Why can projective varieties just have abelian group operations? - MathOverflow most recent 30 from http://mathoverflow.net 2013-05-23T01:44:01Z http://mathoverflow.net/feeds/question/59054 http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/rdf http://mathoverflow.net/questions/59054/why-can-projective-varieties-just-have-abelian-group-operations Why can projective varieties just have abelian group operations? Marc Palm 2011-03-21T13:04:24Z 2011-03-21T13:29:32Z <p>I just started to read Shimura - Automorphic forms and number theory (Lecture notes in mathematics, 54). On page 20 or so, he mentions that every projective variety which is an algebraic group, is necessary abelian.</p> <p>Why?</p> http://mathoverflow.net/questions/59054/why-can-projective-varieties-just-have-abelian-group-operations/59056#59056 Answer by Qfwfq for Why can projective varieties just have abelian group operations? Qfwfq 2011-03-21T13:17:52Z 2011-03-21T13:17:52Z <p>A very accessible proof (at the beginning of the book for the case over $\mathbb{C}$, and further on in the book for any characteristic) of that statement is present in Mumford's <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=J81jPwAACAAJ&amp;dq=abelian+varieties&amp;hl=it&amp;ei=EFCHTa-4NsObOrOStPcI&amp;sa=X&amp;oi=book_result&amp;ct=book-thumbnail&amp;resnum=4&amp;ved=0CD0Q6wEwAw" rel="nofollow">book</a> <em>Abelian varieties</em>.</p> http://mathoverflow.net/questions/59054/why-can-projective-varieties-just-have-abelian-group-operations/59057#59057 Answer by Francesco Polizzi for Why can projective varieties just have abelian group operations? Francesco Polizzi 2011-03-21T13:23:22Z 2011-03-21T13:29:32Z <p>I borrow this proof from [Birkenhake-Lange, Complex Abelian Varieties, Lemma 1.1.1].</p> <p>Let $X$ be a projective variety having a group structure. I assume that we are working over $\mathbb{C}$.</p> <p>Consider the commutator map $\Phi(x,y)=xyx^{-1}y^{-1}$, and let $U$ be a coordinate neighborhood of $1 \in X$. By the continuity of $\Phi$, and since $\Phi(x,1) =1 \in U$, for all $x \in X$ we can find open neighborhoods $U_x$ and $W_x$ such that $\Phi(U_x, W_x) \subset U$. </p> <p>Since $X$ is compact, finitely many $V_x$ cover $X$. Calling $W$ the intersection of the corresponding subsets $W_x$, we get $\Phi(X, W) \subset U$. </p> <p>Now $\Phi(1, y)=1$ for all $y \in W$. Since holomorphic functions on a compact variety are constant, it follows $\Phi(X, W)\equiv 1$. Being $W$ open and non-empty, this in turn implies $\Phi(X, X) \equiv 1$, which is our claim.</p> <p>Notice that "projective" is not really necessary, in fact what we actually use in the proof is "compact complex". Indeed, pushing further this argument (by a straightforward use of the exponential map) one can show that any compact complex connected Lie group is a complex torus. </p> http://mathoverflow.net/questions/59054/why-can-projective-varieties-just-have-abelian-group-operations/59058#59058 Answer by Emerton for Why can projective varieties just have abelian group operations? Emerton 2011-03-21T13:23:54Z 2011-03-21T13:23:54Z <p>There are several different ways to see this. Here is one:</p> <p>Let $G$ be our irreducible projective algebraic group variety over the field $k$, with identity element $e$. The group $G$ acts on itself by conjugation, and this action fixes $e$. Thus this induces a $k$-linear action of $G$ on the local ring $\mathcal O_e,$ and hence on the (finite-dimensional) quotients $\mathcal O_e/\mathfrak m_e^n$ for each $n$. Now any morphism from the irreducible projective variety $G$ to the affine variety $End_k(\mathcal O_e/\mathfrak m_e^n)$ must be constant, and so the $G$-action on each $\mathcal O_e/\mathfrak m_e^n$, and hence on $\mathcal O_e$ itself, must be trivial. </p> <p>Since $G$ is irreducible, it is now easy to see, using the fact that the conjugation action induces a trivial action on $\mathcal O_e$, that the conjugation action is in fact trivial on $G$ itself, and hence that $G$ is commutative.</p> <p>(This argument breaks down if $G$ is not projective, because then $G$ can have <em>non-trivial</em> morphisms to the matrix rings $End_k(\mathcal O_e/\mathfrak m_e^n)$; it is instructive to think about this in the case $G = GL_n(k)$. It also breaks down if $G$ is not irreducible, e.g. if $G$ is a finite non-abelian group, then we can think of it as a zero-dimensional projective algebraic group. The point in this case is that one can't make the "analytic continuation" argument from the action on $\mathcal O_e$ to all of $G$.)</p>