Questions tagged [birational-geometry]

Birational geometry is a field of algebraic geometry the goal of which is to determine when two algebraic varieties are isomorphic outside lower-dimensional subsets. This amounts to studying mappings that are given by rational functions rather than polynomials; the map may fail to be defined where the rational functions have poles.

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Surfaces in $\mathbb{P}^3$ with isolated singularities

It is classically known that every smooth, complex, projective surface $S$ is birational to a surface $S' \subset \mathbb{P}^3$ having only ordinary singularities, i.e. a curve $C$ of double points, ...
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Birational invariants and fundamental groups

In pondering this MO question and people's efforts to answer it, and recalling also something that I learned in my youth about using Morse theory ideas to prove some results of Lefschetz in the ...
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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 ...
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What is known about the birational involutions of P^3?

Describing the group of birational automorphisms of $\mathbb{P}^n$, $\mbox{Bir}(\mathbb{P}^n)$, for $n\ge 3$ is a fundamental open problem in birational geometry. For $n=2$, the classical theorem of ...
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Contracting divisors to a point

This is quite possibly a stupid question, but it is pretty far from what I normally do, so I wouldn't even know where to look it up. If $X$ is a projective variety over an algebraically closed field ...
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Generalization of the rigidity lemma in birational geometry

Let $X,Y,Z$ be projective varieties, and let $f:X\rightarrow Y$, $g:X\rightarrow Z$ be dominant morphisms. Assume that all the fibers of $g$ have the same dimension and are connected. If there exists ...
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Applications of derived categories to “Traditional Algebraic Geometry”

I would like to know how derived categories (in particular, derived categories of coherent sheaves) can give results about "Traditional Algebraic Geometry". I am mostly interested in classical ...
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The Order of Approximation of a Rational Map

Essentially, I am looking for a definition, which makes this a tricky question. Consider a rational map $\phi: X \dashrightarrow \Bbb P^m$ of complex irreducible projective varieties. I want to ...
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Birational automorphisms of varieties of Picard number one

Let $X$ be a smooth projective variety of Picard number one, and let $f:X\dashrightarrow X$ be a birational automorphism which is not an automorphism. Must $f$ necessarily contract a divisor?
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If $X\times X$ is rational, must $X$ also be rational?

Is there an example of a smooth projective variety $X$ such that $X$ is irrational, but $X\times X$ is rational? For instance, is $X\times X$ irrational for a smooth cubic threefold $X$?
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Degree of secant varieties of Veronese varieties

Consider the degree two Veronese embedding $\mathbb{P}^n\rightarrow\mathbb{P}^N$ and let $V^n_{2}\subset\mathbb{P}^N$ be the corresponding Veronese variety. Let $Sec_k(V^n_{2})\subseteq\mathbb{P}^N$ ...
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is the Hodge conjecture birationally invariant?

Let $X$ and $Y$ be two birational smooth projective varieties over the complex numbers. Assume $X$ satisfies the Hodge conjecture. Is it known that the Hodge conjecture holds for $Y$?
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Training towards research on birational geometry/minimal model program

Being a not yet enrolled independently supervised graduate student in mathematics, with prospects of applying to American graduate schools hopefully in a 1-2 years' time, I have a background of having ...
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Relative canonical divisors

Suppose that $X$ is a Gorenstein variety and that $\pi : Y \to X$ is a birational map of varieties with normal $Y$. In this case the relative canonical divisor is defined to be $K_Y - \pi^*K_X$ (if ...
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When does $Aut(X)=Bir(X)$ hold?

Let $X$ be a projective complex manifold. Under what condition do we have the equality $Aut(X)=Bir(X)$? Here $Aut(X)$ denotes the group of holomorphic automorphisms of $X$ and $Bir(X)$ the group of ...
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Blowups of Cohen-Macaulay varieties

Suppose that $X$ is a Cohen-Macaulay normal scheme/variety and $\pi : Y \to X$ is a proper birational map with $Y$ normal. Question: Is $Y$ also Cohen-Macaulay? Are there common conditions which ...
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Rationality of GIT quotients

I recently worked through most of the proof of the rationality of the moduli of genus 3 curves, which seemed to have the following structure: Every nonhyperelliptic genus 3 curve is a smooth plane ...
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birational geometry of moduli spaces: why work on the coarse space?

In studying the birational geometry of $\overline{\mathcal{M}}_g$, it seems standard to work with the coarse space $\overline{M}_g$ rather than the smooth stack $\overline{\mathcal{M}}_g$. Why is this?...
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Curves on rational surfaces and Lang's conjecture for M_g

There are a group of related conjectures associated to Lang's name - for this question I'll consider only the weakest one, namely that rational curves in a projective variety of general type are not ...
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Is the Euler characteristic a birational invariant

Suppose that $X$ and $Y$ are smooth projective varieties which are birationally equivalent. I would like to have that $$\textrm{deg} \ \textrm{td}(X) = \textrm{deg} \ \textrm{td}(Y).$$ Invoking the ...
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Minimal model which is necessarily singular

I was told during a summer school on the MMP a nice example (which I have also mentioned here on MO) that I'm not able to figure out anymore. The example (due, I think, to Miles Reid) is a smooth ...
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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 $X = Bl_{p_1,...,p_{n-1}}\mathbb{P}^{n-3}$. ...
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Why is the standard flop a flop?

I have seen at least two ways to define flops (and similarly flips). We start with $Y \to X$, a surjective birational morphism, contracting a locus of codimension at least 2, such that $K_Y$ is ...
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Geometrically unirational varieties that are not unirational

By a variety over a field $k$, I mean a scheme that is separated and of finite type over $k$. I indicate changes of the base ring by subscripts. Does there exist a smooth and projective variety $V$ ...
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Is the Hasse principle a birational invariant?

Is the Hasse principle a birational invariant? It is probably a very trivial question, but I am a beginner in arithmetics.
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Extending birational isomorphisms between planar curves to the P^2

Let $k$ be a field and let $C,D$ be two integral curves in $\mathbb{P}^2_k$. Now let $f:C \to D$ be a birational isomorphism. Can $f$ be extended to $\mathbb{P}^2_k$. To be precise, does there exist a ...
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Are stably rational surfaces all rational?

Let $X$ be an irreducible surface such that $X \times \mathbb{P}^1$ is rational. Is it true that $X$ is rational? If the field is not algebraically closed, the answer is no in general (see A. ...
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Birational automorphisms of canonical models

Let $X$ be a variety with canonical singularities such that $K_X$ is ample. Do you have a reference of the fact that every birational map from $X$ to itself is biregular? Thank you
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Let $\mathcal{Q}$ be an irreducible quadric in $\mathbb{P}^n(k)$, with $n \geq 2$ and $k$ a finite field. Let $K_0(V_k)$ be the Grothendieck ring of $k$-varieties. It is well known (it appears) that ...
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$K_0$-equivalence of varieties

Let $k$ be an algebraically closed field of characteristic zero. Let $A$ be the $\mathbf{Z}$-subalgebra of the Grothendieck ring of $k$-varieties $K_0(\text{Var}_k)$ generated by classes of semi-...
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A property of varieties between unirational and retract rational

EDIT: The vague question Q1 below is partially answered, while the concrete question Q2 seems to be still open. Let $V$ be a geometrically integral variety over a field $K$. I consider the following ...
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Conditions for the contractibility of subvarieties

One often finds statements of the sort "and one can contract this subvariety $E\subset X$ to a point in the projective variety $W$," without any explanation of the reasons such a contraction exists, ...
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Is the $\hat{A}$-genus invariant under crepant birational maps between smooth algebraic varieties?

The degree of the Todd class of the tangent bundle of a variety $Y$ gives the holomorphic genus of $Y$, which is a birational invariant. We also know that the $\hat{A}$-roof of a smooth variety $Y$ ...
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Letters of a bi-rationalist

V.V. Shokurov has written several papers over the course of about 10 years which are called "Letters of a bi-rationalist". Here are the ones that I could find: Letters of a bi-rationalist. I. A ...
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Reference request: birational automorphism group is finite

I am interested in having a look at the proof of the following fact: If $X$ is a smooth variety of general type, then $\mathrm{Aut(X)}$ is finite. I know that this is proved in "On algebraic groups ...
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Reference request on birational invariance of Chow group of zero cycles of degree zero

Let $CH_0(X)^0$ denote the group of zero cycles of degree zero modulo rational equivalence. I am looking for a reference for the following fact: If $X$ and $Y$ are smooth and projective varieties ...
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Liftable rational varieties

Is there an example of a rational smooth projective variety over a perfect field of characteristic $p$, that is not liftable to characteristic zero?
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How much can small modifications change the nef cone?

First let me give a precise formulation of the question; I'll give some background/motivation at the end. If X is a projective variety which is Q-factorial (meaning X is normal, and some sufficiently ...
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Rationality of moduli spaces of rational curves

Let $\overline{M}_{0,n}$ be the moduli space of Deligne-Mumford stable pointed rational curves, and let us consider the quotient $\widetilde{M}_{0,n} = \overline{M}_{0,n}/S_n$. Clearly, there is a ...
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Schemes as a model category

I'm just learning some basics of model categories, so please forgive me if my question turns out to be trivial. I hope it does at least make sense. A natural temptation is to relate this machinery to ...
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Is the number of minimal models finite

Let $X$ be a variety of general type. Assume that $\dim X = 3$. In https://eudml.org/doc/164223 it is proven that $X$ has only finitely many minimal models (i.e., only $\mathbb Q$-factorial terminal ...
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Dimension-specific phenomena in algebraic geometry

In differential topology, there are some funny phenomena that can only happen in dimension 4. For example, only in dimension 4 you can have a closed topological manifold admitting infinitely many ...
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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 ...
Let $G$ be a finite group, and let $V$ be a faithful representation of $G$. The Noether problem asks whether $V/G$ is rational (stably rational, retract rational) or not. To construct ...
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 ...