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While reading Demazure-Gabriel's construction of $\mathcal{S}ch$ as a full subcategory of $\mathcal{P}sh(CRing^{op})$, I've been trying to translate their exposition into the language of covering sieves and Grothendieck topologies. The requirement that a scheme be a sheaf in the Zariski topology on $CRing^{op}$ is essentially already in the language of sieves, but the requirement that there exists a cover of affines is giving me some trouble.

Question, then:

In general, is there a natural induced Grothendieck topology on $\mathcal{P}sh(\mathcal{C})$ or $\mathcal{S}h(\mathcal{C})$, where $\mathcal{C}$ is a site (not a pre-site!)?

Edit: I removed the other parts of the question regarding t-Schemes and algebraic spaces as functors of points to ask them at some other time.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

The answer to your first question is yes. Suppose $C$ a site.

The category $C^{\sim}$ of sheaves on $C$ simply has the canonical topology (SGA 4, Vol. 1, Exp. II, 2.5). The sheaves here are precisely the representable sheaves. (I'm ignoring questions about universes.)

The category $C^{\wedge}$ of presheaves on $C$ inherits a topology in the following manner (SGA 4, Vol. 1, Exp. II, §5). Declare a morphism $F\to G$ of presheaves on $C$ to be a covering morphism if the induced morphism $aF\to aG$ of associated sheaves is an epimorphism. Now say that a collection of morphisms $F_i\to G$ is a covering family if the morphism $\amalg F_i\to G$ is a covering morphism. This gives $C^{\wedge}$ the finest subcanonical topology such that covering families in $C$ give rise to covering families in $C^{\wedge}$. This topology on $C^{\wedge}$ can be seen as the lift of the topology on $C^{\sim}$ described above along the sheafification functor $a$.

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One sense in which it is induced is that there is a canonical isomorphism Sh(C) \to Sh(Sh(C)). –  David Zureick-Brown Jan 8 '10 at 21:16
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