Pro-isomorphic zeta functions of groups and solutions to congruence equations

Wed, 28/01/2015 - 11:15

Zeta functions of groups were introduced by Grunewald, Segal and Smith in 1988. They have proved to be a powerful tool for studying the subgroup structure and growth of certain groups, especially finitely generated nilpotent groups. Three types of zeta function have received special attention: those enumerating all subgroups, normal subgroups or "pro-isomorphic" subgroups: subgroups isomorphic to the original group after taking profinite completions. Of particular interest is a striking symmetry observed in many explicit computations, of a functional equation for local factors of the zeta functions. Inspired by wide-reaching results, due to Voll, for the first two types of zeta function, I will talk about recent progress on the functional equation for local pro-isomorphic zeta functions. Thanks to work of Igusa and of du Sautoy and Lubotzky, these local zeta functions can be analysed by translating them into integrals over certain points of an automorphism group of a Lie algebra associated to the nilpotent group and then applying a p-adic Bruhat decomposition due to Iwahori and Matsumoto. While this technique proves a functional equation for certain classes of such integrals, it is difficult to relate these results back to the nilpotent groups they arise from. In particular, it is not known whether the local pro-isomorphic zeta functions of all finitely generated groups of nilpotency class 2 enjoy local functional equations. I will discuss recent explicit calculations of pro-isomorphic zeta functions for specific nilpotent groups. Interesting new features include an example of a group whose local zeta functions do not satisfy functional equations, a family of groups whose global zeta functions have non-integer abscissae of convergence of arbitrary denominator, and an example whose calculation requires solving congruence equations modulo p^n for a prime p. The latter sheds new light on the types of automorphism groups that can be expected to arise. This is joint work with Benjamin Klopsch and Uri Onn.