Mixing actions of countable groups are almost free

Robin D. Tucker-Drob
2015 Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society  
A measure preserving action of a countably innite group Γ is called totally ergodic if every innite subgroup of Γ acts ergodically. For example, all mixing and mildly mixing actions are totally ergodic. This note shows that if an action of Γ is totally ergodic then there exists a nite normal subgroup N of Γ such that the stabilizer of almost every point is equal to N. Surprisingly the proof relies on the group theoretic fact (proved by Hall and Kulatilaka as well as by Kargapolov) that every
more » ... ite locally nite group contains an innite abelian subgroup, of which all known proofs rely on the Feit-Thompson theorem. As a consequence we deduce a group theoretic characterization of countable groups whose non-trivial Bernoulli factors are all free: these are precisely the groups that possess no nite normal subgroup other than the trivial subgroup.
doi:10.1090/proc/12467 fatcat:whcrf5eglrhf7iyzsvuz73qm6u