For questions about the derived categories of various abelian categories and questions regarding the derived category construction itself.

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39
votes
7answers
3k views

What does a projective resolution mean geometrically?

For R a commutative ring and M an R-module, we can always find a projective resolution of M which replaces M by a sequence of projective R-modules. But as R is commutative, we can consider the affine ...
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 ...
27
votes
7answers
4k views

A down-to-earth introduction to the uses of derived categories

When I was learning about spectral sequences, one of the most helpful sources I found was Ravi Vakil's notes here. These notes are very down-to-earth and give a kind of minimum knowledge needed about ...
25
votes
7answers
2k views

Simplicial objects

How should one think about simplicial objects in a category versus actual objects in that category? For example, both for intuition and for practical purposes, what's the difference between a ...
24
votes
6answers
2k views

How to think about model categories?

I've read about model categories from an Appendix to one of Lurie's papers. What are the examples of model categories? What should be my intuition about them? E.g. I understand the typical examples ...
23
votes
4answers
1k views

What (if anything) unifies stable homotopy theory and Grothendieck's six functors formalism?

I know of two very general frameworks for describing generalizations of what a "cohomology theory" should be: Grothendieck's "six functors", and the theory of spectra. In the former, one assigns to ...
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, ...
22
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I know the derived category is NOT abelian?

I have heard the claim that the derived category of an abelian category is in general additive but not abelian. If this is true there should be some toy example of a (co)kernel that should be there ...
19
votes
6answers
3k views

Heuristic behind the Fourier-Mukai transform

What is the heuristic idea behind the Fourier-Mukai transform? What is the connection to the classical Fourier transform? Moreover, could someone recommend a concise introduction to the subject?
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
0answers
864 views

Is there a Grothendieck-Riemann-Roch type of theorem generalizing Grothendieck's Lefschetz trace formula

Grothendieck deduced that the L-function of a (constructible) $\ell$-adic sheaf on a variety over $\mathbf{F}_p$ is rational from the generalized trace formula. My first question is based on the ...
17
votes
2answers
498 views

Homotopy-theoretic derived Morita equivalences

Recall that two $k$-algebras $A, B$ are Morita equivalent iff their categories of left modules are equivalent. However, this relation turns out to be rather fine and one introduces a coarser ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

determinant of a perfect complex

Say $K_\bullet$ is a bounded complex of vector bundles. I seem to want the determinant of $K_\bullet$ to be the alternating tensor product of the terms of the complex: $\det(K) = \bigotimes_n ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

Derived categories and homotopy categories

There are two constructions that look quite similar to me: the derived category of an abelian category, and the homotopy category of a model category. Is there any explicit relationship between these ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Is the Fukaya category “defined”?

Sometimes people say that the Fukaya category is "not yet defined" in general. What is meant by such a statement? (If it simplifies things, let's just stick with Fukaya categories of compact ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

distinguished triangles and cohomology

Start with A an abelian category and form the derived category D(A). Take a triangle (not necessarily distinguished) and take it's cohomology. We obtain a long sequence (not necessarily exact). If the ...
13
votes
1answer
533 views

How can one interpret homology and Stokes' Theorem via derived categories?

I am very far removed from being an expert on derived categories. Every few months, however, I read a different introductory text with the hope that eventually I will have some basic grasp on this ...
13
votes
0answers
477 views

When is every “solid” perfect complex faithful?

Let $R$ be a noetherian commutative ring. Consider $D^{perf}(R)=K^b(R-proj)$ the category of bounded complexes of finitely generated projective $R$-modules, with maps of complexes up to homotopy. ...
12
votes
1answer
895 views

Why does the naive definition of compactly supported étale cohomology give the wrong answer?

Illusie's article about étale cohomology available here (in French) mentions that the standard definition of compactly supported cohomology (and higher direct images with compact support) does not ...
12
votes
2answers
970 views

What is a flop (and when are they conjectured to give derived equivalences)?

(1) Is the definition of flop given by Wikipedia the industry standard? (2) Regardless of the answer to (1), when is it expected that a birational transformation gives rise to a derived ...
12
votes
0answers
496 views

References for a certain generalization of Hochschild cohomology?

Let $C$ be an algebra. Let $E = C^{\otimes 2n}$ be the tensor product (over the ground field) of $2n$ copies of $C$. [EDIT: Or better, $E = C\otimes C^{op}\otimes C\otimes C^{op}\cdots\otimes C ...
11
votes
3answers
686 views

Freyd-Mitchell for triangulated categories?

Is there a nice analog of the Freyd-Mitchell theorem for triangulated categories (potentially with some requirements)? Freyd-Mitchell is the theorem which says that any small abelian category is a ...
11
votes
1answer
864 views

When do six operations work?

This question comes (heavily edited) from my notes, thus slightly unusual structure. We know that algebraic maps have very strict structure, and in many settings the operations ...
11
votes
1answer
645 views

Analytic Torsion in the Derived Category

I recently learned about analytic torsion and about the amazing Cheeger-Muller theorem identifying analytic and Reidemeister torsion for compact Riemannian manifolds. Now analytic torsion is defined ...
11
votes
1answer
654 views

Fiber functors to derived categories

Suppose that $G$ is an algebraic group over a field $k$. Then for any $k$-algebra $R$, a fiber functor from $\text{Rep}_k(G)$ to the category of projective modules over $R$ is the same as a ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Sheaves without global sections

The line bundle $O(-1)$ on a projective space or $O(-\rho)$ on a flag variety has a property that all its cohomology vanish. Is there a story behind such sheaves? Here are more precise questions. Let ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Examples for Decomposition Theorem

There's an important piece of geometric knowledge usually quoted as Beilinson-Bernstein-Deligne. Here's a refresher: by $IC$ one means the intersection complex, which is just $\mathbb Q$ for a smooth ...
10
votes
1answer
389 views

Fullness of pullback functor in algebraic geometry

Given $f:X\to Y$ a morphism of schemes (or stacks if it's not harder), I am interested in a geometric reformulation of the condition that the functor $f^*:D^b(Coh(Y))\to D^b(Coh(X))$ is full. I can ...
10
votes
0answers
369 views

The derived category of integral representations of a Dynkin quiver.

Let $Q$ be a Dynkin quiver. Let $\mathbb CQ$ be its complex path algebra. It is defined in a way such that modules over $\mathbb CQ$ are the same as representations of the quiver $Q$. Let's write ...
9
votes
4answers
623 views

What is the relation between the Lie bracket on $TX$ as commutator and that coming from the Atiyah class?

Let X be a complex manifold and $TX$ its tangent bundle. The Atiyah class $\alpha(E)\in \text{Ext}^1(E\otimes TX, E)$ for a vector bundle $E$ is defined to be the obstruction of the global existence ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Derived categories of (coherent) sheaves of modules: exceptional images, gluing, and proper descent?

I am interested in the properties of (the derived categories) of various categories of (coherent) sheaves of modules (over varieties). I would like to understand in what extent these properties are ...
9
votes
1answer
674 views

How to write down the determinant of a quasi-isomorphism?

This question about the determinant of a perfect complex reminded me of an old question that I had. The construction of the determinant (as in MR1914072 or MR0437541) is a difficult piece of ...
9
votes
1answer
683 views

Why is proving fully-faithfulness of an integral functor locally analytically sufficient?

More than once I've come across a statement in a paper about derived categories in which it says something to the effect of "in order to prove that $\Phi:D^b(X)\rightarrow D^b(Y)$ is fully-faithful we ...
9
votes
0answers
313 views

McKay correspondence and tensor products

The theorem of Bridgeland-King-Reid says that if $M$ is a smooth quasi-projective complex variety of dimension at most $3$ on which a finite group $G$ acts such that the canonical sheaf $\omega_M$ is ...
9
votes
0answers
639 views

Generating the derived category with line bundles

The following lemma is useful and well-known: LEMMA If $L^{\pm 1}$ is ample on proper scheme over a field $k$, then some number of powers $\mathcal{O},L,...,L^{m}$ generate the unbounded derived ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Categories which are not compactly generated

Do you know natural examples of triangulated categories (or [presentable] stable $\infty$-categories) which are not compactly generated? (ideally they'd be defined algebraically, but curious to hear ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Derived Physics

Hello to all, This question will probably be closed down as being off-topic faster than one can say "string theory", but here it goes: I've noticed that the problems I'm working on -the structure of ...
8
votes
1answer
421 views

Are $D^b_{coh}(X)$ and $D^b(Coh(X))$ derived equivalent?

Let $X$ be a variety. Let $D^b(Coh(X))$ be the derived category of bounded complexes of coherent sheaves on $X$, and $D^b_{coh}(X)$ be the derived category of bounded complexes of sheaves of ...
8
votes
1answer
904 views

What is the Hochschild cohomology of the dg category of perfect complexes on a variety?

Let $X$ be a quasi-projective variety over a field $k$. Let $D_{qcoh}$ be a dg enhancement of the unbounded derived category of quasi-coherent sheaves over $X$, and $D_{perf}$ its full subcategory of ...
8
votes
2answers
899 views

Derived functors vs universal delta functors

I would like to understand the relationship between the derived category definition of a right derived functor Rf (which involves an initial natural transformation n: Qf → (Rf)Q, where Q is the ...
7
votes
2answers
757 views

The composition of derived functors - commutation fails hazardly?

Hello, When we have left exact functors $F: A \to B , G: B \to C$ (between abelian categories), we would like sometimes to state that $D(GF)=D(G)D(F)$ (functors between bounded below derived ...
7
votes
4answers
732 views

Intuition about the triangulation of a homotopy category K(A)

Let $\cal{A}$ be an additive category. Given a morphism of (cochain) complexes $f:X\rightarrow Y$ we can form the mapping cone $C_f$, which is the complex $X[1]\oplus Y$ with differential given by ...
7
votes
2answers
368 views

Recovering an abelian category out of its derived category

I'm trying to learn more about derived category stuff and my curiosity has made me to ask these questions. Sorry if I'm being sloppy, I'm a new learner. In Wikipedia it has been stated that since ...
7
votes
3answers
693 views

Compact generation for modular representations

Are the derived categories of modular representations of algebraic groups compactly generated? (e.g. consider SL_2 in characteristic 2). Note modular reps of finite groups are compactly generated (by ...
7
votes
1answer
392 views

Lifting isomorphisms between derived categories

(Remark: I first asked this question at math.stackexchange. As it received no answer, I'm posting it here). Suppose $A$ and $B$ are commutative rings. Let $A\to B$ be a surjective ring homomorphism. ...
7
votes
1answer
549 views

got any tricks to build up t-structures on derived categories?

Are there any good tricks to construct a heart of a t-structure? (I'm thinking on the derived category of coherent sheaves of some variety) I'll start with the only one I know. If $(T,F)$ is a ...
7
votes
3answers
725 views

Are the underlying undirected graphs of two mutation-equivalent acylic quivers isomorphic?

Quiver mutation, defined by Fomin and Zelevinsky, is a combinatorial process. It is important in the representation theory of quivers, in the theory of cluster algebras, and in physics. We consider ...
7
votes
1answer
762 views

Verdier duality via Brown representability?

Hello, I wonder if the techniques introduced in Neemans paper: "The Grothendieck duality theorem via Bousfield's techniques and Brown representability " can be used to establish Verdier duality. More ...
7
votes
2answers
440 views

What is a good reference (preferably thorough) for the Derived Category of a scheme/orbifold/stack?

I've sort of circled around the idea of derived categories a few times, read a few introductory papers ("Derived Categories for the working mathematician", e.g.), and feel now that this is something ...
7
votes
1answer
429 views

l-adic vs complex Perverse Sheaves

Let $X$ be a scheme of finite type over $Spec(\mathbb{C})$. Let $X_{an}$ denote the associated complex analytic space. After fixing an isomorphism $\overline{\mathbb{Q}}_l\cong \mathbb{C}$, by ...