Radicals and Plotkin's problem concerning geometrically equivalent groups

by Goebel and Shelah. [GbSh:741]
Proc American Math Soc, 2002
If G and X are groups and N is a normal subgroup of X, then the G- closure of N in X is the normal subgroup {overline X}^G= bigcap {ker phi |phi :X-> G, with N subseteq ker phi} of X . In particular, {overline 1}^G = R_GX is the G- radical of X . Plotkin calls two groups G and H geometrically equivalent, written G~H, if for any free group F of finite rank and any normal subgroup N of F the G --closure and the H --closure of N in F are the same. Quasiidentities are formulas of the form (bigwedge_{i <= n} w_i = 1-> w =1) for any words w, w_i (i <= n) in a free group. Generally geometrically equivalent groups satisfy the same quasiidentiies. Plotkin showed that nilpotent groups G and H satisfy the same quasiidenties if and only if G and H are geometrically equivalent. Hence he conjectured that this might hold for any pair of groups. We provide a counterexample.

Back to the list of publications