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Working paper

Purely noncommuting groups

Bogomolov F. A., Blum-Smith B.
In this paper we define and investigate a class of groups characterized by a representation-theoretic property we call purely noncommuting or PNC. This property guarantees that the group has an action on a smooth projective variety with mild quotient singularities. It has intrinsic group-theoretic interest as well. The main results are as follows. (i) All supersolvable groups are PNC. (ii) No nonabelian finite simple groups are PNC. (iii) A metabelian group is guaranteed to be PNC if its commutator subgroup's cyclic prime-power-order factors are all distinct, but not in general. We also give a criterion guaranteeing a group is PNC if its nonabelian subgroups are all large, in a suitable sense, and investigate the PNC property for permutations.