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The Realization Problem for some wild monoids and the Atiyah Problem

Authors: P. Ara and K. R. Goodearl
Journal: Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 369 (2017), 5665-5710
MSC (2010): Primary 16D70, 16E50, 20C07; Secondary 16S34, 16D40
Published electronically: December 7, 2016
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Abstract: The Realization Problem for (von Neumann) regular rings asks what are the conical refinement monoids which can be obtained as the monoids of isomorphism classes of finitely generated projective modules over a regular ring. The analogous realization question for the larger class of exchange rings is also of interest. A refinement monoid is said to be wild if it cannot be expressed as a direct limit of finitely generated refinement monoids. In this paper, we consider the problem of realizing some concrete wild refinement monoids by regular rings and by exchange rings. The most interesting monoid we consider is the monoid $ \mathcal M$ obtained by successive refinements of the identity $ x_0+y_0=x_0+z_0$. This monoid is known to be realizable by the algebra $ A= K[\mathcal F] $ of the monogenic free inverse monoid $ \mathcal F$, for any choice of field $ K$, but $ A$ is not an exchange ring. We show that, for any uncountable field $ K$, $ \mathcal M$ is not realizable by a regular $ K$-algebra, but that a suitable universal localization $ \Sigma ^{-1}A$ of $ A$ provides an exchange, non-regular, $ K$-algebra realizing $ \mathcal M$. For any countable field $ F$, we show that a skew version of the above construction gives a regular $ F$-algebra realizing $ \mathcal M$. Finally, we develop some connections with the Atiyah Problem for the lamplighter group. We prove that the algebra $ A$ can be naturally seen as a $ *$-subalgebra of the group algebra $ kG$ over the lamplighter group $ G= \mathbb{Z}_2\wr \mathbb{Z}$, for any subfield $ k$ of $ \mathbb{C}$ closed under conjugation, and we determine the structure of the $ *$-regular closure of $ A$ in $ \mathcal U(G)$. Using this, we show that the subgroup of $ \mathbb{R}$ generated by the von Neumann dimensions of matrices over $ kG$ contains $ \mathbb{Q}$.

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Additional Information

P. Ara
Affiliation: Departament de Matemàtiques, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona), Spain

K. R. Goodearl
Affiliation: Department of Mathematics, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106

Received by editor(s): October 31, 2014
Received by editor(s) in revised form: September 14, 2015
Published electronically: December 7, 2016
Additional Notes: The first-named author was partially supported by DGI MINECO MTM2011-28992-C02-01, by FEDER UNAB10-4E-378 “Una manera de hacer Europa”, and by the Comissionat per Universitats i Recerca de la Generalitat de Catalunya. Part of this research was undertaken while the second-named author held a sabbatical fellowship from the Ministerio de Educación y Ciencias de España at the Centre de Recerca Matemàtica in Barcelona during spring 2011. The second author thanks both institutions for their support and hospitality.
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