The study of geometric objects defined by polynomial equations, as well as their generalizations: algebraic curves, such as elliptic curves, and more generally algebraic varieties, schemes, etc. Problems under this tag typically involve techniques of abstract algebra or complex-analytic methods. ...

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On the problem of polynomial bijection from $\mathbb Q\times\mathbb Q$ to $\mathbb Q$

The question titled "Polynomial bijection from $\mathbb Q\times\mathbb Q$ to $\mathbb Q$" which was posed on MathOverflow attracted quite a lot of attention (and may be the question with most wrong ...
21
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0answers
417 views

Classification of local Artin (commutative) rings which are finite over an algebraically closed field.

A result in deformation theory states that if every morphism $Y=\operatorname{Spec}(A)\rightarrow X$ where $A$ is a local Artin ring finite over $k$ can be extended to every $Y'\supset Y$ where $Y'$ ...
21
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0answers
438 views

Tate conjecture for Fermat varieties

I've been looking at Tate's Algebraic Cycles and Poles of Zeta Functions (hard to find online... Google books outline here) and have a question about his work on (conjecturing!) the Tate conjecture ...
21
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0answers
2k views

Pullback and Pushforward Isomorphism of Sheaves

Suppose we have two schemes $X, Y$ and a map $f: X\to Y$. Then we know that $\operatorname{Hom}_X(f^*\mathcal{G}, \mathcal{F})\simeq \operatorname{Hom}_Y(\mathcal{G}, f_*\mathcal{F})$, where ...
20
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4answers
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intuitive explantions for the concepts of divisor and genus

when trying to explain AG-codes to computer scientists, the major points of contention i am faced with are the concepts of divisors, Riemann-Roch space and the genus of a function field. are there any ...
20
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1answer
554 views

What is $\operatorname{Spec}\mathbf{C}[[x,y]]/(y^{2} - x^{3} - x^{2})$?

Let $X = \operatorname{Spec} \mathbf{C}[[x,y]]/(y^{2} - x^{3} - x^{2})$. I would like to describe $X$ set-theoretically. My questions are: Can one explicitly say what the elements in $X$ are? Is it ...
20
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2answers
851 views

When is the sheaf corresponding to a vector bundle on a smooth manifold coherent?

In algebraic and analytic geometry, vector bundles are usually interpreted as locally free sheaves of modules (over the structure sheaves). They are in particular examples of quasi-coherent sheaves. ...
20
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1answer
559 views

cones in the derived category

If I have two exact triangles $X \to Y \to Z \to X[1]$ and $X' \to Y' \to Z' \to X'[1]$ in a triangulated category, and I have morphisms $X \to X'$, $Y \to Y'$ which 'commute' ...
19
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5answers
1k views

geometric motivation for negative self-intersection

consider the blow-up of the plane in one point. Let $E$ the exceptional divisor. We know that $(E,E)=-1$. Which is the geometrical reason for which the auto-intersection of $E$ is $-1$? In general ...
19
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1answer
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Divisor — line bundle correspondence in algebraic geometry

I know a little bit of the theory of compact Riemann surfaces, wherein there is a very nice divisor -- line bundle correspondence. But when I take up the book of Hartshorne, the notion of Cartier ...
19
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3answers
1k views

Why is the coordinate ring of a projective variety not determined by the isomorphism class of the variety?

I know that there are isomorphic projective varieties which have nonisomorphic coordinate rings, but I'm a little mystified as to "why" this is the case. Why doesn't a usual functoriality proof go ...
19
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2answers
768 views

Who first called the Grothendieck's schéma scheme?

Grothendieck called "schemes" schémas in French. I find it strange we call them schemes. In fact, Grothendieck called them (pre-) schemas(this is an English word) in his talk(in English) at Proceeding ...
19
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2answers
1k views

How should I think about very ample sheaves?

Definition. [Hartshorne] If $X$ is any scheme over $Y$, an invertible sheaf $\mathcal{L}$ is very ample relative to $Y$, if there is an imersion $i:X \to \mathbb{P}_Y^r$ for some $r$ such that ...
18
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5answers
2k views

Is there a way of working with the Zariski topology in terms of convergence/limits?

As someone who is very fond of analysis, I feel most comfortable working in topological spaces via the notion of convergence of sequences (or nets, in infinite-dimensional Banach spaces, etc.). In ...
18
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1answer
2k views

Why is the hard Lefschetz theorem “hard”?

Let $X$ be a compact Kähler manifold of complex dimension $\dim_{\mathbb C} = n$. Let $[\omega]$ be the cohomology class of a Kähler metric on $X$. Then powers of the class $[\omega]$ defines a linear ...
18
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2answers
835 views

Did Zariski really define the Zariski topology on the prime spectrum of a ring?

The question is not: “Did Zariski really define the Zariski topology?” It is: “Did Zariski really define the Zariski topology on the prime spectrum of a ring?” Here is the motivation. --- On page ...
18
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1answer
1k views

What is an intuitive meaning of genus?

I read from the Finnish version of the book "Fermat's last theorem, Unlocking the Secret of an Ancient Mathematical Problem", written by Amir D. Aczel, that genus describes how many handles there are ...
18
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1answer
332 views

Why is there “no analogue of $2i\pi$ in $\mathbf C_p$”?

In his paper Fonctions L p-adiques, Pierre Colmez says: Tate a montré qu'il n'existait pas dans $\mathbf C_p$ d'analogue $p$-adique de $2i \pi$ et donc par conséquent que les périodes $p$-adiques ...
18
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2answers
358 views

What is the difference between $\ell$-adic cohomology and cohomology with coefficient in $Z_\ell$?

Let $X$ be a non-singular projective variety over $\mathbb{Q}$. Consider on the one hand $H^i_B(X(\mathbb{C}),\mathbb{Z}_\ell)$ the singular cohomology with value in $\mathbb{Z}_\ell$, and on the ...
18
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1answer
285 views

Review on Riemannian Geometry

I'm currently reading through Griffiths and Harris Principles of Algebraic Geometry, and the only subject in the foundational material section that I am not completely comfortable with is riemannian ...
18
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0answers
280 views

What is Spec of the Adeles?

Let $K$ be a global field and $A_K$ the ring of adeles. What are the prime ideals of $A_K$? I have been told that a full proof of this is quite subtle, but have been unable to find a reference ...
17
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3answers
1k views

Polynomial map is surjective if it is injective

A friend of mine told me the following fact: If $k$ is any algebraically closed field, then a polynomial map $f\colon k^n\to k^n$ of affine space $k^n$ is surjective if it is injective. The ...
17
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6answers
3k views

Reference for Algebraic Geometry

I tried to learn Algbraic Geometry through some texts, but by Commutative Algebra, I left the subject; many books give definitions and theorems in Commutative algebra, but do not explain why it is ...
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2answers
3k views

Elliptic Curves and Points at Infinity

My undergraduate number theory class decided to dip into a bit of algebraic geometry to finish up the semester. I'm having trouble understanding this bit of information that the instructor presented ...
17
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4answers
970 views

Why do all parabolas have an axis of symmetry?

And if that's just part of the definition of a parabola, I guess my question becomes why is the graph of any quadratic a parabola? My attempt at explaining: The way I understand it after some ...
17
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3answers
937 views

Walking on a torus

Everyone knows that when you walk on a sphere along a straight line, you eventually get back to the point you started from. I'm wondering about the same question for the torus. Obviously there are ...
17
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2answers
1k views

Slick proof the determinant is an irreducible polynomial

A polynomial $p$ over a field $k$ is called irreducible if $p=fg$ for polynomials $f,g$ implies $f$ or $g$ are constant. One can consider the determinant of an $n\times n$ matrix to be a polynomial in ...
17
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6answers
377 views

What problems, ideas or questions first got you interested in algebraic geometry?

Obviously, a lot of people are very interested in algebraic geometry. I suppose this means it is a fascinating area. However the few times I have tried to read introductory books and/or articles in ...
17
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1answer
497 views

An exercise with Zariski topology

I read this exercise: Prove that the set $S = \{ (n, 2^n, 3^n ) \mid n \in \mathbb{N} \}$ is dense in $\mathbb{C}^3$ with Zariski topology. I have seriously thought about it, but I do not manage to ...
17
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1answer
460 views

Can an integral scheme have closed points of both positive and zero characteristic?

Background Recall that an integral scheme $X$ is a scheme which is both irreducible and reduced; equivalently, its ring of functions is an integral domain on every open subset. Given any point $p$, ...
17
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2answers
3k views

What are some applications outside of mathematics for algebraic geometry?

Are there any results from algebraic geometry that have led to an interesting "real world" application?
17
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3answers
355 views

What is the largest circle that fits in $\sin(x)?$

Imagine dropping a circle into the trough of $\sin(x)$. Would it reach the bottom or get wedged between two points on the curve? Depends on the size of the circle. So, what is the radius of the ...
17
votes
3answers
800 views

When do equations represent the same curve?

Suppose we have two sets of parametric equations $\mathbf c_1(u) = (x_1(u), y_1(u))$ and $\mathbf c_2(v) = (x_2(v), y_2(v))$ representing two 2D planar curves. When I say "2D planar curves" I mean ...
17
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0answers
190 views

What geometrical obstructions to $M$ being flat do elements which map to 0 in $M \otimes I$ represent?

I'm trying to get geometric intuition for the notion of a flat module over a ring, and am running into some problems with my intuition. I am comfortable with flat modules and tensor products from the ...
17
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0answers
203 views

What does $H^0(Y',f^*N_Y)$ measure?

Let $X$ be a smooth variety and let $Y\subset X$ be a smooth subvariety. Let $f:Y'\to Y$ be a (say, finite surjective) morphism. When $f$ is the identity, the cohomology group $H^0(Y',f^*N_Y)$ ...
16
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3answers
3k views

$\mathbb{A}^{2}$ not isomorphic to affine space minus the origin

Why is the affine space $\mathbb{A}^{2}$ not isomorphic to $\mathbb{A}^{2}$ minus the origin?
16
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2answers
818 views

What is algebraic geometry?

I am a second year physics undergrad, loooking to explore some areas of pure mathematics. A word that often pops up on the internet is algebraic geometry. What is this algebraic geometry exactly? ...
16
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7answers
818 views

Introduction to ring theory?

I've been teaching myself algebra these couple of months. I already went through the basics of group (Lagrange, action, class equation, Cauchy and Sylow theorems etc.) And I already have some linear ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Precise connection between Poincare Duality and Serre Duality

The statements of Poincare duality for manifolds and Serre Duality for coherent sheaves on algebraic varieties or analytic spaces look tantalizingly similar. I have heard tangential statements from ...
16
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1answer
440 views

Is every rigid field perfect?

A field is rigid iff its automorphism group is trivial. A field $F$ is perfect iff all irreducibles in $F[x]$ are separable. Is every rigid field perfect?
16
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1answer
366 views

Why is the rank of the Picard group of a K3 surface bounded above by 22?

I understand that, over $\mathbb{C}$, the rank of the Picard group of a K3 surface $X$ is bounded above by $20$ because we can use the exponential sheaf sequence: $0 \to 2\pi i \mathbb{Z} \to ...
16
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1answer
337 views

What is a concrete example of why one wants to have a *derived category* in algebraic geometry?

My question asks for a concrete (and hopefully easy) example, why one wants to derive things in algebraic geometry. I heard, that a resolution of an object by free ones behaves much better than the ...
16
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4answers
3k views

“Real”-life applications of algebraic geometry

Before you tell me that this question has been asked, give me a bit of your time please to read this question because it is not as simple as it sounds. I did my undergraduate degree in mathematics, ...
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2answers
1k views

What are normal schemes intuitively?

A ring is called integrally closed if it is an integral domain and is equal to its integral closure in its field of fractions. A scheme is called normal if every stalk is integrally closed. Some ...
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2answers
632 views

Hartshorne exercise II.5.12(b)

I've been working on the Hartshorne exercise in the title for quite a while, which goes like this: let $f : X \to Y$ and $g : Y \to Z$ be morphisms of schemes, $\mathscr{L}$ a very ample invertible ...
16
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1answer
271 views

Formal Schemes Mittag-Leffler

Here is a question that is similar to my last one. I've been trying to learn about Grothendieck's Existence Theorem, but it seems that there aren't very many places that talk about formal schemes and ...
15
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2answers
5k views

Path to Basics in Algebraic Geometry from HS Algebra and Calculus?

In this question, Why study Algebraic Geometry?, Javier Álvarez, develops a succint but encompassing description of algebraic geometry and its spread across different areas of mathematics. Indeed, it ...
15
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3answers
896 views

How does intuition fail for higher dimensions?

From this answer: Now, Algebraic Geometry is one of the oldest, deepest, broadest and most active subjects in Mathematics with connections to almost all other branches in either a very direct ...
15
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4answers
3k views

Meaning of closed points of a scheme

This is a question in Liu's book. Let $X$ be a quasi-compact scheme. Show that $X$ contains a closed point. Well I'm unable to do this question, so any help would be appreciated. This question also ...
15
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2answers
3k views

Intuition for Blow-up.

If I blow up a complex manifold along a submanifold, can you give me a picture to have in mind for the blown-up manifold? Can you also tell me why this is the right picture?