Global smooth and topological rigidity of hyperbolic lattice actions


In this article we prove global rigidity results for hyperbolic actions of higher-rank lattices.
Suppose $\Gamma$ is a lattice in a semisimple Lie group, all of whose factors have rank $2$ or higher. Let $\alpha$ be a smooth $\Gamma$-action on a compact nilmanifold $M$ that lifts to an action on the universal cover. If the linear data $\rho$ of $\alpha$ contains a hyperbolic element, then there is a continuous semiconjugacy intertwining the actions of $\alpha$ and $\rho$ on a finite-index subgroup of $\Gamma$. If $\alpha$ is a $C^\infty$ action and contains an Anosov element, then the semiconjugacy is a $C^\infty$ conjugacy.
As a corollary, we obtain $C^\infty$ global rigidity for Anosov actions by cocompact lattices in semisimple Lie groups with all factors rank $2$ or higher. We also obtain global rigidity of Anosov actions of $\mathrm{SL}(n,\mathbb{Z})$ on $\mathbb{T}^n$ for $ n\geq 5$ and probability-preserving Anosov actions of arbitrary higher-rank lattices on nilmanifolds.


Aaron Brown

University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Federico Rodriguez Hertz

Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Zhiren Wang

Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA