The Tarski number of a non-amenable group G is the minimal number of pieces in a paradoxical decomposition of G. In this paper we investigate how Tarski numbers may change under various group-theoretic operations. Using these estimates and known properties of Golod-Shafarevich groups, we show that the Tarski numbers of 2-generated non-amenable groups can be arbitrarily large. We also use the cost of group actions to show that there exist groups with Tarski numbers 5 and 6. These provide the first examples of non-amenable groups without free subgroups whose Tarski number has been computed precisely.
- Golod-Shafarevich groups
- L<sup>2</sup>-Betti number
- Paradoxical decomposition
- Tarski number
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