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Journal of the American Mathematical Society

Published by the American Mathematical Society, the Journal of the American Mathematical Society (JAMS) is devoted to research articles of the highest quality in all areas of mathematics.

ISSN 1088-6834 (online) ISSN 0894-0347 (print)

The 2020 MCQ for Journal of the American Mathematical Society is 4.83.

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Homoclinic points of algebraic $\mathbb {Z}^d$-actions
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by Douglas Lind and Klaus Schmidt
J. Amer. Math. Soc. 12 (1999), 953-980
Published electronically: May 24, 1999


Let $\alpha$ be an action of $\mathbb Z^d$ by continuous automorphisms of a compact abelian group $X$. A point $x$ in $X$ is called homoclinic for $\alpha$ if $\alpha ^{\mathbf n}x\to 0_X$ as $\|\mathbf n\|\to \infty$. We study the set $\Delta _{\alpha }(X)$ of homoclinic points for $\alpha$, which is a subgroup of $X$. If $\alpha$ is expansive, then $\Delta _{\alpha }(X)$ is at most countable. Our main results are that if $\alpha$ is expansive, then (1) $\Delta _{\alpha }(x)$ is nontrivial if and only if $\alpha$ has positive entropy and (2) $\Delta _{\alpha }(X)$ is nontrivial and dense in $X$ if and only if $\alpha$ has completely positive entropy. In many important cases $\Delta _{\alpha }(X)$ is generated by a fundamental homoclinic point which can be computed explicitly using Fourier analysis. Homoclinic points for expansive actions must decay to zero exponentially fast, and we use this to establish strong specification properties for such actions. This provides an extensive class of examples of $\mathbb Z^d$-actions to which Ruelle’s thermodynamic formalism applies. The paper concludes with a series of examples which highlight the crucial role of expansiveness in our main results.
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Bibliographic Information
  • Douglas Lind
  • Affiliation: Department of Mathematics, Box 354350, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195–4350
  • MR Author ID: 114205
  • Email:
  • Klaus Schmidt
  • Affiliation: Mathematics Institute, University of Vienna, Strudlhofgasse 4, A-1090 Vienna, Austria and Erwin Schrödinger Institute for Mathematical Physics, Boltzmanngasse 9, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
  • Email:
  • Received by editor(s): February 13, 1997
  • Received by editor(s) in revised form: May 30, 1998
  • Published electronically: May 24, 1999
  • Additional Notes: Both authors were supported in part by NSF Grant DMS-9303240. The first author was also supported in part by NSF Grant DMS-9622866.
  • © Copyright 1999 American Mathematical Society
  • Journal: J. Amer. Math. Soc. 12 (1999), 953-980
  • MSC (1991): Primary 22D40, 54H20, 58F15; Secondary 13C10, 43A75
  • DOI:
  • MathSciNet review: 1678035