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Integrability of moduli and regularity of denjoy counterexamples

  • * Corresponding author: Thomas Koberda

    * Corresponding author: Thomas Koberda

The first author is supported by a KIAS Individual Grant (MG073601) at Korea Institute for Advanced Study and by the National Research Foundation (2018R1A2B6004003). The second author is partially supported by an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, and by NSF Grant DMS-1711488

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  • We study the regularity of exceptional actions of groups by $ C^{1, \alpha} $ diffeomorphisms on the circle, i.e. ones which admit exceptional minimal sets, and whose elements have first derivatives that are continuous with concave modulus of continuity $ \alpha $. Let $ G $ be a finitely generated group admitting a $ C^{1, \alpha} $ action $ \rho $ with a free orbit on the circle, and such that the logarithms of derivatives of group elements are uniformly bounded at some point of the circle. We prove that if $ G $ has spherical growth bounded by $ c n^{d-1} $ and if the function $ 1/\alpha^d $ is integrable near zero, then under some mild technical assumptions on $ \alpha $, there is a sequence of exceptional $ C^{1, \alpha} $ actions of $ G $ which converge to $ \rho $ in the $ C^1 $ topology. As a consequence for a single diffeomorphism, we obtain that if the function $ 1/\alpha $ is integrable near zero, then there exists a $ C^{1, \alpha} $ exceptional diffeomorphism of the circle. This corollary accounts for all previously known moduli of continuity for derivatives of exceptional diffeomorphisms. We also obtain a partial converse to our main result. For finitely generated free abelian groups, the existence of an exceptional action, together with some natural hypotheses on the derivatives of group elements, puts integrability restrictions on the modulus $ \alpha $. These results are related to a long-standing question of D. McDuff concerning the length spectrum of exceptional $ C^1 $ diffeomorphisms of the circle.

    Mathematics Subject Classification: Primary: 37E10; Secondary: 37C05, 37C15.

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