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61
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
30
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 $2$. ...
27
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 ...
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 ...
21
votes
2answers
2k 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
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 ...
19
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
1k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
654 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), ...
15
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 ...
15
votes
1answer
455 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
984 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
604 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
559 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
812 views

Natural examples of Reverse Mathematics outside classical analysis?

Harvey Friedman at the 1974 ICM motivated Reverse Mathematics by the following statement: When the theorem is proved from the right axioms, the axioms can be proved from the theorem. Reverse ...
11
votes
3answers
309 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
620 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
406 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
2answers
369 views

Blow-ups of $\mathbb{P}^{n-3}$ and $(\mathbb{P}^1)^{n-3}$

Let us consider the points $$p_1=[1:0:...:0],p_2 = [0:1:...:0],...,p_{n-2} =[0:...:0:1],\\ p_{n-1}=[1:1:...:1]\in\mathbb{P}^{n-3}$$ and the blow-up $X = Bl_{p_1,...,p_{n-1}}\mathbb{P}^{n-3}$. ...
10
votes
0answers
266 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
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?
9
votes
3answers
1k 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
2answers
222 views

Embedding $\mathrm{PGL}(n,q^h)$ in $\mathrm{PGL}(nh,q)$

It is not very hard to see that for each prime power $q$ and natural numbers $n,h$, we have an embedding $$\iota \colon \mathrm{GL}(n,q^h) \hookrightarrow \mathrm{GL}(nh, q),$$ obtained by choosing a ...
9
votes
2answers
273 views

Fibrations of projective varieties

Let $f:X\rightarrow Y$ be a flat morphism of normal projective varieties with fibers of positive dimension (in particular all the fibers are connected and of the same dimension). Let $g:X\rightarrow ...
9
votes
1answer
408 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
1answer
379 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
531 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
326 views

Blowing-up a point in the singular locus

Let $X\subset\mathbb{P}^n$ be a variety singular along a smooth subvariety $Z\subset X$ of positive dimension. Let us assume that $X$ has ordinary singularities along $Z$. Now, let $\pi:Y\rightarrow ...
8
votes
2answers
378 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
239 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
1answer
298 views

Who first proved the fundamental theorem of projective geometry?

The following theorem is often called the fundamental theorem of projective geometry: Let $k$ be a field and let $n \geq 3$. Let $X$ be the partially ordered set of nonzero proper subspaces of ...
8
votes
2answers
587 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
341 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
474 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
504 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
251 views

A geometric construction of the complex projective plane?

The paper Kötter's synthetic geometry of algebraic curves, (N. Fraser, Proceedings of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society 7, 46–61, 1888) opens with a sketch of what appears to be a synthetic ...
6
votes
2answers
589 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
4answers
437 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
3answers
1k 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
1answer
531 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 $p_1,...,p_n$. ...
6
votes
2answers
436 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
2answers
178 views

Singularities of Pfaffian hypersurfaces

Let $X\subset\mathbb{P}^4$ be an hypersurface of degree six given by the Pfaffian of a $6\times 6$ matrix $M$ whose entries are quadratic forms in the homogeneous coordinates of $\mathbb{P}^4$. I am ...
6
votes
2answers
303 views

Will (general points + small number of arbitrary points) impose independent condtions on plane curves?

It is well known that imposing vanishing at general points of $\mathbb P^2$ gives independent conditions on curves of degree $d$. Also, it is known that a small number ($\le d+1$) points always impose ...
6
votes
1answer
547 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
1answer
112 views

Measuring how closely a missing projective plane can be approached by an equivalent structure

It is well known that for a number of structures, their existence is equivalent to the existence of a projective plane for a given order. Some of them depend on more than one parameters, which means ...
6
votes
0answers
92 views

The Maximum Number of Lines Contained in the Point Set of a Finite Projective Plane

Consider a finite projective plane of order $q$. Define $f(m)$ to be the maximum number of lines completely contained in any point set of size $m$, where $1 \leq m \leq q^2+q+1$. I would like to ...
6
votes
0answers
116 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
806 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 ...