Abstract view
On the invariant factors of class groups in towers of number fields


Farshid Hajir,
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst MA 01003, USA
Christian Maire,
Laboratoire de Mathématiques, Université Bourgogne FrancheComté et CNRS (UMR 6623), 16 route de Gray, 25030 Besançon cédex, France
Abstract
For a finite abelian $p$group $A$ of rank $d=\dim A/pA$, let
$\mathbb{M}_A := \log_p A^{1/d}$ be its
\emph{(logarithmic) mean exponent}. We study the behavior of
the mean exponent of $p$class groups in pro$p$ towers $\mathrm{L}/K$
of number fields. Via a combination of results from analytic
and algebraic number theory, we construct infinite tamely
ramified pro$p$ towers in which the mean exponent of $p$class
groups remains bounded. Several explicit
examples are given with $p=2$. Turning to group theory, we
introduce an invariant $\underline{\mathbb{M}}(G)$ attached to a finitely generated
pro$p$ group $G$; when $G=\operatorname{Gal}(\mathrm{L}/\mathrm{K})$, where $\mathrm{L}$ is the Hilbert
$p$class field tower of a number field $K$, $\underline{\mathbb{M}}(G)$ measures
the asymptotic behavior of the mean exponent of $p$class groups
inside $\mathrm{L}/\mathrm{K}$. We compare and contrast the behavior of this
invariant in analytic versus nonanalytic groups. We exploit
the interplay of grouptheoretical and numbertheoretical perspectives
on this invariant and explore some open questions that arise
as a result, which may be of independent interest in group theory.