We would like present several results in descriptive set theory involving definable equivalence relations on Polish spaces.
Given an equivalence relation E on a polish space X, we would like to study the classification problem of determining whether two objects x,y in X are E-related.
Let $\alpha, \beta$ be elements of infinite order in the circle group. A closed set K in the circle is called an \alpha \beta set if for every x\in K either x+\alpha \in K or x+\beta \in K. In 1979 Katznelson proved that there exist non-dense \alpha \beta sets, and that there exist \alpha \beta sets of arbitrarily small Hausdorff dimension. We shall discuss this result, and a more recent result of Feng and Xiong, showing that the lower box dimension of every \alpha \beta set is at least 1/2.
An old result of Hedlund tells us that there are no closed orbits for the horocycle flow on a compact Riemann surface M. The situation is different if M is non-compact in which case there is a one-parameter family of periodic orbits for every cusp of M. I want to talk about a result by Sarnak concerning the distribution of the such orbits in each of these families when their length goes to infinity. It turns out that these orbits become equidistributed in M and the rate of convergence can in fact be quantified in terms of spectral properties of the Eisenstein series on M.