Subgroups of Teichmuller Modular Groups

Paperback
Teichmuller modular groups, also known as mapping class groups of surfaces, serve as a meeting ground for several branches of mathematics, including low-dimensional topology, the theory of Teichmuller spaces, group theory, and, more recently, mathematical physics. The present work focuses mainly on the group-theoretic properties of these groups and their subgroups. The technical tools come from Thurston's theory of surfaces - his classification of surface diffeomorphisms and the theory of measured foliations on surfaces.The guiding principle of this investigation is a deep analogy between modular groups and linear groups. For some of the central results of the theory of linear groups (such as the theorems of Platonov, Tits, and Margulis-Soifer), the author provides analogous results for the case of subgroups of modular groups. The results also include a clear geometric picture of subgroups of modular groups and their action on Thurston's boundary of Teichmuller spaces. Aimed at research mathematicians and graduate students, this book is suitable as supplementary material in advanced graduate courses.