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05/09/2012

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THE HODGE CONJECTURE
PIERRE DELIGNE
1.
Statement
We recall that a pseudo complex structure on a
-manifold
of dimension2
is a
C
-module structure on the tangent bundle
X
. Such a module structureinduces an action of the group
C
on
X
, with
λ
C
acting by multiplicationby
λ
. By transport of structures, the group
C
acts also on each exterior power
n
X
, as well as on the complexiﬁed dual Ω
n
:=
H
om(
n
X
,
C
). For
p
+
q
=
n
, a(
p,q
)
-form
is a section of Ω
n
on which
λ
C
acts by multiplication by
λ
p
¯
λ
q
.From now on, we assume
complex analytic. A (
p,q
)-form is then a form which,in local holomorphic coordinates, can be written as
a
i
1
,...,i
p
,j
1
...j
q
dz
i
1
···
dz
i
p
d
¯
z
j
1
···
d
¯
z
j
q
,
and the decomposition Ω
n
=
p,q
induces a decomposition
d
=
d
+
d

of theexterior diﬀerential, with
d
(resp.
d

) of degree (1
,
0) (resp. (0
,
1)).If
is compact and admits a K¨ahler metric, for instance if
is a projectivenon-singular algebraic variety, this action of
C
on forms induces an action oncohomology. More precisely,
n
(
X,
C
) is the space of closed
n
-forms modulo exactforms, and if we deﬁne
p,q
to be the space of closed (
p,q
)-forms modulo the
d
d

of (
p
1
,q
1)-forms, the natural map(1)
p
+
q
=
n
p,q
n
(
X,
C
)is an isomorphism. If we choose a K¨ahler structure on
, one can give the followinginterpretation to the decomposition (1) of
n
(
X,
C
): the action of
C
on formscommutes with the Laplace operator, hence induces an action of
C
on the space
H
n
of harmonic
n
-forms. We have
H
n
n
(
X,
C
) and
p,q
identiﬁes with thespace of harmonic (
p,q
)-forms.When
moves in a holomorphic family, the
Hodge ﬁltration
p
:=
a
p
a,n
a
of
n
(
X,
C
) is better behaved than the Hodge decomposition. Locally on the pa-rameter space
,
n
(
t
,
C
) is independent of
t
and the Hodge ﬁltration canbe viewed as a variable ﬁltration
(
t
) on a ﬁxed vector space. It varies holomorphi-cally with
t
, and obeys Griﬃths transversality: at ﬁrst order around
t
0
,
p
(
t
)remains in
p
1
(
t
0
).So far, we have computed cohomology using
forms. We could as well haveused forms with generalized functions coeﬃcients, that is, currents. The resultinggroups
n
(
X,
C
) and
p,q
are the same. If
is a closed analytic subspace of
,of complex codimension
p
,
is an integral cycle and, by Poincar´e duality, deﬁnesa class cl(
) in
2
p
(
X,
Z
). The integration current on
is a closed (
p,p
)-formwith generalized function coeﬃcients, representing the image of cl(
) in
2
p
(
X,
C
).
1

2 PIERRE DELIGNE
The class cl(
) in
2
p
(
X,
Z
) is hence of type (
p,p
), in the sense that its image in
2
p
(
X,
C
) is. Rational (
p,p
)-classes are called
Hodge classes
. They form the group
2
p
(
X,
Q
)
p,p
(
) =
2
p
(
X,
Q
)
p
2
p
(
X,
C
)
.
In [6], Hodge posed the
Hodge Conjecture.
On a projective non-singular algebraic variety over
C
, any Hodge class is a rational linear combination of classes
cl(
)
of algebraic cycles.
2.
Remarks
(i) By Chow’s theorem, on a complex projective variety, algebraic cycles are thesame as closed analytic subspaces.(ii) On a projective non-singular variety
over
C
, the group of integral linearcombinations of classes cl(
) of algebraic cycles coincides with the group of inte-gral linear combinations of products of Chern classes of algebraic (equivalently byGAGA: analytic) vector bundles. To express cl(
) in terms of Chern classes, oneresolves the structural sheaf
O
Z
by a ﬁnite complex of vector bundles. That Chernclasses are algebraic cycles holds, basically, because vector bundles have plenty of meromorphic sections.(iii) A particular case of (ii) is that the integral linear combinations of classes of divisors (= codimension 1 cycles) are simply the ﬁrst Chern classes of line bundles.If
+
is the divisor of a meromorphic section of
L
,
c
1
(
L
) = cl(
+
)
cl(
).This is the starting point of the proof given by Kodaira and Spencer [7] of theHodge conjecture for
2
: a class
c
2
(
X,
Z
) of type (1
,
1) has image 0 in thequotient
0
,
2
=
2
(
X,
O
) of
2
(
X,
C
), and the long exact sequence of cohomologydeﬁned by the exponential exact sequence0
−−−−→
Z
−−−−→
O
exp(2
πi
)
−−−−−−−→
O
−−−−→
0shows that
c
is the ﬁrst Chern class of a line bundle.(iv) The relation between algebraic cycles and algebraic vector bundles is also thebasis of the Atiyah and Hirzebruch theorem [2] that the Hodge conjecture cannothold integrally. In the Atiyah–Hirzebruch spectral sequence from cohomology totopological
-theory,
pq
2
=
p
(
X,
q
(
t
)) =
p
+
q
(
);the resulting ﬁltration of
n
(
) is by the
p
n
(
) = Ker(
n
(
)
n
((
p
1)-skeleton, in any triangulation))
.
Equivalently, a class
c
is in
p
if for some topological subspace
of codimension
p
,
c
is the image of a class ˜
c
with support in
. If
is an algebraic cycle of codimension
p
, a resolution of
O
Z
deﬁnes a
-theory class with support in
:
c
Z
0
(
X,
).Its image in
p
0
(
) agrees with the class of
in
2
p
(
X,
Z
). The latter hence isin the kernel of the successive diﬀerentials
d
r
of the spectral sequence.No counterexample is known to the statement that integral (
p,p
) classes killedby all
d
r
are integral linear combinations of classes cl(
). One has no idea of whichclasses should be eﬀective, that is, of the form cl(
), rather than a diﬀerence of such.On a Stein manifold
, any topological complex vector bundle can be given aholomorphic structure and, at least for
of the homotopy type of a ﬁnite CW

THE HODGE CONJECTURE 3
complex, it follows that any class in
2
p
(
X,
Z
) in the kernel of all
d
r
is a
Z
-linearcombination of classes of analytic cycles.(v) The assumption in the Hodge conjecture that
be algebraic cannot be weak-ened to
being merely K¨ahler. See Zucker’s appendix to [11] for counterexampleswhere
is a complex torus.(vi) When Hodge formulated his conjecture, he had not realized it could hold onlyrationally (i.e. after tensoring with
Q
). He also proposed a further conjecture,characterizing the subspace of
n
(
X,
Z
) spanned by the images of cohomologyclasses with support in a suitable closed analytic subspace of complex codimension
k
. Grothendieck observed that this further conjecture is trivially false, and gave acorrected version of it in [5].3.
The Intermediate Jacobian
The cohomology class of an algebraic cycle
of codimension
p
has a natural liftto a group
p
(
), extension of the group of classes of type (
p,p
) in
2
p
(
X,
Z
) bythe
intermediate jacobian
p
(
)
0
:=
2
p
1
(
X,
Z
)
\
2
p
1
(
X,
C
)
/F
p
.
This expresses that the class can be given an integral description (in singular co-homology), as well as an analytic one, as a closed (
p,p
) current, giving a hyperco-homology class in
H
2
p
of the subcomplex
p
hol
:= (0
→ ··· →
0
p
hol
···
)of the holomorphic de Rham complex, with an understanding at the cocycle levelof why the two agree in
2
p
(
X,
C
). ‘Understanding’ means a cochain in a complexcomputing
(
X,
C
), whose coboundary is the diﬀerence between cocycles comingfrom the integral, resp. analytic, constructions. Indeed,
p
(
) is the hypercoho-mology
H
2
p
of the homotopy kernel of the diﬀerence map
Z
p
hol
.In general, using that all algebraic cycles on
ﬁt in a denumerable numberof algebraic families, one checks that the subgroup
A
p
(
) of
p
(
) generated byalgebraic cycles is the extension of a denumerable group by its connected component
A
0
p
(
), and that for some sub-Hodge structure
alg
of type
{
(
p
1
,p
)
,
(
p,p
1)
}
of
2
p
1
(
),
A
0
p
(
) is
alg
Z
\
alg
C
/F
p
. ‘Sub-Hodge structure’ means the subgroupof the integral lattice whose complexiﬁcation is the sum of its intersections with the
a,b
. The Hodge conjecture (applied to the product of
and a suitable abelianvariety) predicts that
alg
is the largest sub-Hodge structure of
2
p
1
(
) of type
{
(
p
1
,p
)(
p,p
1)
}
.No conjecture is available to predict what subgroup of
p
(
) the group
A
p
(
) is.Cases are known where
A
p
(
)
/A
0
p
(
) is of inﬁnite rank. See, for instance, the paper[9] and the references it contains. This has made generally inapplicable the methodsintroduced by Griﬃths (see, for instance, Zucker [11]) to prove the Hodge conjectureby induction on the dimension of
, using a Lefschetz pencil of hyperplane sectionsof
. Indeed, the method requires not just the Hodge conjecture for the hyperplanesections
, but that all of
p
(
) comes from algebraic cycles.4.
Detecting Hodge Classes
Let (
s
)
s
S
be an algebraic family of projective non-singular algebraic varieties:the ﬁbers of a projective and smooth map
:
. We assume it is deﬁned overthe algebraic closure¯
Q
of
Q
in
C
. No algorithm is known to decide whether a given