Groups, Geometry, and Dynamics

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Volume 2, Issue 4, 2008, pp. 595–617
DOI: 10.4171/GGD/49

Published online: 2008-12-31

Uniform non-amenability, cost, and the first ℓ2-Betti number

Russell Lyons[1], Mikaël Pichot[2] and Stéphane Vassout[3]

(1) Indiana University, Bloomington, United States
(2) IHES, Bures-Sur-Yvette, France
(3) Institut de Mathématiques de Jussieu - Paris Rive Gauche, France

It is shown that 2β1(Γ) ≤ h(Γ) for any countable group Γ, where β1(Γ) is the first ℓ2-Betti number and h(Γ) the uniform isoperimetric constant. In particular, a countable group with non-vanishing first ℓ2-Betti number is uniformly non-amenable.
  We then define isoperimetric constants in the framework of measured equivalence relations. For an ergodic measured equivalence relation R of type II1, the uniform isoperimetric constant h(R) of R is invariant under orbit equivalence and satisfies

2β1(R) ≤ 2C(R) − 2 ≤ h(R),

where β1(R) is the first ℓ2-Betti number and C(R) the cost of R in the sense of Levitt (in particular h(R) is a non-trivial invariant). In contrast with the group case, uniformly non-amenable measured equivalence relations of type II1 always contain non-amenable subtreeings.
  An ergodic version he(Γ) of the uniform isoperimetric constant h(Γ) is defined as the infimum over all essentially free ergodic and measure preserving actions α of Γ of the uniform isoperimetric constant h(Rα) of the equivalence relation Rα associated to α. By establishing a connection with the cost of measure-preserving equivalence relations, we prove that he(Γ) = 0 for any lattice Γ in a semi-simple Lie group of real rank at least 2 (while he(Γ) does not vanish in general).

Keywords: 2-Betti numbers, uniform non-amenability, measured equivalence relations

Lyons Russell, Pichot Mikaël, Vassout Stéphane: Uniform non-amenability, cost, and the first ℓ2-Betti number. Groups Geom. Dyn. 2 (2008), 595-617. doi: 10.4171/GGD/49