MathOverflow is a question and answer site for professional mathematicians. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

The following theorem is proved in EGA IV 2.4.6:

Every morphism of schemes, which is flat and locally of finite presentation, is open.

I've already seen some applications of this theorem, so I want to understand the proof. But it is based on the whole theory of (ind)constructible sets, whose development seems to be quite long and (sorry!) uninteresting in EGA.

So I want to know: Is it possible to give a direct proof? We may reduce to the affine case, so perhaps it's an observation from commutative algebra?

share|cite|improve this question
See Proposition 28.8 in the Commutative Algebra chapter of the stacks project, – mdeland Sep 16 '10 at 16:54
This also uses constructible sets. But I think it is more concise as EGA. – Martin Brandenburg Sep 16 '10 at 19:27

You can of course assume that the base scheme is affine. Then it works in two steps : morally the result is really a result for morphisms locally of finite type (or finite presentation, as you wish) between locally noetherian schemes ; but a morphism locally of finite presentation comes by base change from a noetherian base scheme (remember we have an affine base).

More precisely :

1) There is a nice proof without constructibility in Milne's Etale Cohomoloy, theorem 2.12, for morphisms locally of finite type. That does the job in case the base scheme is locally noetherian.

2) In the general case, there is a technical result in EGA (see in particular EGA IV, corollaire and proposition 11.3.9) that says if $f:X\to Spec(A)$ is locally of finite presentation and flat then there exists a finitely generated sub-$\mathbb{Z}$-algebra $A_0\subset A$ (hence a noetherian ring) and an $A_0$-scheme $X_0$ which is locally of finite presentation (or finite type, as you wish) and flat such that $X\simeq X_0\otimes_{A_0} A$. Then you are in case 1). I understand that you want to avoid too much technical stuff, but I think that this very point can not be avoided, unless you are OK with locally noetherian schemes which after all is quite reasonable.

I am preparing notes for a course on schemes with this theorem included. If you wish, I can send you the relevant pages (it's in french).

share|cite|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.