Function fields of characteristic p modular curves, and mod p reductions of the classical modular equation - MathOverflow most recent 30 from http://mathoverflow.net 2013-05-24T02:47:26Z http://mathoverflow.net/feeds/question/78077 http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/rdf http://mathoverflow.net/questions/78077/function-fields-of-characteristic-p-modular-curves-and-mod-p-reductions-of-the-c Function fields of characteristic p modular curves, and mod p reductions of the classical modular equation paul Monsky 2011-10-13T23:02:28Z 2011-10-13T23:02:28Z <p>Let l and p be distinct primes, l>2. There are "characteristic p modular curves" X_0(l) and X(l), defined over an algebraic closure, K, of Z/p, solving moduli problems for elliptic curves with some additional level-l structure. Each of these curves has the same genus as the corresponding characteristic 0 object; in particular the genus of X(l) is (l-3)(l-5)(l+2)/24. </p> <p>There is also an irreducible symmetric f in Z[x,y] with f(j(lz),j(z))=0, where j is the elliptic modular function. This is the "classical modular equation". Let f* be the mod p reduction of f. I'm looking for a proof that certain well-known relations between f and the function fields of the characteristic zero X_0(l) and X(l) persist when f is replaced by f*, and X_0 and X are replaced by their characteristic p counterparts. I'd like an argument showing:</p> <p>1) f* is irreducible in K[x,y]</p> <p>2) The Galois group of f* over K(y) identifies with PSL_2(Z/l).</p> <p>3) The function field (over K) of the curve defined by f* identifies with the function field of the characteristic p X_0.</p> <p>4) If L is the splitting field (over K(y)) of f*, then L identifies with the function field (over K) of the characteristic p X.</p> <p>Remarks:</p> <p>a) I would guess that 1)---4) somehow follow from the existence of moduli schemes defined over Z[1/l]. But can someone provide a reference and details?</p> <p>b) A weaker form of 4) whose statement doesn't involve the theory of modular forms in characteristic p, is that the genus of L/K equals the genus of the classical X(l). As an old dog who has trouble with new tricks, I'd be happiest with a classical proof of this result.</p> <p>c) I'm mostly interested in the case p=2, where I can prove 1) and 2). This is all related to an MO question of mine about the genus of a curve coming from the theory of characteristic 2 theta functions.</p>