We make a systematic study of filtrations of a free group F defined as products of powers of the lower central series of F. Under some assumptions on the exponents, we characterize these filtrations in terms of the group algebra, the Magnus algebra of non-commutative power series, and linear representations by upper-triangular unipotent matrices. These characterizations generalize classical results of Grün, Magnus, Witt, and Zassenhaus from the 1930s, as well as later results on the lower p-central filtration and the p-Zassenhaus filtrations. We derive alternative recursive definitions of such filtrations, extending results of Lazard. Finally, we relate these filtrations to Massey products in group cohomology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Algebra and Number Theory