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We show that there exist non-unitarizable groups without non-abelian free subgroups. Both torsion and torsion free examples are constructed. As a by-product, we show that there exist finitely generated torsion groups with non-vanishing first $L^2$-Betti numbers. We also relate the well-known problem of whether every hyperbolic group is residually finite to an open question about approximation of $L^2$-Betti numbers.
We conjecture that the word problem of Artin-Tits groups can be solved without introducing trivial factors ss^{-1} or s^{-1}s. Here we make this statement precise and explain how it can be seen as a weak form of hyperbolicity. We prove the conjecture in the case of Artin-Tits groups of type FC, and we discuss various possible approaches for further extensions, in particular a syntactic argument that works at least in the right-angled case.
Comment: 24 pages; improved introduction from v1
Let $K$ be a non-trivial knot in the 3-sphere, $E_K$ its exterior, $G_K = \pi_1(E_K)$ its group, and $P_K = \pi_1(\partial E_K) \subset G_K$ its peripheral subgroup. We show that $P_K$ is malnormal in $G_K$, namely that $gP_Kg^{-1} \cap P_K = \{e\}$ for any $g \in G_K$ with $g \notin P_K$, unless $K$ is in one of the following three classes: torus knots, cable knots, and composite knots; these are exactly the classes for which there exist annuli in $E_K$ attached to $T_K$ which are not boundary parallel (Theorem 1 and Corollary 2). More generally, we characterise malnormal peripheral subgroups in the fundamental group of a compact orientable irreducible 3-manifold with boundary a non-empty union of tori (Theorem 3). Proofs are written with non-expert readers in mind. Half of our paper (Sections 7 to 10) is a reminder of some three-ma...
A commutative loop is Jordan if it satisfies the identity $x^2 (y x) = (x^2 y) x$. Using an amalgam construction and its generalizations, we prove that a nonassociative Jordan loop of order $n$ exists if and only if $n\geq 6$ and $n\neq 9$. We also consider whether powers of elements in Jordan loops are well-defined, and we construct an infinite family of finite simple nonassociative Jordan loops.
We prove that pure braid groups of closed surface are almost-direct products of residually torsion free nilpotent groups and hence residually torsion free nilpotent. As a Corollary, we prove also that braid groups on 2 strands of closed surfaces are residually nilpotent.
We prove that if $\pi$ is a recursive set of primes, then pointlike sets are decidable for the pseudovariety of semigroups whose subgroups are $\pi$-groups. In particular, when $\pi$ is the empty set, we obtain Henckell's decidability of aperiodic pointlikes. Our proof, restricted to the case of aperiodic semigroups, is simpler than the original proof.
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