Hyperbolic groups and free constructions. (English) Zbl 0902.20018

The authors make the following definitions: A subgroup \(U\) of a group \(G\) is said to be conjugate separated if the set \(\{u\in U\mid u^x\in U\}\) is finite for all \(x\in G\setminus U\). Suppose now that \(U\) and \(V\) are subgroups of \(G\), let \(\psi\colon U\to V\) be an isomorphism, that either \(U\) or \(V\) is conjugate separated and that the set \(\{U\cap g^{-1}Vg\}\) is finite for all \(g\in G\). Then, the HNN-extension \(\langle G,t\mid t^{-1}ut=u^\psi,\;u\in U\rangle\) is said to be separated.
The authors then prove the following Theorem 1. If \(G\) is a hyperbolic group and \(H=\langle G,t\mid U^t=V\rangle\) is a separated HNN-extension such that the subgroups \(U\) and \(V\) are quasiisometrically embedded in \(G\), then \(H\) is hyperbolic. – Theorem 2. Let \(G_1\) and \(G_2\) be hyperbolic groups, with \(U\leq G_1\) and \(V\leq G_2\) quasiisometrically embedded, and \(U\) conjugate separated in \(G_1\). Then the group \(G_1*_{U=V}G_2\) is hyperbolic.
They obtain the following corollaries: Corollary 1. If \(G\) is a hyperbolic group with \(A\) and \(B\) isomorphic virtually cyclic subgroups, then the HNN-extension \(H=\langle G,t\mid A^t=B\rangle\) is hyperbolic if and only if it is separated. – Corollary 2. Let \(G_1\) and \(G_2\) be hyperbolic groups, with \(A\leq G_1\), \(B\leq G_2\) virtually cyclic. Then the group \(G_1*_{A=B}G_2\) is hyperbolic if and only if either \(A\) is conjugate separated in \(G_1\) or \(B\) is conjugate separated in \(G_2\). Corollary 2 has been proved by M. Bestvina and M. Feighn [in J. Differ. Geom. 35, No. 1, 85-102 (1992; Zbl 0724.57029)]. The authors note that Corollary 1 contradicts an assertion in this same paper.
The authors study then quasiconvexity, and they prove the following Theorem 3. Let \(H=\langle G,t\mid U^t=V\rangle\) be hyperbolic with \(U\) quasiconvex in \(H\). Then, \(G\) is quasiconvex in \(H\) and hence hyperbolic. – Theorem 4. Let \(H\) be a separated HNN-extension, \(H=\langle G,t\mid U^t=V\rangle\), with \(G\) hyperbolic and \(U\) and \(V\) quasiconvex in \(G\). Then \(G\) is quasiconvex in \(H\).
Finally, the authors describe the \(Q\)-completion \(G^Q\) of a torsion-free hyperbolic group \(G\) (where \(Q\) is the field of rationals) as a union of an effective chain of hyperbolic subgroups, and they give a solution for the word problem and the conjugacy problem in \(G^Q\).


20F65 Geometric group theory
20E06 Free products of groups, free products with amalgamation, Higman-Neumann-Neumann extensions, and generalizations
20F10 Word problems, other decision problems, connections with logic and automata (group-theoretic aspects)
57M07 Topological methods in group theory
Full Text: DOI arXiv


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