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The following is likely all obvious to the experts. But since the field looks tricky to an outsider, maybe I may be excused for asking anyway.

I am wondering about basic facts of what would naturally be called the étale homotopy type of good versions of non-archimedean smooth rigid analytic spaces. I suspect what I am after works best for smooth Berkovich analytic spaces, but my main interest is not in studying one fixed model for analytic spaces, but in knowing those models which do have a good étale homotopy theory. Therefore in the following I'll say "analytic space" as shorthand for "non-archimedean rigid or Berkovich-style or otherwise analytic space, whichever works best".

By the étale homotopy type of such an analytic space I want to mean the hopefully obvious definition directly analogous to the familiar definition in algebraic geometry.

Now, at least in Berkovich's theory there is already a topological space underlying an analytic space by way of the Berkovich analytic spectrum. My first concrete question is:

Is the étale homotopy type of a sufficiently well-behaved analytic space equivalent to that of its underlying topological space?

Berkovich showed that the topological space underlying a smooth Berkovich-analytic space is locally contractible (see here). So the above question has the following sub-question:

Are polydiscs and/or analytic domains étale contractible?

Are analytic spaces locally étale contractible?

(The last one is really the main point that I am after, since it would imply that the hypercomplete $\infty$-topos over analytic spaces is cohesive, by a similar argument as for complex-analytic geometry. This is something I had been wondering about here on MO a good while back but it really boils down to knowing that smooth analytic spaces are locally étale contractible.)

I imagine that eventually this kind of questions should be particularly interesting when combined with a non-archimedean analytification map from some kind of smooth arithmetic schemes. Then one would naturally wonder if there is a non-archimedean analog of theorem 5.2 in

  • Daniel Dugger, Daniel Isaksen, Hypercovers in topology, 2005 (K-theory archive)

which says, in particular, that complex analytification sends hypercovers of smooth schemes over $k \hookrightarrow \mathbb{C}$ to hypercovers of topological spaces/simplicial sets. It seems natural to wonder whether this kind of theorem has a non-archimedean analog. What is known?

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One of the major problems: the underlying space of a Berkovich space associated to the projective line (or a Grassmannian or more generally things which have smooth formal models) is contractible. I do not think that the etale homotopy type of the above things should be contractible - therefore I expect the answer to your first concrete question to be no. – Matthias Wendt Jun 11 '14 at 13:11
In the same direction as Matthias, the underlying topological space of an annulus is contractible too. – Jérôme Poineau Jun 11 '14 at 13:36
As is the underlying topological space of an elliptic curve with good reduction. In the case of degenerating families over a disk, a theorem of Berkovich states that the topology of Berkovich spaces (only) explains for the weight-0 part of the limit Hodge structure. – ACL Jun 11 '14 at 14:00
@UrsSchreiber: no, that is not right. An analogue of $\mathbb{A}^1$-homotopy theory has been defined by Joseph Ayoub. It procedes via simplicial sheaves on a Nisnevich site of rigid varieties and then forces the unit disc $\mathbb{B}^1$ to be contractible. As in $\mathbb{A}^1$-homotopy theory in characteristic $p$, there is no étale realization functor because of the existence of non-trivial étale covers of the affine line (as in Jérome's answer). Working away from the residue characteristic allows to define a realization functor as in the Dugger-Isaksen paper you mentioned. – Matthias Wendt Jun 11 '14 at 16:24
@UrsSchreiber: Before addressing a non-archimedean version of Theorem 5.2, I again raise the question: is there any serious content in the complex-analytic version? It seems on the surface to be nothing more than the observation that the analytification of an etale morphism is a local analytic isomorphism (due to the Zariski-local structure theorem for etale morphisms in EGA IV$_4$, something underlying all work with etale maps). The same works in the non-archimedean setting. So what problem is there in just applying the complex-analytic argument verbatim in the non-archimedean case? – user27920 Jun 11 '14 at 18:30

This might help to clarify your first question. The underlying topological space of the Berkovich analytification of $X$ encodes the weight zero part of the cohomology of $X$ - i.e. the singular cohomology of $X^{an}$ is the weight zero cohomology of $X$. See for instance,

V. Berkovich, A non-Archimedean interpretation of the weight zero subspaces of limit mixed Hodge structures

In this paper,

On the comparison theorem for étale cohomology of non-Archimedean analytic spaces Israel J. Math. 92 (1995), 45-60.

Berkovich proves a comparison theorem that says roughly, algebraic and analytic etale cohomology agree under some mild and reasonable hypotheses. I believe this should imply that the analytic etale homotopy type agrees with the algebraic etale homotopy type.

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Thanks! Yes, I was reminded of that in the comments above, by Antoine Chambert-Loir and others. This is certainly good to keep in mind, so thanks for the concrete pointers to references! For later use, I have briefly recorded them here: – Urs Schreiber Jun 12 '14 at 10:17

I cannot say that I am familiar with étale homotopy types, but I hope that the following remark is relevant: over a field $k$ of mixed characteristic $(0,p)$, with $p>0$, a closed disc will have non-trivial étale covers of degree $p$. Consider for instance the cover defined by $Y^p = 1+X$ over a closed disc (with coordinate $X$) of center 0 and radius $r<1$ close enough to 1 (so that the cover is not split).

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Thanks for your reply. Let's see, so the étale homotopy type of the disc would be obtained by looking at hypercovers over the disc: covers of the disc itself which are furthermore equipped with covers of their double intersections, and those equipped in turn with covers of their triple intersections -- and so ever on. Such constructions result in a simplicial space and contracting each connected component in each simplicial degree to a point yields a simplicial set, hence a homotopy type. The étale homotopy type is the colimit over that under refinement of hypercovers. – Urs Schreiber Jun 11 '14 at 12:38
To clarify my above comment: is it clear what the existence of the étale covers that you consider implies for the étale homotopy type of the disc? – Urs Schreiber Jun 12 '14 at 10:03

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