A countable group is ℵ0-categorical if it is characterized up to isomorphism among all countable groups by its first order theory. We investigate countable ℵ0-categorical groups which are characteristically simple and have proper subgroups of finite index. We determine such groups up to isomorphism (Corollary 4 to Proposition 3), and we show that their theories are finitely axiomatizable (Proposition 2).
Let K be a finite nonabelian simple group. In §3 we construct from K two denumberable groups, K* and K#, and use them to classify countable direct limits of finite Cartesian powers of K (Proposition 1). The results of §3 are used in §4 to show that K* and K# are ℵ0-categorical and to find axioms for their theories. By Corollary 2 to Proposition 2, K* and K# are counterexamples to the conjecture of U. Feigner [3, p. 309] that ℵ0-categorical groups are FC-solvable. Also in §4 the results mentioned in the first paragraph are proved. §2 is devoted to preliminary lemmas about finite Cartesian powers of K.
A characteristic subgroup of a group G is a subgroup which is mapped onto itself by all automorphisms of G. G is characteristically simple if its only characteristic subgroups are itself and the identity subgroup. Each characteristic subgroup of a group is a union of orbits of the automorphism group of the group. If G is ℵ0-categorical, then as the automorphism group of G has only a finite number of orbits, G has only a finite number of characteristic subgroups.