. The direct product of a
**

collection of nilpotent Q[x]-groups can be turned

into a nilpotent Q[x]-powered group by defin-

ing (g1, . . . , gi, . . .)α = (g1α, . . . , giα, . . .).

**Theorem. Every finitely Q[x]-generated abelian
**

Q[x]-group is a direct product of cyclic Q[x]-

groups (since Q[x] is a PID).

11

Let the Games Begin!

**Theorem. The subgroups of the upper and
**

lower central series of G, denoted by ζiG and

γiG respectively, are Q[x]-subgroups of G.

**Recall that [g1, . . . , gn] = [[g1, . . . , gn−1], gn], where
**

[gj ] = gj .

Theorem. γnG = gp ([g1, . . . , gn] | gi ∈ G).

Lemma. [γiG, γj G]Q[x] ≤Q[x] γi+j G.

**Theorem. For every integer i > 0, there is a
**

Q[x]-module epimorphism

O O

Ψi : Ab(G) ··· Ab(G) → γiG/γi+1G

| {z }

i of these

defined by

Ψi(g1γ2G ⊗ · · · ⊗ giγ2G) = [g1, . . . , gi]γi+1G.

12

Corollary. Let G be finitely Q[x]-generated

with Q[x]-generators S = {s1, . . . , sp}. Then

γnG/γn+1G is a finitely generated Q[x]-module

generated by the set {[si1 , . . . , sin ]γn+1G} where

the sij ’s range over S.

**Theorem. Every Q[x]-subgroup of a finitely
**

Q[x]-generated nilpotent Q[x]-powered group

is finitely Q[x]-generated.

**Definition. Let P be a property of groups. A
**

Q[x]-series

1 = G0 ≤ G1 ≤ · · · ≤ Gn+1 = G

for G is a poly-Q[x] P series if Gi £Q[x] Gi+1 and

Gi+1/Gi is a P Q[x]-group for each 0 ≤ i ≤ n.

**Theorem. G is finitely Q[x]-generated if and
**

only if it has a poly-Q[x] cyclic and central Q[x]-

series.

**The Hirsch Q[x]-length of G is the minimal
**

length of all poly-Q[x] cyclic and central Q[x]-

series’ for G.

13

Lemma. If G has nilpotency class c ≥ 2 and

g ∈ G, then H = gpQ[x](g, γ2G) is of class less

than c.

Torsion Sets

**Definitions. g ∈ G is called a torsion element
**

if there exists a non-zero α ∈ Q[x] such that

g α = 1. The set of torsion elements of G is

denoted as τ (G), and G is a torsion Q[x]-group

if τ (G) = G. We say that G is torsion free if

g α = 1 implies that either g = 1 or α = 0.

**Theorem. τ (G)£Q[x] G and G/τ (G) is torsion-
**

free. If G is torsion free and g, h ∈ G satisfies

g α = hα for some non-zero α ∈ Q[x], then

g = h.

Dehn’s Problems

**The word problem, generalized word problem,
**

and the conjugacy problem are solvable for

finitely Q[x]-generated nilpotent Q[x]-groups.

14

Uniqueness Of Q[x]-Completions

**Let G1 = (G, B1) and G2 = (G, B2) denote the
**

finitely generated torsion free nilpotent group,

G, with distinct Mal’cev bases B1 and B2, re-

Q[x] Q[x]

spectively. Then G1 and G2 are Q[x]-

isomorphic.

Finite Type and π-Primary Q[x]-Groups

**Definition. G is of finite type if it is a finitely
**

Q[x]-generated torsion Q[x]-group.

**Lemma. If both H £Q[x] G and G/H are of
**

finite type, then G is of finite type.

**Theorem. If G is finitely Q[x]-generated, then
**

Z(G) is of finite type if and only if G is of finite

type.

**Definition. Let π ∈ Q[x] be a prime. The
**

π-primary component of G is the set

k

Gπ = {g ∈ G | g π = 1 for some k ∈ Z+}.

15

G is termed a π-primary Q[x]-group if G = Gπ .

If G is a finitely Q[x]-generated π-primary Q[x]-

group, then G is of finite π-type.

Theorem. If π ∈ Q[x] is prime, then Gπ £Q[x] G.

**Theorem. Suppose G is of finite type. If I is
**

some non-empty index set and {πi | i ∈ I} is

Q

the set of all primes in Q[x], then G = i∈I Gπi .

Two Residual Properties

**Definition. A finitely Q[x]-generated nilpotent
**

Q[x]-powered group, G, is finite dimensional

over Q if G has a poly-Q[x] cyclic and central

Q[x]-series 1 = G0 £ · · · £ Gq = G such that the

each of the factor Q[x]-groups Gi+1/Gi, viewed

as a vector space over Q, is finite dimensional

for each i = 0, . . . , q − 1.

**Theorem. Every finitely Q[x]-generated nilpo-
**

tent Q[x]-powered group is residually finite di-

mensional over Q.

16

Theorem. Let G be finitely Q[x]-generated

and suppose g, h ∈ G such that g is not conju-

gate to h. Then there exists a nilpotent Q[x]-

powered group, B, of finite Hirsch Q[x]-length

which is finite dimensional over Q, and a Q[x]-

homomorphism φ : G → B such that φ(g) is

not conjugate to φ(h).

**Theorem. Let G be finitely Q[x]-generated
**

and torsion free. For every prime π ∈ Q[x],

G is residually of finite π-type. (Requires the

notion of a π-radicable nilpotent Q[x]-powered

group.)

**Last, but not least, every finitely Q[x]-generated
**

nilpotent Q[x]-powered group is hopfian (G is

hopfian if, whenever Φ : G → G is a Q[x]-

epimorphism, then Φ is a Q[x]-isomorphism).

17

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