Measuring finiteness in groups

19 November 2013
Francesco Matucci
Given a residually finite group, we analyse a growth function measuring the minimal index of a normal subgroup in a group which does not contain a given element. This growth (called residual finiteness growth) attempts to measure how ``efficient'' of a group is at being residually finite. We review known results about this growth, such as the existence of a Gromov-like theorem in a particular case, and explain how it naturally leads to the study of a second related growth (called intersection growth). Intersection growth measures asymptotic behaviour of the index of the intersection of all subgroups of a group that have index at most n. In this talk I will introduce these growths and give an overview of some cases and properties. This is joint work with Ian Biringer, Khalid Bou-Rabee and Martin Kassabov.