Opening gaps in the spectrum of strictly ergodic Schrodinger operators
We consider Schrodinger operators with dynamically defined potentials arising from continuous sampling along orbits of strictly ergodic transformations. The Gap Labeling Theorem states that the possible gaps in the spectrum can be canonically labelled by an at most countable set defined purely in terms of the dynamics. Which labels actually appear depends on the choice of the sampling function; the missing labels are said to correspond to collapsed gaps. Here we show that for any collapsed gap, the sampling function may be continuously deformed so that the gap immediately opens. As a corollary, we conclude that for generic sampling functions, all gaps are open. The proof is based on the analysis of continuous SL.2;R/ cocycles, for which we obtain dynamical results of independent interest.