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Title: The length of conjugators in solvable groups and lattices of semisimple Lie groups
Author: Sale, Andrew W.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2745 1258
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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The conjugacy length function of a group Γ determines, for a given a pair of conjugate elements u,v ∈ Γ, an upper bound for the shortest γ in Γ such that uγ = γv, relative to the lengths of u and v. This thesis focuses on estimating the conjugacy length function in certain finitely generated groups. We first look at a collection of solvable groups. We see how the lamplighter groups have a linear conjugacy length function; we find a cubic upper bound for free solvable groups; for solvable Baumslag--Solitar groups it is linear, while for a larger family of abelian-by-cyclic groups we get either a linear or exponential upper bound; also we show that for certain polycyclic metabelian groups it is at most exponential. We also investigate how taking a wreath product effects conjugacy length, as well as other group extensions. The Magnus embedding is an important tool in the study of free solvable groups. It embeds a free solvable group into a wreath product of a free abelian group and a free solvable group of shorter derived length. Within this thesis we show that the Magnus embedding is a quasi-isometric embedding. This result is not only used for obtaining an upper bound on the conjugacy length function of free solvable groups, but also for giving a lower bound for their Lp compression exponents. Conjugacy length is also studied between certain types of elements in lattices of higher-rank semisimple real Lie groups. In particular we obtain linear upper bounds for the length of a conjugator from the ambient Lie group within certain families of real hyperbolic elements and unipotent elements. For the former we use the geometry of the associated symmetric space, while for the latter algebraic techniques are employed.
Supervisor: Drutu, Cornelia Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Group theory and generalizations (mathematics) ; Mathematics ; geometric group theory ; conjugacy problem ; solvable groups ; lattices ; semisimple Lie groups