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Title: Aspects of branch groups
Author: Garrido, Alejandra
ISNI:       0000 0004 5365 8076
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis is a study of the subgroup structure of some remarkable groups of automorphisms of rooted trees. It is divided into two parts. The main result of the first part is seemingly of an algorithmic nature, establishing that the Gupta--Sidki 3-group G has solvable membership problem. This follows the approach of Grigorchuk and Wilson who showed the same result for the Grigorchuk group. The proof, however, is not algorithmic, and it moreover shows a striking subgroup property of G: that all its infinite finitely generated subgroups are abstractly commensurable with either G or G × G. This is then used to show that G is subgroup separable which, together with some nice presentability properties of G, implies that the membership problem is solvable. The proof of the main theorem is also used to show that G satisfies a "strong fractal" property, in that every infinite finitely generated subgroup acts like G on some rooted subtree. The second part concerns the subgroup structure of branch and weakly branch groups in general. Motivated by a natural question raised in the first part, a necessary condition for direct products of branch groups to be abstractly commensurable is obtained. From this condition it follows that the Gupta--Sidki 3-group is not abstractly commensurable with its direct square. The first main result in the second part states that any (weakly) branch action of a group on a rooted tree is determined by the subgroup structure of the group. This is then applied to answer a question of Bartholdi, Siegenthaler and Zalesskii, showing that the congruence subgroup property for branch and weakly branch groups is independent of the actions on a tree. Finally, the information obtained on subgroups of branch groups is used to examine which groups have an essentially unique branch action and why this holds.
Supervisor: Wilson, John S. Sponsor: Mathematical Institute
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Group theory and generalizations (mathematics) ; Branch groups ; automorphisms of rooted trees ; subgroup structure ; commensurability ; congruence subgroup property