# Questions tagged [algebraic-geometry]

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. This tag should not be used for elementary problems which involve both algebra and geometry.

29,641 questions
Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
23k views

### "The Egg:" Bizarre behavior of the roots of a family of polynomials.

In this MO post, I ran into the following family of polynomials: $$f_n(x)=\sum_{m=0}^{n}\prod_{k=0}^{m-1}\frac{x^n-x^k}{x^m-x^k}.$$ In the context of the post, $x$ was a prime number, and $f_n(x)$ ...
• 27.2k
70k views

### Why study Algebraic Geometry?

I'm going to start self-stydying algebraic geometry very soon. So, my question is why do mathematicians study algebraic geometry? What are the types of problems in which algebraic geometers are ...
• 15.1k
5k views

### What is the Picard group of $z^3=y(y^2-x^2)(x-1)$?

I'm actually doing much more with this affine surface than just looking for the Picard group. I have already proved many things about this surface, and have many more things to look at it, but the ...
• 1,683
25k views

### Why is learning modern algebraic geometry so complicated?

Many students - myself included - have a lot of problems in learning scheme theory. I don't think that the obstacle is the extreme abstraction of the subject, on the contrary, this is really the ...
• 13.5k
11k views

4k views

### Geometric interpretation of the Riemann-Roch for curves

Let $X$ be a smooth projective curve of genus $g\geq2$ over an algebraically closed field $k$ and denote by $K$ a canonical divisor. I have some clues about the geometrical interpretation of the ...
• 6,967
16k views

### Sheaf cohomology: what is it and where can I learn it?

As I understand it, sheaf cohomology is now an indispensable tool in algebraic geometry, but was originally developed to solve problems in algebraic topology. I have two questions about the matter. ...
• 91k
15k views

### Why Zariski topology?

Why in algebraic geometry we usually consider the Zariski topology on $\mathbb A^n_k$? Ultimately it seems a not very interesting topology, infact the open sets are very large and it doesn't satisfy ...
• 13.5k
32k views

### Best Algebraic Geometry text book? (other than Hartshorne)

Lifted from Mathoverflow: I think (almost) everyone agrees that Hartshorne's Algebraic Geometry is still the best. Then what might be the 2nd best? It can be a book, preprint, online lecture note, ...
9k views

### Why the emphasis on Projective Space in Algebraic Geometry?

I have no doubt this is a basic question. However, I am working through Miranda's book on Riemann surfaces and algebraic curves, and it has yet to be addressed. Why does Miranda (and from what little ...
• 40.5k
7k views

### "Naturally occurring" non-Hausdorff spaces?

It is not difficult for a beginning point-set topology student to cook up an example of a non-Hausdorff space; perhaps the simplest example is the line with two origins. It is impossible to separate ...
• 1,632
23k views

### 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 ...
11k views

### Using Gröbner bases for solving polynomial equations

In my attempts to understand just how computer algebra systems "do things", I tried to dig around a bit on Gröbner bases, which are described almost everywhere as "a generalization of the Euclidean ...
6k views

### What is the geometry in algebraic geometry?

Coming from a physics background, my understanding of geometry (in a very generic sense) is that it involves taking a space and adding some extra structure to it. The extra structure takes some local ...
• 985
7k views

### How and why does Grothendieck's work provide tools to attack problems in number theory?

This is probably a horrible question to experts, but I think it is reasonable from someone who knows nothing. I have always been fascinated with Grothendieck and the way he did mathematics. I've ...
• 14k
15k views

### Help understanding Algebraic Geometry

I while ago I started reading Hartshorne's Algebraic Geometry and it almost immediately felt like I hit a brick wall. I have some experience with category theory and abstract algebra but not with ...
• 1,063
8k views

### How do different definitions of "degree" coincide?

I've recently read about a number of different notions of "degree." Reading over Javier Álvarez' excellent answer for the thousandth time finally prompted me to ask this question: How exactly do ...
• 31.9k
12k views

### What use is the Yoneda lemma?

Although I know very little category theory, I really do find it a pretty branch of mathematics and consider it quite useful, especially when it comes to laying down definitions and unifying diverse ...
• 60.9k
31k views

### Undergraduate algebraic geometry textbook recommendations

What are the best algebraic geometry textbooks for undergraduate students?
10k views

### Examples of morphisms of schemes to keep in mind?

What are interesting and important examples of morphisms of schemes (especially varieties) to keep in mind when trying to understand a new concept or looking for a counterexamples? Examples of what I'...
• 1,969
14k views

### Global sections of $\mathcal{O}(-1)$ and $\mathcal{O}(1)$, understanding structure sheaves and twisting.

In chapter 2 section 7 (pg 151) of Hartshorne's algebraic geometry there is an example given that talks about automorphisms of $\mathbb{P}_k^n$. In that example Hartshorne states that $\mathcal{O}(-1)$...
• 1,045
8k 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 $(E,E)=-1$. What is the geometrical reason for which the auto-intersection of $E$ is $-1$? In general, ...
• 601
25k views

### What is the required background for Robin Hartshorne's Algebraic Geometry book?

It seems that Robin Hartshorne's Algebraic Geometry is the place where a whole generation of fresh minds have successfully learned about modern algebraic geometry. But is it possible for someone who ...
• 3,657
5k views

### How to identify surfaces of revolution

Given a surface $f(x,y,z)=0$, how would you determine whether or not it's a surface of revolution, and find the axis of rotation? The special case where $f$ is a polynomial is also of interest. A ...
3k views

### Trigonometric sums related to the Verlinde formula

Original question (see also the revised, possibly simpler, version below): Let $g > 1, r > 1$ be integers. Playing around with the Verlinde formula (see below), I came across the expression \...
• 6,746
15k 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?
• 3,967
10k views

### Famous papers in algebraic geometry

I'm reading the Mathoverflow thread "Do you read the masters?", and it seems the answer is a partial "yes". Some "masters" are mentioned, for example Riemann and Zariski. In particular, a paper by ...
2k views

### 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 ...
• 8,304
4k views

### Appearance of Formal Derivative in Algebra

When studying polynomials, I know it is useful to introduce the concept of a formal derivative. For example, over a field, a polynomial has no repeated roots iff it and its formal derivative are ...
• 7,039
12k views

### Is tautological bundle $\mathcal{O}(1)$ or $\mathcal{O}(-1)$?

I always confused by whether tautological bundle is $\mathcal{O}(1)$ or $\mathcal{O}(-1)$, and definitions from different sources tangled in my brain. However, I thought this might not be simply a ...
• 4,145
7k views

### Intuitive explanations 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 ...
• 778
7k views

### Intuition for étale morphisms

Currently working on algebraic surfaces over the complex numbers. I did a course on schemes but at the moment just work in the language of varieties. Now i encounter the term "étale morphism" every ...
• 5,345
4k views

### Failure of isomorphisms on stalks to arise from an isomorphism of sheaves

It is well-known (Hartshorne 2.1.1) that if $F$ and $G$ are sheaves on a space $X$, then $\phi:F\rightarrow G$ is an isomorphism if and only if the induced stalk map $\phi_p:F_p\rightarrow G_p$ is an ...
• 131k
22k 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, ...
• 471
858 views

### Is there a proof of Bézout's theorem via residue theory?

Let's define intersection numbers as follows. Consider a collection $f_1,\dots, f_n$ of holomorphic functions on some neighborhood of zero in $\mathbb C^N$ cutting out divisors $D_1$, all of which ...
• 40.5k
20k 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 ...
• 877
4k views

### Why was Sheaf cohomology invented?

Sheaf cohomology was first introduced into algebraic geometry by Serre. He used Čech cohomology to define sheaf cohomology. Grothendieck then later gave a more abstract definition of the right derived ...
• 15.1k
9k views

### If $\operatorname{Spec} A$ is not connected then there is a nontrivial idempotent

I'm solving a problem from Atiyah-Macdonald. I have to show that if $X=\operatorname{Spec} A$ is not connected then $A$ contains idempotents $e \neq 0,1$. The converse is easy. If $e \in A$ is an ...
• 8,576
5k 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 ...
5k views

### Arithmetic and geometric genus

There are two notion of genus in algebraic geometry, namely arithmetic genus $p_a=(-1)^{\dim X}(\chi(\mathcal{O}_X)-1)$ and geometric genus $p_g=\dim H^0(X,\Omega^{\dim X})$. I keep forgetting ...
• 5,061
8k views

### Motivating Example for Algebraic Geometry/Scheme Theory

I am in the process of trying to learn algebraic geometry via schemes and am wondering if there are simple motivating examples of why you would want to consider these structures. I think my biggest ...
• 19.4k
7k 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 ...
• 574
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 ...