Let $C_1 \subseteq \mathbb{P}^m$ and $C_2 \subseteq \mathbb{P}^n$ be projective curves, and let $\phi : C_1 \rightarrow C_2$ be a nonconstant rational map given by $\phi = \left[ f_1, \ldots, f_n \right]$ for homogeneous polynomials $f_i \in K[X_0, X_1,\ldots , X_m]$ having the same degree $\deg(f_i) = d$.

The degree of the rational map $\phi$ is defined as

\begin{align*} \deg(\phi) = [ K(C_1) : \phi^* K(C_2)], \end{align*}

where $\phi^* : K(C_2) \rightarrow K(C_1)$ is the injection of function fields given by precomposition: $\phi^* (f) = f \circ \phi$.

In many cases it seems that $\deg(\phi) = d$, but I've been unable to find a proof of this or even conditions on when this will occur. Can someone give some insight into this? Even with specific examples, I can't seem to find a basis for $K(C_1)$ as a vector space over $\phi^*K(C_2)$ to even compute the degree.

  • $\begingroup$ There is $[K(C_1):\phi^* K(C_2)]=\frac{[K(C_1):K(\phi^* \tau)] }{[K(C_2):K(\tau)]}$ $\endgroup$ – reuns Oct 7 '17 at 2:13
  • $\begingroup$ What is $\tau$? $\endgroup$ – kless135 Oct 7 '17 at 2:40

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