Multiple ergodic averages along functions from a Hardy field: convergence, recurrence and combinatorial applications

We obtain new results pertaining to convergence and recurrence of multiple ergodic averages along functions from a Hardy field. Among other things, we confirm some of the conjectures posed by Frantzikinakis in [Fra10; Fra16] and obtain combinatorial applications which contain, as rather special cases, several previously known (polynomial and non-polynomial) extensions of Szemeredi's theorem on arithmetic progressions [BL96; BLL08; FW09; Fra10; BMR17]. One of the novel features of our results, which is not present in previous work, is that they allow for a mixture of polynomials and non-polynomial functions. As an illustration, assume $f_i(t)=a_{i,1}t^{c_{i,1}}+\cdots+a_{i,d}t^{c_{i,d}}$ for $c_{i,j}>0$ and $a_{i,j}\in\mathbb{R}$. Then $\bullet$ for any measure preserving system $(X,{\mathcal B},\mu,T)$ and $h_1,\dots,h_k\in L^\infty(X)$, the limit $$\lim_{N\to\infty}\frac{1}{N}\sum_{n=1}^N T^{[f_1(n)]}h_1\cdots T^{[f_k(n)]}h_k$$ exists in $L^2$; $\bullet$ for any $E\subset \mathbb{N}$ with $\overline{\mathrm{d}}(E)>0$ there are $a,n\in\mathbb{N}$ such that ${a,, a+[f_1(n)],\ldots,a+[f_k(n)]}\subset E$. We also show that if $f_1,\dots,f_k$ belong to a Hardy field, have polynomial growth, and are such that no linear combination of them is a polynomial, then for any measure preserving system $(X,{\mathcal B},\mu,T)$ and any $A\in{\mathcal B}$, $$\limsup_{N\to\infty}\frac{1}{N}\sum_{n=1}^N\mu\Big(A\cap T^{-[ f_1(n) ]}A\cap\ldots\cap T^{-[f_k(n)]}A\Big),\geq,\mu(A)^{k+1}.$$

2006.03558

2020-06-05

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