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56
votes
6answers
5k views

Is there an underlying explanation for the magical powers of the Schwarzian derivative?

Given a function $f(z)$ on the complex plane, define the Schwarzian derivative $S(f)$ to be the function $S(f) = \frac{f'''}{f'} - \frac{3}{2} (\frac{f''}{f'})^2$ Here is a somewhat more conceptual ...
29
votes
11answers
3k views

What is the Cayley projective plane?

One can build a projective plane from R^n, C^n and H^n and is then tempted to do the same for octonions. This leads to the construction of a projective plane known as OP^2, the Cayley projective ...
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 $2$. ...
23
votes
6answers
2k views

How should I visualise RP^n?

So I did some algebraic topology at university, including homotopy theory and basic simplicial homology, as well as some differential geometry; and now I'm coming back to the subject for fun via ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

Projective Plane of Order 12

I asked this question on the new Theoretical Computer Science "overflow" site, and commenters suggested I ask it here. That question is here, and it contains additional links, which I doubt I can ...
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 ...
18
votes
6answers
1k views

Does every ellipse inside a tetrahedron inside a ball fit in a triangle inside the ball?

In three-dimensional euclidean space, consider the closed unit ball $B$. Let $T$ be a tetrahedron, and $E$ an ellipse, with $E \subset T \subset B$. Does there necessarily exist a triangle $T'$ with ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Rationality of intersection of quadrics

Let $X \subset \mathbb{P}^n$ be a complete intersection of two quadrics. It is classical that, if $X$ contains a line, then it is rational. The proof is very simple and basically it is given by taking ...
16
votes
1answer
967 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Maps to projective space determined by a line bundle

The following should be pretty standard for any algebraic geometer. Let $X$ be a compact complex variety, and let $L$ be a line bundle on $X$. We say $L$ is 'generated by global sections' if for ...
14
votes
2answers
911 views

Why do all incidence theorems follow from Pappus' theorem?

In Hilbert and Cohn-Vossen's ``Geometry and the Imagination," they state in the last paragraph of Chapter 20 that "Any theorems concerned solely with incidence relations in the [Euclidean ...
14
votes
1answer
576 views

Octonions and the Fano plane.

Does the Fano plane mnemonic for octonion multiplication have any deeper meaning? http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2d/FanoPlane.svg The symmetry group of the Fano plane is PSL(2,7), ...
13
votes
1answer
444 views

When is $(q^k-1)/(q-1)$ a perfect square?

Let $q$ be a prime power and $k>1$ a positive integer. For what values of $k$ and $q$ is the number $(q^k-1)/(q-1)$ a perfect square, that is the square of another integer? Is the number of such ...
13
votes
1answer
525 views

Vocabulary of 19th Century analytic projective geometry: What are “order” and “dimension”?

I am trying to understand the following introductory passage in an early lecture by the philosopher/mathematician Gottlob Frege because I am interested in how Frege conceived of the role of geometric ...
12
votes
1answer
338 views

Maps to projective space == line bundles; what do maps to weighted projective space correspond to?

A map from an algebraic variety $X$ to a projective space is the same thing as a globally generated line bundle on $X$. What geometric object on $X$ corresponds to a map to a weighted projective ...
11
votes
3answers
294 views

(Non-)Existence of curves of low degree on affine and projective varieties

I am interested in papers that investigates the existence or non-existence of curves of low degree (relative to the degree of the ambient variety). The starting example is that of surfaces and ...
11
votes
1answer
554 views

Is Wikipedia correct about desarguesian projective planes being self-dual?

I stumbled over a statement on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duality_%28projective_geometry%29 and would like to ask how this could possibly be true. It states the following The ...
10
votes
1answer
310 views

Fano plane drawings: embedding PG(2,2) into the real plane

By a drawing of the Fano plane I mean a system of seven simple curves and seven points in the real plane such that every point lies on exactly three curves, and every curve contains exactly three ...
10
votes
0answers
235 views

Embedding of the product of two Grassmannians into a Grassmannian

Consider an embedding $$\Phi: G_{k_1}(R^{n_1})\times G_{k_2}(R^{n_2})\rightarrow G_k(R^n)$$ of the product of two Grassmannians $G_{k_1}(R^{n_1})\times G_{k_2}(R^{n_2})$ into $G_k(R^n)$, where ...
9
votes
3answers
903 views

Why can projective varieties just have abelian group operations?

I just started to read Shimura - Automorphic forms and number theory (Lecture notes in mathematics, 54). On page 20 or so, he mentions that every projective variety which is an algebraic group, is ...
9
votes
1answer
370 views

$6$ points lie on a conic if and only if $ABC$ and $A_0B_0C_0$ are perspective

Let $ABC$ be a triangle with incircle $\omega$. Let $A_0,B_0,C_0$ be points outside $\omega$. The tangents from $A_0$ to $\omega$ intersect $BC$ at $A_1,A_2$. Define $B_1,B_2$ and $C_1,C_2$ similarly. ...
8
votes
9answers
3k views

What is the exact statement of “there are 27 lines on a cubic”?

I think there was a theorem, like every cubic hypersurface in $\mathbb P^3$ has 27 lines on it. What is the exact statement and details?
8
votes
1answer
376 views

Can curves differentiate vector bundles on P^2?

Not much is known about vector bundles on $\mathbb{P}^2$ but I wonder if the following is a tractable question: If $E,E'$ are non-isomorphic vector bundles on $\mathbb{P}^2$, then is there always a ...
8
votes
2answers
368 views

When can one extend a flat family from a subscheme to the whole scheme?

Is there a nice condition on a closed subscheme $Y$ of $X$ such that for every flat family $Z\to Y$, there is a flat family $W\to X$ whose restriction to $Y$ is $Z$? In particular, I'm interested in ...
8
votes
1answer
237 views

Existence of different knots in $RP^3$ having the equivalent liftings in $S^3$

I'm looking for the answer to following question. Do exist different knots in $RP^3$ which have equivalent liftings in $S^3$ under covering $p:S^3\rightarrow RP^3$?
8
votes
2answers
548 views

Base locus of divisors on blowings up of the projective space

Let $X$ be the blowing-up of $\mathbb{P}^n$ in $r$ points in general position. Let $\{H,E_1,...,E_r\}$ be the standard basis of $Pic(X)$. Further let $D=dH-\sum m_j E_j$, be an effective divisor, with ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Explaining the concept of projective space: notes for students

This is a question on teaching. I am teaching at this moment a course in algebraic geometry for master students on a very basic level. Today (this was the fourth lecture) I discovered that only four ...
7
votes
2answers
270 views

Minor theorems of Pappus and Desargues in “old school” geometry?

My question concerns the dependence relations between the minor theorem of Pappus which, following Heyting, I will denote by $P_9$, and (one of the) minor theorems of Desargues, $D_9$. $P_9$ states ...
7
votes
4answers
471 views

Low rate c-uniform pairwise intersecting set systems

Let $U$ be some (unbounded) universe of elements, and let $\mathcal{S}$ be a collection of subsets of size $c$ each, such that any two elements from $\mathcal{S}$ have a non-empty intersection. Let $C ...
7
votes
1answer
495 views

Normality of a locus of points in projective space

Let $U_{d,n}\subseteq(\mathbb{P}^d)^n$ denote the locus of $n$-distinct points in projective space $\mathbb{P}^d$ that lie on a rational normal curve of degree $d$, and let $V_{d,n}$ denote its ...
6
votes
4answers
426 views

Divisors, extensions of functions

This might be a silly/obvious question. I know that we have the removable singularity theorem (of Riemann) on the complex line, and we also have the generalization of this to algebraic curves. ...
6
votes
2answers
523 views

Embedding of algebraic surfaces

If I am not mistaken there is a theorem that says any curve $C$ can be embedded in $\mathbf{P}^3$. What can be said about surfaces? Do we have a theorem like: All surfaces can be embedded in ...
6
votes
2answers
442 views

Can projective hypersurfaces contain linear spaces? How big?

I am in this, rather friendly, situation: I have a complex projective space $\mathbb{P}^n$, and there i have a (possibly non-smooth) hypersurface $S$ defined by one irreducible polynomial $P$ of ...
6
votes
3answers
851 views

Original proof of Pappus' Hexagon Theorem

Does anyone know where I can find an english translation, preferrably online or in a book the library of a small liberal arts college would be likely to have, of the original proof of Pappus' hexagon ...
6
votes
2answers
362 views

Reference for Weighted Projective Stacks

For a sequence of positive integers $a_0, \ldots, a_n$ and a ring $R$, there is a graded ring $R[x_0,\ldots, x_n]$ where $x_i$ is in degree $a_i$. There is a corresponding $\mathbb{G}_m$-action on ...
6
votes
1answer
509 views

Proper morphism sending coherent to coherent

Hello, Is there a proof that the push forward by a proper morphism of Noetherian schemes sends coherent sheaves to coherent ones, without passing in the argument through projective morphisms? Thank ...
6
votes
0answers
93 views

Are Schubert varieties for Kac-Moody groups cut out by linear equations?

Let $G$ be a reductive group, and let $X$ be a partial flag variety for $G$. Then it is known that for any projective embedding of $X$, that the equations scheme-theoretically cutting out a Schubert ...
5
votes
4answers
765 views

Is the theory of incidence geometry complete?

Consider the basic axioms of planar incidence geometry, which allow us to speak of in-betweeness, collinearity and concurrency. These axioms per se are not complete, since for example, Desargues ...
5
votes
1answer
379 views

Bertini's Theorem

Let $p_1,...,p_n\in\mathbb{P}^{N}$ be general points. Consider the linear system $|L|$ of hypersurfaces of degree $d$ in $\mathbb{P}^{N}$ with prescribed multiplicities $m_1,...,m_n$ at $p_1,...,p_n$. ...
5
votes
2answers
351 views

Fano 3-fold of degree 4

Let $X$ be the intersection of two quadrics in $P^5$. It is well known that the intermediate Jacobian $J(X)$ is isomorphic to $J(C)$ for a genus 2 curve, related to the pencil of quadrics whose base ...
5
votes
1answer
372 views

Top self-intersection of exceptional divisors

Let $Y\subset\mathbb{P}^n$ be a smooth variety of codimension two. Consider the blow-up $X = Bl_Y\mathbb{P}^n$ of $\mathbb{P}^n$ along $Y$, and let $E$ be the exceptional divisor over $Y$. Then $E$ ...
5
votes
2answers
429 views

Basics(?) about quasi-coherent modules on projective schemes

EDIT. (05-04-12) I have revised and improved the questions. Let $A$ be a commutative $\mathbb{N}$-graded $R$-algebra, which is finitely generated by $A_1$ as an $A_0$-algebra. You may also assume ...
5
votes
0answers
154 views

Non minimal K3 surfaces as hypersurfaces of weighted projective spaces

I recently learnt that the hypersurface $$ S:=(x^2+y^3+z^{11}+w^{66}=0) \subset \mathbb{P}(33,22,6,1) $$ is birational to a K3 surface. This is surprising because the surface is quasi-smooth, ...
4
votes
2answers
479 views

How do I find the set of all lines lying on a general quadric in $\mathbb{CP}^3$?

I have heard that this set is the disjoint union of two conics in $Gr(2,4)$, but I do not have an original reference. Does anyone either have such a reference, or know a way of seeing this?
4
votes
3answers
628 views

(Second) Chern class of projective space, blown up in a linear subvariety

I already asked the same question at stack exchange but got no response for quite a while, so I thought I'd ask here. I also know that this has a certain resemblance to this question, but I cannot ...
4
votes
2answers
246 views

A question on infinitely many closed points on a smooth projective variety and their behavior under embeddings

While working on a research problem (algebraic cycles), I bumped into a question that I want to prove, though I couldn't yet prove. After several days of attempts, I realized that if the following ...
4
votes
2answers
237 views

Was Desargues more an Euclid or an Eudoxos?

In the course of preparing lessons on projective geometry I want to give an account on the historical development. It is easy to obtain an overview of the history starting with G. Desargues. And with ...
4
votes
1answer
166 views

What is the formula for the commutative multiplication on CP(infinity)?

There is a classic formula for maps $\mathrm{CP}(r) \times \mathrm{CP}(s) \to \mathrm{CP}(r+s)$ or maybe $r+s+1$ using Pl├╝cker coordinates - IF memory serves. In the limit we get the abelian ...
4
votes
1answer
314 views

Properties of divisors when moving from char 0 to char p.

Consider a smooth projective variety $X$ over $\mathbb{C}$ such that $X$ has models over $\mathbb{Z}[1/N]$ and $X_p=X_{\mathbb{Z}[1/N]}\times \text{Spec}(\mathbb{F}_p)$ is also a smooth projective ...
4
votes
2answers
311 views

A question about pairs of lines in 3D projective space

Consider a 3-dimensional projective space $X$. Let $m$ be the smallest number so that there are $m$ pairs of lines $ \ell_1,\ell'_1$, $ \ell_2,\ell_2'$, ... , $\ell_m, \ell'_m$ in $X$: a) For ...