Riccati equations and polynomial dynamics over function fields
Abstract
Given a function field $K$ and $\phi \in K[x]$, we study two finiteness questions related to iteration of $\phi$: whether all but finitely many terms of an orbit of $\phi$ must possess a primitive prime divisor, and whether the Galois groups of iterates of $\phi$ must have finite index in their natural overgroup $\text{Aut}(T_d)$, where $T_d$ is the infinite tree of iterated preimages of $0$ under $\phi$. We focus particularly on the case where $K$ has characteristic $p$, where far less is known. We resolve the first question in the affirmative under relatively weak hypotheses; interestingly, the main step in our proof is to rule out "Riccati differential equations" in backwards orbits. We then apply our result on primitive prime divisors and adapt a method of Looper to produce a family of polynomials for which the second question has an affirmative answer; these are the first nonisotrivial examples of such polynomials. We also prove that almost all quadratic polynomials over $\mathbb{Q}(t)$ have iterates whose Galois group is all of $\text{Aut}(T_d)$.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 October 2017
 arXiv:
 arXiv:1710.04332
 Bibcode:
 2017arXiv171004332H
 Keywords:

 Mathematics  Number Theory