Real algebraic geometry is the study of real solutions to algebraic equations with real coefficients. Its methods are rather different from classical algebraic geometry, which is typically done over an algebraically closed field (like the complex numbers).

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67
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8answers
11k views

How do you not forget old math?

I am trying to not forget my old math. I finished my PhD in real algebraic geometry a few years ago and then switched to the industry for financial reasons. Now I get the feeling that I want to do a ...
30
votes
6answers
2k views

Are all polynomial inequalities deducible from the trivial inequality?

I remember learning some years ago of a theorem to the effect that if a polynomial $p(x_1, ... x_n)$ with real coefficients is non-negative on $\mathbb{R}^n$, then it is a sum of squares of ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

Real algebraic geometry vs. algebraic geometry

This question is predicated on my understanding that real algebraic geometry (henceforth RAG) is the version of algebraic geometry (AG) one gets when replacing (esp. algebraically closed) fields with ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Cohomology of Structure Sheaves: Algebraic, Constructible and more

I am not an algebraic geometer, but I am a topologist who uses sheaves. I have studied some algebraic geometry and am interested in what happens as I reduce the amount of rigidity in the structure ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

The Sylvester Gallai Theorem and Sections of Varieties with “Simple Topology”.

The Sylvester-Gallai theorem asserts that for every collection of points in the plane, not all on a line, there is a line containing exactly two of the points. One high dimensional extension ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Counting roots: multidimensional Sturm's theorem

Sturm's theorem gives a way to compute the number of roots of a one-variable polynomial in an interval [a,b]. Is there a generalization to boxes in higher dimensions? Namely, let $P_1,\dotsc,P_n\in \...
12
votes
0answers
323 views

Does every commutative $*$-algebra of operators on a prehilbert space have a character?

My question can be equivalently stated as follows: Let $A$ be a complex commutative algebra with involution, and assume there exists a non-zero homomorphism $\pi:A\to L(V)$ to the algebra of ...
12
votes
0answers
251 views

real algebraic geometry software?

Does anyone have suggestions/experience for any software packages to study real algebraic varieties (for example, counting connected components of hypersurfaces, figuring out the topological type of ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Polynomial positive on an interval

If $p$ is a polynomial with real coefficients and p(x)>0 on [0,1], then $p(x)=\sum c_{i,j} x^i(1-x)^j$ with $c_{i,j}$ positive. I know this is true but but I need a proof/reference. Thanks!
11
votes
4answers
327 views

Tameness in $\mathbb{R}^{n^2}$ of the subset consisting of matrices of positive determinant

The Lie group $GL(n)$ being a manifold is locally path-connected. Consider its connected component of the identity $C\subseteq\mathbb{R}^{n^2}$. What is a good way of showing that $C$ is a tame ...
11
votes
1answer
676 views

What is the longest algebraic curve?

Consider a convex body $\Omega\subset \mathbb{R}^2$. Let $L(d)$ be the maximum over all curves $C$ of degree $d$ of the length of $C\cap\Omega$. Is $L(d)\leq d P(E)/2$, where $P(E)$ is the ...
10
votes
3answers
479 views

Effective algorithm to test positivity

Let $f(x_1,\ldots, x_n)$ be a real polynomial in several variables. Is there an effective algorithm to test whether $f$ is positive (or nonnegative) on the whole of ${\mathbb{R}}^n$?
10
votes
2answers
493 views

The space of polynomials with all real roots

The question stems from an attempt to answer a question of David Speyer. Let $R \subseteq \mathbb{R}^n$ be the space of coefficients of all polynomials of degree $n$ whose all roots are real, i.e. $R ...
10
votes
1answer
242 views

Euler Characteristic of Real Algebraic Surfaces

Given a (compact if needed) real smooth surface $V(f)$ defined by $f\in \mathbb{R}[X,Y,Z]$, in particular it is oriented. Is there a formula which gives the Euler character of $V(f)$ ? Thanks.
10
votes
1answer
627 views

Is the pairing between contours and functions perfect (modulo the kernel given by Stokes' theorem)?

Let $s: \mathbb C^n \to \mathbb C$ be a homogeneous degree-$d$ polynomial which is nonsingular (in the sense that the hypersurface it defines in $\mathbb{CP}^{n-1}$ is smooth; equivalently the ...
9
votes
3answers
417 views

Nonnegativity conditions for a polynomial in two variables?

Let $$P(X,Y)= c_{22}X^2Y^2 +c_{21}X^2Y +c_{12}XY^2 +c_{20}X^2 +c_{11}XY+c_{02}Y^2+c_{10}X+c_{01}Y+c_{00}$$ be a polynomial of two variables $X$ and $Y$ with real coefficients $c_{ij}$. What are the ...
9
votes
3answers
293 views

Decay of real continuous algebraic functions at infinity

Let $f$ be a real valued continuous algebraic function on $\mathbb R^n$. Suppose the zero set of $f$ is bounded, i.e., if $|x|$ is large enough, $f(x)\neq 0$. Is there any estimate of the sort $|f(x)|\...
9
votes
0answers
211 views

Rationality of a certain real algebraic variety

Let $A_n$ denote the vector space of $n\times n$ antisymmetric matrices over ${\mathbb{Q}}$, where $n$ is even. Let $A_n^*\subset A_n$ denote the affine ${\mathbb{Q}}$-subvariety of invertible ...
8
votes
2answers
909 views

Incidence geometry and matrices

Supposing I have a $0/1$ or $\pm1$ matrix $A$ of size $m\times n$, is there a minimum $d$ (that works for every $m\times n$ $A$) such that there exists $m$ lines $r_1,\dots,r_m$, $n$ lines $s_1,\dots,...
8
votes
2answers
164 views

Convexity of a certain sublevel set

Consider the polynomial of degree $4$ in the variable $r$ : $$ r^4 + (x^2 + y^2)\ r^2 - 2 x y\ r + x^2 y^2 $$ The discriminant of this polynomial in $r$ is the following expression (obtained using ...
8
votes
2answers
446 views

The topology of open semi-algebraic sets (appl.: totally positive matrices)

Let $P_1,\ldots,P_r$ be polynomials over ${\mathbb R}^N$. I am interested in the homotopy type of the semi-algebraic set defined by $$ P_j(x_1,\ldots,x_N)>0,\qquad j=1,\ldots,r . $$ Is there a ...
8
votes
1answer
373 views

Polynomial approximations of curves

This is the 3D version of this question. The responses to that question contained a lot of complaints about fuzzy definition of the problem, so I made this new question very narrow and explicit. For ...
7
votes
3answers
467 views

Real varieties with enough algebraic loops

Let $(X,\sigma)$ be a complex variety with complex conjugation (equivalently, an algebraic variety over $\mathbb R$). We use the notations $X(\mathbb R):=X^\sigma$ for the set of fixed points of $X$ ...
7
votes
1answer
299 views

Geometry of Hermitian rank $\leq r$ matrices

Let $M_n^{sa}$ be the space of $n\times n$ complex Hermitian matrices, let $r < n$, and let $E$ and $F$ be (real) linear subspaces of $M_n$ with ${\rm codim}(E) < r^2$ and ${\rm codim}(F) = 1$. ...
7
votes
1answer
669 views

(Real) algebraic geometry for (real) trigonometric polynomials?

Has somebody developed a comprehensive theory of the algebraic structure of trigonometric polynomials in several variables? If yes, where? Background: By a (real) trigonometric polynomial in $d$-...
7
votes
0answers
139 views

Nearest Point to a real algebraic set

Suppose I have a compact bounded real algebraic (eventually: or analytic or semialgebraic or semianalytic set) $V$ in $\mathbb R^3$ and a point $x\in\mathbb R^3$ not in $V$. How much do we know about ...
6
votes
2answers
803 views

Embeddings and triangulations of real analytic varieties

This is a follow up question to my answer here How do you define the Euler Characteristic of a scheme? A real analytic space is a ringed space locally isomorphic to $(X,O/I)$ where $X$ is the zero ...
6
votes
2answers
689 views

Conditions on coefficients of a homogeneous polynomial of the third degree in three variables over R which allow it to be positive on a positive octant

I am a student of Saint Petersburg State Polytechnical University, chair of Theoretical Mechanics. While looking into stability of ideal crystal lattices (2D and 3D) by means of molecular dynamics I ...
6
votes
2answers
689 views

Maximal number of connected components of complement to an affine plane real algebraic curve

Let $X$ be a (singular, reducible) affine plane real algebraic curve of degree $d$. How we can estimate maximal number of connected components of it's complement in $R^2$ in terms of degree?
6
votes
1answer
484 views

Bound on the sum of arguments

Problem: Show that for all real $s,t,u$ and all complex $z$ with $|z|<1$ one has $$(*)\qquad \arg\frac{1-zf(s-u)}{1-zf(s+u)} +\arg\frac{1-zf(t+u)}{1-zf(t-u)}<\pi, $$ where $f$ is the ...
6
votes
2answers
376 views

orderings of the field R((x, y))

I don't know much about the theory of ordered fields. But I know that, for the real fields $\mathbb{R}(y)$, $\mathbb{R}((x))(y)$, and $\mathbb{R}((x))((y))$, we can explicitly determine all the ...
6
votes
1answer
286 views

Non-negativity of invariant polynomials

Certifying the non-negativity of a symmetric polynomial is much easier than certifying the non-negativity of an arbitrary polynomial function: for instance, in (1) is proved that the complexity of ...
6
votes
1answer
205 views

cell decomposition of real homogeneous hypersurfaces

Let $f(x_1,\ldots,x_n)\in\mathbf{R}[x_1,\ldots,x_n]$ be a homogeneous polynomial and consider the real hypersurface $H=\{(x_1,\ldots,x_n)\in\mathbf{R}^n:f(x_1,\ldots,x_n)=1\}$. Assume to simplify ...
6
votes
0answers
157 views

Zariski closure of orbits of real groups on complex flag manifolds

Let $G$ be a complex reductive algebraic group defined over $\mathbb R$, and $G_0$ its real points. Then the orbits of $G_0$ on $G/B$ need not be real algebraic subvarieties. Take $G=SL_2(\mathbb C)$, ...
6
votes
0answers
66 views

Bounding volume of cell in complement of zero set

I am given an integer polynomial $f \in \mathbb{Z}[X_1, \ldots, X_n]$ of bounded degree and bounded coefficient size. The polynomial's zero set partitions $\mathbb{R}^n$ into cells. What I am looking ...
6
votes
0answers
285 views

Real schubert calculus

Studying real enumerative questions I noticed, that the even-even Schubert varieties of the real Grassmannian $Gr:=Gr_{2k}(2n,\mathbb R)$ behave analogously to the complex case. I call a partition ...
5
votes
1answer
283 views

Locally Closed Orbits in Real Algebraic Geometry

Let $G$ be a real algebraic group, and let $X$ be a real affine $G$-variety. I am looking for conditions on $G$ and $X$ for which the $G$-orbits are known to be locally closed in the Zariski topology ...
5
votes
1answer
261 views

Connected components of the complement of a degree-d affine hypersurface

Let $n$ and $d$ be positive integers, and $f\in\mathbb{R}[x_1,\dots,x_n]$ be a polynomial of degree $d$. Let's consider the zero-set $M = \{x \in \mathbb{R}^n: f(x) = 0\}$ of $f$. Can we estimate ...
5
votes
1answer
302 views

Deciding the convexity of semialgebraic sets

Given a basic closed semialgebraic set, $S \subset \mathbb{R}^n$, defined by $S = \{ x \in \mathbb{R}^n \mid g_1 (x) \geq 0 \land \dots \land g_m (x) \geq 0\}$ where $m \in \mathbb{N}$ and $g_1, \...
5
votes
1answer
212 views

Are there general position results in singular algebraic sets?

Let $X$ be a real algebraic set, and let $Y \subset X$ be its singular set. In this question I'll focus on the analytic topology, so we can just imagine that $X$ is the zero set, in $\mathbb{R}^n$, ...
5
votes
1answer
149 views

Upper bound on the number of convex connected components of the complement of the zero set of a polynomial

The classic Milnor-Thom upper bound on the sum of the Betti numbers of real algebraic sets (for a nice exposition and references, see e.g. N.R. Wallach, On a Theorem of Milnor and Thom, in S. Gindikin ...
5
votes
1answer
195 views

Simple criterion to verify that the real zeros are an irreducible algebraic set

Given an irreducible polynomial $p$, its set of real zeros might be a reducible algebraic set. For example: $p=(x^2-1)^2 +(y^2-1)^2$. Is there a simple sufficient condition on $p$ so that its real ...
5
votes
0answers
162 views

Plane real curves such that their intersections with lines are hyperbolic

Let $R$ be an (irreducible) plane real algebraic curve (without isolated points). Consider Zarissky closure of $R$ in ${\mathbb C}P^1$ (as real variety). Suppose that $\lambda\in R \Rightarrow\...
5
votes
0answers
111 views

moduli in real/semi algebraic geometry

Is there a moduli space in semialgebraic geometry analogous to the Hilbert scheme in algebraic geometry? The sort of thing I am imagining is an object in a category of semischemes: Ordinary schemes ...
5
votes
0answers
185 views

Differential operators that preserve real-rootedness

Is there some description of polynomial differential operators, $\mathcal{D}=\sum f_i(x) D_x^i$ such that, if $h$ is a polynomial all of whose roots are in $[0,1]$, then so are all the roots of $\...
4
votes
1answer
602 views

Exact arithmetic for real algebraic numbers

There was a reply to a question (that I can't find) which mentioned SARAG (Some Algorithms in Real Algebraic Geometry) see http://perso.univ-rennes1.fr/marie-francoise.roy/bpr-ed2-posted2.html. This ...
4
votes
2answers
503 views

Real vs complex surfaces

Hi! My background is in (complex) algebraic geometry. For the first time I'm considering varieties defined over $\mathbb{R}$ and I have some very basic questions about these. In particular I'm trying ...
4
votes
2answers
567 views

intersections of real algebraic sets (a bezout-type question)

This question arose when I was trying to understand the Guth-Katz paper on Erdos distance problem, namely, related to Proof of Lemma 2.9 in http://arxiv.org/abs/1011.4105. The proof of that lemma is ...
4
votes
1answer
286 views

The Universality Theorem by Mnev for uniform oriented matroids of rank 4 and higher

According to the Universality Theorem by Mnev (see below theorem 8.6.6 from [1]), for any open semialgebraic variety V there is a uniform oriented matroid of rank 3 whose realization space is stably ...
4
votes
1answer
285 views

The existential theory of the reals

Some definitions of the existential theory of the reals (ETR) allow a real closed field and some definitions allow only rational numbers as coefficients of polynomials. Which one is correct? Will the ...