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33
votes
5answers
4k views

Intuition about the cotangent complex?

Does anyone have an answer to the question "What does the cotangent complex measure?" Algebraic intuitions (like "homology measures how far a sequence is from being exact") are as welcome as ...
23
votes
5answers
2k views

Deformation theory of representations of an algebraic group

For an algebraic group G and a representation V, I think it's a standard result (but I don't have a reference) that the obstruction to deforming V as a representation of G is an element of ...
23
votes
6answers
4k views

Deformation theory and differential graded Lie algebras

There is supposed to be a philosophy that, at least over a field of characteristic zero, every "deformation problem" is somehow "governed" or "controlled" by a differential graded Lie algebra. See for ...
22
votes
9answers
2k views

What is a deformation of a category?

I have several naive and possibly stupid questions about deformations of categories. I hope that someone can at least point me to some appropriate references. What is a deformation of a (linear, dg, ...
21
votes
2answers
1k views

Accumulation of algebraic subvarieties: Near one subvariety there are many others (?)

Let's work over the field $\mathbb{C}$ of complex numbers, and let $X\subset \mathbb{P}^n$ be a projective variety. Let $\tilde{X}\subset \mathbb{P}^n$ be any small open neighborhood of $X$, in the ...
19
votes
2answers
760 views

Strict applications of deformation theory in which to dip one's toe

I hesitate to ask a question like this, but I really have tried finding answers to this question on my own and seemed to come up short. I readily admit this is due to my ignorance of algebraic ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Is a 'generic' variety nonsingular? Or singular?

I'd like to know whether there's some coherent meaning of 'generic' for which one can say that a 'generic' variety over an algebraically closed field $K$, say, is nonsingular or singular. We could ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Why are derived categories natural places to do deformation theory?

It seems to me that a lot of people do deformation theory (of schemes, sheaves, maps etc) in derived category (of an appropriate abelian category). For example, the cotangent complex of a morphism ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

algebraic group G vs. algebraic stack BG

I've gathered that it's "common knowledge" (at least among people who think about such things) that studying a (smooth) algebraic group G, as an algebraic group, is in some sense the same as studying ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

A matrix algebra has no deformations?

I have often heard the slogan that "a matrix algebra has no deformations," and I am trying to understand precisely what that means. While I would be happy with more general statements about ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Example of a smooth morphism where you can't lift a map from a nilpotent thickening?

Definition. A locally finitely presented morphism of schemes $f\colon X\to Y$ is smooth (resp. unramified, resp. étale) if for any affine scheme $T$, any closed subscheme $T_0$ defined by a square ...
16
votes
2answers
659 views

What is an explicit example of a variety X which is finite over Spec F_p but which does not lift to a scheme Y which is finite and flat over Spec Z_p?

What is an explicit example of a variety X which is finite over Spec F_p but which does not lift to a scheme Y which is finite and flat over Spec Z_p?
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do my quantum group books avoid homotopical language?

I am sitting on my carpet surrounded by books about quantum groups, and the only categorical concept they discuss are the representation categories of quantum groups. Many notes closer to "Kontsevich ...
16
votes
1answer
991 views

Accumulation of algebraic subvarieties: Near one subvariety there are many others (?), 3

Part 3 of this series of questions. In the meantime, I realized that there is some very simple question that was left open in Accumulation of algebraic subvarieties: Near one subvariety there are many ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Almost Complex Structure approach to Deformation of Compact Complex Manifolds

I don't know much about the deformation of compact complex manifolds, I've only read chapter 6 of Huybrechts' book Complex Geometry: An Introduction. There are two parts to this chapter. The second ...
14
votes
2answers
611 views

Massey Products vs. $A_\infty$-Structures

Does anyone know a good reference for a proof of the fact that given a dga $A$, an $A_\infty$-structure on $HA$ is ''the same'' as coherent choices for all of the higher Massey products of $HA$? More ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

Kontsevich's conjectures on the Grothendieck-Teichmüller group?

Reading Kontsevich's "Operads and Motives in Deformation Quantization", I was wondering about the state of the many conjectures concerning the Grothendieck-Teichmüller group in chapter 4. (Also, where ...
13
votes
11answers
4k views

Introduction to deformation theory (of algebras)?

So I know that the idea of deformation theory underlies the concept of quantum groups; I haven't found any single introduction to quantum groups that makes me fully satisfied that I have some kind of ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

obstruction theories in algebraic geometry

I'd like to know about the history of obstruction theories in algebraic geometry, as well as the relationship with concepts of the same name in topology. I would also like to know where obstruction ...
13
votes
1answer
337 views

Proof of Hensel's lemma by using the deformation theory

I am thinking about the simplest version of Hensel's lemma. Fix a prime $p$. Let $f(x)\in \mathbf{Z}[x]$ be a polynomial. Assume there exists $a_0\in \mathbf{F}_p$ such that $f(a_0)=0\mod p$, and ...
13
votes
1answer
452 views

Les deux théorèmes d'existence en théorie formelle des modules

In Exposé 195 of the Séminaire Bourbaki, Grothendieck states the following two theorems of non-flat descent. Theorem 1. Let $\Lambda$ be a noetherian ring and $C$ the category of ...
13
votes
1answer
299 views

Unobstructedness of braided deformations of symmetric monoidal categories in higher category theory

Let $k$ be a field of characteristic zero, and $\mathcal{C}$ be a $k$-linear additive symmetric monoidal category. A braided deformation of $\mathcal{C}$ over a local artin ring $R$ with residue ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Deformations of semisimple Lie algebras

In the questions Is "semisimple" a dense condition among Lie algebras? and What is the Zariski closure of the space of semisimple Lie algebras?, something equivalent to the following is ...
12
votes
1answer
597 views

Lie groups vs. algebraic groups and deformations

I am interested in deformations of (discrete subgroups of) Lie groups. But, as I understand it, deformation theory, as a theory, prefers to speak schemes. At least the classical Lie groups can be ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Grothendieck-Messing theory for finite flat group schemes

Classical Grothendieck-Messing theory relates deformations of $p$-divisible groups to lifts of the Hodge filtration (if the ideal defining the nilpotent immersion is equipped with a PD-structure). If ...
11
votes
1answer
942 views

Deformations of the punctured affine plane

Let $k$ be some field, algebraically closed and of characteristic $0$, if you like. Let $U= \mathbb{A}^2_k \setminus \{ (0,0) \}$ be the punctured affine plane over $k$. Write $U$ as the union of ...
10
votes
1answer
701 views

Accumulation of algebraic subvarieties: Near one subvariety there are many others (?), 2

This is a sequel to the question Accumulation of algebraic subvarieties: Near one subvariety there are many others (?) . Let $Y$ be some projective variety, over $\mathbb{C}$. Let $X\subset Y$ be ...
10
votes
1answer
822 views

Kontsevich's formality theorem from an explicit homotopy

Suppose that $X$ is a smooth manifold, whose $C^{\infty}$-functions we denote by $A$. Let $D_{poly}^*(A):=\bigoplus_{n\geq -1}Hom(A^{\otimes n+1},A)$ be the Lie algebra of polydifferential operators ...
10
votes
0answers
435 views

Deformations of some simple quotient stacks.

I am interested in stacks of vector bundles on varieties and how deformations of the variety (including non-commutative ones) reflect themselves in deformations of the stack of vector bundles. I will ...
9
votes
3answers
924 views

Deformation theory over the field of algebraic numbers

Let $X_0$ be a smooth projective variety over $\mathbb{C}$ and let $\Theta_{X_0}$ be the locally free sheaf of $O_{X_0}$-module corresponding to tangent space of $X_0$. Goal: To find a sufficient ...
9
votes
2answers
415 views

Geometric meaning of small extensions ?

Let $(A,\mathfrak{m}_A)$ be a local Artinian $k$-algebra with residue field $k$. Then the scheme $\mathrm{Spec}(A)$ can be loosely seen as a "fat point", or an "infinitesimal neighbourhood" of a point ...
9
votes
1answer
249 views

Motivation behind the definition of hochschild cohomology

For an associative algebra $A$ one can define the Hochschild cohomology of $A$ as $ HH^n(A,A):= Hom_{\mathcal{D}(A^{op} \otimes A)}(A, [n]A)$ (this definition also works for the graded and dg cases as ...
9
votes
1answer
370 views

Reverse Engineering to find deformation problem (from cohomology groups)?

One of my favorite explanation of the cohomology groups of low degree is that they arise as the automorphism group, tangent space and obstruction space (or where the obstruction lives) of a certain ...
9
votes
1answer
448 views

Are periods of rigid Calabi-Yau threefolds over $Q$ algebraic?

Let $X$ be a (smooth) compact complex manifold, and suppose that $H^1(X, \Theta_X) = 0$, where $\Theta_X$ is the tangent sheaf. In other words, suppose that $X$ is rigid. Suppose moreover that $X$ ...
8
votes
2answers
473 views

When does the categorical definition of a module work?

$\DeclareMathOperator{\ab}{Ab}\DeclareMathOperator{\qcoh}{QCoh}$ This entry in the nlab shows that for $A$ a (commutative unital) ring, the category $\mathsf{Mod}_A$ of $A$-modules is equivalent to ...
8
votes
1answer
404 views

What is the universal deformation of the formal additive group $\widehat{\mathbb{G}}_a$ over $\mathbb{F}_p$?

Lubin and Tate show in their paper Formal moduli for one-parameter formal Lie groups that for any formal group over a field $k$ of characteristic $p>0$ with height $h<\infty$, the functor of ...
8
votes
1answer
363 views

Why can you deform singularities in two dimensions but not in higher dimensions?

I've been trying to read this paper to understand deformations of surface quotient singularities. I'm particularly interested in when one can deform certain cyclic quotient singularities into other ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Kodaira-Spencer map in a concrete instance

Let $\pi:X_{\epsilon} \rightarrow \Delta$ be a family of (say smooth) projective plane curves parametrized by $\Delta:=\operatorname{Spec}(k[\epsilon])$, and let $X=X_0$ be the closed fiber. Suppose ...
8
votes
1answer
811 views

About the Serre-Tate theorem

It is somehow a general principle that the (infinitesimal) local behavior of a representable moduli functor $X$ at some point $x$ is closely related to the deformation problem of the structure ...
8
votes
1answer
638 views

Is the generic deformation of a symplectic variety affine?

Kaledin and Verbitsky have shown that symplectic varities have a remarkably nice deformation theory as symplectic varieties. Let $X$ be a symplectic variety (a smooth quasi-projective variety over ...
8
votes
1answer
252 views

Extended Deformation Theory (dg-Lie algebra principle in positive characteristic?)

Recently, I looked at articles that make use of Deligne's idea that "in characteristic 0 every deformation problem is governed by a differential graded Lie algebra" as explained first in ...
8
votes
1answer
803 views

“Spec” of graded rings?

From the discussion here, it seems that general Hochschild cohomology classes correspond to deformations where the deformation parameter can have nonzero degree. So I have some naive and maybe stupid ...
8
votes
0answers
202 views

Are deformations of a scheme some kind of a “derived gerbe” under the cotangent complex?

(This is probably a very naive question. My understanding of the cotangent complex is quite vague.) Let me first recall the picture for deformations of a smooth morphism: If $f:X_0\to S_0$ is a ...
7
votes
2answers
919 views

What is an example of a smooth variety over a finite field F_p which does not lift to Z_p?

Somebody answered this question instead of the question here, so I am asking this with the hope that they will cut and paste their solution.
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Deformations and the dual numbers

The question I have is pretty straightforward, and its answer could very well be contained in some more complicated question(s) asked previously. Here it is: Why are deformations typically ...
7
votes
3answers
791 views

In the dictionary between Poisson and Quantum, what corresponds to Coisotropic?

I work entirely over a field of characteristic $0$, in case it matters. Recall that a Poisson algebra is a commutative algebra $A$ with a bracket $\lbrace,\rbrace : A^{\wedge 2} \to A$ which is (1) a ...
7
votes
2answers
432 views

Algebraic definition of the Kuranishi map

Let $X$ be a smooth projective algebraic variety over an algebraically closed field $k$. If $k=\mathbb{C}$, we know by work of Kuranishi that the base of the versal deformation of $X$ is the germ at ...
7
votes
1answer
164 views

Projective embedding in families of curves

Let $\pi:\mathcal{X} \to B$ be a family (flat, projective, surjective morphism) of projective curves (not necessarily reduced) where $B$ is smooth, irreducible. Suppose that for some closed point $b_0 ...
7
votes
1answer
286 views

Liftability of Enriques Surfaces (from char. p to zero)

Let $k$ be an algebraically closed field of characteristic $p > 0$, $X$ a variety over $k$. We say $X$ lifts to characteristic zero, if there exists a local ring $R$ containing $\mathbb Z$ with ...
7
votes
1answer
215 views

alternative to Kontsevich formality

Has anyone considered an alternative approach to Kontsevich formality in which the DGCA of poly-vector fields is deformed to an $L_\infty$-algebra?