Table of contents
Introduction and Overview
About this book
Subgroup growth studies the distribution of subgroups of finite index in a group as a function of the index. In the last two decades this topic has developed into one of the most active areas of research in infinite group theory; this book is a systematic and comprehensive account of the substantial theory which has emerged.
As well as determining the range of possible "growth types", for finitely generated groups in general and for groups in particular classes such as linear groups, a main focus of the book is on the tight connection between the subgroup growth of a group and its algebraic structure. For example the so-called PSG Theorem, proved in Chapter 5, characterizes the groups of polynomial subgroup growth as those which are virtually soluble of finite rank. A key element in the proof is the growth of congruence subgroups in arithmetic groups, a new kind of "non-commutative arithmetic", with applications to the study of lattices in Lie groups. Another kind of non-commutative arithmetic arises with the introduction of subgroup-counting zeta functions; these fascinating and mysterious zeta functions have remarkable applications both to the "arithmetic of subgroup growth" and to the classification of finite p-groups.
A wide range of mathematical disciplines play a significant role in this work: as well as various aspects of infinite group theory, these include finite simple groups and permutation groups, profinite groups, arithmetic groups and strong approximation, algebraic and analytic number theory, probability, and p-adic model theory. Relevant aspects of such topics are explained in self-contained "windows", making the book accessible to a wide mathematical readership. The book concludes with over 60 challenging open problems that will stimulate further research in this rapidly growing subject.