The title describes completely the question.

For n=1 it is an easy exercise. For n=2 the statement is still true, and depends on the classification of birational involutions of P^2 (see e.g. http://arxiv.org/abs/math.AG/9907028). For n=3 and above I could not find any useful hint in the literature.

  • $\begingroup$ In the specific case I'm interested in an additional condition is true: the involution is homotopic (through birational automorphism) to an automorphism with a fixed point. I don't know if it helps. $\endgroup$
    – user175348
    Mar 17, 2010 at 12:49
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Maybe I am missing something, but it seems to me that $(x,y)\mapsto(x+1/y,-y)$ is a counterexample. $\endgroup$
    – user2035
    Mar 31, 2010 at 8:31

1 Answer 1


The answer is no. There are plenty of counterexamples, for example the map given by "a-fortiori", which is $(x,y)\mapsto (x+1/y,-y)$, which can be generalised to any dimension.

The good question is probably to look at birational involutions of $\mathbb{P}^n$.


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