Buildings are geometric objects, originally introduced by Tits to study Lie groups that act on their corresponding building. Apart from their significance for Lie groups, buidings and their automorphism groups are a rich source of examples for groups with interesting properties (for example, it is a result of Caprace that some buildings admit an automorphism group which is compactly generated, abstractly simple and locally compact). Right Angled Buildings (RABs) are a specific kind of building whose geometry can be well understood as it resembles the geometry of a tree. This allows one to generalise ideas like the Burger-Mozes universal groups to the setting of RABs.
I plan to give an introduction to RABs. As a complete formal introduction to buildings would take more than an hour, I will instead present various illustrative examples to give you an idea of what you should have in mind when you think of a (right-angled) building. I will be as formal as I can in presenting the basic features of buildings - Coxeter complexes, chambers, apartments, retractions and residues. In the remaining time I will say as much as I can about the geometry of RABs, and explain how to use this geometry to derive a structure theorem for the automorphism group of a RAB, towards a definition of Burger-Mozes universal groups for RABs.
- Junior Topology and Group Theory Seminar