On the classification of extremely primitive affine groups

Tim Burness, Melissa Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Let G be a finite non-regular primitive permutation group on a set Ω with point
stabiliser Gα. Then G is said to be extremely primitive if Gα acts primitively on each of its orbits in Ω \ {α}, which is a notion dating back to work of Manning in the 1920s. By a theorem of Mann, Praeger and Seress, it is known that every extremely primitive group is either almost simple or affine, and all the almost simple examples have subsequently been determined. Similarly, Mann et al. have classified all of the affine extremely primitive groups up to a finite, but undetermined, collection of groups. Moreover, if one assumes Wall’s conjecture on the number of maximal subgroups of an almost simple group, then there is an explicit list of candidates, each of which has been eliminated in a recent paper by Burness and Thomas. So, modulo Wall’s conjecture, the classification of extremely primitive groups is complete. In this paper we adopt a different approach, which allows us to complete this classification in full generality, independent of the veracity or otherwise of Wall’s conjecture in the almost simple setting. Our method relies on recent work of Fawcett, Lee and others on the existence of regular orbits of almost simple groups acting on irreducible modules.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalIsrael Journal of Mathematics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 14 Jan 2022


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