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29
votes
10answers
2k views

Which 'well-known' algebraic geometric results do not hold in characteristic 2?

A smooth curve $X$ in $\mathbb{P}^n$ is strange if there is a point $p$ which lies on all the tangent lines of $X$. Examples are $\mathbb{P}^1$ is strange and so is $y=x^2$ in characteristic $2$. ...
29
votes
4answers
2k views

Curves which are not covers of P^1 with four branch points

The following interesting question came up in a discussion I was having with Alex Wright. Suppose given a branched cover C -> P^1 with four branch points. It's not hard to see that the field of ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

Mumford conjecture: Heuristic reasons? Generalizations? … Algebraic geometry approaches?

The Mumford conjecture states that for each integer $n$, we have: the map $\mathbb{Q}[x_1,x_2,\dots] \to H^\ast(M_g ; \mathbb{Q})$ sending $x_i$ to the kappa class $\kappa_i$, is an isomorphism in ...
23
votes
1answer
1k views

Is every curve birational to a smooth affine plane curve?

Is every curve over $\mathbf{C}$ birational to a smooth affine plane curve? Bonnie Huggins asked me this question back in 2003, but neither I nor the few people I passed it on to were able to answer ...
21
votes
2answers
1k views

The work of E. Artin and F. K. Schmidt on (what are now called) the Weil conjectures.

I was reading Dieudonne's "On the history of the Weil conjectures" and found two things that surprised me. Dieudonne makes some assertions about the work of Artin and Schmidt which are no doubt ...
21
votes
1answer
908 views

Do all curves have Néron models

Let $X$ be a smooth projective geometrically connected curve over a number field $K$. Assume that $g\geq 2$. Does there exist a Néron model $\mathcal X$ for $X$ over $O_K$? By a Néron model, I mean ...
18
votes
7answers
3k views

Links between Riemann surfaces and algebraic geometry

I'm taking introductory courses in both Riemann surfaces and algebraic geometry this term. I was surprised to hear that any compact Riemann surface is a projective variety. Apparently deeper links ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

Does there exist a curve of degree 11 having 15 triple points?

Does there exist an irreducible curve of degree 11 in the projective plane which would have 15 triple points? For information, such a curve would be rational, if it exists, and would be smooth at ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

A good example of a curve for geometric Langlands

I'm currently working through Frenkel's beautiful paper: http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/hep-th/pdf/0512/0512172v1.pdf. I'm looking for a good example of a projective curve to get my hands dirty, and go ...
17
votes
2answers
689 views

History of the connection between Riemann surfaces and complex algebraic curves

As noted in the question "Links between Riemann surfaces and algebraic geometry", there are strong connections between Riemann surfaces and algebraic geometry - for example, compact Riemann surfaces ...
17
votes
2answers
617 views

Tame morphism from a curve to $\mathbb{P}^1$

Let $k$ be an algebraically closed field of characteristic $p\ge 0$. Let $C$ be a smooth projective curve over $k$. Is it possible to find a map $C \to \mathbb{P}^1$ that is tamely ramified at every ...
16
votes
5answers
957 views

Riemann surfaces: explicit algebraic equations

Suppose $\Gamma$ is a nice discrete subgroup of $SL(2,\mathbb{R})$ such that the genus of the Riemann surface $\mathbb{H}/\Gamma$ is larger than 1. We know that this Riemann surface is also an ...
16
votes
1answer
553 views

Do mapping classes have gonality?

(This question was discussed by people at the PCMI workshop on moduli spaces, without any clear resolution, so I thought I'd throw it open to MO.) The hyperelliptic mapping class group is (by ...
15
votes
1answer
466 views

Does every hyperbolic curve over a finite field have an etale cover with a real Frobenius eigenvalue?

More precisely: let X/F_q be a smooth projective algebraic curve of genus at least 2. Does there always exist a curve Y/F_{q^d} with a finite etale projection Y -> X, such that one of the Frobenius ...
14
votes
1answer
863 views

Does the moduli space of genus three curves contain a complete genus two curve

Inspired by the question Does the moduli space of smooth curves of genus g contain an elliptic curve and its amazing answers, I ask (pure out of curiosity) whether the moduli space $M_3$ of (smooth ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Which curves can be found on Abelian varieties ?

We know tha each genus 2 curve is embedded into its degree 1 Jacobian. Under which conditions on $C$, $A$, $g$ and $n$ is it possible for a genus $g$ smooth curve $C$ to be embedded in an Abelian ...
14
votes
2answers
576 views

A historical question: Hurwitz, Luroth, Clebsch, and the connectedness of M_g

The connectedness of the moduli space M_g of complex algebraic curves of genus g can be proven by showing that it is dominated by a Hurwitz space of simply branched d-fold covers of the line, which in ...
14
votes
0answers
614 views

New(?) reciprocity law

Consider three functions $f, g$ and $h$ on a smooth curve $X$ over $\mathbb{C}$. I have found the following equality: $$\sum (res(f\frac{dg}{g})\frac{dh}{h}-res(f\frac{dh}{h})\frac{dg}{g})=0.$$ Here ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Curves with negative self intersection in the product of two curves

I wonder if the following is known: Are there two compact curves C1 and C2 of genus>1 defined over complex numbers, such that their product contains infinite number of irreducible curves of negative ...
13
votes
1answer
801 views

Construction of the determinant line bundle on the degree $g-1$ Picard variety

Consider $J^{g-1}$, the variety of degree $g-1$ line bundles on a compact Riemann surface of genus $g$. Recall that $J^{g-1}$ is a torsor for the Jacobian, thus has dimension $g$. We can produce ...
13
votes
3answers
802 views

Injective morphism from curves to $\mathbb CP^2$

Is there a smooth compact complex curve that does not admit an injective holomorphic map to $\mathbb CP^2$ ? Let me stress, that the image of the curve in $\mathbb CP^2$ can have singularities. I ...
13
votes
1answer
292 views

Curves which do not dominate other curves

Let $g>1$ be an integer. Does there exist a (smooth projective) genus g curve $X$ which doesn`t dominate a curve of positive genus and genus smaller than $g$? Surely such curves exist. Just take a ...
13
votes
1answer
509 views

Arithmetic and moduli spaces of higher genus curves

Modular curves (as moduli of elliptic curves with level structure) play a key role in the study of the arithmetic of elliptic curves. The higher genus curves have very different arithmetic, but I ...
13
votes
0answers
495 views

Degrees of maps from curves to $\mathbb P^1$

Let $a$ and $b$ be two relatively prime natural numbers. What is the largest number $c$ such that there is a curve with maps to $\mathbb P^1$ of degree $a$ and $b$ but no map to $\mathbb P^1$ of ...
12
votes
2answers
718 views

Permuting collinear points on a curve

Let $C \subset {\bf CP}^2$ be an irreducible algebraic smooth (projectively) planar curve over the complex numbers of degree $d$ (we allow finitely many points to be deleted from $C$ to make it ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

When does the Torelli Theorem hold?

The Torelli theorem states that the map $\mathcal{M}_g(\mathbb{C})\to \mathcal{A}_g(\mathbb{C})$ taking a curve to its Jacobian is injective. I've seen a couple of proofs, but all seem to rely on the ...
12
votes
3answers
690 views

What is the minimal degree of a smooth projective embedding of a hyperelliptic curve?

(partly motivated by this question, but different: Degree of a Variety) For a hyperelliptic curve $C$ of genus $g$ (over an algebraically closed field of characteristic not two) what is the smallest ...
12
votes
2answers
572 views

Image of projective 1-space contained in projective 1-space over a smaller field?

This is inspired by Does "all points rational" imply "constant" for this "cubic" curve over an arbitrary field? . Say $K/F$ is a finite separable extension of fields. ...
11
votes
3answers
636 views

Extra automorphisms of curves and definability over \bar Q

A generic elliptic curves over C has automorphism group of order 2. The elliptic curves with extra automorphisms are C/Z[i] (automorphism group of order 4) and C/Z[w] where w is a primitive 3rd root ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Non-dominant polynomial maps in the plane

Let $P(x,y), Q(x,y)$ be polynomials of two variables over an algebraically closed field $k$. Suppose that the map $(x,y) \mapsto (P(x,y),Q(x,y))$ is not a dominant map from $k^2$ to $k^2$. Does this ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the Euler characteristic of a Hilbert scheme of points of a singular algebraic curve?

Let $X$ be a smooth surface of genus $g$ and $S^nX$ its n-symmetrical product (that is, the quotient of $X \times ... \times X$ by the symmetric group $S_n$). There is a well known, cool formula ...
11
votes
4answers
452 views

Why does the parameterization (F:F':1) happen?

1) To parameterize the conic $x^2+y^2=1$, we can use $(x,y)=(\sin t,\sin't)$ ($\sin'$ meaning the derivative of $\sin$, namely $\cos$). 2) To parameterize an elliptic curve $y^2=4x^3-g_2x-g_3$, we ...
11
votes
1answer
509 views

A curve with bad reduction for which the jacobian has good reduction

Let $K$ be a number field. If $X$ is a curve over $K$ with good reduction at a place $v$ of $K$, then the Jacobian of $X$ also has good reduction at $v$. This follows from the functoriality of the ...
11
votes
2answers
444 views

Realizing D_8 as a Galois group over C(x) with prescribed decomposition groups

Coming up with examples of $D_8$-covers of $\mathbb{C}(x)$ is easy. For example: $Quot(\mathbb{C}(x)[y,z]/(y^2=x(x-7), z^4=(y+\sqrt{-6})^2(y-\sqrt{-6})^2(y+\sqrt{-10})(-y+\sqrt{-10})^3))$ defines a ...
11
votes
1answer
431 views

Complex curves covered by smooth plane curves

Question: Is it true that for every smooth compact complex curve $C$ there exists a smooth curve $C'$ in $\mathbb CP^2$ that admits a non-trivial morphism (i.e. holomorphic map) $C'\to C$? ...
11
votes
0answers
188 views

What is the lowest-weight non-cyclotomic Galois representation in $\overline{\mathcal M}_{g,n}$?

I want to know about low-weight Galois representations in $H^i(\overline{\mathcal M}_{g,n}, \overline{\mathbb Q}_\ell)$ that aren't cyclotomic. This should be equivalent to finding $p,q$ such that ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Vector bundles on $\mathbb{P}^1\times\mathbb{P}^1$

I have a question about vector bundles on the algebraic surface $\mathbb{P}^1\times\mathbb{P}^1$. My motivation is the splitting theorem of Grothendieck, which says that every algebraic vector bundle ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Gromov-Witten theory and compactifications of the moduli of curves

Why, from a string theory perspective, is it natural to consider the Deligne-Mumford (resp. Kontsevich) compactification of the moduli of curves (resp. maps [from curves to a target space X]) rather ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the Torelli map an immersion?

The Torelli map $\tau\colon M_g \to A_g$ sends a curve C to its Jacobian (along with the canonical principal polarization associated to C); see this question for a description which works for ...
10
votes
2answers
870 views

Families of curves for which the Belyi degree can be easily bounded

I know (edit: three) families of smooth projective connected curves over $\bar{\mathbf{Q}}$ for which the Belyi degree is not hard to bound from above. The modular curves $X(n)$. They are ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Are curves with `fractional points' uniquely determined by their residual gerbes?

One makes precise the vague notion of "curve with a fractional point removed" (see for instance these slides) using stacks -- one should really consider Deligne-Mumford stacks whose coarse spaces are ...
10
votes
1answer
678 views

what is the cyclic cover trick?

What do people mean by the "cyclic cover trick"? I have found this expression a couple of times with no complete explaination, both talking about curves and surfaces...
10
votes
1answer
565 views

a question on function fields

Consider the transcendental extension Q(t) of the field of rationals. To Q(t) adjoin the root of the polynomial x^5+t^5=1. The resulting field Q(t)[x] is a radical extension of Q(t). Is it true that ...
10
votes
1answer
552 views

Which curves have stable Faltings height greater or equal to 1

Let $Y$ be a smooth projective connected curve of genus $g>0$ over $\overline{\mathbf{Q}}$. Let $h_{\textrm{Fal}}(Y)$ be the Faltings height of $Y$. Question 1. Can one classify or describe the ...
10
votes
1answer
564 views

Can a rational family of genus-g curves have generic gonality? Can it be Brill-Noether general?

We know that M_g is general type for g large enough. In particular, the generic genus-g curve is not contained in a (non-isotrivial) rational family parametrized by P^1. In fact, the high-genus ...
10
votes
2answers
890 views

Can a curve intersect a given curve only at given points?

Clearly the question in the title has a positive answer for analytic (or smooth, or continuous ...) curves, but what about the algebraic category? More specifically, given an irreducible polynomial ...
10
votes
2answers
743 views

Riccati differential equation and descent

I am currently trying to understand Euler's article E71 on the Riccati differential equation and its connection with continued fractions. Apparently Daniel Bernoulli had shown that the equation $$ y' ...
10
votes
0answers
184 views

Infinitely many curves with isogenous Jacobians

Let $g\geq 4$. Are there infinitely many compact genus $g$ Riemann surfaces with (mutually) isogenous Jacobians? Does the situation change in positive characteristic?
9
votes
3answers
799 views

Extending birational isomorphisms between planar curves to the P^2

Let $k$ be a field and let $C,D$ be two integral curves in $\mathbb{P}^2_k$. Now let $f:C \to D$ be a birational isomorphism. Can $f$ be extended to $\mathbb{P}^2_k$. To be precise, does there exist a ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is a general curve automorphism-free?

Fix an algebraically closed field $k$. Why is the general curve over $k$ of genus $g \ge 3$ automorphism-free? I am particularly interested in seeing an argument that does not go by induction and ...