Tue, 21 Feb 2023
Emmanuel Breuillard
University of Oxford

The joint spectral radius of a finite family S of matrices measures the rate of exponential growth of the maximal norm of an element from the product set S^n as n grows. This notion was introduced by Rota and Strang in the 60s. It arises naturally in a number of contexts in pure and applied mathematics. I will discuss its basic properties and focus on a formula of Berger and Wang and results of J. Bochi that extend to several matrices the classical for formula of Gelfand that relates the growth rate of the powers of a single matrix to its spectral radius. I give new proofs and derive explicit estimates with polynomial dependence on the dimension, refining these results. If time permits I will also discuss connections with the Tits alternative, the notion of joint spectrum, and a geometric version of these results regarding groups acting on non-positively curved spaces.

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