Primitives and central detection numbers in group cohomology

Research paper by Nicholas J. Kuhn

Indexed on: 04 Jan '07Published on: 04 Jan '07Published in: Mathematics - Group Theory


Henn, Lannes, and Schwartz have introduced two invariants, d_0(G) and d_1(G), of the mod p cohomology of a finite group G such that H^*(G) is detected and determined by H^d(C_G(V)) for d no bigger than d_0(G) and d_1(G), with V < G p-elementary abelian. We study how to calculate these invariants. We define a number e(G) that measures the image of the restriction of H^*(G) to its maximal central p-elementary abelian subgroup. Using Benson--Carlson duality, we show that when $G$ has a p-central Sylow subgroup P, d_0(G) = d_0(P) = e(P), and a similar exact formula holds for d_1(G). In general, we show that d_0(G) is bounded above by the maximum of the e(C_G(V))'s, if Benson's Regularity Conjecture holds. In particular, the inequality holds for all groups such that the p--rank of G minus the depth of H^*(G) is at most 2. When we look at examples with p=2, we learn that d_0(G) is at most 7 for all groups with 2--Sylow subgroup of order up to 64, unless the Sylow subgroup is isomorphic to that of either Sz(8) (and d_0(G) = 9) or SU(3,4) (and d_0(G)=14). Enroute we recover and strengthen theorems of Adem and Karagueuzian on essential cohomology, and Green on depth essential cohomology, and prove theorems about the structure of cohomology primitives associated to central extensions.