Algebraic Geometry

J.S. Milne
Version 5.10
March 19, 2008
These notes are an introduction to the theory of algebraic varieties. In contrast to most
such accounts they study abstract algebraic varieties, and not just subvarieties of affine and
projective space. This approach leads more naturally into scheme theory.
BibTeX information
@misc{milneAG,
author={Milne, James S.},
title={Algebraic Geometry (v5.10)},
year={2008},
note={Available at www.jmilne.org/math/},
pages={235+vi}
}
v2.01 (August 24, 1996). First version on the web.
v3.01 (June 13, 1998).
v4.00 (October 30, 2003). Fixed errors; many minor revisions; added exercises; added two
sections/chapters; 206 pages.
v5.00 (February 20, 2005). Heavily revised; most numbering changed; 227 pages.
v5.10 (March 19, 2008). Minor fixes; TeX style changed, so page numbers changed; 241
pages.
Available at www.jmilne.org/math/
Please send comments and corrections to me at the address on my web page.
The photograph is of Lake Sylvan, New Zealand.
Copyright c ( 1996, 1998, 2003, 2005, 2008 J.S. Milne.
Single paper copies for noncommercial personal use may be made without explicit permis-
sion from the copyright holder.
Contents
Contents iii
Notations vi; Prerequisites vi; References vi; Acknowledgements vi
Introduction 1
1 Preliminaries 4
Algebras 4; Ideals 4; Noetherian rings 6; Unique factorization 8; Polynomial rings 11;
Integrality 11; Direct limits (summary) 14; Rings of fractions 15; Tensor Products 18;
Categories and functors 21; Algorithms for polynomials 23; Exercises 29
2 Algebraic Sets 30
Definition of an algebraic set 30; The Hilbert basis theorem 31; The Zariski topology 32;
The Hilbert Nullstellensatz 33; The correspondence between algebraic sets and ideals 34;
Finding the radical of an ideal 37; The Zariski topology on an algebraic set 37; The coor-
dinate ring of an algebraic set 38; Irreducible algebraic sets 39; Dimension 41; Exercises
44
3 Affine Algebraic Varieties 45
Ringed spaces 45; The ringed space structure on an algebraic set 46; Morphisms of ringed
spaces 50; Affine algebraic varieties 50; The category of affine algebraic varieties 51;
Explicit description of morphisms of affine varieties 52; Subvarieties 55; Properties of the
regular map defined by specm(˛) 56; Affine space without coordinates 57; Exercises 58
4 Algebraic Varieties 59
Algebraic prevarieties 59; Regular maps 60; Algebraic varieties 61; Maps fromvarieties to
affine varieties 62; Subvarieties 63; Prevarieties obtained by patching 64; Products of vari-
eties 64; The separation axiom revisited 69; Fibred products 72; Dimension 73; Birational
equivalence 74; Dominating maps 75; Algebraic varieties as a functors 75; Exercises 77
5 Local Study 78
Tangent spaces to plane curves 78; Tangent cones to plane curves 80; The local ring at a
point on a curve 80; Tangent spaces of subvarieties of A
n
81; The differential of a regular
map 83; Etale maps 84; Intrinsic definition of the tangent space 86; Nonsingular points 89;
Nonsingularity and regularity 90; Nonsingularity and normality 91; Etale neighbourhoods
92; Smooth maps 94; Dual numbers and derivations 95; Tangent cones 98; Exercises 100
6 Projective Varieties 101
iii
Algebraic subsets of P
n
101; The Zariski topology on P
n
104; Closed subsets of A
n
and
P
n
105; The hyperplane at infinity 105; P
n
is an algebraic variety 106; The homogeneous
coordinate ring of a subvariety of P
n
108; Regular functions on a projective variety 109;
Morphisms from projective varieties 110; Examples of regular maps of projective vari-
eties 111; Projective space without coordinates 116; Grassmann varieties 116; Bezout’s
theorem 120; Hilbert polynomials (sketch) 121; Exercises 122
7 Complete varieties 123
Definition and basic properties 123; Projective varieties are complete 125; Elimination
theory 126; The rigidity theorem 128; Theorems of Chow 129; Nagata’s Embedding The-
orem 130; Exercises 130
8 Finite Maps 131
Definition and basic properties 131; Noether Normalization Theorem 135; Zariski’s main
theorem 136; The base change of a finite map 138; Proper maps 138; Exercises 139
9 Dimension Theory 141
Affine varieties 141; Projective varieties 148
10 Regular Maps and Their Fibres 150
Constructible sets 150; Orbits of group actions 153; The fibres of morphisms 155; The
fibres of finite maps 157; Flat maps 159; Lines on surfaces 159; Stein factorization 165;
Exercises 165
11 Algebraic spaces; geometry over an arbitray field 167
Preliminaries 167; Affine algebraic spaces 170; Affine algebraic varieties. 171; Algebraic
spaces; algebraic varieties. 172; Local study 177; Projective varieties. 179; Complete
varieties. 179; Normal varieties; Finite maps. 179; Dimension theory 179; Regular maps
and their fibres 179; Algebraic groups 179; Exercises 180
12 Divisors and Intersection Theory 181
Divisors 181; Intersection theory. 182; Exercises 187
13 Coherent Sheaves; Invertible Sheaves 188
Coherent sheaves 188; Invertible sheaves. 190; Invertible sheaves and divisors. 191; Direct
images and inverse images of coherent sheaves. 193; Principal bundles 193
14 Differentials (Outline) 194
15 Algebraic Varieties over the Complex Numbers 196
16 Descent Theory 199
Models 199; Fixed fields 199; Descending subspaces of vector spaces 200; Descending
subvarieties and morphisms 201; Galois descent of vector spaces 202; Descent data 204;
Galois descent of varieties 207; Weil restriction 208; Generic fibres 208; Rigid descent
209; Weil’s descent theorems 211; Restatement in terms of group actions 213; Faithfully
flat descent 215
17 Lefschetz Pencils (Outline) 218
Definition 218
iv
18 Algebraic Schemes and Algebraic Spaces 221
A Solutions to the exercises 222
B Annotated Bibliography 229
Index 232
v
Notations
We use the standard (Bourbaki) notations: N = {0. 1. 2. . . .], Z = ring of integers, 1 =
field of real numbers, C =field of complex numbers, F
;
= Z¡]Z =field of ] elements, ]
a prime number. Given an equivalence relation, Œ+| denotes the equivalence class containing
+. A family of elements of a set · indexed by a second set 1, denoted (a
i
)
i÷J
, is a function
i ÷a
i
: 1 ÷·.
A field k is said to be separably closed if it has no finite separable extensions of degree
> 1. We use k
sep
and k
al
to denote separable and algebraic closures of k respectively.
All rings will be commutative with 1, and homomorphisms of rings are required to map
1 to 1. A k-algebra is a ring · together with a homomorphism k ÷·. For a ring ·, ·
×
is
the group of units in ·:
·
×
= {a ÷ · [ there exists a b ÷ · such that ab = 1].
We use Gothic (fraktur) letters for ideals:
a b c m n p q A B C M N P Q
a b c m n ] q · T C M N 1 O
X
df
= Y X is defined to be Y , or equals Y by definition;
X c Y X is a subset of Y (not necessarily proper, i.e., X may equal Y );
X ~ Y X and Y are isomorphic;
X . Y X and Y are canonically isomorphic (or there is a given or unique isomorphism).
Prerequisites
The reader is assumed to be familiar with the basic objects of algebra, namely, rings, mod-
ules, fields, and so on, and with transcendental extensions of fields (FT, Section 8).
References
Atiyah and MacDonald 1969: Introduction to Commutative Algebra, Addison-Wesley.
Cox et al. 1992: Varieties, and Algorithms, Springer.
FT: Milne, J.S., Fields and Galois Theory, v4.20, 2008 (www.jmilne.org/math/).
Hartshorne 1977: Algebraic Geometry, Springer.
Mumford 1999: The Red Book of Varieties and Schemes, Springer.
Shafarevich 1994: Basic Algebraic Geometry, Springer.
For other references, see the annotated bibliography at the end.
Acknowledgements
I thank the following for providing corrections and comments on earlier versions of these
notes: Sandeep Chellapilla, Umesh V. Dubey, Shalom Feigelstock, B.J. Franklin, Daniel
Gerig, Guido Helmers, Jasper Loy Jiabao, Sean Rostami, David Rufino, Tom Savage,
Nguyen Quoc Thang, Dennis Bouke Westra, and others.
vi
Introduction
Just as the starting point of linear algebra is the study of the solutions of systems of linear
equations,
n
¸
}=1
a
i}
X
}
= b
i
. i = 1. . . . . m. (1)
the starting point for algebraic geometry is the study of the solutions of systems of polyno-
mial equations,
}
i
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) = 0. i = 1. . . . . m. }
i
÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|.
Note immediately one difference between linear equations and polynomial equations: the-
orems for linear equations don’t depend on which field k you are working over,
1
but those
for polynomial equations depend on whether or not k is algebraically closed and (to a lesser
extent) whether k has characteristic zero.
A better description of algebraic geometry is that it is the study of polynomial functions
and the spaces on which they are defined (algebraic varieties), just as topology is the study
of continuous functions and the spaces on which they are defined (topological spaces),
differential topology the study of infinitely differentiable functions and the spaces on which
they are defined (differentiable manifolds), and so on:
algebraic geometry regular (polynomial) functions algebraic varieties
topology continuous functions topological spaces
differential topology differentiable functions differentiable manifolds
complex analysis analytic (power series) functions complex manifolds.
The approach adopted in this course makes plain the similarities between these different
areas of mathematics. Of course, the polynomial functions form a much less rich class than
the others, but by restricting our study to polynomials we are able to do calculus over any
field: we simply define
J
JX
¸
a
i
X
i
=
¸
i a
i
X
i-1
.
Moreover, calculations (on a computer) with polynomials are easier than with more general
functions.
1
For example, suppose that the system (1) has coefficients a
i}
÷ k and that 1 is a field containing k. Then
(1) has a solution in k
n
if and only if it has a solution in 1
n
, and the dimension of the space of solutions is the
same for both fields. (Exercise!)
1
2 INTRODUCTION
Consider a nonzero differentiable function }(.. .. :). In calculus, we learn that the
equation
}(.. .. :) = C (2)
defines a surface S in 1
3
, and that the tangent plane to S at a point 1 = (a. b. c) has
equation
2

d}
d.

1
(. ÷ a) ÷

d}
d.

1
(. ÷ b) ÷

d}
d:

1
(: ÷ c) = 0. (3)
The inverse function theorem says that a differentiable map ˛: S ÷S
t
of surfaces is a local
isomorphism at a point 1 ÷ S if it maps the tangent plane at 1 isomorphically onto the
tangent plane at 1
t
= ˛(1).
Consider a nonzero polynomial }(.. .. :) with coefficients in a field k. In this course,
we shall learn that the equation (2) defines a surface in k
3
, and we shall use the equation
(3) to define the tangent space at a point 1 on the surface. However, and this is one of the
essential differences between algebraic geometry and the other fields, the inverse function
theorem doesn’t hold in algebraic geometry. One other essential difference is that 1¡X is
not the derivative of any rational function of X, and nor is X
n;-1
in characteristic ] = 0
— these functions can not be integrated in the ring of polynomial functions.
The first ten chapters of the notes form a basic course on algebraic geometry. In these
chapters we generally assume that the ground field is algebraically closed in order to be
able to concentrate on the geometry. The remaining chapters treat more advanced topics,
and are largely independent of one another except that chapter 11 should be read first.
The approach to algebraic geometry taken in these notes
In differential geometry it is important to define differentiable manifolds abstractly, i.e., not
as submanifolds of some Euclidean space. For example, it is difficult even to make sense
of a statement such as “the Gauss curvature of a surface is intrinsic to the surface but the
principal curvatures are not” without the abstract notion of a surface.
Until the mid 1940s, algebraic geometry was concerned only with algebraic subvarieties
of affine or projective space over algebraically closed fields. Then, in order to give substance
to his proof of the congruence Riemann hypothesis for curves an abelian varieties, Weil
was forced to develop a theory of algebraic geometry for “abstract” algebraic varieties over
arbitrary fields,
3
but his “foundations” are unsatisfactory in two major respects:
˘ Lacking a topology, his method of patching together affine varieties to form abstract
varieties is clumsy.
˘ His definition of a variety over a base field k is not intrinsic; specifically, he fixes
some large “universal” algebraically closed field ˝ and defines an algebraic variety
over k to be an algebraic variety over ˝ with a k-structure.
In the ensuing years, several attempts were made to resolve these difficulties. In 1955,
Serre resolved the first by borrowing ideas from complex analysis and defining an algebraic
variety over an algebraically closed field to be a topological space with a sheaf of functions
2
Think of S as a level surface for the function } , and note that the equation is that of a plane through
(a. b. c) perpendicular to the gradient vector (} )
1
of } at 1.
3
Weil, Andr´ e. Foundations of algebraic geometry. American Mathematical Society, Providence, R.I. 1946.
3
that is locally affine.
4
Then, in the late 1950s Grothendieck resolved all such difficulties by
introducing his theory of schemes.
In these notes, we follow Grothendieck except that, by working only over a base field,
we are able to simplify his language by considering only the closed points in the underlying
topological spaces. In this way, we hope to provide a bridge between the intuition given by
differential geometry and the abstractions of scheme theory.
4
Serre, Jean-Pierre. Faisceaux alg´ ebriques coh´ erents. Ann. of Math. (2) 61, (1955). 197–278.
Chapter 1
Preliminaries
In this chapter, we review some definitions and basic results in commutative algebra and
category theory, and we derive some algorithms for working in polynomial rings.
Algebras
Let · be a ring. An ·-algebra is a ring T together with a homomorphism i
B
: · ÷ T. A
homomorphism of ·-algebras T ÷ C is a homomorphism of rings c: T ÷ C such that
c(i
B
(a)) = i
C
(a) for all a ÷ ·.
Elements .
1
. . . . . .
n
of an ·-algebra T are said to generate it if every element of T can
be expressed as a polynomial in the .
i
with coefficients in i
B
(·), i.e., if the homomorphism
of ·-algebras ·ŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| ÷ T sending X
i
to .
i
is surjective. We then write T =
(i
B
·)Œ.
1
. . . . . .
n
|. An ·-algebra T is said to be finitely generated (or of finite-type over
·) if it is generated by a finite set of elements.
A ring homomorphism · ÷ T is finite, and T is a finite
1
·-algebra, if T is finitely
generated as an ·-module.
Let k be a field, and let ·be a k-algebra. When 1 = 0 in ·, the map k ÷·is injective,
and we can identify k with its image, i.e., we can regard k as a subring of ·. When 1 = 0
in a ring ·, then · is the zero ring, i.e., · = {0].
Let ·ŒX| be the polynomial ring in the symbol X with coefficients in ·. If · is an
integral domain, then deg(}g) = deg(} ) ÷ deg(g), and it follows that ·ŒX| is also an
integral domain; moreover, ·ŒX|
×
= ·
×
.
Ideals
Let · be a ring. A subring of · is a subset containing 1 that is closed under addition,
multiplication, and the formation of negatives. An ideal a in · is a subset such that
(a) a is a subgroup of · regarded as a group under addition;
(b) a ÷ a, r ÷ · =ra ÷ a.
The ideal generated by a subset S of · is the intersection of all ideals a containing ·
— it is easy to verify that this is in fact an ideal, and that it consists of all finite sums of the
1
The term “module-finite” is also used.
4
IDEALS 5
form
¸
r
i
s
i
with r
i
÷ ·, s
i
÷ S. When S = {s
1
. s
2
. . . .], we shall write (s
1
. s
2
. . . .) for
the ideal it generates.
Let a and b be ideals in ·. The set {a ÷b [ a ÷ a. b ÷ b] is an ideal, denoted by a ÷b.
The ideal generated by {ab [ a ÷ a. b ÷ b] is denoted by ab. Clearly ab consists of all
finite sums
¸
a
i
b
i
with a
i
÷ a and b
i
÷ b, and if a = (a
1
. . . . . a
n
) and b = (b
1
. . . . . b
n
),
then ab = (a
1
b
1
. . . . . a
i
b
}
. . . . . a
n
b
n
). Note that ab c a ¨ b.
Let a be an ideal of ·. The set of cosets of a in · forms a ring ·¡a, and a ÷ a ÷ a
is a homomorphism c: · ÷ ·¡a. The map b ÷ c
-1
(b) is a one-to-one correspondence
between the ideals of ·¡a and the ideals of · containing a.
An ideal p is prime if p = · and ab ÷ p =a ÷ p or b ÷ p. Thus p is prime if and only
if ·¡p is nonzero and has the property that
ab = 0. b = 0 =a = 0.
i.e., ·¡p is an integral domain.
An ideal m is maximal if m = · and there does not exist an ideal n contained strictly
between m and ·. Thus m is maximal if and only if ·¡m is nonzero and has no proper
nonzero ideals, and so is a field. Note that
m maximal == m prime.
The ideals of · × T are all of the form a × b with a and b ideals in · and T. To see
this, note that if c is an ideal in · × T and (a. b) ÷ c, then (a. 0) = (1. 0)(a. b) ÷ c and
(0. b) = (0. 1)(a. b) ÷ c. Therefore, c = a × b with
a = {a [ (a. 0) ÷ c]. b = {b [ (0. b) ÷ c].
THEOREM 1.1 (CHINESE REMAINDER THEOREM). Let a
1
. . . . . a
n
be ideals in a ring ·.
If a
i
is coprime to a
}
(i.e., a
i
÷a
}
= ·) whenever i = ; , then the map
· ÷·¡a
1
× × ·¡a
n
(4)
is surjective, with kernel
¸
a
i
=
¸
a
i
.
PROOF. Suppose first that n = 2. As a
1
÷a
2
= ·, there exist a
i
÷ a
i
such that a
1
÷a
2
=
1. Then . = a
1
.
2
÷ a
2
.
1
maps to (.
1
mod a
1
. .
2
mod a
2
), which shows that (4) is
surjective.
For each i , there exist elements a
i
÷ a
1
and b
i
÷ a
i
such that
a
i
÷b
i
= 1, all i _ 2.
The product
¸
i_2
(a
i
÷b
i
) = 1, and lies in a
1
÷
¸
i_2
a
i
, and so
a
1
÷
¸
i_2
a
i
= ·.
We can now apply the theorem in the case n = 2 to obtain an element .
1
of · such that
.
1
÷ 1 mod a
1
. .
1
÷ 0 mod
¸
i_2
a
i
.
6 CHAPTER 1. PRELIMINARIES
These conditions imply
.
1
÷ 1 mod a
1
. .
1
÷ 0 mod a
}
, all ; > 1.
Similarly, there exist elements .
2
. .... .
n
such that
.
i
÷ 1 mod a
i
. .
i
÷ 0 mod a
}
for ; = i.
The element . =
¸
.
i
.
i
maps to (.
1
mod a
1
. . . . . .
n
mod a
n
), which shows that (4) is
surjective.
It remains to prove that
¸
a
i
=
¸
a
i
. We have already noted that
¸
a
i
¯
¸
a
i
. First
suppose that n = 2, and let a
1
÷a
2
= 1, as before. For c ÷ a
1
¨ a
2
, we have
c = a
1
c ÷a
2
c ÷ a
1
a
2
which proves that a
1
¨ a
2
= a
1
a
2
. We complete the proof by induction. This allows us
to assume that
¸
i_2
a
i
=
¸
i_2
a
i
. We showed above that a
1
and
¸
i_2
a
i
are relatively
prime, and so
a
1
(
¸
i_2
a
i
) = a
1
¨ (
¸
i_2
a
i
) =
¸
a
i
.
2
Noetherian rings
PROPOSITION 1.2. The following conditions on a ring · are equivalent:
(a) every ideal in · is finitely generated;
(b) every ascending chain of ideals a
1
c a
2
c eventually becomes constant, i.e., for
some m, a
n
= a
n÷1
= .
(c) every nonempty set of ideals in · has a maximal element (i.e., an element not prop-
erly contained in any other ideal in the set).
PROOF. (a) == (b): If a
1
c a
2
c is an ascending chain, then a =

a
i
is an ideal,
and hence has a finite set {a
1
. . . . . a
n
] of generators. For some m, all the a
i
belong a
n
and
then
a
n
= a
n÷1
= = a.
(b) == (c): Let S be a nonempty set of ideals in ·. Let a
1
÷ S; if a
1
is not maximal in
S, then there exists an ideal a
2
in S properly containing a
1
. Similarly, if a
2
is not maximal
in S, then there exists an ideal a
3
in S properly containing a
2
, etc.. In this way, we obtain
an ascending chain of ideals a
1
c a
2
c a
3
c in S that will eventually terminate in an
ideal that is maximal in S.
(c) == (a): Let a be an ideal, and let S be the set of ideals b c a that are finitely
generated. Then S is nonempty and so it contains a maximal element c = (a
1
. . . . . a
i
). If
c = a, then there exists an element a ÷ ac, and (a
1
. . . . . a
i
. a) will be a finitely generated
ideal in a properly containing c. This contradicts the definition of c.
2
A ring · is noetherian if it satisfies the conditions of the proposition. Note that, in a
noetherian ring, every proper ideal is contained in a maximal ideal (apply (c) to the set of
NOETHERIAN RINGS 7
all proper ideals of · containing the given ideal). In fact, this is true in any ring, but the
proof for non-noetherian rings uses the axiom of choice (FT 6.4).
A ring ·is said to be local if it has exactly one maximal ideal m. Because every nonunit
is contained in a maximal ideal, for a local ring ·
×
= · m.
PROPOSITION 1.3 (NAKAYAMA’S LEMMA). Let · be a local noetherian ring with maxi-
mal ideal m, and let M be a finitely generated ·-module.
(a) If M = mM, then M = 0.
(b) If N is a submodule of M such that M = N ÷mM, then M = N.
PROOF. (a) Let .
1
. . . . . .
n
generate M, and write
.
i
=
¸
}
a
i}
.
}
for some a
i}
÷ m. Then .
1
. . . . . .
n
are solutions to the system of n equations in n variables
¸
}

i}
÷ a
i}
).
}
= 0. ı
i}
= Kronecker delta,
and so Cramer’s rule tells us that det(ı
i}
÷a
i}
) .
i
= 0 for all i . But det(ı
i}
÷a
i}
) expands
out as 1 plus a sum of terms in m. In particular, det(ı
i}
÷ a
i}
) … m, and so it is a unit. It
follows that all the .
i
are zero, and so M = 0.
(b) The hypothesis implies that M¡N = m(M¡N), and so M¡N = 0, i.e., M = N.
2
Now let · be a local noetherian ring with maximal ideal m. When we regard m as an
·-module, the action of · on m¡m
2
factors through k = ·¡m.
COROLLARY 1.4. The elements a
1
. . . . . a
n
of m generate m as an ideal if and only if their
residues modulo m
2
generate m¡m
2
as a vector space over k. In particular, the minimum
number of generators for the maximal ideal is equal to the dimension of the vector space
m¡m
2
.
PROOF. If a
1
. . . . . a
n
generate m, it is obvious that their residues generate m¡m
2
. Con-
versely, suppose that their residues generate m¡m
2
, so that m = (a
1
. . . . . a
n
)÷m
2
. Since ·
is noetherian and (hence) mis finitely generated, Nakayama’s lemma, applied with M = m
and N = (a
1
. . . . . a
n
), shows that m = (a
1
. . . . . a
n
).
2
DEFINITION 1.5. Let · be a noetherian ring.
(a) The height ht(p) of a prime ideal p in · is the greatest length of a chain of prime
ideals
p = p
d
, p
d-1
, , p
0
. (5)
(b) The Krull dimension of · is sup{ht(p) [ p c ·. p prime].
Thus, the Krull dimension of a ring · is the supremum of the lengths of chains of
prime ideals in · (the length of a chain is the number of gaps, so the length of (5) is J).
For example, a field has Krull dimension 0, and conversely an integral domain of Krull
8 CHAPTER 1. PRELIMINARIES
dimension 0 is a field. The height of every nonzero prime ideal in principal ideal domain is
1, and so such a ring has Krull dimension 1 (provided it is not a field).
The height of any prime ideal in a noetherian ring is finite, but the Krull dimension of
the ring may be infinite (for an example of this, see Nagata, Local Rings, 1962, Appendix
A.1). In Nagata’s nasty example, there are maximal ideals p
1
, p
2
, p
3
, ... in · such that the
sequence ht(p
i
) tends to infinity.
DEFINITION 1.6. A local noetherian ring of Krull dimension J is said to be regular if its
maximal ideal can be generated by J elements.
It follows from Corollary 1.4 that a local noetherian ring is regular if and only if its
Krull dimension is equal to the dimension of the vector space m¡m
2
.
LEMMA 1.7. Let · be a noetherian ring. Any set of generators for an ideal in · contains
a finite generating subset.
PROOF. Let a be the ideal generated by a subset S of ·. Then a = (a
1
. . . . . a
n
) for some
a
i
÷ ·. Each a
i
lies in the ideal generated by a finite subset S
i
of S. Now

S
i
is finite
and generates a.
2
THEOREM 1.8 (KRULL INTERSECTION THEOREM). In any noetherian local ring · with
maximal ideal m,
¸
n_1
m
n
= {0].
PROOF. Let a
1
. . . . . a
i
generate m. Then m
n
is generated by the monomials of degree n in
the a
i
. In other words, m
n
consists of the elements of · that equal g(a
1
. . . . . a
i
) for some
homogeneous polynomial g(X
1
. . . . . X
i
) ÷ ·ŒX
1
. . . . . X
i
| of degree n. Let S
n
be the set
of homogeneous polynomials } of degree m such that }(a
1
. . . . . a
i
) ÷
¸
n_1
m
n
, and let
a be the ideal generated by all the S
n
. According to the lemma, there exists a finite set
}
1
. . . . . }
x
of elements of

S
n
that generate a. Let J
i
= deg }
i
, and let J = max J
i
. Let
b ÷
¸
n_1
m
n
; in particular, b ÷ m
d÷1
, and so b = }(a
1
. . . . . a
i
) for some homogeneous
} of degree J ÷1. By definition, } ÷ S
d÷1
c a, and so
} = g
1
}
1
÷ ÷g
x
}
x
for some g
i
÷ ·. As } and the }
i
are homogeneous, we can omit from each g
i
all terms
not of degree deg } ÷ deg }
i
, since these terms cancel out. Thus, we may choose the g
i
to
be homogeneous of degree deg } ÷ deg }
i
= J ÷1 ÷ J
i
> 0. Then
b = }(a
1
. . . . . a
i
) =
¸
g
i
(a
1
. . . . . a
i
)}
i
(a
1
. . . . . a
i
) ÷ m
¸
m
n
.
Thus,
¸
m
n
= m
¸
m
n
, and Nakayama’s lemma implies that
¸
m
n
= 0.
2
Unique factorization
Let · be an integral domain. An element a of · is irreducible if it is not zero, not a unit,
and admits only trivial factorizations, i.e.,
a = bc == b or c is a unit.
UNIQUE FACTORIZATION 9
If every nonzero nonunit in · can be written as a finite product of irreducible elements
in exactly one way (up to units and the order of the factors), then · is called a unique
factorization domain. In such a ring, an irreducible element a can divide a product bc only
if it is an irreducible factor of b or c (write bc = aq and express b. c. q as products of
irreducible elements).
PROPOSITION 1.9. Let (a) be a nonzero proper principal ideal in an integral domain ·.
If (a) is a prime ideal, then a is irreducible, and the converse holds when · is a unique
factorization domain.
PROOF. Assume (a) is prime. Because (a) is neither (0) nor ·, a is neither zero nor a unit.
If a = bc then bc ÷ (a), which, because (a) is prime, implies that b or c is in (a), say
b = aq. Now a = bc = aqc, which implies that qc = 1, and that c is a unit.
For the converse, assume that a is irreducible. If bc ÷ (a), then a[bc, which (as we
noted above) implies that a[b or a[c, i.e., that b or c ÷ (a).
2
PROPOSITION 1.10 (GAUSS’S LEMMA). Let · be a unique factorization domain with
field of fractions J. If }(X) ÷ ·ŒX| factors into the product of two nonconstant poly-
nomials in JŒX|, then it factors into the product of two nonconstant polynomials in ·ŒX|.
PROOF. Let } = gh in JŒX|. For suitable c. J ÷ ·, the polynomials g
1
= cg and
h
1
= Jh have coefficients in ·, and so we have a factorization
cJ} = g
1
h
1
in ·ŒX|.
If an irreducible element ] of · divides cJ, then, looking modulo (]), we see that
0 = g
1
h
1
in (·¡(])) ŒX|.
According to Proposition 1.9, (]) is prime, and so (·¡(])) ŒX| is an integral domain.
Therefore, ] divides all the coefficients of at least one of the polynomials g
1
. h
1
, say g
1
, so
that g
1
= ]g
2
for some g
2
÷ ·ŒX|. Thus, we have a factorization
(cJ¡])} = g
2
h
1
in ·ŒX|.
Continuing in this fashion, we can remove all the irreducible factors of cJ, and so obtain a
factorization of } in ·ŒX|.
2
Let · be a unique factorization domain. A nonzero polynomial
} = a
0
÷a
1
X ÷ ÷a
n
X
n
in ·ŒX| is said to be primitive if the a
i
’s have no common factor (other than units). Every
polynomial } in ·ŒX| can be written } = c(} ) }
1
with c(} ) ÷ · and }
1
primitive,
and this decomposition is unique up to units in ·. The element c(} ), well-defined up to
multiplication by a unit, is called the content of } .
LEMMA 1.11. The product of two primitive polynomials is primitive.
10 CHAPTER 1. PRELIMINARIES
PROOF. Let
} = a
0
÷a
1
X ÷ ÷a
n
X
n
g = b
0
÷b
1
X ÷ ÷b
n
X
n
.
be primitive polynomials, and let ] be an irreducible element of ·. Let a
i
0
be the first
coefficient of } not divisible by ] and b
}
0
the first coefficient of g not divisible by ]. Then
all the terms in
¸
i÷}=i
0
÷}
0
a
i
b
}
are divisible by ], except a
i
0
b
}
0
, which is not divisible
by ]. Therefore, ] doesn’t divide the (i
0
÷ ;
0
)
th
-coefficient of }g. We have shown that
no irreducible element of · divides all the coefficients of }g, which must therefore be
primitive.
2
LEMMA 1.12. For polynomials }. g ÷ ·ŒX|, c(}g) = c(} ) c(g); hence every factor in
·ŒX| of a primitive polynomial is primitive.
PROOF. Let } = c(} )}
1
and g = c(g)g
1
with }
1
and g
1
primitive. Then }g =
c(} )c(g)}
1
g
1
with }
1
g
1
primitive, and so c(}g) = c(} )c(g).
2
PROPOSITION 1.13. If · is a unique factorization domain, then so also is ·ŒX|.
PROOF. We first show that every element } of ·ŒX| is a product of irreducible elements.
From the factorization } = c(} )}
1
with }
1
primitive, we see that it suffices to do this for
} primitive. If } is not irreducible in ·ŒX|, then it factors as } = gh with g. h primitive
polynomials in ·ŒX| of lower degree. Continuing in this fashion, we obtain the required
factorization.
From the factorization } = c(} )}
1
, we see that the irreducible elements of ·ŒX| are
to be found among the constant polynomials and the primitive polynomials.
Let
} = c
1
c
n
}
1
}
n
= J
1
J
i
g
1
g
x
be two factorizations of an element } of ·ŒX| into irreducible elements with the c
i
. J
}
constants and the }
i
. g
}
primitive polynomials. Then
c(} ) = c
1
c
n
= J
1
J
i
(up to units in ·),
and, on using that · is a unique factorization domain, we see that m = r and the c
i
’s differ
from the J
i
’s only by units and ordering. Hence,
}
1
}
n
= g
1
g
x
(up to units in ·).
Gauss’s lemma shows that the }
i
. g
}
are irreducible polynomials in JŒX| and, on using
that JŒX| is a unique factorization domain, we see that n = s and that the }
i
’s differ from
the g
i
’s only by units in J and by their ordering. But if }
i
=
o
b
g
}
with a and b nonzero
elements of ·, then b}
i
= ag
}
. As }
i
and g
}
are primitive, this implies that b = a (up to
a unit in ·), and hence that
o
b
is a unit in ·.
2
POLYNOMIAL RINGS 11
Polynomial rings
Let k be a field. A monomial in X
1
. . . . . X
n
is an expression of the form
X
o
1
1
X
o
n
n
. a
}
÷ N.
The total degree of the monomial is
¸
a
i
. We sometimes denote the monomial by X
˛
.
˛ = (a
1
. . . . . a
n
) ÷ N
n
.
The elements of the polynomial ring kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| are finite sums
¸
c
o
1
···o
n
X
o
1
1
X
o
n
n
. c
o
1
···o
n
÷ k. a
}
÷ N.
with the obvious notions of equality, addition, and multiplication. In particular, the mono-
mials form a basis for kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| as a k-vector space.
The degree, deg(} ), of a nonzero polynomial } is the largest total degree of a mono-
mial occurring in } with nonzero coefficient. Since deg(}g) = deg(} )÷deg(g), kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|
is an integral domain and kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|
×
= k
×
. An element } of kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| is irre-
ducible if it is nonconstant and } = gh == g or h is constant.
THEOREM 1.14. The ring kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| is a unique factorization domain.
PROOF. Note that kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n-1
|ŒX
n
| = kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|; this simply says that every
polynomial } in n variables X
1
. . . . . X
n
can be expressed uniquely as a polynomial in
X
n
with coefficients in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n-1
|,
}(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) = a
0
(X
1
. . . . . X
n-1
)X
i
n
÷ ÷a
i
(X
1
. . . . . X
n-1
).
Since k itself is a unique factorization domain (trivially), the theorem follows by induction
from Proposition 1.13.
2
COROLLARY 1.15. A nonzero proper principal ideal (} ) in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| is prime if and
only } is irreducible.
PROOF. Special case of (1.9).
2
Integrality
Let · be an integral domain, and let 1 be a field containing ·. An element ˛ of 1 is said
to be integral over · if it is a root of a monic
2
polynomial with coefficients in ·, i.e., if it
satisfies an equation
˛
n
÷a
1
˛
n-1
÷. . . ÷a
n
= 0. a
i
÷ ·.
THEOREM 1.16. The set of elements of 1 integral over · forms a ring.
2
A polynomial is monic if its leading coefficient is 1, i.e., }(X) = X
n
÷terms of degree < n.
12 CHAPTER 1. PRELIMINARIES
PROOF. Let ˛ and ˇ integral over ·. Then there exists a monic polynomial
h(X) = X
n
÷c
1
X
n-1
÷ ÷c
n
. c
i
÷ ·.
having ˛ and ˇ among its roots (e.g., take h to be the product of the polynomials exhibiting
the integrality of ˛ and ˇ). Write
h(X) =
n
¸
i=1
(X ÷ ,
i
)
with the ,
i
in an algebraic closure of 1. Up to sign, the c
i
are the elementary symmetric
polynomials in the ,
i
(cf. FT :5). I claim that every symmetric polynomial in the ,
i
with coefficients in · lies in ·: let ]
1
. ]
2
. . . . be the elementary symmetric polynomials in
X
1
. . . . . X
n
; if 1 ÷ ·ŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| is symmetric, then the symmetric polynomials theorem
(ibid. 5.30) shows that 1(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) = O(]
1
. . . . . ]
n
) for some O ÷ ·ŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|,
and so
1(,
1
. . . . . ,
n
) = O(÷c
1
. c
2
. . . .) ÷ ·.
The coefficients of the polynomials
¸
1_i,}_n
(X ÷ ,
i
,
}
) and
¸
1_i,}_n
(X ÷ (,
i
˙,
}
))
are symmetric polynomials in the ,
i
with coefficients in ·, and therefore lie in ·. As the
polynomials are monic and have ˛ˇ and ˛ ˙ ˇ among their roots, this shows that these
elements are integral.
2
DEFINITION 1.17. The ring of elements of 1 integral over · is called the integral closure
of · in 1.
PROPOSITION 1.18. Let · be an integral domain with field of fractions J, and let 1 be a
field containing J. If ˛ ÷ 1 is algebraic over J, then there exists a J ÷ · such that J˛ is
integral over ·.
PROOF. By assumption, ˛ satisfies an equation
˛
n
÷a
1
˛
n-1
÷ ÷a
n
= 0. a
i
÷ J.
Let J be a common denominator for the a
i
, so that Ja
i
÷ ·, all i , and multiply through the
equation by J
n
:
J
n
˛
n
÷a
1
J
n
˛
n-1
÷ ÷a
n
J
n
= 0.
We can rewrite this as
(J˛)
n
÷a
1
J(J˛)
n-1
÷ ÷a
n
J
n
= 0.
As a
1
J. . . . . a
n
J
n
÷ ·, this shows that J˛ is integral over ·.
2
COROLLARY 1.19. Let · be an integral domain and let 1 be an algebraic extension of the
field of fractions of ·. Then 1 is the field of fractions of the integral closure of · in 1.
INTEGRALITY 13
PROOF. The proposition shows that every ˛ ÷ 1 can be written ˛ = ˇ¡J with ˇ integral
over · and J ÷ ·.
2
DEFINITION 1.20. An integral domain · is integrally closed if it is equal to its integral
closure in its field of fractions J, i.e., if
˛ ÷ J. ˛ integral over · == ˛ ÷ ·.
PROPOSITION 1.21. Every unique factorization domain (e.g. a principal ideal domain) is
integrally closed.
PROOF. Let a¡b, a. b ÷ ·, be integral over ·. If a¡b … ·, then there is an irreducible
element ] of · dividing b but not a. As a¡b is integral over ·, it satisfies an equation
(a¡b)
n
÷a
1
(a¡b)
n-1
÷ ÷a
n
= 0, a
i
÷ ·.
On multiplying through by b
n
, we obtain the equation
a
n
÷a
1
a
n-1
b ÷ ÷a
n
b
n
= 0.
The element ] then divides every term on the left except a
n
, and hence must divide a
n
.
Since it doesn’t divide a, this is a contradiction.
2
PROPOSITION 1.22. Let · be an integrally closed integral domain, and let 1 be a finite
extension of the field of fractions J of ·. An element ˛ of 1 is integral over · if and only
if its minimum polynomial over J has coefficients in ·.
PROOF. Let ˛ be integral over ·, so that
˛
n
÷a
1
˛
n-1
÷ ÷a
n
= 0. some a
i
÷ ·.
Let ˛
t
be a conjugate of ˛, i.e., a root of the minimum polynomial }(X) of ˛ over J. Then
there is an J-isomorphism
3
o: JŒ˛| ÷JŒ˛
t
|. o(˛) = ˛
t
On applying o to the above equation we obtain the equation
˛
tn
÷a
1
˛
tn-1
÷ ÷a
n
= 0.
which shows that ˛
t
is integral over ·. Hence all the conjugates of ˛ are integral over ·,
and it follows from (1.16) that the coefficients of }(X) are integral over ·. They lie in
J, and · is integrally closed, and so they lie in ·. This proves the “only if” part of the
statement, and the “if” part is obvious.
2
COROLLARY 1.23. Let ·be an integrally closed integral domain with field of fractions J,
and let }(X) be a monic polynomial in ·ŒX|. Then every monic factor of }(X) in JŒX|
has coefficients in ·.
PROOF. It suffices to prove this for an irreducible monic factor g(X) of }(X) in JŒX|. Let
˛ be a root of g(X) in some extension field of J. Then g(X) is the minimum polynomial
˛, which, being also a root of }(X), is integral. Therefore g(X) ÷ ·ŒX|.
2
3
Recall (FT :1) that the homomorphism X ÷ ˛: JŒX| ÷ JŒ˛| defines an isomorphism JŒX|¡(} ) ÷
JŒ˛|, where } is the minimum polynomial of ˛.
14 CHAPTER 1. PRELIMINARIES
Direct limits (summary)
DEFINITION 1.24. A partial ordering _on a set 1 is said to be directed, and the pair (1. _)
is called a directed set, if for all i. ; ÷ 1 there exists a k ÷ 1 such that i. ; _ k.
DEFINITION 1.25. Let (1. _) be a directed set, and let 1 be a ring.
(a) An direct system of 1-modules indexed by (1. _) is a family (M
i
)
i÷J
of 1-modules
together with a family (˛
i
}
: M
i
÷ M
}
)
i_}
of 1-linear maps such that ˛
i
i
= id
Æ
i
and ˛
}
k
ı ˛
i
}
= ˛
i
k
all i _ ; _ k.
(b) An 1-module M together with a family (˛
i
: M
i
÷M)
i÷J
of 1-linear maps satisfy-
ing ˛
i
= ˛
}
ı ˛
i
}
all i _ ; is said to be a direct limit of the system in (a) if it has the
following universal property: for any other 1-module N and family (ˇ
i
: M
i
÷ N)
of 1-linear maps such that ˇ
i
= ˇ
}
ı ˛
i
}
all i _ ; , there exists a unique morphism
˛: M ÷N such that ˛ ı ˛
i
= ˇ
i
for i .
Clearly, the direct limit (if it exists), is uniquely determined by this condition up to a unique
isomorphism. We denote it lim
÷÷
(M
i
. ˛
}
i
), or just lim
÷÷
M
i
.
Criterion
An 1-module M together with 1-linear maps ˛
i
: M
i
÷ M is the direct limit of a system
(M
i
. ˛
}
i
) if and only if
(a) M =

i÷J
˛
i
(M
i
), and
(b) m
i
÷ M
i
maps to zero in M if and only if it maps to zero in M
}
for some ; _ i .
Construction
Let
M =

i÷J
M
i
¡M
t
where M
t
is the 1-submodule generated by the elements
m
i
÷ ˛
i
}
(m
i
) all i < ; , m
i
÷ M
i
.
Let ˛
i
(m
i
) = m
i
÷M
t
. Then certainly ˛
i
= ˛
}
ı ˛
i
}
for all i _ ; . For any 1-module N
and 1-linear maps ˇ
}
: M
}
÷N, there is a unique map

i÷J
M
i
÷N.
namely,
¸
m
i
÷
¸
ˇ
i
(m
i
), sending m
i
to ˇ
i
(m
i
), and this map factors through M and
is the unique 1-linear map with the required properties.
Direct limits of 1-algebras, etc., are defined similarly.
RINGS OF FRACTIONS 15
Rings of fractions
A multiplicative subset of a ring · is a subset S with the property:
1 ÷ S. a. b ÷ S == ab ÷ S.
Define an equivalence relation on · × S by
(a. s) ~ (b. t ) ” u(at ÷ bs) = 0 for some u ÷ S.
Write
o
x
for the equivalence class containing (a. s), and define addition and multiplication
in the obvious way:
o
x
÷
b
t
=
ot÷bx
xt
.
o
x
b
t
=
ob
xt
.
We then obtain a ring S
-1
· = {
o
x
[ a ÷ ·. s ÷ S] and a canonical homomorphism
a ÷
o
1
: · ÷S
-1
·, whose kernel is
{a ÷ · [ sa = 0 for some s ÷ S].
For example, if · is an integral domain an 0 … S, then a ÷
o
1
is injective, but if 0 ÷ S,
then S
-1
· is the zero ring.
Write i for the homomorphism a ÷
o
1
: · ÷S
-1
·.
PROPOSITION 1.26. The pair (S
-1
·. i ) has the following universal property: every el-
ement s ÷ S maps to a unit in S
-1
·, and any other homomorphism · ÷ T with this
property factors uniquely through i :
·

E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
i

S
-1
·

T.
PROOF. If ˇ exists,
s
o
x
= a == ˇ(s)ˇ(
o
x
) = ˇ(a) == ˇ(
o
x
) = ˛(a)˛(s)
-1
.
and so ˇ is unique. Define
ˇ(
o
x
) = ˛(a)˛(s)
-1
.
Then
o
c
=
b
d
== s(aJ ÷ bc) = 0 some s ÷ S == ˛(a)˛(J) ÷ ˛(b)˛(c) = 0
because ˛(s) is a unit in T, and so ˇ is well-defined. It is obviously a homomorphism.
2
As usual, this universal property determines the pair (S
-1
·. i ) uniquely up to a unique
isomorphism.
When · is an integral domain and S = ·{0], J = S
-1
· is the field of fractions of
·. In this case, for any other multiplicative subset T of · not containing 0, the ring T
-1
·
can be identified with the subring {
o
t
÷ J [ a ÷ ·, t ÷ S] of J.
We shall be especially interested in the following examples.
16 CHAPTER 1. PRELIMINARIES
EXAMPLE 1.27. Let h ÷ ·. Then S
h
= {1. h. h
2
. . . .] is a multiplicative subset of ·, and
we let ·
h
= S
-1
h
·. Thus every element of ·
h
can be written in the form a¡h
n
, a ÷ ·,
and
o
h
m
=
b
h
n
” h
1
(ah
n
÷ bh
n
) = 0. some N.
If h is nilpotent, then ·
h
= 0, and if · is an integral domain with field of fractions J and
h = 0, then ·
h
is the subring of J of elements of the form a¡h
n
, a ÷ ·, m ÷ N.
EXAMPLE 1.28. Let p be a prime ideal in ·. Then S
p
= · p is a multiplicative subset
of ·, and we let ·
p
= S
-1
p
·. Thus each element of ·
p
can be written in the form
o
c
, c … p,
and
o
c
=
b
d
” s(aJ ÷ bc) = 0, some s … p.
The subset m = {
o
x
[ a ÷ p. s … p] is a maximal ideal in ·
p
, and it is the only maximal
ideal, i.e., ·
p
is a local ring.
4
When · is an integral domain with field of fractions J, ·
p
is
the subring of J consisting of elements expressible in the form
o
x
, a ÷ ·, s … p.
LEMMA 1.29. (a) For any ring · and h ÷ ·, the map
¸
a
i
X
i
÷
¸
o
i
h
i
defines an iso-
morphism
·ŒX|¡(1 ÷ hX)
:
÷÷·
h
.
(b) For any multiplicative subset S of ·, S
-1
· . lim
÷÷
·
h
, where h runs over the
elements of S (partially ordered by division).
PROOF. (a) If h = 0, both rings are zero, and so we may assume h = 0. In the ring ·Œ.| =
·ŒX|¡(1 ÷ hX), 1 = h., and so h is a unit. Let ˛: · ÷ T be a homomorphism of rings
such that ˛(h) is a unit in T. The homomorphism
¸
a
i
X
i
÷
¸
˛(a
i
)˛(h)
-i
: ·ŒX| ÷T
factors through ·Œ.| because 1÷hX ÷1÷˛(h)˛(h)
-1
= 0, and, because ˛(h) is a unit in
T, this is the unique extension of ˛ to ·Œ.|. Therefore ·Œ.| has the same universal property
as ·
h
, and so the two are (uniquely) isomorphic by an isomorphism that fixes elements of
· and makes h
-1
correspond to ..
(b) When h[h
t
, say, h
t
= hg, there is a canonical homomorphism
o
h
÷
ov
h
0
: ·
h
÷
·
h
0 , and so the rings ·
h
form a direct system indexed by the set S. When h ÷ S, the
homomorphism · ÷ S
-1
· extends uniquely to a homomorphism
o
h
÷
o
h
: ·
h
÷ S
-1
·
(??), and these homomorphisms are compatible with the maps in the direct system. Now
apply the criterion p14 to see that S
-1
· is the direct limit of the ·
h
.
2
Let S be a multiplicative subset of a ring ·, and let S
-1
· be the corresponding ring of
fractions. Any ideal a in ·, generates an ideal S
-1
a in S
-1
·. If a contains an element of
S, then S
-1
a contains a unit, and so is the whole ring. Thus some of the ideal structure of
· is lost in the passage to S
-1
·, but, as the next lemma shows, some is retained.
PROPOSITION 1.30. Let S be a multiplicative subset of the ring ·. The map
p ÷S
-1
p = (S
-1
·)p
is a bijection from the set of prime ideals of · disjoint from S to the set of prime ideals of
S
-1
· with inverse q ÷(inverse image of q in ·).
4
First check m is an ideal. Next, if m = ·
p
, then 1 ÷ m; but if 1 =
o
x
for some a ÷ p and s … p, then
u(s ÷ a) = 0 some u … p, and so ua = us … p, which contradicts a ÷ p. Finally, m is maximal because every
element of ·
p
not in m is a unit.
RINGS OF FRACTIONS 17
PROOF. For an ideal b of S
-1
·, let b
c
be the inverse image of b in ·, and for an ideal a of
·, let a
e
= (S
-1
·)a be the ideal in S
-1
· generated by the image of a.
For an ideal b of S
-1
·, certainly, b ¯ b
ce
. Conversely, if
o
x
÷ b, a ÷ ·, s ÷ S, then
o
1
÷ b, and so a ÷ b
c
. Thus
o
x
÷ b
ce
, and so b = b
ce
.
For an ideal a of ·, certainly a c a
ec
. Conversely, if a ÷ a
ec
, then
o
1
÷ a
e
, and so
o
1
=
o
0
x
for some a
t
÷ a, s ÷ S. Thus, t (as ÷ a
t
) = 0 for some t ÷ S, and so ast ÷ a. If a
is a prime ideal disjoint from S, this implies that a ÷ a: for such an ideal, a = a
ec
.
If b is prime, then certainly b
c
is prime. For any ideal a of ·, S
-1
·¡a
e
.
¨
S
-1
(·¡a)
where
¨
S is the image of S in ·¡a. If a is a prime ideal disjoint from S, then
¨
S
-1
(·¡a) is
a subring of the field of fractions of ·¡a, and is therefore an integral domain. Thus, a
e
is
prime.
We have shown that p ÷p
e
and q ÷q
c
are inverse bijections between the prime ideals
of · disjoint from S and the prime ideals of S
-1
·.
2
LEMMA 1.31. Let m be a maximal ideal of a noetherian ring ·, and let n = m·
m
. For all
n, the map
a ÷m
n
÷a ÷n
n
: ·¡m
n
÷·
m
¡n
n
is an isomorphism. Moreover, it induces isomorphisms
m
i
¡m
n
÷n
i
¡n
n
for all r < n.
PROOF. The second statement follows from the first, because of the exact commutative
diagram (r < n):
0 ÷÷÷÷÷ m
i
¡m
n
÷÷÷÷÷ ·¡m
n
÷÷÷÷÷ ·¡m
i
÷÷÷÷÷ 0

:

:
0 ÷÷÷÷÷ n
i
¡n
n
÷÷÷÷÷ ·
m
¡n
n
÷÷÷÷÷ ·
m
¡n
i
÷÷÷÷÷ 0.
Let S = · m, so that ·
m
= S
-1
·. Because S contains no zero divisors, the
map a ÷
o
1
: · ÷ ·
m
is injective, and I’ll identify · with its image. In order to show
that the map ·¡m
n
÷ ·
n
¡n
n
is injective, we have to show that n
n
¨ · = m
n
. But
n
n
= m
n
·
m
= S
-1
m
n
, and so we have to show that m
n
= (S
-1
m
n
) ¨ ·. An element
of (S
-1
m
n
) ¨ · can be written a = b¡s with b ÷ m
n
, s ÷ S, and a ÷ ·. Then
sa ÷ m
n
, and so sa = 0 in ·¡m
n
. The only maximal ideal containing m
n
is m (because
m
t
¯ m
n
== m
t
¯ m), and so the only maximal ideal in ·¡m
n
is m¡m
n
. As s is not
in m¡m
n
, it must be a unit in ·¡m
n
, and as sa = 0 in ·¡m
n
, a must be 0 in ·¡m
n
, i.e.,
a ÷ m
n
.
We now prove that the map is surjective. Let
o
x
÷ ·
m
, a ÷ ·, s ÷ · m. The only
maximal ideal of ·containing m
n
is m, and so no maximal ideal contains both s and m
n
; it
follows that (s)÷m
n
= ·. Therefore, there exist b ÷ · and q ÷ m
n
such that sb ÷q = 1.
Because s is invertible in ·
m
¡n
n
,
o
x
is the unique element of this ring such that s
o
x
= a;
since s(ba) = a(1 ÷ q), the image of ba in ·
m
also has this property and therefore equals
o
x
.
2
PROPOSITION 1.32. In any noetherian ring, only 0 lies in all powers of all maximal ideals.
18 CHAPTER 1. PRELIMINARIES
PROOF. Let a be an element of a noetherian ring ·. If a = 0, then {b [ ba = 0] is a proper
ideal, and so is contained in some maximal ideal m. Then
o
1
is nonzero in ·
m
, and so
o
1
… (m·
m
)
n
for some n (by the Krull intersection theorem), which implies that a … m
n
.
2
NOTES. For more on rings of fractions, see Atiyah and MacDonald 1969, Chapt 3.
Tensor Products
Tensor products of modules
Let 1 be a ring. A map ç: M × N ÷1 of 1-modules is said to be 1-bilinear if
ç(. ÷.
t
. .) = ç(.. .) ÷ç(.
t
. .). .. .
t
÷ M. . ÷ N
ç(.. . ÷.
t
) = ç(.. .) ÷ç(.. .
t
). . ÷ M. .. .
t
÷ N
ç(r.. .) = rç(.. .). r ÷ 1. . ÷ M. . ÷ N
ç(.. r.) = rç(.. .). r ÷ 1. . ÷ M. . ÷ N.
i.e., if ç is 1-linear in each variable. An 1-module T together with an 1-bilinear map
ç: M × N ÷ T is called the tensor product of M and N over 1 if it has the following
universal property: every 1-bilinear map ç
t
: M × N ÷T
t
factors uniquely through ç,
M × N
¢

¢
0

H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
T

T
t
As usual, the universal property determines the tensor product uniquely up to a unique
isomorphism. We write it M ˝
T
N.
Construction Let M and N be 1-modules, and let 1
(Æ×1)
be the free 1-module with
basis M × N. Thus each element 1
(Æ×1)
can be expressed uniquely as a finite sum
¸
r
i
(.
i
. .
i
). r
i
÷ 1. .
i
÷ M. .
i
÷ N.
Let 1 be the submodule of 1
(Æ×1)
generated by the following elements
(. ÷.
t
. .) ÷ (.. .) ÷ (.
t
. .). .. .
t
÷ M. . ÷ N
(.. . ÷.
t
) ÷ (.. .) ÷ (.. .
t
). . ÷ M. .. .
t
÷ N
(r.. .) ÷ r(.. .). r ÷ 1. . ÷ M. . ÷ N
(.. r.) ÷ r(.. .). r ÷ 1. . ÷ M. . ÷ N.
and define
M ˝
T
N = 1
(Æ×1)
¡1.
Write . ˝. for the class of (.. .) in M ˝
T
N. Then
(.. .) ÷. ˝.: M × N ÷M ˝
T
N
TENSOR PRODUCTS 19
is 1-bilinear — we have imposed the fewest relations necessary to ensure this. Every
element of M ˝
T
N can be written as a finite sum
¸
r
i
(.
i
˝.
i
). r
i
÷ 1. .
i
÷ M. .
i
÷ N.
and all relations among these symbols are generated by the following
(. ÷.
t
) ˝. = . ˝. ÷.
t
˝.
. ˝(. ÷.
t
) = . ˝. ÷. ˝.
t
r(. ˝.) = (r.) ˝. = . ˝r..
The pair (M ˝
T
N. (.. .) ÷. ˝.) has the following universal property:
Tensor products of algebras
Let · and T be k-algebras. A k-algebra C together with homomorphisms i : · ÷ C
and ; : T ÷ C is called the tensor product of · and T if it has the following universal
property: for every pair of homomorphisms (of k-algebras) ˛: · ÷ 1 and ˇ: T ÷ 1,
there is a unique homomorphism ,: C ÷1 such that , ı i = ˛ and , ı ; = ˇ:
·
i

˛

@
@
@
@
@
@
@
C

,

T
}

ˇ
.·~
~
~
~
~
~
~
1
If it exists, the tensor product, is uniquely determined up to a unique isomorphism by this
property. We write it · ˝
k
T.
Construction Regard · and T as k-vector spaces, and form the tensor product · ˝
k
T.
There is a multiplication map · ˝
k
T × · ˝
k
T ÷· ˝
k
T for which
(a ˝b)(a
t
˝b
t
) = aa
t
˝bb
t
.
This makes · ˝
k
T into a ring, and the homomorphism
c ÷c(1 ˝1) = c ˝1 = 1 ˝c
makes it into a k-algebra. The maps
a ÷a ˝1: · ÷C and b ÷1 ˝b: T ÷C
are homomorphisms, and they make · ˝
k
T into the tensor product of · and T in the
above sense.
EXAMPLE 1.33. The algebra T, together with the given map k ÷T and the identity map
T ÷ T, has the universal property characterizing k ˝
k
T. In terms of the constructive
definition of tensor products, the map c ˝b ÷cb: k ˝
k
T ÷T is an isomorphism.
20 CHAPTER 1. PRELIMINARIES
EXAMPLE 1.34. The ring kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
. X
n÷1
. . . . . X
n÷n
|, together with the obvious
inclusions
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| ·÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n÷n
| ÷· kŒX
n÷1
. . . . . X
n÷n
|
is the tensor product of kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| and kŒX
n÷1
. . . . . X
n÷n
|. To verify this we only
have to check that, for every k-algebra 1, the map
Hom
k-alg
(kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n÷n
|. 1) ÷Hom
k-alg
(kŒX
1
. . . .|. 1) × Hom
k-alg
(kŒX
n÷1
. . . .|. 1)
induced by the inclusions is a bijection. But this map can be identified with the bijection
1
n÷n
÷1
n
× 1
n
.
In terms of the constructive definition of tensor products, the map
} ˝g ÷}g: kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| ˝
k
kŒX
n÷1
. . . . . X
n÷n
| ÷kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n÷n
|
is an isomorphism.
REMARK 1.35. (a) If (b
˛
) is a family of generators (resp. basis) for T as a k-vector space,
then (1 ˝b
˛
) is a family of generators (resp. basis) for · ˝
k
T as an ·-module.
(b) Let k ·÷˝ be fields. Then
˝ ˝
k
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| . ˝Œ1 ˝X
1
. . . . . 1 ˝X
n
| . ˝ŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|.
If · = kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡(g
1
. . . . . g
n
), then
˝ ˝
k
· . ˝ŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡(g
1
. . . . . g
n
).
(c) If · and T are algebras of k-valued functions on sets S and T respectively, then
(} ˝g)(.. .) = }(.)g(.) realizes ·˝
k
T as an algebra of k-valued functions on S ×T .
For more details on tensor products, see Atiyah and MacDonald 1969, Chapter 2 (but
note that the description there (p31) of the homomorphism · ÷ D making the tensor
product into an ·-algebra is incorrect — the map is a ÷}(a) ˝1 = 1 ˝g(a).)
Extension of scalars
Let 1 be a commutative ring and · an 1-algebra (not necessarily commutative) such that
the image of 1 ÷ · lies in the centre of ·. Then we have a functor M ÷ · ˝
T
M from
left 1-modules to left ·-modules.
Behaviour with respect to direct limits
PROPOSITION 1.36. Direct limits commute with tensor products:
lim
÷÷
i÷J
M
i
˝
T
lim
÷÷
}÷J
N
}
. lim
÷÷
(i,})÷J×J
(M
i
˝
T
N
}
).
PROOF. Using the universal properties of direct limits and tensor products, one sees easily
that lim
÷÷
(M
i
˝
T
N
}
) has the universal property to be the tensor product of lim
÷÷
M
i
and
lim
÷÷
N
}
.
2
CATEGORIES AND FUNCTORS 21
Flatness
For any 1-module M, the functor N ÷M ˝
T
N is right exact, i.e.,
M ˝
T
N
t
÷M ˝
T
N ÷M ˝
T
N
tt
÷0
is exact whenever
N
t
÷N ÷N
tt
÷0
is exact. If M ˝
T
N ÷ M ˝
T
N
t
is injective whenever N ÷ N
t
is injective, then M is
said to be flat. Thus M is flat if and only if the functor N ÷M ˝
T
N is exact. Similarly,
an 1-algebra · is flat if N ÷· ˝
T
N is flat.
PROPOSITION 1.37. To be added.
Categories and functors
A category C consists of
(a) a class of objects ob(C);
(b) for each pair (a. b) of objects, a set Mor(a. b), whose elements are called morphisms
from a to b, and are written ˛: a ÷b;
(c) for each triple of objects (a. b. c) a map (called composition)
(˛. ˇ) ÷ˇ ı ˛: Mor(a. b) × Mor(b. c) ÷Mor(a. c).
Composition is required to be associative, i.e., (, ıˇ) ı˛ = , ı(ˇı˛), and for each object
a there is required to be an element id
o
÷ Mor(a. a) such that id
o
ı˛ = ˛, ˇ ı id
o
= ˇ,
for all ˛ and ˇ for which these composites are defined. The sets Mor(a. b) are required to
be disjoint (so that a morphism ˛ determines its source and target).
EXAMPLE 1.38. (a) There is a category of sets, Sets, whose objects are the sets and whose
morphisms are the usual maps of sets.
(b) There is a category Aff
k
of affine k-algebras, whose objects are the affine k-algebras
and whose morphisms are the homomorphisms of k-algebras.
(c) In chapter 4 below, we define a category Var
k
of algebraic varieties over k, whose
objects are the algebraic varieties over k and whose morphisms are the regular maps.
The objects in a category need not be sets with structure, and the morphisms need not
be maps.
Let C and D be categories. A covariant functor J from C to D consists of
(a) a map a ÷J(a) sending each object of C to an object of D, and,
(b) for each pair of objects a. b of C, a map
˛ ÷J(˛): Mor(a. b) ÷Mor(J(a). J(b))
such that J(id
¹
) = id
T(¹)
and J(ˇ ı ˛) = J(ˇ) ı J(˛).
22 CHAPTER 1. PRELIMINARIES
A contravariant functor is defined similarly, except that the map on morphisms is
˛ ÷J(˛): Mor(a. b) ÷Mor(J(b). J(a))
A functor J: C ÷ D is full (resp. faithful, fully faithful) if, for all objects a and b of
C, the map
Mor(a. b) ÷Mor(J(a). J(b))
is a surjective (resp. injective, bijective).
A covariant functor J: A ÷ B of categories is said to be an equivalence of categories
if it is fully faithful and every object of B is isomorphic to an object of the form J(a),
a ÷ ob(A) (J is essentially surjective). One can show that such a functor J has a quasi-
inverse, i.e., that there is a functor G: B ÷ A, which is also an equivalence, and for which
there exist natural isomorphisms G(J(·)) ~ · and J(G(T)) ~ T. Hence the relation of
equivalence is an equivalence relation. (In fact one can do better — see Bucur and Deleanu
1968
5
, I 6, or Mac Lane 1998
6
, IV 4.)
Similarly one defines the notion of a contravariant functor being an equivalence of cat-
egories.
Any fully faithful functor J: C ÷ D defines an equivalence of C with the full subcat-
egory of D whose objects are isomorphic to J(a) for some object a of C. The essential
image of a fully faithful functor J: C ÷ D consists of the objects of D isomorphic to an
object of the form J(a), a ÷ ob(C).
Let J and G be two functors C ÷ D. A morphism ˛: J ÷ G is a collection of
morphisms ˛(a): J(a) ÷G(a), one for each object a of C, such that, for every morphism
u: a ÷b in C, the following diagram commutes:
a

u
b
J(a)
˛(o)
÷÷÷÷÷ G(a)

T(u)

G(u)
J(b)
˛(b)
÷÷÷÷÷ G(b).
(**)
With this notion of morphism, the functors C ÷ D form a category Fun(C. D) (provided
that we ignore the problem that Mor(J. G) may not be a set, but only a class).
For any object V of a category C, we have a contravariant functor
h
V
: C ÷Sets.
which sends an object a to the set Mor(a. V ) and sends a morphism ˛: a ÷b to
c ÷c ı ˛: h
V
(b) ÷h
V
(a).
i.e., h
V
(+) = Mor(+. V ) and h
V
(˛) = + ı ˛. Let ˛: V ÷ W be a morphism in C. The
collection of maps
h
˛
(a): h
V
(a) ÷h
W
(a). c ÷˛ ı c
is a morphism of functors.
5
Bucur, Ion; Deleanu, Aristide. Introduction to the theory of categories and functors. Pure and Applied
Mathematics, Vol. XIX Interscience Publication John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., London-New York-Sydney 1968.
6
Mac Lane, Saunders. Categories for the working mathematician. Second edition. Graduate Texts in
Mathematics, 5. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1998.
ALGORITHMS FOR POLYNOMIALS 23
PROPOSITION 1.39 (YONEDA LEMMA). The functor
V ÷h
V
: C ÷Fun(C. Sets)
is fully faithful.
PROOF. Let a. b be objects of C. We construct an inverse to
˛ ÷h
˛
: Mor(a. b) ÷Mor(h
o
. h
b
).
A morphism of functors ,: h
o
÷ h
b
defines a map ,(a): h
o
(a) ÷ h
b
(a), and we let
ˇ(,) = ,(a)(id
o
) — it is morphism a ÷b. Then, for a morphism ˛: a ÷b.
ˇ(h
˛
)
df
= h
˛
(a)(id
o
)
df
= ˛ ı id
o
= ˛.
and
h
ˇ(,)
(˛)
df
= ˇ(,) ı ˛
df
= ,(a)(id
¹
) ı ˛ = ,(˛)
because of the commutativity of (**):
a h
o
(a)
,(o)
÷÷ h
b
(a)
¡ ˛ ¡ +ı˛ ¡ +ı˛
b h
b
(b)
,(b)
÷÷ h
b
(b)
(***)
Thus ˛ ÷h
˛
and , ÷ˇ(,) are inverse maps.
2
Algorithms for polynomials
As an introduction to algorithmic algebraic geometry, we derive some algorithms for working with
polynomial rings. This section is little more than a summary of the first two chapters of Cox et
al.1992 to which I refer the reader for more details. Those not interested in algorithms can skip the
remainder of this chapter. Throughout, k is a field (not necessarily algebraically closed).
The two main results will be:
(a) An algorithmic proof of the Hilbert basis theorem: every ideal in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| has a finite
set of generators (in fact, of a special kind).
(b) There exists an algorithm for deciding whether a polynomial belongs to an ideal.
Division in kŒX|
The division algorithm allows us to divide a nonzero polynomial into another: let } and g be
polynomials in kŒX| with g = 0; then there exist unique polynomials q. r ÷ kŒX| such that } =
qg ÷r with either r = 0 or deg r < deg g. Moreover, there is an algorithm for deciding whether
} ÷ (g), namely, find r and check whether it is zero.
In Maple,
quo(f. g. X): computes q
rem(f. g. X): computes r
Moreover, the Euclidean algorithm allows you to pass from a finite set of generators for an ideal
in kŒX| to a single generator by successively replacing each pair of generators with their greatest
common divisor.
24 CHAPTER 1. PRELIMINARIES
Orderings on monomials
Before we can describe an algorithm for dividing in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|, we shall need to choose a way
of ordering monomials. Essentially this amounts to defining an ordering on N
n
. There are two main
systems, the first of which is preferred by humans, and the second by machines.
(Pure) lexicographic ordering (lex). Here monomials are ordered by lexicographic (dictionary)
order. More precisely, let ˛ = (a
1
. . . . . a
n
) and ˇ = (b
1
. . . . . b
n
) be two elements of N
n
; then
˛ > ˇ and X
˛
> X
ˇ
(lexicographic ordering)
if, in the vector difference ˛ ÷ ˇ (an element of Z
n
), the left-most nonzero entry is positive. For
example,
XY
2
> Y
3
7
4
: X
3
Y
2
7
4
> X
3
Y
2
7.
Note that this isn’t quite how the dictionary would order them: it would put XXXYYZZZZ after
XXXYYZ.
Graded reverse lexicographic order (grevlex). Here monomials are ordered by total degree,
with ties broken by reverse lexicographic ordering. Thus, ˛ > ˇ if
¸
a
i
>
¸
b
i
, or
¸
a
i
=
¸
b
i
and in ˛ ÷ ˇ the right-most nonzero entry is negative. For example:
X
4
Y
4
7
T
> X
5
Y
5
7
4
(total degree greater)
XY
5
7
2
> X
4
Y7
3
. X
5
Y7 > X
4
Y7
2
.
Orderings on kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|
Fix an ordering on the monomials in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|. Then we can write an element } of kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|
in a canonical fashion by re-ordering its elements in decreasing order. For example, we would write
} = 4XY
2
7 ÷47
2
÷ 5X
3
÷7X
2
7
2
as
} = ÷5X
3
÷7X
2
7
2
÷4XY
2
7 ÷47
2
(lex)
or
} = 4XY
2
7 ÷7X
2
7
2
÷ 5X
3
÷47
2
(grevlex)
Let } =
¸
a
˛
X
˛
÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|. Write it in decreasing order:
} = a
˛
0
X
˛
0
÷a
˛
1
X
˛
1
÷ . ˛
0
> ˛
1
> . a
˛
0
= 0.
Then we define:
(a) the multidegree of } to be multdeg(} ) = ˛
0
;
(b) the leading coefficient of } to be LC(} ) = a
˛
0
;
(c) the leading monomial of } to be LM(} ) = X
˛
0
;
(d) the leading term of } to be LT(} ) = a
˛
0
X
˛
0
.
For example, for the polynomial } = 4XY
2
7 ÷ , the multidegree is (1. 2. 1), the leading
coefficient is 4, the leading monomial is XY
2
7, and the leading term is 4XY
2
7.
ALGORITHMS FOR POLYNOMIALS 25
The division algorithm in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|
Fix a monomial ordering in N
n
. Suppose given a polynomial } and an ordered set (g
1
. . . . . g
x
) of
polynomials; the division algorithm then constructs polynomials a
1
. . . . . a
x
and r such that
} = a
1
g
1
÷ ÷a
x
g
x
÷r
where either r = 0 or no monomial in r is divisible by any of LT(g
1
). . . . . LT(g
x
).
STEP 1: If LT(g
1
)[LT(} ), divide g
1
into } to get
} = a
1
g
1
÷h. a
1
=
LT(} )
LT(g
1
)
÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|.
If LT(g
1
)[LT(h), repeat the process until
} = a
1
g
1
÷}
1
(different a
1
) with LT(}
1
) not divisible by LT(g
1
). Now divide g
2
into }
1
, and so on, until
} = a
1
g
1
÷ ÷a
x
g
x
÷r
1
with LT(r
1
) not divisible by any of LT(g
1
). . . . . LT(g
x
).
STEP 2: Rewrite r
1
= LT(r
1
) ÷r
2
, and repeat Step 1 with r
2
for } :
} = a
1
g
1
÷ ÷a
x
g
x
÷LT(r
1
) ÷r
3
(different a
i
’s).
STEP 3: Rewrite r
3
= LT(r
3
) ÷r
4
, and repeat Step 1 with r
4
for } :
} = a
1
g
1
÷ ÷a
x
g
x
÷LT(r
1
) ÷LT(r
3
) ÷r
3
(different a
i
’s).
Continue until you achieve a remainder with the required property. In more detail,
7
after di-
viding through once by g
1
. . . . . g
x
, you repeat the process until no leading term of one of the g
i
’s
divides the leading term of the remainder. Then you discard the leading term of the remainder, and
repeat.
EXAMPLE 1.40. (a) Consider
} = X
2
Y ÷XY
2
÷Y
2
. g
1
= XY ÷ 1. g
2
= Y
2
÷ 1.
First, on dividing g
1
into } , we obtain
X
2
Y ÷XY
2
÷Y
2
= (X ÷Y )(XY ÷ 1) ÷X ÷Y
2
÷Y.
This completes the first step, because the leading term of Y
2
÷1 does not divide the leading term of
the remainder X ÷Y
2
÷Y . We discard X, and write
Y
2
÷Y = 1 (Y
2
÷ 1) ÷Y ÷1.
Altogether
X
2
Y ÷XY
2
÷Y
2
= (X ÷Y ) (XY ÷ 1) ÷1 (Y
2
÷ 1) ÷X ÷Y ÷1.
(b) Consider the same polynomials, but with a different order for the divisors
} = X
2
Y ÷XY
2
÷Y
2
. g
1
= Y
2
÷ 1. g
2
= XY ÷ 1.
In the first step,
X
2
Y ÷XY
2
÷Y
2
= (X ÷1) (Y
2
÷ 1) ÷X (XY ÷ 1) ÷2X ÷1.
Thus, in this case, the remainder is 2X ÷1.
7
This differs from the algorithm in Cox et al. 1992, p63, which says to go back to g
1
after every successful
division.
26 CHAPTER 1. PRELIMINARIES
REMARK 1.41. If r = 0, then } ÷ (g
1
. . . . . g
x
), but, because the remainder depends on the
ordering of the g
i
, the converse is false. For example, (lex ordering)
XY
2
÷ X = Y (XY ÷1) ÷0 (Y
2
÷ 1) ÷÷X ÷ Y
but
XY
2
÷ X = X (Y
2
÷ 1) ÷0 (XY ÷1) ÷0.
Thus, the division algorithm (as stated) will not provide a test for } lying in the ideal generated by
g
1
. . . . . g
x
.
Monomial ideals
In general, an ideal a can contain a polynomial without containing the individual monomials of the
polynomial; for example, the ideal a = (Y
2
÷ X
3
) contains Y
2
÷ X
3
but not Y
2
or X
3
.
DEFINITION 1.42. An ideal a is monomial if
¸
c
˛
X
˛
÷ a and c
˛
= 0 == X
˛
÷ a.
PROPOSITION 1.43. Let a be a monomial ideal, and let · = {˛ [ X
˛
÷ a]. Then · satisfies the
condition
˛ ÷ ·. ˇ ÷ N
n
== ˛ ÷ˇ ÷ · (*)
and a is the k-subspace of kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| generated by the X
˛
, ˛ ÷ ·. Conversely, if ·is a subset of
N
n
satisfying (*), then the k-subspace a of kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| generated by {X
˛
[ ˛ ÷ ·] is a monomial
ideal.
PROOF. It is clear from its definition that a monomial ideal a is the k-subspace of kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|
generated by the set of monomials it contains. If X
˛
÷ a and X
ˇ
÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|, then X
˛
X
ˇ
=
X
˛÷ˇ
÷ a, and so · satisfies the condition (*). Conversely,

¸
˛÷¹
c
˛
X
˛

¸
¸
ˇ÷N
n
J
ˇ
X
ˇ

=
¸
˛,ˇ
c
˛
J
ˇ
X
˛÷ˇ
(finite sums).
and so if · satisfies (*), then the subspace generated by the monomials X
˛
, ˛ ÷ ·, is an ideal.
2
The proposition gives a classification of the monomial ideals in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|: they are in one-
to-one correspondence with the subsets · of N
n
satisfying (*). For example, the monomial ideals in
kŒX| are exactly the ideals (X
n
), n _ 0, and the zero ideal (corresponding to the empty set ·). We
write
'X
˛
[ ˛ ÷ ·)
for the ideal corresponding to · (subspace generated by the X
˛
, ˛ ÷ ·).
LEMMA 1.44. Let S be a subset of N
n
. Then the ideal a generated by {X
˛
[ ˛ ÷ S] is the
monomial ideal corresponding to
·
df
= {ˇ ÷ N
n
[ ˇ ÷ ˛ ÷ S. some ˛ ÷ S].
In other words, a monomial is in a if and only if it is divisible by one of the X
˛
, ˛ ÷ S.
PROOF. Clearly · satisfies (*), and a c 'X
ˇ
[ ˇ ÷ ·). Conversely, if ˇ ÷ ·, then ˇ ÷ ˛ ÷ N
n
for
some ˛ ÷ S, and X
ˇ
= X
˛
X
ˇ-˛
÷ a. The last statement follows from the fact that X
˛
[X
ˇ

ˇ ÷ ˛ ÷ N
n
.
2
ALGORITHMS FOR POLYNOMIALS 27
Let · c N
2
satisfy (*). From the geometry of ·, it is clear that there is a finite set of elements
S = {˛
1
. . . . . ˛
x
] of · such that
· = {ˇ ÷ N
2
[ ˇ ÷ ˛
i
÷ N
2
. some ˛
i
÷ S].
(The ˛
i
’s are the “corners” of ·.) Moreover, the ideal 'X
˛
[ ˛ ÷ ·) is generated by the monomials
X
˛
i
, ˛
i
÷ S. This suggests the following result.
THEOREM 1.45 (DICKSON’S LEMMA). Let a be the monomial ideal corresponding to the subset
· c N
n
. Then a is generated by a finite subset of {X
˛
[ ˛ ÷ ·].
PROOF. This is proved by induction on the number of variables — Cox et al. 1992, p70.
2
Hilbert Basis Theorem
DEFINITION 1.46. For a nonzero ideal a in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|, we let (LT(a)) be the ideal generated
by {LT(} ) [ } ÷ a].
LEMMA 1.47. Let a be a nonzero ideal in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|; then (LT(a)) is a monomial ideal, and it
equals (LT(g
1
). . . . . LT(g
n
)) for some g
1
. . . . . g
n
÷ a.
PROOF. Since (LT(a)) can also be described as the ideal generated by the leading monomials (rather
than the leading terms) of elements of a, it follows from Lemma 1.44 that it is monomial. Now
Dickson’s Lemma shows that it equals (LT(g
1
). . . . . LT(g
x
)) for some g
i
÷ a.
2
THEOREM 1.48 (HILBERT BASIS THEOREM). Every ideal a in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| is finitely gener-
ated; in fact, a is generated by any elements of a whose leading terms generate LT(a).
PROOF. Let g
1
. . . . . g
n
be as in the lemma, and let } ÷ a. On applying the division algorithm, we
find
} = a
1
g
1
÷ ÷a
x
g
x
÷r. a
i
. r ÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|.
where either r = 0 or no monomial occurring in it is divisible by any LT(g
i
). But r = } ÷
¸
a
i
g
i
÷ a, and therefore LT(r) ÷ LT(a) = (LT(g
1
). . . . . LT(g
x
)), which, according to Lemma
1.44, implies that every monomial occurring in r is divisible by one in LT(g
i
). Thus r = 0, and
g ÷ (g
1
. . . . . g
x
).
2
Standard (Gr¨ obner) bases
Fix a monomial ordering of kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|.
DEFINITION 1.49. A finite subset S = {g
1
. . . . . g
x
] of an ideal a is a standard (Grobner, Groeb-
ner, Gr¨ obner) basis
8
for a if
(LT(g
1
). . . . . LT(g
x
)) = LT(a).
In other words, S is a standard basis if the leading term of every element of a is divisible by at least
one of the leading terms of the g
i
.
THEOREM 1.50. Every ideal has a standard basis, and it generates the ideal; if {g
1
. . . . . g
x
] is a
standard basis for an ideal a, then } ÷ a ” the remainder on division by the g
i
is 0.
8
Standard bases were first introduced (under that name) by Hironaka in the mid-1960s, and independently,
but slightly later, by Buchberger in his Ph.D. thesis. Buchberger named them after his thesis adviser Gr¨ obner.
28 CHAPTER 1. PRELIMINARIES
PROOF. Our proof of the Hilbert basis theorem shows that every ideal has a standard basis, and that
it generates the ideal. Let } ÷ a. The argument in the same proof, that the remainder of } on
division by g
1
. . . . . g
x
is 0, used only that {g
1
. . . . . g
x
] is a standard basis for a.
2
REMARK 1.51. The proposition shows that, for } ÷ a, the remainder of } on division by {g
1
. . . . . g
x
]
is independent of the order of the g
i
(in fact, it’s always zero). This is not true if } … a — see the
example using Maple at the end of this chapter.
Let a = (}
1
. . . . . }
x
). Typically, {}
1
. . . . . }
x
] will fail to be a standard basis because in some
expression
cX
˛
}
i
÷ JX
ˇ
}
}
. c. J ÷ k. (**)
the leading terms will cancel, and we will get a new leading term not in the ideal generated by the
leading terms of the }
i
. For example,
X
2
= X (X
2
Y ÷X ÷ 2Y
2
) ÷ Y (X
3
÷ 2XY )
is in the ideal generated by X
2
Y ÷X ÷ 2Y
2
and X
3
÷ 2XY but it is not in the ideal generated by
their leading terms.
There is an algorithm for transforming a set of generators for an ideal into a standard basis,
which, roughly speaking, makes adroit use of equations of the form (**) to construct enough new
elements to make a standard basis — see Cox et al. 1992, pp80–87.
We now have an algorithm for deciding whether } ÷ (}
1
. . . . . }
i
). First transform{}
1
. . . . . }
i
]
into a standard basis {g
1
. . . . . g
x
]. and then divide } by g
1
. . . . . g
x
to see whether the remainder is
0 (in which case } lies in the ideal) or nonzero (and it doesn’t). This algorithm is implemented in
Maple — see below.
A standard basis {g
1
. . . . . g
x
] is minimal if each g
i
has leading coefficient 1 and, for all i , the
leading term of g
i
does not belong to the ideal generated by the leading terms of the remaining g’s.
A standard basis {g
1
. . . . . g
x
] is reduced if each g
i
has leading coefficient 1 and if, for all i , no
monomial of g
i
lies in the ideal generated by the leading terms of the remaining g’s. One can prove
(Cox et al. 1992, p91) that every nonzero ideal has a unique reduced standard basis.
REMARK 1.52. Consider polynomials }. g
1
. . . . . g
x
÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|. The algorithm that replaces
g
1
. . . . . g
x
with a standard basis works entirely within kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|, i.e., it doesn’t require a field
extension. Likewise, the division algorithm doesn’t require a field extension. Because these opera-
tions give well-defined answers, whether we carry them out in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| or in 1ŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|,
1 ¯ k, we get the same answer. Maple appears to work in the subfield of C generated over ´ by
all the constants occurring in the polynomials.
We conclude this chapter with the annotated transcript of a session in Maple applying the above
algorithm to show that
q = 3.
3
.:
2
÷ .:
2
÷.
3
÷.:
doesn’t lie in the ideal
(.
2
÷ 2.: ÷5. ..
2
÷.:
3
. 3.
2
÷ 8:
3
).
A Maple session
>with(grobner):
This loads the grobner package, and lists the available commands:
finduni, finite, gbasis, gsolve, leadmon, normalf, solvable, spoly
To discover the syntax of a command, a brief description of the command, and an example, type
“?command;”
>G:=gbasis([x^2-2*x*z+5,x*y^2+y*z^3,3*y^2-8*z^3],[x,y,z]);
G := Œ.
2
÷ 2.: ÷5. ÷3.
2
÷8:
3
. 8..
2
÷3.
3
. 9.
4
÷48:.
3
÷320.
2
|
EXERCISES 29
This asks Maple to find the reduced Grobner basis for the ideal generated by the three polynomials
listed, with respect to the symbols listed (in that order). It will automatically use grevlex order unless
you add ,plex to the command.
> q:=3*x^3*y*z^2 - x*z^2 + y^3 + y*z;
q := 3.
3
.:
2
÷ .:
2
÷.
3
÷:.
This defines the polynomial q.
> normalf(q,G,[x,y,z]);
9:
2
.
3
÷ 15.:
2
. ÷
41
4
.
3
÷60.
2
: ÷ .:
2
÷:.
Asks for the remainder when q is divided by the polynomials listed in G using the symbols listed.
This particular example is amusing — the program gives different orderings for G, and different
answers for the remainder, depending on which computer I use. This is O.K., because, since q isn’t
in the ideal, the remainder may depend on the ordering of G.
Notes:
(a) To start Maple on a Unix computer type “maple”; to quit type “quit”.
(b) Maple won’t do anything until you type “;” or “:” at the end of a line.
(c) The student version of Maple is quite cheap, but unfortunately, it doesn’t have the Grobner
package.
(d) For more information on Maple:
i) There is a brief discussion of the Grobner package in Cox et al. 1992, Appendix C, :1.
ii) The Maple V Library Reference Manual pp469–478 briefly describes what the Grobner
package does (exactly the same information is available on line, by typing ?command).
iii) There are many books containing general introductions to Maple syntax.
(e) Gr¨ obner bases are also implemented in Macsyma, Mathematica, and Axiom, but for serious
work it is better to use one of the programs especially designed for Gr¨ obner basis computa-
tion, namely,
CoCoA (Computations in Commutative Algebra) http://cocoa.dima.unige.it/.
Macaulay 2 (Grayson and Stillman) http://www.math.uiuc.edu/Macaulay2/.
Exercises
1-1. Let k be an infinite field (not necessarily algebraically closed). Show that an } ÷
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| that is identically zero on k
n
is the zero polynomial (i.e., has all its coeffi-
cients zero).
1-2. Find a minimal set of generators for the ideal
(X ÷2Y. 3X ÷6Y ÷37. 2X ÷4Y ÷37)
in kŒX. Y. 7|. What standard algorithm in linear algebra will allow you to answer this
question for any ideal generated by homogeneous linear polynomials? Find a minimal set
of generators for the ideal
(X ÷2Y ÷1. 3X ÷6Y ÷3X ÷2. 2X ÷4Y ÷37 ÷3).
Chapter 2
Algebraic Sets
In this chapter, k is an algebraically closed field.
Definition of an algebraic set
An algebraic subset V(S) of k
n
is the set of common zeros of some set S of polynomials
in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|:
V(S) = {(a
1
. . . . . a
n
) ÷ k
n
[ }(a
1
. . . . . a
n
) = 0 all }(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) ÷ S].
Note that
S c S
t
== V(S) ¯ V(S
t
):
— more equations means fewer solutions.
Recall that the ideal a generated by a set S consists of all finite sums
¸
}
i
g
i
. }
i
÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|. g
i
÷ S.
Such a sum
¸
}
i
g
i
is zero at any point at which the g
i
are all zero, and so V(S) c V(a),
but the reverse conclusion is also true because S c a. Thus V(S) = V(a) — the zero set
of S is the same as that of the ideal generated by S. Hence the algebraic sets can also be
described as the sets of the form V(a), a an ideal in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|.
EXAMPLE 2.1. (a) If S is a system of homogeneous linear equations, then V(S) is a sub-
space of k
n
. If S is a system of nonhomogeneous linear equations, then V(S) is either
empty or is the translate of a subspace of k
n
.
(b) If S consists of the single equation
Y
2
= X
3
÷aX ÷b. 4a
3
÷27b
2
= 0.
then V(S) is an elliptic curve. For more on elliptic curves, and their relation to Fermat’s last
theorem, see my notes on Elliptic Curves. The reader should sketch the curve for particular
values of a and b. We generally visualize algebraic sets as though the field k were 1,
although this can be misleading.
(c) For the empty set 0, V(0) = k
n
.
(d) The algebraic subsets of k are the finite subsets (including 0) and k itself.
30
THE HILBERT BASIS THEOREM 31
(e) Some generating sets for an ideal will be more useful than others for determining
what the algebraic set is. For example, a Gr¨ obner basis for the ideal
a = (X
2
÷Y
2
÷7
2
÷ 1. X
2
÷Y
2
÷ Y. X ÷ 7)
is (according to Maple)
X ÷ 7. Y
2
÷ 2Y ÷1. 7
2
÷ 1 ÷Y.
The middle polynomial has (double) root 1, and it follows easily that V(a) consists of the
single point (0. 1. 0).
The Hilbert basis theorem
In our definition of an algebraic set, we didn’t require the set S of polynomials to be fi-
nite, but the Hilbert basis theorem shows that every algebraic set will also be the zero
set of a finite set of polynomials. More precisely, the theorem shows that every ideal in
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| can be generated by a finite set of elements, and we have already observed
that any set of generators of an ideal has the same zero set as the ideal.
We sketched an algorithmic proof of the Hilbert basis theorem in the last chapter. Here
we give the slick proof.
THEOREM 2.2 (HILBERT BASIS THEOREM). The ring kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| is noetherian, i.e.,
every ideal is finitely generated.
Since k itself is noetherian, and kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n-1
|ŒX
n
| = kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|, the theorem
follows by induction from the next lemma.
LEMMA 2.3. If · is noetherian, then so also is ·ŒX|.
PROOF. Recall that for a polynomial
}(X) = a
0
X
i
÷a
1
X
i-1
÷ ÷a
i
. a
i
÷ ·. a
0
= 0.
r is called the degree of } , and a
0
is its leading coefficient.
Let a be an ideal in ·ŒX|, and let a
i
be the set of elements of · that occur as the leading
coefficient of a polynomial in a of degree _ i . Then a
i
is an ideal in ·, and
a
1
c a
2
c c a
i
c .
Because · is noetherian, this sequence eventually becomes constant, say a
d
= a
d÷1
= . . .
(and a
d
consists of the leading coefficients of all polynomials in a).
For each i _ J, choose a finite set }
i1
. }
i2
. . . . of polynomials in a of degree i such
that the leading coefficients a
i}
of the }
i}
’s generate a
i
.
Let } ÷ a; we shall prove by induction on the degree of } that it lies in the ideal
generated by the }
i}
. When } has degree 1, this is clear.
Suppose that } has degree s _ J. Then } = aX
x
÷ with a ÷ a
d
, and so
a =
¸
}
b
}
a
d}
. some b
}
÷ ·.
32 CHAPTER 2. ALGEBRAIC SETS
Now
} ÷
¸
}
b
}
}
d}
X
x-d
has degree < deg(} ), and so lies in (}
i}
).
Suppose that } has degree s _ r. Then a similar argument shows that
} ÷
¸
b
}
}
x}
has degree < deg(} ) for suitable b
}
÷ ·, and so lies in (}
i}
).
2
ASIDE 2.4. One may ask how many elements are needed to generate a given ideal a in
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|, or, what is not quite the same thing, how many equations are needed to
define a given algebraic set V . When n = 1, we know that every ideal is generated by a
single element. Also, if V is a linear subspace of k
n
, then linear algebra shows that it is the
zero set of n÷dim(V ) polynomials. All one can say in general, is that at least n÷dim(V )
polynomials are needed to define V (see 9.7), but often more are required. Determining
exactly how many is an area of active research — see (9.14).
The Zariski topology
PROPOSITION 2.5. There are the following relations:
(a) a c b == V(a) ¯ V(b):
(b) V(0) = k
n
; V(kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|) = 0:
(c) V(ab) = V(a ¨ b) = V(a) L V(b):
(d) V(
¸
i÷J
a
i
) =
¸
i÷J
V(a
i
) for any family of ideals (a
i
)
i÷J
.
PROOF. The first two statements are obvious. For (c), note that
ab c a ¨ b c a. b == V(ab) ¯ V(a ¨ b) ¯ V(a) L V(b).
For the reverse inclusions, observe that if a … V(a) L V(b), then there exist } ÷ a, g ÷ b
such that }(a) = 0, g(a) = 0; but then (}g)(a) = 0, and so a … V(ab). For (d) recall
that, by definition,
¸
a
i
consists of all finite sums of the form
¸
}
i
, }
i
÷ a
i
. Thus (d) is
obvious.
2
Statements (b), (c), and (d) show that the algebraic subsets of k
n
satisfy the axioms to be
the closed subsets for a topology on k
n
: both the whole space and the empty set are closed;
a finite union of closed sets is closed; an arbitrary intersection of closed sets is closed. This
topology is called the Zariski topology on k
n
. The induced topology on a subset V of k
n
is called the Zariski topology on V .
The Zariski topology has many strange properties, but it is nevertheless of great impor-
tance. For the Zariski topology on k, the closed subsets are just the finite sets and the whole
space, and so the topology is not Hausdorff. We shall see in (2.29) below that the proper
closed subsets of k
2
are finite unions of (isolated) points and curves (zero sets of irreducible
} ÷ kŒX. Y |). Note that the Zariski topologies on C and C
2
are much coarser (have many
fewer open sets) than the complex topologies.
THE HILBERT NULLSTELLENSATZ 33
The Hilbert Nullstellensatz
We wish to examine the relation between the algebraic subsets of k
n
and the ideals of
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|, but first we consider the question of when a set of polynomials has a com-
mon zero, i.e., when the equations
g(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) = 0. g ÷ a.
are “consistent”. Obviously, the equations
g
i
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) = 0. i = 1. . . . . m
are inconsistent if there exist }
i
÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| such that
¸
}
i
g
i
= 1, i.e., if 1 ÷
(g
1
. . . . . g
n
) or, equivalently, (g
1
. . . . . g
n
) = kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|. The next theorem provides
a converse to this.
THEOREM 2.6 (HILBERT NULLSTELLENSATZ).
1
Every proper ideal a in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|
has a zero in k
n
.
A point 1 = (a
1
. . . . . a
n
) in k
n
defines a homomorphism “evaluate at 1”
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| ÷k. }(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) ÷}(a
1
. . . . . a
n
).
whose kernel contains a if 1 ÷ V(a). Conversely, froma homomorphismc: kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| ÷
k of k-algebras whose kernel contains a, we obtain a point 1 in V(a), namely,
1 = (c(X
1
). . . . . c(X
n
)).
Thus, to prove the theorem, we have to show that there exists a k-algebra homomorphism
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡a ÷k.
Since every proper ideal is contained in a maximal ideal, it suffices to prove this for a
maximal ideal m. Then 1
df
= kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡m is a field, and it is finitely generated as an
algebra over k (with generators X
1
÷ m. . . . . X
n
÷ m). To complete the proof, we must
show 1 = k. The next lemma accomplishes this.
Although we shall apply the lemma only in the case that k is algebraically closed, in
order to make the induction in its proof work, we need to allowarbitrary k’s in the statement.
LEMMA 2.7 (ZARISKI’S LEMMA). Let k c 1 be fields (k is not necessarily algebraically
closed). If 1 is finitely generated as an algebra over k, then 1 is algebraic over k. (Hence
1 = k if k is algebraically closed.)
PROOF. We shall prove this by induction on r, the minimum number of elements required
to generate 1 as a k-algebra. The case r = 0 being trivial, we may suppose that 1 =
kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
i
| with r _ 1. If 1 is not algebraic over k, then at least one .
i
, say .
1
, is not
algebraic over k. Then, kŒ.
1
| is a polynomial ring in one symbol over k, and its field of
fractions k(.
1
) is a subfield of 1. Clearly 1 is generated as a k(.
1
)-algebra by .
2
. . . . . .
i
,
and so the induction hypothesis implies that .
2
. . . . . .
i
are algebraic over k(.
1
). According
to (1.18), there exists a J ÷ kŒ.
1
| such that J.
i
is integral over kŒ.
1
| for all i _ 2. Let
} ÷ 1 = kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
i
|. For a sufficiently large N, J
1
} ÷ kŒ.
1
. J.
2
. . . . . J.
i
|, and so
1
Nullstellensatz = zero-points-theorem.
34 CHAPTER 2. ALGEBRAIC SETS
J
1
} is integral over kŒ.
1
| (1.16). When we apply this statement to an element } of k(.
1
),
(1.21) shows that J
1
} ÷ kŒ.
1
|. Therefore, k(.
1
) =

1
J
-1
kŒ.
1
|, but this is absurd,
because kŒ.
1
| (. kŒX|) has infinitely many distinct monic irreducible polynomials
2
that
can occur as denominators of elements of k(.
1
).
2
The correspondence between algebraic sets and ideals
For a subset W of k
n
, we write 1(W) for the set of polynomials that are zero on W:
1(W) = {} ÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| [ }(1) = 0 all 1 ÷ W].
Clearly, it is an ideal in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|. There are the following relations:
(a) V c W == 1(V ) ¯ 1(W):
(b) 1(0) = kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|; 1(k
n
) = 0:
(c) 1(

W
i
) =
¸
1(W
i
).
Only the statement 1(k
n
) = 0 is (perhaps) not obvious. It says that, if a polynomial is
nonzero (in the ring kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|), then it is nonzero at some point of k
n
. This is true
with k any infinite field (see Exercise 1-1). Alternatively, it follows from the strong Hilbert
Nullstellensatz (cf. 2.14a below).
EXAMPLE 2.8. Let 1 be the point (a
1
. . . . . a
n
). Clearly 1(1) ¯ (X
1
÷a
1
. . . . . X
n
÷a
n
),
but (X
1
÷a
1
. . . . . X
n
÷a
n
) is a maximal ideal, because “evaluation at (a
1
. . . . . a
n
)” defines
an isomorphism
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡(X
1
÷ a
1
. . . . . X
n
÷ a
n
) ÷k.
As 1(1) is a proper ideal, it must equal (X
1
÷ a
1
. . . . . X
n
÷ a
n
).
PROPOSITION 2.9. For any subset W c k
n
, V1(W) is the smallest algebraic subset of k
n
containing W. In particular, V1(W) = W if W is an algebraic set.
PROOF. Let V be an algebraic set containing W, and write V = V(a). Then a c 1(W),
and so V(a) ¯ V1(W).
2
The radical rad(a) of an ideal a is defined to be
{} [ }
i
÷ a, some r ÷ N, r > 0].
PROPOSITION 2.10. Let a be an ideal in a ring ·.
(a) The radical of a is an ideal.
(b) rad(rad(a)) = rad(a).
PROOF. (a) If a ÷ rad(a), then clearly }a ÷ rad(a) for all } ÷ ·. Suppose a. b ÷ rad(a),
with say a
i
÷ a and b
x
÷ a. When we expand (a ÷b)
i÷x
using the binomial theorem, we
find that every term has a factor a
i
or b
x
, and so lies in a.
(b) If a
i
÷ rad(a), then a
ix
= (a
i
)
x
÷ a for some s.
2
2
If k is infinite, then consider the polynomials X ÷a, and if k is finite, consider the minimum polynomials
of generators of the extension fields of k. Alternatively, and better, adapt Euclid’s proof that there are infinitely
many prime numbers.
THE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN ALGEBRAIC SETS AND IDEALS 35
An ideal is said to be radical if it equals its radical, i.e., if }
i
÷ a == } ÷ a.
Equivalently, a is radical if and only if ·¡a is a reduced ring, i.e., a ring without nonzero
nilpotent elements (elements some power of which is zero). Since integral domains are
reduced, prime ideals (a fortiori maximal ideals) are radical.
If a and b are radical, then a¨b is radical, but a÷b need not be: consider, for example,
a = (X
2
÷ Y ) and b = (X
2
÷Y ); they are both prime ideals in kŒX. Y |, but X
2
÷ a ÷b,
X … a ÷b.
As }
i
(1) = }(1)
i
, }
i
is zero wherever } is zero, and so 1(W) is radical. In
particular, 1V(a) ¯ rad(a). The next theorem states that these two ideals are equal.
THEOREM 2.11 (STRONG HILBERT NULLSTELLENSATZ). For any ideal a in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|,
1V(a) is the radical of a; in particular, 1V(a) = a if a is a radical ideal.
PROOF. We have already noted that 1V(a) ¯ rad(a). For the reverse inclusion, we have to
show that if h is identically zero on V(a), then h
1
÷ a for some N > 0. We may assume
h = 0. Let g
1
. . . . . g
n
generate a, and consider the system of m ÷ 1 equations in n ÷ 1
variables, X
1
. . . . . X
n
. Y.

g
i
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) = 0. i = 1. . . . . m
1 ÷ Yh(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) = 0.
If (a
1
. . . . . a
n
. b) satisfies the first m equations, then (a
1
. . . . . a
n
) ÷ V(a); consequently,
h(a
1
. . . . . a
n
) = 0, and (a
1
. . . . . a
n
. b) doesn’t satisfy the last equation. Therefore, the
equations are inconsistent, and so, according to the original Nullstellensatz, there exist
}
i
÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
. Y | such that
1 =
n
¸
i=1
}
i
g
i
÷}
n÷1
(1 ÷ Yh)
(in the ring kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
. Y |). On regarding this as an identity in the ring k(X
1
. . . . . X
n
)ŒY |
and substituting
3
h
-1
for Y , we obtain the identity
1 =
n
¸
i=1
}
i
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
. h
-1
) g
i
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) (*)
in k(X
1
. . . . . X
n
). Clearly
}
i
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
. h
-1
) =
polynomial in X
1
. . . . . X
n
h
1
i
for some N
i
. Let N be the largest of the N
i
. On multiplying (*) by h
1
we obtain an
equation
h
1
=
¸
(polynomial in X
1
. . . . . X
n
) g
i
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
).
which shows that h
1
÷ a.
2
3
More precisely, there is a homomorphism
Y ÷h
-1
: 1ŒY | ÷1. 1 = k(X
1
. . . . . X
n
).
which we apply to the identity.
36 CHAPTER 2. ALGEBRAIC SETS
COROLLARY 2.12. The map a ÷ V(a) defines a one-to-one correspondence between the
set of radical ideals in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| and the set of algebraic subsets of k
n
; its inverse is 1.
PROOF. We know that 1V(a) = a if a is a radical ideal (2.11), and that V1(W) = W if W
is an algebraic set (2.9). Therefore, 1 and V are inverse maps.
2
COROLLARY 2.13. The radical of an ideal in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| is equal to the intersection of
the maximal ideals containing it.
PROOF. Let a be an ideal in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|. Because maximal ideals are radical, every
maximal ideal containing a also contains rad(a):
rad(a) c
¸
m¯a
m.
For each 1 = (a
1
. . . . . a
n
) ÷ k
n
, m
1
= (X
1
÷a
1
. . . . . X
n
÷a
n
) is a maximal ideal in
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|, and
} ÷ m
1
” }(1) = 0
(see 2.8). Thus
m
1
¯ a ” 1 ÷ V(a).
If } ÷ m
1
for all 1 ÷ V(a), then } is zero on V(a), and so } ÷ 1V(a) = rad(a). We
have shown that
rad(a) ¯
¸
1÷V(a)
m
1
.
2
REMARK 2.14. (a) Because V(0) = k
n
,
1(k
n
) = 1V(0) = rad(0) = 0:
in other words, only the zero polynomial is zero on the whole of k
n
.
(b) The one-to-one correspondence in the corollary is order inverting. Therefore the
maximal proper radical ideals correspond to the minimal nonempty algebraic sets. But
the maximal proper radical ideals are simply the maximal ideals in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|, and the
minimal nonempty algebraic sets are the one-point sets. As
1((a
1
. . . . . a
n
)) = (X
1
÷ a
1
. . . . . X
n
÷ a
n
)
(see 2.8), this shows that the maximal ideals of kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| are exactly the ideals of the
form (X
1
÷ a
1
. . . . . X
n
÷ a
n
).
(c) The algebraic set V(a) is empty if and only if a = kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|, because
V(a) = 0 =rad(a) = kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| =1 ÷ rad(a) =1 ÷ a.
(d) Let W and W
t
be algebraic sets. Then W ¨ W
t
is the largest algebraic subset con-
tained in both W and W
t
, and so 1(W ¨ W
t
) must be the smallest radical ideal containing
both 1(W) and 1(W
t
). Hence 1(W ¨ W
t
) = rad(1(W) ÷1(W
t
)).
For example, let W = V(X
2
÷ Y ) and W
t
= V(X
2
÷ Y ); then 1(W ¨ W
t
) =
rad(X
2
. Y ) = (X. Y ) (assuming characteristic = 2). Note that W ¨ W
t
= {(0. 0)], but
when realized as the intersection of Y = X
2
and Y = ÷X
2
, it has “multiplicity 2”. [The
reader should draw a picture.]
FINDING THE RADICAL OF AN IDEAL 37
ASIDE 2.15. Let 1 be the set of subsets of k
n
and let Obe the set of subsets of kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|.
Then 1: 1 ÷ O and V : O ÷ 1 define a simple Galois correspondence (cf. FT 7.17).
Therefore, 1 and V define a one-to-one correspondence between 11 and VO. But the
strong Nullstellensatz shows that 11 consists exactly of the radical ideals, and (by defini-
tion) VO consists of the algebraic subsets. Thus we recover Corollary 2.12.
Finding the radical of an ideal
Typically, an algebraic set V will be defined by a finite set of polynomials {g
1
. . . . . g
x
], and
then we shall need to find 1(V ) = rad((g
1
. . . . . g
x
)).
PROPOSITION 2.16. The polynomial h ÷ rad(a) if and only if 1 ÷ (a. 1 ÷ Yh) (the ideal
in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
. Y | generated by the elements of a and 1 ÷ Yh).
PROOF. We saw that 1 ÷ (a. 1 ÷ Yh) implies h ÷ rad(a) in the course of proving (2.11).
Conversely, if h
1
÷ a, then
1 = Y
1
h
1
÷(1 ÷ Y
1
h
1
)
= Y
1
h
1
÷(1 ÷ Yh) (1 ÷Yh ÷ ÷Y
1-1
h
1-1
)
÷ a ÷(1 ÷ Yh).
2
Since we have an algorithm for deciding whether or not a polynomial belongs to an
ideal given a set of generators for the ideal – see Section 1 – we also have an algorithm
deciding whether or not a polynomial belongs to the radical of the ideal, but not yet an
algorithm for finding a set of generators for the radical. There do exist such algorithms
(see Cox et al. 1992, p177 for references), and one has been implemented in the computer
algebra system Macaulay 2 (see p29).
The Zariski topology on an algebraic set
We now examine more closely the Zariski topology on k
n
and on an algebraic subset of
k
n
. Proposition 2.9 says that, for each subset W of k
n
, V1(W) is the closure of W, and
(2.12) says that there is a one-to-one correspondence between the closed subsets of k
n
and
the radical ideals of kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|. Under this correspondence, the closed subsets of an
algebraic set V correspond to the radical ideals of kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| containing 1(V ).
PROPOSITION 2.17. Let V be an algebraic subset of k
n
.
(a) The points of V are closed for the Zariski topology (thus V is a T
1
-space).
(b) Every ascending chain of open subsets U
1
c U
2
c of V eventually becomes
constant, i.e., for some m, U
n
= U
n÷1
= ; hence every descending chain of closed
subsets of V eventually becomes constant.
(c) Every open covering of V has a finite subcovering.
PROOF. (a) Clearly {(a
1
. . . . . a
n
)] is the algebraic set defined by the ideal (X
1
÷a
1
. . . . . X
n
÷
a
n
).
(b) A sequence V
1
¯ V
2
¯ of closed subsets of V gives rise to a sequence of radical
ideals 1(V
1
) c 1(V
2
) c . . ., which eventually becomes constant because kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| is
noetherian.
38 CHAPTER 2. ALGEBRAIC SETS
(c) Let V =

i÷J
U
i
with each U
i
open. Choose an i
0
÷ 1; if U
i
0
= V , then there
exists an i
1
÷ 1 such that U
i
0
´ U
i
0
L U
i
1
. If U
i
0
L U
i
1
= V , then there exists an i
2
÷ 1
etc.. Because of (b), this process must eventually stop.
2
A topological space having the property (b) is said to be noetherian. The condition
is equivalent to the following: every nonempty set of closed subsets of V has a minimal
element. A space having property (c) is said to be quasicompact (by Bourbaki at least;
others call it compact, but Bourbaki requires a compact space to be Hausdorff). The proof
of (c) shows that every noetherian space is quasicompact. Since an open subspace of a
noetherian space is again noetherian, it will also be quasicompact.
The coordinate ring of an algebraic set
Let V be an algebraic subset of k
n
, and let 1(V ) = a. The coordinate ring of V is
kŒV | = kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡a.
This is a finitely generated reduced k-algebra (because a is radical), but it need not be an
integral domain.
A function V ÷ k of the form 1 ÷ }(1) for some } ÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| is said to
be regular.
4
Two polynomials }. g ÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| define the same regular function on
V if only if they define the same element of kŒV |. The coordinate function .
i
: V ÷ k,
(a
1
. . . . . a
n
) ÷a
i
is regular, and kŒV | . kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
n
|.
For an ideal b in kŒV |, set
V(b) = {1 ÷ V [ }(1) = 0, all } ÷ b].
Let W = V(b). The maps
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| ÷kŒV | =
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|
a
÷kŒW| =
kŒV |
b
send a regular function on k
n
to its restriction to V , and then to its restriction to W.
Write ¬ for the map kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| ÷kŒV |. Then b ÷¬
-1
(b) is a bijection from the
set of ideals of kŒV | to the set of ideals of kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| containing a, under which radical,
prime, and maximal ideals correspond to radical, prime, and maximal ideals (each of these
conditions can be checked on the quotient ring, and kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡¬
-1
(b) . kŒV |¡b).
Clearly
V(¬
-1
(b)) = V(b).
and so b ÷ V(b) is a bijection from the set of radical ideals in kŒV | to the set of algebraic
sets contained in V .
For h ÷ kŒV |, set
D(h) = {a ÷ V [ h(a) = 0].
It is an open subset of V , because it is the complement of V((h)), and it is empty if and
only if h is zero (2.14a).
4
In the next chapter, we’ll give a more general definition of regular function according to which these are
exactly the regular functions on V , and so kŒV | will be the ring of regular functions on V .
IRREDUCIBLE ALGEBRAIC SETS 39
PROPOSITION 2.18. (a) The points of V are in one-to-one correspondence with the maxi-
mal ideals of kŒV |.
(b) The closed subsets of V are in one-to-one correspondence with the radical ideals of
kŒV |.
(c) The sets D(h), h ÷ kŒV |, are a base for the topology on V , i.e., each D(h) is open,
and every open set is a union (in fact, a finite union) of D(h)’s.
PROOF. (a) and (b) are obvious from the above discussion. For (c), we have already ob-
served that D(h) is open. Any other open set U c V is the complement of a set of the form
V(b), with b an ideal in kŒV |, and if }
1
. . . . . }
n
generate b, then U =

D(}
i
).
2
The D(h) are called the basic (or principal) open subsets of V . We sometimes write
V
h
for D(h). Note that
D(h) c D(h
t
) ” V(h) ¯ V(h
t
)
” rad((h)) c rad((h
t
))
” h
i
÷ (h
t
) some r
” h
i
= h
t
g, some g.
Some of this should look familiar: if V is a topological space, then the zero set of a
family of continuous functions } : V ÷ 1 is closed, and the set where such a function is
nonzero is open.
Irreducible algebraic sets
A nonempty topological space is said to be irreducible if it is not the union of two proper
closed subsets; equivalently, if any two nonempty open subsets have a nonempty intersec-
tion, or if every nonempty open subset is dense.
If an irreducible space W is a finite union of closed subsets, W = W
1
L. . . LW
i
, then
W = W
1
or W
2
L. . . LW
i
; if the latter, then W = W
2
or W
3
L. . . LW
i
, etc.. Continuing
in this fashion, we find that W = W
i
for some i .
The notion of irreducibility is not useful for Hausdorff topological spaces, because the
only irreducible Hausdorff spaces are those consisting of a single point – two points would
have disjoint open neighbourhoods contradicting the second condition.
PROPOSITION 2.19. An algebraic set W is irreducible and only if 1(W) is prime.
PROOF. == : Suppose }g ÷ 1(W). At each point of W, either } is zero or g is zero,
and so W c V(} ) L V(g). Hence
W = (W ¨ V(} )) L (W ¨ V(g)).
As W is irreducible, one of these sets, say W ¨V(} ), must equal W. But then } ÷ 1(W).
This shows that 1(W) is prime.
==: Suppose W = V(a) L V(b) with a and b radical ideals — we have to show that
W equals V(a) or V(b). Recall (2.5) that V(a) LV(b) = V(a ¨b) and that a ¨b is radical;
hence 1(W) = a ¨ b. If W = V(a), then there is an } ÷ a 1(W). For all g ÷ b,
}g ÷ a ¨ b = 1(W).
Because 1(W) is prime, this implies that b c 1(W); therefore W c V(b).
2
40 CHAPTER 2. ALGEBRAIC SETS
Thus, there are one-to-one correspondences
radical ideals - algebraic subsets
prime ideals - irreducible algebraic subsets
maximal ideals - one-point sets.
These correspondences are valid whether we mean ideals in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| and algebraic
subsets of k
n
, or ideals in kŒV | and algebraic subsets of V . Note that the last correspon-
dence implies that the maximal ideals in kŒV | are those of the form (.
1
÷a
1
. . . . . .
n
÷a
n
),
(a
1
. . . . . a
n
) ÷ V .
EXAMPLE 2.20. Let } ÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|. As we showed in (1.14), kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| is a
unique factorization domain, and so (} ) is a prime ideal if and only if } is irreducible
(1.15). Thus
V(} ) is irreducible ” } is irreducible.
On the other hand, suppose } factors,
} =
¸
}
n
i
i
. }
i
distinct irreducible polynomials.
Then
(} ) =
¸
(}
n
i
i
). (}
n
i
i
) distinct primary
5
ideals,
rad((} )) =
¸
(}
i
). (}
i
) distinct prime ideals,
V(} ) =
¸
V(}
i
). V(}
i
) distinct irreducible algebraic sets.
PROPOSITION 2.21. Let V be a noetherian topological space. Then V is a finite union
of irreducible closed subsets, V = V
1
L . . . L V
n
. Moreover, if the decomposition is
irredundant in the sense that there are no inclusions among the V
i
, then the V
i
are uniquely
determined up to order.
PROOF. Suppose that V can not be written as a finite union of irreducible closed subsets.
Then, because V is noetherian, there will be a closed subset W of V that is minimal among
those that cannot be written in this way. But W itself cannot be irreducible, and so W =
W
1
LW
2
, with each W
i
a proper closed subset of W. From the minimality of W, we deduce
that each W
i
is a finite union of irreducible closed subsets, and so therefore is W. We have
arrived at a contradiction.
Suppose that
V = V
1
L . . . L V
n
= W
1
L . . . L W
n
are two irredundant decompositions. Then V
i
=

}
(V
i
¨ W
}
), and so, because V
i
is
irreducible, V
i
= V
i
¨ W
}
for some ; . Consequently, there is a function } : {1. . . . . m] ÷
{1. . . . . n] such that V
i
c W
((i)
for each i . Similarly, there is a function g: {1. . . . . n] ÷
{1. . . . . m] such that W
}
c V
v(})
for each ; . Since V
i
c W
((i)
c V
v((i)
, we must have
g}(i ) = i and V
i
= W
((i)
; similarly }g = id. Thus } and g are bijections, and the
decompositions differ only in the numbering of the sets.
2
4
In a noetherian ring ·, a proper ideal q is said to primary if every zero-divisor in ·¡q is nilpotent.
DIMENSION 41
The V
i
given uniquely by the proposition are called the irreducible components of V .
They are the maximal closed irreducible subsets of V . In Example 2.20, the V(}
i
) are the
irreducible components of V(} ).
COROLLARY 2.22. A radical ideal a in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| is a finite intersection of prime
ideals, a = p
1
¨ . . . ¨ p
n
; if there are no inclusions among the p
i
, then the p
i
are uniquely
determined up to order.
PROOF. Write V(a) as a union of its irreducible components, V(a) =

V
i
, and take
p
i
= 1(V
i
).
2
REMARK 2.23. (a) An irreducible topological space is connected, but a connected topo-
logical space need not be irreducible. For example, V(X
1
X
2
) is the union of the coor-
dinate axes in k
2
, which is connected but not irreducible. An algebraic subset V of k
n
is not connected if and only if there exist ideals a and b such that a ¨ b = 1(V ) and
a ÷b = kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|.
(b) A Hausdorff space is noetherian if and only if it is finite, in which case its irreducible
components are the one-point sets.
(c) In kŒX|, (}(X)) is radical if and only if } is square-free, in which case } is a
product of distinct irreducible polynomials, } = }
1
. . . }
i
, and (} ) = (}
1
) ¨. . . ¨(}
i
) (a
polynomial is divisible by } if and only if it is divisible by each }
i
).
(d) In a noetherian ring, every proper ideal a has a decomposition into primary ideals:
a =
¸
q
i
(see Atiyah and MacDonald 1969, IV, VII). For radical ideals, this becomes a
simpler decomposition into prime ideals, as in the corollary. For an ideal (} ) with } =
¸
}
n
i
i
, it is the decomposition (} ) =
¸
(}
n
i
i
) noted in Example 2.20.
Dimension
We briefly introduce the notion of the dimension of an algebraic set. In chapter 9 we shall
discuss this in more detail.
Let V be an irreducible algebraic subset. Then 1(V ) is a prime ideal, and so kŒV | is
an integral domain. Let k(V ) be its field of fractions — k(V ) is called the field of rational
functions on V . The dimension of V is defined to be the transcendence degree of k(V )
over k (see FT :8).
6
EXAMPLE 2.24. (a) Let V = k
n
; then k(V ) = k(X
1
. . . . . X
n
), and so dim(V ) = n.
(b) If V is a linear subspace of k
n
(or a translate of such a subspace), then it is an easy
exercise to show that the dimension of V in the above sense is the same as its dimension
in the sense of linear algebra (in fact, kŒV | is canonically isomorphic to kŒX
i
1
. . . . . X
i
d
|
where the X
i
j
are the “free” variables in the system of linear equations defining V — see
5.12).
In linear algebra, we justify saying V has dimension n by proving that its elements
are parametrized by n-tuples. It is not true in general that the points of an algebraic set
of dimension n are parametrized by n-tuples. The most one can say is that there exists a
finite-to-one map to k
n
(see 8.12).
6
According to the last theorem in Atiyah and MacDonald 1969 (Theorem 11.25), the transcendence degree
of k(V ) is equal to the Krull dimension of kŒV |; cf. 2.30 below.
42 CHAPTER 2. ALGEBRAIC SETS
(c) An irreducible algebraic set has dimension 0 if and only if it consists of a single
point. Certainly, for any point 1 ÷ k
n
, kŒ1| = k, and so k(1) = k. Conversely, suppose
V = V(p), p prime, has dimension 0. Then k(V ) is an algebraic extension of k, and so
equals k. From the inclusions
k c kŒV | c k(V ) = k
we see that kŒV | = k. Hence p is maximal, and we saw in (2.14b) that this implies that
V(p) is a point.
The zero set of a single nonconstant nonzero polynomial }(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) is called a
hypersurface in k
n
.
PROPOSITION 2.25. An irreducible hypersurface in k
n
has dimension n ÷ 1.
PROOF. An irreducible hypersurface is the zero set of an irreducible polynomial } (see
2.20). Let
kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
n
| = kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡(} ). .
i
= X
i
÷p.
and let k(.
1
. . . . . .
n
) be the field of fractions of kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
n
|. Since } is not zero, some
X
i
, say, X
n
, occurs in it. Then X
n
occurs in every nonzero multiple of } , and so no
nonzero polynomial in X
1
. . . . . X
n-1
belongs to (} ). This means that .
1
. . . . . .
n-1
are
algebraically independent. On the other hand, .
n
is algebraic over k(.
1
. . . . . .
n-1
), and so
{.
1
. . . . . .
n-1
] is a transcendence basis for k(.
1
. . . . . .
n
) over k.
2
For a reducible algebraic set V , we define the dimension of V to be the maximum of
the dimensions of its irreducible components. When the irreducible components all have
the same dimension J, we say that V has pure dimension J.
PROPOSITION 2.26. If V is irreducible and 7 is a proper algebraic subset of V , then
dim(7) < dim(V ).
PROOF. We may assume that 7 is irreducible. Then 7 corresponds to a nonzero prime
ideal p in kŒV |, and kŒ7| = kŒV |¡p.
Write
kŒV | = kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡1(V ) = kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
n
|.
Let } ÷ kŒV |. The image
¨
} of } in kŒV |¡p = kŒ7| is the restriction of } to 7. With
this notation, kŒ7| = kŒ ¨ .
1
. . . . . ¨ .
n
|. Suppose that dim7 = J and that the X
i
have been
numbered so that ¨ .
1
. . . . . ¨ .
d
are algebraically independent (see FT 8.9 for the proof that
this is possible). I will show that, for any nonzero } ÷ p, the J ÷1 elements .
1
. . . . . .
d
. }
are algebraically independent, which implies that dimV _ J ÷1.
Suppose otherwise. Then there is a nontrivial algebraic relation among the .
i
and } ,
which we can write
a
0
(.
1
. . . . . .
d
)}
n
÷a
1
(.
1
. . . . . .
d
)}
n-1
÷ ÷a
n
(.
1
. . . . . .
d
) = 0.
with a
i
(.
1
. . . . . .
d
) ÷ kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
d
| and not all zero. Because V is irreducible, kŒV | is an
integral domain, and so we can cancel a power of } if necessary to make a
n
(.
1
. . . . . .
d
)
DIMENSION 43
nonzero. On restricting the functions in the above equality to 7, i.e., applying the homo-
morphism kŒV | ÷kŒ7|, we find that
a
n
( ¨ .
1
. . . . . ¨ .
d
) = 0.
which contradicts the algebraic independence of ¨ .
1
. . . . . ¨ .
d
.
2
PROPOSITION 2.27. Let V be an irreducible variety such that kŒV | is a unique factoriza-
tion domain (for example, V = A
d
). If W c V is a closed subvariety of dimension
dimV ÷ 1, then 1(W) = (} ) for some } ÷ kŒV |.
PROOF. We know that 1(W) =
¸
1(W
i
) where the W
i
are the irreducible components of
W, and so if we can prove 1(W
i
) = (}
i
) then 1(W) = (}
1
}
i
). Thus we may suppose
that W is irreducible. Let p = 1(W); it is a prime ideal, and it is nonzero because otherwise
dim(W) = dim(V ). Therefore it contains an irreducible polynomial } . From (1.15) we
know (} ) is prime. If (} ) = p , then we have
W = V(p) ´ V((} )) ´ V.
and dim(W) < dim(V(} )) < dimV (see 2.26), which contradicts the hypothesis.
2
EXAMPLE 2.28. Let J(X. Y ) and G(X. Y ) be nonconstant polynomials with no common
factor. Then V(J(X. Y )) has dimension 1 by (2.25), and so V(J(X. Y )) ¨ V(G(X. Y ))
must have dimension zero; it is therefore a finite set.
EXAMPLE 2.29. We classify the irreducible closed subsets V of k
2
. If V has dimension
2, then (by 2.26) it can’t be a proper subset of k
2
, so it is k
2
. If V has dimension 1, then
V = k
2
, and so 1(V ) contains a nonzero polynomial, and hence a nonzero irreducible
polynomial } (being a prime ideal). Then V ¯ V(} ), and so equals V(} ). Finally, if V
has dimension zero, it is a point. Correspondingly, we can make a list of all the prime ideals
in kŒX. Y |: they have the form (0), (} ) (with } irreducible), or (X ÷ a. Y ÷ b).
ASIDE 2.30. Later (9.4) we shall show that if, in the situation of (2.26), 7 is a maximal
proper irreducible subset of V , then dim7 = dimV ÷ 1. This implies that the dimension
of an algebraic set V is the maximum length of a chain
V
0
, V
1
, , V
d
with each V
i
closed and irreducible and V
0
an irreducible component of V . Note that
this description of dimension is purely topological — it makes sense for any noetherian
topological space.
On translating the description in terms of ideals, we see immediately that the dimension
of V is equal to the Krull dimension of kŒV |—the maximal length of a chain of prime
ideals,
p
d
, p
d-1
, , p
0
.
44 CHAPTER 2. ALGEBRAIC SETS
Exercises
2-1. Find 1(W), where V = (X
2
. XY
2
). Check that it is the radical of (X
2
. XY
2
).
2-2. Identify k
n
2
with the set of m× m matrices. Show that, for all r, the set of matrices
with rank _ r is an algebraic subset of k
n
2
.
2-3. Let V = {(t. . . . . t
n
) [ t ÷ k]. Show that V is an algebraic subset of k
n
, and that
kŒV | ~ kŒX| (polynomial ring in one variable). (Assume k has characteristic zero.)
2-4. Using only that kŒX. Y | is a unique factorization domain and the results of ::1,2,
show that the following is a complete list of prime ideals in kŒX. Y |:
(a) (0);
(b) (}(X. Y )) for } an irreducible polynomial;
(c) (X ÷ a. Y ÷ b) for a. b ÷ k.
2-5. Let · and T be (not necessarily commutative) ´-algebras of finite dimension over ´,
and let ´
al
be the algebraic closure of ´ in C. Show that if Hom
C-algebras
(· ˝
Q
C. T ˝
Q
C) = 0, then Hom
Q
al
-algebras
(·˝
Q
´
al
. T ˝
Q
´
al
) = 0. (Hint: The proof takes only a few
lines.)
Chapter 3
Affine Algebraic Varieties
In this chapter, we define the structure of a ringed space on an algebraic set, and then we
define the notion of affine algebraic variety — roughly speaking, this is an algebraic set with
no preferred embedding into k
n
. This is in preparation for :4, where we define an algebraic
variety to be a ringed space that is a finite union of affine algebraic varieties satisfying a
natural separation axiom.
Ringed spaces
Let V be a topological space and k a field.
DEFINITION 3.1. Suppose that for every open subset U of V we have a set O
V
(U) of
functions U ÷ k. Then O
V
is called a sheaf of k-algebras if it satisfies the following
conditions:
(a) O
V
(U) is a k-subalgebra of the algebra of all k-valued functions on U, i.e., O
V
(U)
contains the constant functions and, if }. g lie in O
V
(U), then so also do } ÷g and
}g.
(b) If U
t
is an open subset of U and } ÷ O
V
(U), then } [U
t
÷ O
V
(U
t
).
(c) A function } : U ÷k on an open subset U of V is in O
V
(U) if } [U
i
÷ O
V
(U
i
) for
all U
i
in some open covering of U.
Conditions (b) and (c) require that a function } on U lies in O
V
(U) if and only if each
point 1 of U has a neighborhood U
1
such that } [U
1
lies in O
V
(U
1
); in other words, the
condition for } to lie in O
V
(U) is local.
EXAMPLE 3.2. (a) Let V be any topological space, and for each open subset U of V let
O
V
(U) be the set of all continuous real-valued functions on U. Then O
V
is a sheaf of
1-algebras.
(b) Recall that a function } : U ÷ 1, where U is an open subset of 1
n
, is said to
be smooth (or infinitely differentiable) if its partial derivatives of all orders exist and are
continuous. Let V be an open subset of 1
n
, and for each open subset U of V let O
V
(U)
be the set of all smooth functions on U. Then O
V
is a sheaf of 1-algebras.
(c) Recall that a function } : U ÷ C, where U is an open subset of C
n
, is said to be
analytic (or holomorphic) if it is described by a convergent power series in a neighbourhood
of each point of U. Let V be an open subset of C
n
, and for each open subset U of V let
O
V
(U) be the set of all analytic functions on U. Then O
V
is a sheaf of C-algebras.
45
46 CHAPTER 3. AFFINE ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES
(d) Nonexample: let V be a topological space, and for each open subset U of V let
O
V
(U) be the set of all real-valued constant functions on U; then O
V
is not a sheaf, unless
V is irreducible!
1
When “constant” is replaced with “locally constant”, O
V
becomes a
sheaf of 1-algebras (in fact, the smallest such sheaf).
A pair (V. O
V
) consisting of a topological space V and a sheaf of k-algebras will be
called a ringed space. For historical reasons, we often write 1(U. O
V
) for O
V
(U) and call
its elements sections of O
V
over U.
Let (V. O
V
) be a ringed space. For any open subset U of V , the restriction O
V
[U of
O
V
to U, defined by
1(U
t
. O
V
[U) = 1(U
t
. O
V
), all open U
t
c U.
is a sheaf again.
Let (V. O
V
) be ringed space, and let 1 ÷ V . Consider pairs (}. U) consisting of
an open neighbourhood U of 1 and an } ÷ O
V
(U). We write (}. U) ~ (}
t
. U
t
) if
} [U
tt
= }
t
[U
tt
for some open neighbourhood U
tt
of 1 contained in U and U
t
. This is
an equivalence relation, and an equivalence class of pairs is called a germ of a function at
1 (relative to O
V
). The set of equivalence classes of such pairs forms a k-algebra denoted
O
V,1
or O
1
. In all the interesting cases, it is a local ring with maximal ideal the set of
germs that are zero at 1.
In a fancier terminology,
O
1
= lim
÷÷
O
V
(U). (direct limit over open neighbourhoods U of 1).
A germ of a function at 1 is defined by a function } on a neigbourhood of 1 (section of
O
V
), and two such functions define the same germ if and only if they agree in a possibly
smaller neighbourhood of 1.
EXAMPLE 3.3. Let O
V
be the sheaf of holomorphic functions on V = C, and let c ÷ C.
A power series
¸
n_0
a
n
(: ÷ c)
n
, a
n
÷ C, is called convergent if it converges on some
open neighbourhood of c. The set of such power series is a C-algebra, and I claim that it is
canonically isomorphic to the C-algebra of germs of functions O
c
.
Let } be a holomorphic function on a neighbourhood U of c. Then } has a unique
power series expansion } =
¸
a
n
(: ÷c)
n
in some (possibly smaller) open neighbourhood
of c (Cartan 1963
2
, II 2.6). Moreover, another holomorphic function }
1
on a neighbourhood
U
1
of c defines the same power series if and only if }
1
and } agree on some neighbourhood
of c contained in U ¨ U
t
(ibid. I 4.3). Thus we have a well-defined injective map from the
ring of germs of holomorphic functions at c to the ring of convergent power series, which
is obviously surjective.
The ringed space structure on an algebraic set
We now take k to be an algebraically closed field. Let V be an algebraic subset of k
n
. An
element h of kŒV | defines functions
1 ÷h(1): V ÷k, and 1 ÷1¡h(1): D(h) ÷k.
1
If V is reducible, then it contains disjoint open subsets, say U
1
and U
2
. Let } be the function on the union
of U
1
and U
2
taking the constant value 1 on U
1
and the constant value 2 on U
2
. Then } is not in O
V
(U
1
LU
2
),
and so condition 3.1c fails.
2
Cartan, Henri. Elementary theory of analytic functions of one or several complex variables. Hermann,
Paris; Addison-Wesley; 1963.
THE RINGED SPACE STRUCTURE ON AN ALGEBRAIC SET 47
Thus a pair of elements g. h ÷ kŒV | with h = 0 defines a function
1 ÷
g(1)
h(1)
: D(h) ÷k.
We say that a function } : U ÷ k on an open subset U of V is regular if it is of this form
in a neighbourhood of each of its points, i.e., if for all 1 ÷ U, there exist g. h ÷ kŒV | with
h(1) = 0 such that the functions } and
v
h
agree in a neighbourhood of 1. Write O
V
(U)
for the set of regular functions on U.
For example, if V = k
n
, then a function } : U ÷ k is regular at a point 1 ÷ U
if there exist polynomials g(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) and h(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) with h(1) = 0 such that
}(O) =
v(1)
h(1)
for all O in a neighbourhood of 1.
PROPOSITION 3.4. The map U ÷O
V
(U) defines a sheaf of k-algebras on V .
PROOF. We have to check the conditions (3.1).
(a) Clearly, a constant function is regular. Suppose } and }
t
are regular on U, and let
1 ÷ U. By assumption, there exist g. g
t
. h. h
t
÷ kŒV |, with h(1) = 0 = h
t
(1) such that
} and }
t
agree with
v
h
and
v
0
h
0
respectively near 1. Then } ÷ }
t
agrees with
vh
0
÷v
0
h
hh
0
near 1, and so } ÷}
t
is regular on U. Similarly }}
t
is regular on U. Thus O
V
(U) is a
k-algebra.
(b,c) It is clear from the definition that the condition for } to be regular is local.
2
Let g. h ÷ kŒV | and m ÷ N. Then 1 ÷ g(1)¡h(1)
n
is a regular function on D(h),
and we’ll show that all regular functions on D(h) are of this form, i.e., 1(D(h). O
V
) .
kŒV |
h
. In particular, the regular functions on V itself are exactly those defined by elements
of kŒV |.
LEMMA 3.5. The function 1 ÷g(1)¡h(1)
n
on D(h) is the zero function if and only if
and only if gh = 0 (in kŒV |) (and hence g¡h
n
= 0 in kŒV |
h
).
PROOF. If g¡h
n
is zero on D(h), then gh is zero on V because h is zero on the comple-
ment of D(h). Therefore gh is zero in kŒV |. Conversely, if gh = 0, then g(1)h(1) = 0
for all 1 ÷ V , and so g(1) = 0 for all 1 ÷ D(h).
2
The lemma shows that the canonical map kŒV |
h
÷ O
V
(D(h)) is well-defined and
injective. The next proposition shows that it is also surjective.
PROPOSITION 3.6. (a) The canonical map kŒV |
h
÷1(D(h). O
V
) is an isomorphism.
(b) For any 1 ÷ V , there is a canonical isomorphism O
1
÷kŒV |
m
P
, where m
1
is the
maximal ideal 1(1).
PROOF. (a) It remains to show that every regular function } on D(h) arises from an el-
ement of kŒV |
h
. By definition, we know that there is an open covering D(h) =

V
i
and elements g
i
, h
i
÷ kŒV | with h
i
nowhere zero on V
i
such that } [V
i
=
v
i
h
i
. We may
assume that each set V
i
is basic, say, V
i
= D(a
i
) for some a
i
÷ kŒV |. By assumption
D(a
i
) c D(h
i
), and so a
1
i
= h
i
g
t
i
for some N ÷ N and g
t
i
÷ kŒV | (see p39). On D(a
i
),
} =
g
i
h
i
=
g
i
g
t
i
h
i
g
t
i
=
g
i
g
t
i
a
1
i
.
48 CHAPTER 3. AFFINE ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES
Note that D(a
1
i
) = D(a
i
). Therefore, after replacing g
i
with g
i
g
t
i
and h
i
with a
1
i
, we
can assume that V
i
= D(h
i
).
We now have that D(h) =

D(h
i
) and that } [D(h
i
) =
v
i
h
i
. Because D(h) is qua-
sicompact, we can assume that the covering is finite. As
v
i
h
i
=
v
j
h
j
on D(h
i
) ¨ D(h
}
) =
D(h
i
h
}
), we have (by Lemma 3.5) that
h
i
h
}
(g
i
h
}
÷ g
}
h
i
) = 0, i.e., h
i
h
2
}
g
i
= h
2
i
h
}
g
}
. (*)
Because D(h) =

D(h
i
) =

D(h
2
i
), the set V((h)) = V((h
2
1
. . . . . h
2
n
)), and so h ÷
rad(h
2
1
. . . . . h
2
n
): there exist a
i
÷ kŒV | such that
h
1
=
n
¸
i=1
a
i
h
2
i
. (**)
for some N. I claim that } is the function on D(h) defined by
¸
o
i
v
i
h
i
h
N
.
Let 1 be a point of D(h). Then 1 will be in one of the D(h
i
), say D(h
}
). We have the
following equalities in kŒV |:
h
2
}
n
¸
i=1
a
i
g
i
h
i
=
n
¸
i=1
a
i
g
}
h
2
i
h
}
by (*)
= g
}
h
}
h
1
by (**).
But } [D(h
}
) =
v
j
h
j
, i.e., } h
}
and g
}
agree as functions on D(h
}
). Therefore we have the
following equality of functions on D(h
}
):
h
2
}
n
¸
i=1
a
i
g
i
h
i
= } h
2
}
h
1
.
Since h
2
}
is never zero on D(h
}
), we can cancel it, to find that, as claimed, the function
} h
1
on D(h
}
) equals that defined by
¸
a
i
g
i
h
i
.
(b) In the definition of the germs of a sheaf at 1, it suffices to consider pairs (}. U) with
U lying in a some basis for the neighbourhoods of 1, for example, the basis provided by
the basic open subsets. Therefore,
O
1
= lim
÷÷
h(1)=0
1(D(h). O
V
)
(o)
. lim
÷÷
h…m
P
kŒV |
h
1.29(b)
. kŒV |
m
P
.
2
REMARK 3.7. Let V be an affine variety and 1 a point on V . Proposition 1.30 shows
that there is a one-to-one correspondence between the prime ideals of kŒV | contained in
m
1
and the prime ideals of O
1
. In geometric terms, this says that there is a one-to-one
correspondence between the prime ideals in O
1
and the irreducible closed subvarieties of
V passing through 1.
REMARK 3.8. (a) Let V be an algebraic subset of k
n
, and let · = kŒV |. The proposition
and (2.18) allow us to describe (V. O
V
) purely in terms of ·:
THE RINGED SPACE STRUCTURE ON AN ALGEBRAIC SET 49
˘ V is the set of maximal ideals in ·; for each } ÷ ·, let D(} ) = {m [ } … m];
˘ the topology on V is that for which the sets D(} ) form a base;
˘ O
V
is the unique sheaf of k-algebras on V for which 1(D(} ). O
V
) = ·
(
.
(b) When V is irreducible, all the rings attached to it are subrings of the field k(V ). In
this case,
1(D(h). O
V
) =

g¡h
1
÷ k(V ) [ g ÷ kŒV |. N ÷ N
¸
O
1
= {g¡h ÷ k(V ) [ h(1) = 0]
1(U. O
V
) =
¸
1÷U
O
1
=
¸
1(D(h
i
). O
V
) if U =
¸
D(h
i
).
Note that every element of k(V ) defines a function on some dense open subset of V . Fol-
lowing tradition, we call the elements of k(V ) rational functions on V .
3
The equalities
show that the regular functions on an open U c V are the rational functions on V that are
defined at each point of U (i.e., lie in O
1
for each 1 ÷ U).
EXAMPLE 3.9. (a) Let V = k
n
. Then the ring of regular functions on V , 1(V. O
V
), is
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|. For any nonzero polynomial h(X
1
. . . . . X
n
), the ring of regular functions
on D(h) is

g¡h
1
÷ k(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) [ g ÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|. N ÷ N
¸
.
For any point 1 = (a
1
. . . . . a
n
), the ring of germs of functions at 1 is
O
1
= {g¡h ÷ k(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) [ h(1) = 0] = kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|
(A
1
-o
1
,...,A
n
-o
n
)
.
and its maximal ideal consists of those g¡h with g(1) = 0.
(b) Let U = {(a. b) ÷ k
2
[ (a. b) = (0. 0)]. It is an open subset of k
2
, but it is not a
basic open subset, because its complement {(0. 0)] has dimension 0, and therefore can’t be
of the form V((} )) (see 2.25). Since U = D(X) L D(Y ), the ring of regular functions on
U is
O
U
(U) = kŒX. Y |
A
¨ kŒX. Y |
Y
(intersection inside k(X. Y )). A regular function } on U can be expressed
} =
g(X. Y )
X
1
=
h(X. Y )
Y
Æ
.
where we can assume X [ g and Y [ h. On multiplying through by X
1
Y
Æ
, we find that
g(X. Y )Y
Æ
= h(X. Y )X
1
.
Because X doesn’t divide the left hand side, it can’t divide the right hand side either, and
so N = 0. Similarly, M = 0, and so } ÷ kŒX. Y |: every regular function on U extends
uniquely to a regular function on k
2
.
3
The terminology is similar to that of “meromorphic function”, which also are not functions on the whole
space.
50 CHAPTER 3. AFFINE ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES
Morphisms of ringed spaces
A morphism of ringed spaces (V. O
V
) ÷ (W. O
W
) is a continuous map c: V ÷ W such
that
} ÷ 1(U. O
W
) == } ı c ÷ 1(c
-1
U. O
V
)
for all open subsets U of W. Sometimes we write c
+
(} ) for } ıc. If U is an open subset of
V , then the inclusion (U. O
V
[V ) ·÷(V. O
V
) is a morphism of ringed spaces. A morphism
of ringed spaces is an isomorphism if it is bijective and its inverse is also a morphism of
ringed spaces (in particular, it is a homeomorphism).
EXAMPLE 3.10. (a) Let V and V
t
be topological spaces endowed with their sheaves O
V
and O
V
0 of continuous real valued functions. Every continuous map c: V ÷ V
t
is a
morphism of ringed structures (V. O
V
) ÷(V
t
. O
V
0 ).
(b) Let U and U
t
be open subsets of 1
n
and 1
n
respectively, and let .
i
be the coordi-
nate function (a
1
. . . . . a
n
) ÷a
i
. Recall from advanced calculus that a map
c: U ÷U
t
c 1
n
is said to be smooth (infinitely differentiable) if each of its component functions c
i
=
.
i
ı c: U ÷ 1 has continuous partial derivatives of all orders, in which case } ı c is
smooth for all smooth } : U
t
÷ 1. Therefore, when U and U
t
are endowed with their
sheaves of smooth functions, a continuous map c: U ÷ U
t
is smooth if and only if it is a
morphism of ringed spaces.
(c) Same as (b), but replace 1 with C and “smooth” with “analytic”.
REMARK 3.11. A morphism of ringed spaces maps germs of functions to germs of func-
tions. More precisely, a morphism c: (V. O
V
) ÷(V
t
. O
V
0 ) induces a homomorphism
O
V,1
÷O
V
0
,c(1)
.
for each 1 ÷ V , namely, the homomorphism sending the germ represented by (}. U) to the
germ represented by (} ı c. c
-1
(U)).
Affine algebraic varieties
We have just seen that every algebraic set V c k
n
gives rise to a ringed space (V. O
V
). A
ringed space isomorphic to one of this form is called an affine algebraic variety over k. A
map } : V ÷W of affine varieties is regular (or a morphism of affine algebraic varieties)
if it is a morphism of ringed spaces. With these definitions, the affine algebraic varieties
become a category. Since we consider no nonalgebraic affine varieties, we shall sometimes
drop “algebraic”.
In particular, every algebraic set has a natural structure of an affine variety. We usually
write A
n
for k
n
regarded as an affine algebraic variety. Note that the affine varieties we
have constructed so far have all been embedded in A
n
. I now explain how to construct
“unembedded” affine varieties.
An affine k-algebra is defined to be a reduced finitely generated k-algebra. For such
an algebra ·, there exist .
i
÷ · such that · = kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
n
|, and the kernel of the homo-
morphism
X
i
÷.
i
: kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| ÷·
THE CATEGORY OF AFFINE ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES 51
is a radical ideal. Therefore (2.13) implies that the intersection of the maximal ideals in ·
is 0. Moreover, Zariski’s lemma 2.7 implies that, for any maximal ideal m c ·, the map
k ÷ · ÷ ·¡m is an isomorphism. Thus we can identify ·¡m with k. For } ÷ ·, we
write }(m) for the image of } in ·¡m = k, i.e., }(m) = } (mod m).
We attach a ringed space (V. O
V
) to · by letting V be the set of maximal ideals in ·.
For } ÷ · let
D(} ) = {m [ }(m) = 0] = {m [ } … m].
Since D(}g) = D(} ) ¨ D(g), there is a topology on V for which the D(} ) form a base.
A pair of elements g. h ÷ ·, h = 0, gives rise to a function
m ÷
g(m)
h(m)
: D(h) ÷k.
and, for U an open subset of V , we define O
V
(U) to be any function } : U ÷ k that is of
this form in a neighbourhood of each point of U.
PROPOSITION 3.12. The pair (V. O
V
) is an affine variety with 1(V. O
V
) = ·.
PROOF. Represent · as a quotient kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡a = kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
n
|. Then (V. O
V
) is
isomorphic to the ringed space attached to V(a) (see 3.8(a)).
2
We write spm(·) for the topological space V , and Spm(·) for the ringed space (V. O
V
).
PROPOSITION 3.13. A ringed space (V. O
V
) is an affine variety if and only if 1(V. O
V
)
is an affine k-algebra and the canonical map V ÷ spm(1(V. O
V
)) is an isomorphism of
ringed spaces.
PROOF. Let (V. O
V
) be an affine variety, and let · = 1(V. O
V
). For any 1 ÷ V , m
1
=
df
{} ÷ · [ }(1) = 0] is a maximal ideal in ·, and it is straightforward to check that
1 ÷ m
1
is an isomorphism of ringed spaces. Conversely, if 1(V. O
V
) is an affine k-
algebra, then the proposition shows that Spm(1(V. O
V
)) is an affine variety.
2
The category of affine algebraic varieties
For each affine k-algebra ·, we have an affine variety Spm(·), and conversely, for each
affine variety (V. O
V
), we have an affine k-algebra kŒV | = 1(V. O
V
). We now make this
correspondence into an equivalence of categories.
Let ˛: · ÷T be a homomorphism of affine k-algebras. For any h ÷ ·, ˛(h) is invert-
ible in T
˛(h)
, and so the homomorphism · ÷T ÷T
˛(h)
extends to a homomorphism
g
h
n
÷
˛(g)
˛(h)
n
: ·
h
÷T
˛(h)
.
For any maximal ideal n of T, m = ˛
-1
(n) is maximal in · because ·¡m ÷ T¡n = k is
an injective map of k-algebras which implies that ·¡m = k. Thus ˛ defines a map
c: spmT ÷spm·. c(n) = ˛
-1
(n) = m.
52 CHAPTER 3. AFFINE ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES
For m = ˛
-1
(n) = c(n), we have a commutative diagram:
·
˛
÷÷÷÷÷ T

·¡m
:
÷÷÷÷÷ ·¡n.
Recall that the image of an element } of · in ·¡m . k is denoted }(m). Therefore, the
commutativity of the diagram means that, for } ÷ ·,
}(c(n)) = ˛(} )(n), i.e., } ı c = ˛. (*)
Since c
-1
D(} ) = D(} ı c) (obviously), it follows from (*) that
c
-1
(D(} )) = D(˛(} )).
and so c is continuous.
Let } be a regular function on D(h), and write } = g¡h
n
, g ÷ ·. Then, from (*) we
see that } ıc is the function on D(˛(h)) defined by ˛(g)¡˛(h)
n
. In particular, it is regular,
and so } ÷ } ı c maps regular functions on D(h) to regular functions on D(˛(h)). It
follows that } ÷ } ı c sends regular functions on any open subset of spm(·) to regular
functions on the inverse image of the open subset. Thus ˛ defines a morphism of ringed
spaces Spm(T) ÷Spm(·).
Conversely, by definition, a morphism of c: (V. O
V
) ÷ (W. O
W
) of affine algebraic
varieties defines a homomorphism of the associated affine k-algebras kŒW| ÷kŒV |. Since
these maps are inverse, we have shown:
PROPOSITION 3.14. For any affine algebras · and T,
Hom
k-alg
(·. T)
:
÷Mor(Spm(T). Spm(·)):
for any affine varieties V and W,
Mor(V. W)
:
÷Hom
k-alg
(kŒW|. kŒV |).
In terms of categories, Proposition 3.14 can now be restated as:
PROPOSITION 3.15. The functor · ÷ Spm· is a (contravariant) equivalence from the
category of affine k-algebras to that of affine algebraic varieties with quasi-inverse (V. O
V
) ÷
1(V. O
V
).
Explicit description of morphisms of affine varieties
PROPOSITION 3.16. Let V = V(a) c k
n
, W = V(b) c k
n
. The following conditions
on a continuous map c: V ÷W are equivalent:
(a) c is regular;
(b) the components c
1
. . . . . c
n
of c are all regular;
(c) } ÷ kŒW| == } ı c ÷ kŒV |.
EXPLICIT DESCRIPTION OF MORPHISMS OF AFFINE VARIETIES 53
PROOF. (a) == (b). By definition c
i
= .
i
ı c where .
i
is the coordinate function
(b
1
. . . . . b
n
) ÷b
i
: W ÷k.
Hence this implication follows directly from the definition of a regular map.
(b) == (c). The map } ÷ } ı c is a k-algebra homomorphism from the ring of all
functions W ÷ k to the ring of all functions V ÷ k, and (b) says that the map sends the
coordinate functions .
i
on W into kŒV |. Since the .
i
’s generate kŒW| as a k-algebra, this
implies that it sends kŒW| into kŒV |.
(c) == (a). The map } ÷ } ı c is a homomorphism ˛: kŒW| ÷ kŒV |. It therefore
defines a map spmkŒV | ÷ spmkŒW|, and it remains to show that this coincides with c
when we identify spmkŒV | with V and spmkŒW| with W. Let 1 ÷ V , let O = c(1),
and let m
1
and m
O
be the ideals of elements of kŒV | and kŒW| that are zero at 1 and O
respectively. Then, for } ÷ kŒW|,
˛(} ) ÷ m
1
” }(c(1)) = 0 ” }(O) = 0 ” } ÷ m
O
.
Therefore ˛
-1
(m
1
) = m
O
, which is what we needed to show.
2
REMARK 3.17. For 1 ÷ V , the maximal ideal in O
V,1
consists of the germs represented
by pairs (}. U) with }(1) = 0. Clearly therefore, the map O
W,c(1)
÷ O
V,1
defined by
c (see 3.11) maps m
c(1)
into m
1
, i.e., it is a local homomorphism of local rings.
Now consider equations
Y
1
= }
1
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
)
. . .
Y
n
= }
n
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
).
On the one hand, they define a regular map c: k
n
÷k
n
, namely,
(a
1
. . . . . a
n
) ÷(}
1
(a
1
. . . . . a
n
). . . . . }
n
(a
1
. . . . . a
n
)).
On the other hand, they define a homomorphism ˛: kŒY
1
. . . . . Y
n
| ÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| of
k-algebras, namely, that sending
Y
i
÷}
i
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
).
This map coincides with g ÷g ı c, because
˛(g)(1) = g(. . . . }
i
(1). . . .) = g(c(1)).
Now consider closed subsets V(a) c k
n
and V(b) c k
n
with a and b radical ideals. I claim
that c maps V(a) into V(b) if and only if ˛(b) c a. Indeed, suppose c(V(a)) c V(b), and
let g ÷ b; for O ÷ V(b),
˛(g)(O) = g(c(O)) = 0.
and so ˛(} ) ÷ 1V(b) = b. Conversely, suppose ˛(b) c a, and let 1 ÷ V(a); for } ÷ a,
}(c(1)) = ˛(} )(1) = 0.
54 CHAPTER 3. AFFINE ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES
and so c(1) ÷ V(a). When these conditions hold, c is the morphism of affine varieties
V(a) ÷ V(b) corresponding to the homomorphism kŒY
1
. . . . . Y
n
|¡b ÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡a
defined by ˛.
Thus, we see that the regular maps
V(a) ÷V(b)
are all of the form
1 ÷(}
1
(1). . . . . }
n
(1)). }
i
÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|.
In particular, they all extend to regular maps A
n
÷A
n
.
EXAMPLE 3.18. (a) Consider a k-algebra 1. Froma k-algebra homomorphism˛: kŒX| ÷
1, we obtain an element ˛(X) ÷ 1, and ˛(X) determines ˛ completely. Moreover, ˛(X)
can be any element of 1. Thus
˛ ÷˛(X): Hom
k-alg
(kŒX|. 1)
:
÷÷1.
According to (3.14)
Mor(V. A
1
) = Hom
k-alg
(kŒX|. kŒV |).
Thus the regular maps V ÷A
1
are simply the regular functions on V (as we would hope).
(b) Define A
0
to be the ringed space (V
0
. O
V
0
) with V
0
consisting of a single point, and
1(V
0
. O
V
0
) = k. Equivalently, A
0
= Spmk. Then, for any affine variety V ,
Mor(A
0
. V ) . Hom
k-alg
(kŒV |. k) . V
where the last map sends ˛ to the point corresponding to the maximal ideal Ker(˛).
(c) Consider t ÷(t
2
. t
3
): A
1
÷A
2
. This is bijective onto its image,
V : Y
2
= X
3
.
but it is not an isomorphism onto its image – the inverse map is not regular. Because of
(3.15), it suffices to show that t ÷ (t
2
. t
3
) doesn’t induce an isomorphism on the rings of
regular functions. We have kŒA
1
| = kŒT | and kŒV | = kŒX. Y |¡(Y
2
÷X
3
) = kŒ.. .|. The
map on rings is
. ÷T
2
. . ÷T
3
. kŒ.. .| ÷kŒT |.
which is injective, but its image is kŒT
2
. T
3
| = kŒT |. In fact, kŒ.. .| is not integrally
closed: (.¡.)
2
÷ . = 0, and so (.¡.) is integral over kŒ.. .|, but .¡. … kŒ.. .| (it maps
to T under the inclusion k(.. .) ·÷k(T )).
(d) Let k have characteristic ] = 0, and consider . ÷ .
;
: A
n
÷ A
n
. This is a
bijection, but it is not an isomorphism because the corresponding map on rings,
X
i
÷X
;
i
: kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| ÷kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|.
is not surjective.
This is the famous Frobenius map. Take k to be the algebraic closure of F
;
, and write
J for the map. Recall that for each m _ 1 there is a unique subfield F
;
m of k of degree m
over F
;
, and that its elements are the solutions of X
;
m
= X (FT 4.18). Therefore, the fixed
SUBVARIETIES 55
points of J
n
are precisely the points of A
n
with coordinates in F
;
m. Let }(X
1
. . . . . X
n
)
be a polynomial with coefficients in F
;
m, say,
} =
¸
c
i
1
···i
n
X
i
1
1
X
i
n
n
. c
i
1
···i
n
÷ F
;
m.
Let }(a
1
. . . . . a
n
) = 0. Then
0 =

¸
c
˛
a
i
1
1
a
i
n
n

;
m
=
¸
c
˛
a
;
m
i
1
1
a
;
m
i
n
n
.
and so }(a
;
m
1
. . . . . a
;
m
n
) = 0. Here we have used that the binomial theorem takes the
simple form (X ÷ Y )
;
m
= X
;
m
÷ Y
;
m
in characteristic ]. Thus J
n
maps V(} ) into
itself, and its fixed points are the solutions of
}(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) = 0
in F
;
m.
In one of the most beautiful pieces of mathematics of the second half of the twentieth
century, Grothendieck defined a cohomology theory (´ etale cohomology) and proved a fixed
point formula that allowed himto express the number of solutions of a systemof polynomial
equations with coordinates in F
;
n as an alternating sum of traces of operators on finite-
dimensional vector spaces, and Deligne used this to obtain very precise estimates for the
number of solutions. See my course notes: Lectures on Etale Cohomology.
Subvarieties
Let · be an affine k-algebra. For any ideal a in ·, we define
V(a) = {1 ÷ spm(·) [ }(1) = 0 all } ÷ a]
= {m maximal ideal in · [ a c m].
This is a closed subset of spm(·), and every closed subset is of this form.
Now assume a is radical, so that ·¡a is again reduced. Corresponding to the homomor-
phism · ÷·¡a, we get a regular map
Spm(·¡a) ÷Spm(·)
The image is V(a), and spm(·¡a) ÷V(a) is a homeomorphism. Thus every closed subset
of spm(·) has a natural ringed structure making it into an affine algebraic variety. We call
V(a) with this structure a closed subvariety of V.
ASIDE 3.19. If (V. O
V
) is a ringed space, and 7 is a closed subset of V , we can define
a ringed space structure on 7 as follows: let U be an open subset of 7, and let } be a
function U ÷ k; then } ÷ 1(U. O
7
) if for each 1 ÷ U there is a germ (U
t
. }
t
) of a
function at 1 (regarded as a point of V ) such that }
t
[7 ¨ U
t
= } . One can check that
when this construction is applied to 7 = V(a), the ringed space structure obtained is that
described above.
PROPOSITION 3.20. Let (V. O
V
) be an affine variety and let h be a nonzero element of
kŒV |. Then
(D(h). O
V
[D(h)) . Spm(·
h
):
in particular, it is an affine variety.
56 CHAPTER 3. AFFINE ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES
PROOF. The map · ÷·
h
defines a morphism spm(·
h
) ÷spm(·). The image is D(h),
and it is routine (using (1.29)) to verify the rest of the statement.
2
If V = V(a) c k
n
, then
(a
1
. . . . . a
n
) ÷(a
1
. . . . . a
n
. h(a
1
. . . . . a
n
)
-1
): D(h) ÷k
n÷1
.
defines an isomorphism of D(h) onto V(a. 1 ÷ hX
n÷1
). For example, there is an isomor-
phism of affine varieties
a ÷(a. 1¡a): A
1
{0] ÷V c A
2
.
where V is the subvariety XY = 1 of A
2
— the reader should draw a picture.
REMARK 3.21. We have seen that all closed subsets and all basic open subsets of an affine
variety V are again affine varieties with their natural ringed structure, but this is not true
for all open subsets U. As we saw in (3.13), if U is affine, then the natural map U ÷
spm1(U. O
U
) is a bijection. But for U = A
2
(0. 0) = D(X) L D(Y ), we know that
1(U. O
A
2) = kŒX. Y | (see 3.9b), but U ÷ spmkŒX. Y | is not a bijection, because the
ideal (X. Y ) is not in the image. However, U is clearly a union of affine algebraic varieties
— we shall see in the next chapter that it is a (nonaffine) algebraic variety.
Properties of the regular map defined by specm(˛)
PROPOSITION 3.22. Let ˛: · ÷T be a homomorphism of affine k-algebras, and let
c: Spm(T) ÷Spm(·)
be the corresponding morphism of affine varieties (so that ˛(} ) = c ı } ).
(a) The image of c is dense for the Zariski topology if and only if ˛ is injective.
(b) c defines an isomorphism of Spm(T) onto a closed subvariety of Spm(·) if and
only if ˛ is surjective.
PROOF. (a) Let } ÷ ·. If the image of c is dense, then
} ı c = 0 == } = 0.
On the other hand, if the image of c is not dense, then the closure of its image will be a
proper closed subset of Spm(·), and so there will be a nonzero function } ÷ · that is zero
on it. Then } ı c = 0.
(b) If ˛ is surjective, then it defines an isomorphism ·¡a

T where a is the kernel
of ˛. This induces an isomorphism of Spm(T) with its image in Spm(·).
2
A regular map c: V ÷ W of affine algebraic varieties is said to be a dominating (or
dominant) if its image is dense in W. The proposition then says that:
c is dominating ” } ÷} ı c: 1(W. O
W
) ÷1(V. O
V
) is injective.
AFFINE SPACE WITHOUT COORDINATES 57
Affine space without coordinates
Let 1 be a vector space over k of dimension n. The set A(1) of points of 1 has a natural
structure of an algebraic variety: the choice of a basis for 1 defines an bijection A(1) ÷
A
n
, and the inherited structure of an affine algebraic variety on A(1) is independent of
the choice of the basis (because the bijections defined by two different bases differ by an
automorphism of A
n
).
We now give an intrinsic definition of the affine variety A(1). Let V be a finite-
dimensional vector space over a field k (not necessarily algebraically closed). The tensor
algebra of V is
T
+
V =

i_0
V
˝i
with multiplication defined by

1
˝ ˝·
i
) (·
t
1
˝ ˝·
t
}
) = ·
1
˝ ˝·
i
˝·
t
1
˝ ˝·
t
}
.
It is noncommutative k-algebra, and the choice of a basis e
1
. . . . . e
n
for V defines an
isomorphism to T
+
V from the k-algebra of noncommuting polynomials in the symbols
e
1
. . . . . e
n
. The symmetric algebra S
+
(V ) of V is defined to be the quotient of T
+
V by the
two-sided ideal generated by the relations
· ˝n ÷ n ˝·. ·. n ÷ V.
This algebra is generated as a k-algebra by commuting elements (namely, the elements of
V = V
˝1
), and so is commutative. The choice of a basis e
1
. . . . . e
n
for V defines an
isomorphism of k-algebras
e
1
e
i
÷e
1
˝ ˝e
i
: kŒe
1
. . . . . e
n
| ÷S
+
(V )
(here kŒe
1
. . . . . e
n
| is the commutative polynomial ring in the symbols e
1
. . . . . e
n
). In par-
ticular, S
+
(V ) is an affine k-algebra. The pair (S
+
(V ). i ) consisting of S
+
(V ) and the
natural k-linear map i : V ÷ S
+
(V ) has the following universal property: any k-linear
map V ÷ · from V into a k-algebra · extends uniquely to a k-algebra homomorphism
S
+
(V ) ÷·:
V

k-linear

F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
S
+
(V )
3Š k-algebra

·
(6)
As usual, this universal propery determines the pair (S
+
(V ). i ) uniquely up to a unique
isomorphism.
We now define A(1) to be Spm(S
+
(1
·
)). For an affine k-algebra ·,
Mor(Spm(·). A(1)) . Hom
k-algebra
(S
+
(1
·
). ·) (3.14)
. Hom
k-linear
(1
·
. ·) (6)
. 1 ˝
k
· (linear algebra).
In particular,
A(1)(k) . 1.
58 CHAPTER 3. AFFINE ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES
Moreover, the choice of a basis e
1
. . . . . e
n
for 1 determines a (dual) basis }
1
. . . . . }
n
of 1
·
,
and hence an isomorphism of k-algebras kŒ}
1
. . . . . }
n
| ÷ S
+
(1
·
). The map of algebraic
varieties defined by this homomorphism is the isomorphism
A(1) ÷A
n
whose map on the underlying sets is the isomorphism 1 ÷k
n
defined by the basis of 1.
NOTES. We have associated with any affine k-algebra · an affine variety whose underlying topo-
logical space is the set of maximal ideals in ·. It may seem strange to be describing a topological
space in terms of maximal ideals in a ring, but the analysts have been doing this for more than 60
years. Gel’fand and Kolmogorov in 1939
4
proved that if S and T are compact topological spaces,
and the rings of real-valued continuous functions on S and T are isomorphic (just as rings), then S
and T are homeomorphic. The proof begins by showing that, for such a space S, the map
1 ÷m
1
df
= {} : S ÷1 [ }(1) = 0]
is one-to-one correspondence between the points in the space and maximal ideals in the ring.
Exercises
3-1. Show that a map between affine varieties can be continuous for the Zariski topology
without being regular.
3-2. Let q be a power of a prime ], and let F
q
be the field with q elements. Let S be a
subset of F
q
ŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|, and let V be its zero set in k
n
, where k is the algebraic closure
of F
q
. Show that the map (a
1
. . . . . a
n
) ÷ (a
q
1
. . . . . a
q
n
) is a regular map c: V ÷ V (i.e.,
c(V ) c V ). Verify that the set of fixed points of c is the set of zeros of the elements of S
with coordinates in F
q
. (This statement enables one to study the cardinality of the last set
using a Lefschetz fixed point formula — see my lecture notes on ´ etale cohomology.)
3-3. Find the image of the regular map
(.. .) ÷(.. ..): A
2
÷A
2
and verify that it is neither open nor closed.
3-4. Show that the circle X
2
÷Y
2
= 1 is isomorphic (as an affine variety) to the hyperbola
XY = 1, but that neither is isomorphic to A
1
.
3-5. Let C be the curve Y
2
= X
2
÷X
3
, and let c be the regular map
t ÷(t
2
÷ 1. t (t
2
÷ 1)): A
1
÷C.
Is c an isomorphism?
4
On rings of continuous functions on topological spaces, Doklady 22, 11-15. See also Allen Shields,
Banach Algebras, 1939–1989, Math. Intelligencer, Vol 11, no. 3, p15.
Chapter 4
Algebraic Varieties
An algebraic variety is a ringed space that is locally isomorphic to an affine algebraic va-
riety, just as a topological manifold is a ringed space that is locally isomorphic to an open
subset of 1
n
; both are required to satisfy a separation axiom. Throughout this chapter, k is
algebraically closed.
Algebraic prevarieties
As motivation, recall the following definitions.
DEFINITION 4.1. (a) A topological manifold of dimension n is a ringed space (V. O
V
)
such that V is Hausdorff and every point of V has an open neighbourhood U for which
(U. O
V
[U) is isomorphic to the ringed space of continuous functions on an open subset of
1
n
(cf. 3.2a)).
(b) A differentiable manifold of dimension n is a ringed space such that V is Hausdorff
and every point of V has an open neighbourhood U for which (U. O
V
[U) is isomorphic to
the ringed space of smooth functions on an open subset of 1
n
(cf. 3.2b).
(c) A complex manifold of dimension n is a ringed space such that V is Hausdorff and
every point of V has an open neighbourhood U for which (U. O
V
[U) is isomorphic to the
ringed space holomorphic functions on an open subset of C
n
(cf. 3.2c).
These definitions are easily seen to be equivalent to the more classical definitions in
terms of charts and atlases.
1
Often one imposes additional conditions on V , for example,
that it be connected or that have a countable base of open subsets.
DEFINITION 4.2. An algebraic prevariety over k is a ringed space (V. O
V
) such that V is
quasicompact and every point of V has an open neighbourhood U for which (U. O
V
[U) is
an affine algebraic variety over k.
Thus, a ringed space (V. O
V
) is an algebraic prevariety over k if there exists a finite
open covering V =

V
i
such that (V
i
. O
V
[V
i
) is an affine algebraic variety over k for
all i . An algebraic variety will be defined to be an algebraic prevariety satisfying a certain
separation condition.
An open subset U of an algebraic prevariety V such that (U, O
V
[U) is an affine alge-
braic variety is called an open affine (subvariety) in V . Because V is a finite union of open
1
Provided the latter are stated correctly, which is frequently not the case.
59
60 CHAPTER 4. ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES
affines, and in each open affine the open affines (in fact the basic open subsets) form a base
for the topology, it follows that the open affines form a base for the topology on V .
Let (V. O
V
) be an algebraic prevariety, and let U be an open subset of V . The functions
} : U ÷ k lying in 1(U. O
V
) are called regular. Note that if (U
i
) is an open covering of
V by affine varieties, then } : U ÷ k is regular if and only if } [U
i
¨ U is regular for all i
(by 3.1(c)). Thus understanding the regular functions on open subsets of V amounts to un-
derstanding the regular functions on the open affine subvarieties and how these subvarieties
fit together to form V .
EXAMPLE 4.3. (Projective space). Let P
n
denote k
n÷1
{origin] modulo the equivalence
relation
(a
0
. . . . . a
n
) ~ (b
0
. . . . . b
n
) ” (a
0
. . . . . a
n
) = (cb
0
. . . . . cb
n
) some c ÷ k
×
.
Thus the equivalence classes are the lines through the origin in k
n÷1
(with the origin omit-
ted). Write (a
0
: . . . : a
n
) for the equivalence class containing (a
0
. . . . . a
n
). For each i ,
let
U
i
= {(a
0
: . . . : a
i
: . . . : a
n
) ÷ P
n
[ a
i
= 0].
Then P
n
=

U
i
, and the map
(a
0
: . . . : a
n
) ÷(a
0
¡a
i
. . . . . a
n
¡a
i
) : U
i
u
i
÷÷A
n
(the term a
i
¡a
i
is omitted) is a bijection. In chapter 6 we shall show that there is a unique
structure of a (separated) algebraic variety on P
n
for which each U
i
is an open affine sub-
variety of P
n
and each map u
i
is an isomorphism of algebraic varieties.
Regular maps
In each of the examples (4.1a,b,c), a morphism of manifolds (continuous map, smooth
map, holomorphic map respectively) is just a morphism of ringed spaces. This motivates
the following definition.
Let (V. O
V
) and (W. O
W
) be algebraic prevarieties. A map c: V ÷ W is said to be
regular if it is a morphism of ringed spaces. A composite of regular maps is again regular
(this is a general fact about morphisms of ringed spaces).
Note that we have three categories:
(affine varieties) c (algebraic prevarieties) c (ringed spaces).
Each subcategory is full, i.e., the morphisms Mor(V. W) are the same in the three cate-
gories.
PROPOSITION 4.4. Let (V. O
V
) and (W. O
W
) be prevarieties, and let c: V ÷ W be a
continuous map (of topological spaces). Let W =

W
}
be a covering of W by open
affines, and let c
-1
(W
}
) =

V
}i
be a covering of c
-1
(W
}
) by open affines. Then c is
regular if and only if its restrictions
c[V
}i
: V
}i
÷W
}
are regular for all i. ; .
ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES 61
PROOF. We assume that c satisfies this condition, and prove that it is regular. Let } be
a regular function on an open subset U of W. Then } [U ¨ W
}
is regular for each W
}
(sheaf condition 3.1(b)), and so } ı c[c
-1
(U) ¨ V
}i
is regular for each ;. i (this is our
assumption). It follows that } ı c is regular on c
-1
(U) (sheaf condition 3.1(c)). Thus c is
regular. The converse is even easier.
2
ASIDE 4.5. A differentiable manifold of dimension n is locally isomorphic to an open
subset of 1
n
. In particular, all manifolds of the same dimension are locally isomorphic.
This is not true for algebraic varieties, for two reasons:
(a) We are not assuming our varieties are nonsingular (see chapter 5 below).
(b) The inverse function theorem fails in our context. If 1 is a nonsingular point on
variety of dimension J, we shall see (in the next chapter) that there does exist a neighbour-
hood U of 1 and a regular map c: U ÷ A
d
such that map (Jc)
1
: T
1
÷ T
c(1)
on the
tangent spaces is an isomorphism, but also that there does not always exist a U for which c
itself is an isomorphism onto its image (as the inverse function theorem would assert).
Algebraic varieties
In the study of topological manifolds, the Hausdorff condition eliminates such bizarre pos-
sibilities as the line with the origin doubled (see 4.10 below) where a sequence tending to
the origin has two limits.
It is not immediately obvious how to impose a separation axiom on our algebraic va-
rieties, because even affine algebraic varieties are not Hausdorff. The key is to restate the
Hausdorff condition. Intuitively, the significance of this condition is that it prevents a se-
quence in the space having more than one limit. Thus a continuous map into the space
should be determined by its values on a dense subset, i.e., if c
1
and c
2
are continuous
maps 7 ÷ U that agree on a dense subset of 7 then they should agree on the whole
of 7. Equivalently, the set where two continuous maps c
1
. c
2
: 7 ⇒ U agree should be
closed. Surprisingly, affine varieties have this property, provided c
1
and c
2
are required to
be regular maps.
LEMMA 4.6. Let c
1
and c
2
be regular maps of affine algebraic varieties 7 ⇒ V . The
subset of 7 on which c
1
and c
2
agree is closed.
PROOF. There are regular functions .
i
on V such that 1 ÷(.
1
(1). . . . . .
n
(1)) identifies
V with a closed subset of A
n
(take the .
i
to be any set of generators for kŒV | as a k-algebra).
Now .
i
ı c
1
and .
i
ı c
2
are regular functions on 7, and the set where c
1
and c
2
agree is
¸
n
i=1
V(.
i
ı c
1
÷ .
i
ı c
2
), which is closed.
2
DEFINITION 4.7. An algebraic prevariety V is said to be separated, or to be an algebraic
variety, if it satisfies the following additional condition:
Separation axiom: for every pair of regular maps c
1
. c
2
: 7 ⇒ V with 7 an
affine algebraic variety, the set {: ÷ 7 [ c
1
(:) = c
2
(:)] is closed in 7.
The terminology is not completely standardized: some authors require a variety to be
irreducible, and some call a prevariety a variety.
2
2
Our terminology is agrees with that of J-P. Serre, Faisceaux alg´ ebriques coh´ erents. Ann. of Math. 61,
(1955). 197–278.
62 CHAPTER 4. ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES
PROPOSITION 4.8. Let c
1
and c
2
be regular maps 7 ⇒V from an algebraic prevariety 7
to a separated prevariety V . The subset of 7 on which c
1
and c
2
agree is closed.
PROOF. Let W be the set on which c
1
and c
2
agree. For any open affine U of 7, W ¨ U
is the subset of U on which c
1
[U and c
2
[U agree, and so W ¨ U is closed. This implies
that W is closed because 7 is a finite union of open affines.
2
EXAMPLE 4.9. The open subspace U = A
2
{(0. 0)] of A
2
becomes an algebraic variety
when endowed with the sheaf O
A
2[U (cf. 3.21).
EXAMPLE 4.10. (The affine line with the origin doubled.) Let V
1
and V
2
be copies of A
1
.
Let V
+
= V
1
LV
2
(disjoint union), and give it the obvious topology. Define an equivalence
relation on V
+
by
. (in V
1
) ~ . (in V
2
) ” . = . and . = 0.
Let V be the quotient space V = V
+
¡~with the quotient topology (a set is open if and only
if its inverse image in V
+
is open). Then V
1
and V
2
are open subspaces of V , V = V
1
LV
2
,
and V
1
¨V
2
= A
1
÷{0]. Define a function on an open subset to be regular if its restriction
to each V
i
is regular. This makes V into a prevariety, but not a variety: it fails the separation
axiom because the two maps
A
1
= V
1
·÷V
+
. A
1
= V
2
·÷V
+
agree exactly on A
1
÷ {0], which is not closed in A
1
.
Let Var
k
denote the category of algebraic varieties over k and regular maps. The functor
· ÷ Spm· is a fully faithful contravariant functor Aff
k
÷ Var
k
, and defines an equiva-
lence of the first category with the subcategory of the second whose objects are the affine
algebraic varieties.
Maps from varieties to affine varieties
Let (V. O
V
) be an algebraic variety, and let ˛: · ÷ 1(V. O
V
) be a homomorphism from
an affine k-algebra · to the k-algebra of regular functions on V . For any 1 ÷ V , } ÷
˛(} )(1) is a k-algebra homomorphism · ÷k, and so its kernel c(1) is a maximal ideal
in ·. In this way, we get a map
c: V ÷spm(·)
which is easily seen to be regular. Conversely, from a regular map c: V ÷Spm(·), we get
a k-algebra homomorphism } ÷ } ı c: · ÷ 1(V. O
V
). Since these maps are inverse,
we have proved the following result.
PROPOSITION 4.11. For an algebraic variety V and an affine k-algebra ·, there is a canon-
ical one-to-one correspondence
Mor(V. Spm(·)) . Hom
k-algebra
(·. 1(V. O
V
)).
SUBVARIETIES 63
Let V be an algebraic variety such that 1(V. O
V
) is an affine k-algebra. Then propo-
sition shows that the regular map c: V ÷ Spm(1(V. O
V
)) defined by id
T(V,O
V
)
has the
following universal property: any regular map from V to an affine algebraic variety U
factors uniquely through c:
V
c

N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
Spm(1(V. O
V
))

U.
Subvarieties
Let (V. O
V
) be a ringed space, and let W be a subspace. For U open in W, define O
W
(U)
to be the set of functions } : U ÷ k such that there exist open subsets U
i
of V and }
i
÷
O
V
(U
i
) such that U = W ¨(

U
i
) and } [W ¨U
i
= }
i
[W ¨U
i
for all i . Then (W. O
W
)
is again a ringed space.
We now let (V. O
V
) be a prevariety, and examine when (W. O
W
) is also a prevariety.
Open subprevarieties. Because the open affines form a base for the topology on V , for
any open subset U of V , (U. O
V
[U) is a prevariety. The inclusion U ·÷ V is regular, and
U is called an open subprevariety of V . A regular map c: W ÷ V is an open immersion
if c(W) is open in V and c defines an isomorphism W ÷c(W) (of prevarieties).
Closed subprevarieties. Any closed subset 7 in V has a canonical structure of an al-
gebraic prevariety: endow it with the induced topology, and say that a function } on an
open subset of 7 is regular if each point 1 in the open subset has an open neighbourhood
U in V such that } extends to a regular function on U. To show that 7, with this ringed
space structure is a prevariety, check that for every open affine U c V , the ringed space
(U ¨ 7. O
7
[U ¨ 7) is isomorphic to U ¨ 7 with its ringed space structure acquired as a
closed subset of U (see p55). Such a pair (7. O
7
) is called a closed subprevariety of V .
A regular map c: W ÷ V is a closed immersion if c(W) is closed in V and c defines an
isomorphism W ÷c(W) (of prevarieties).
Subprevarieties. A subset W of a topological space V is said to be locally closed if
every point 1 in W has an open neighbourhood U in V such that W ¨ U is closed in U.
Equivalent conditions: W is the intersection of an open and a closed subset of V ; W is
open in its closure. A locally closed subset W of a prevariety V acquires a natural structure
as a prevariety: write it as the intersection W = U ¨ 7 of an open and a closed subset;
7 is a prevariety, and W (being open in 7) therefore acquires the structure of a prevariety.
This structure on W has the following characterization: the inclusion map W ·÷ V is
regular, and a map c: V
t
÷ W with V
t
a prevariety is regular if and only if it is regular
when regarded as a map into V . With this structure, W is called a sub(pre)variety of V .
A morphism c: V
t
÷ V is called an immersion if it induces an isomorphism of V
t
onto
a subvariety of V . Every immersion is the composite of an open immersion with a closed
immersion (in both orders).
A subprevariety of a variety is automatically separated.
64 CHAPTER 4. ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES
Application.
PROPOSITION 4.12. A prevariety V is separated if and only if two regular maps from a
prevariety to V agree on the whole prevariety whenever they agree on a dense subset of it.
PROOF. If V is separated, then the set on which a pair of regular maps c
1
. c
2
: 7 ⇒ V
agree is closed, and so must be the whole of the 7.
Conversely, consider a pair of maps c
1
. c
2
: 7 ⇒ V , and let S be the subset of 7 on
which they agree. We assume V has the property in the statement of the proposition, and
show that S is closed. Let
¨
S be the closure of S in 7. According to the above discussion,
¨
S has the structure of a closed prevariety of 7 and the maps c
1
[
¨
S and c
2
[
¨
S are regular.
Because they agree on a dense subset of
¨
S they agree on the whole of
¨
S, and so S =
¨
S is
closed.
2
Prevarieties obtained by patching
PROPOSITION 4.13. Let V =

i÷J
V
i
(finite union), and suppose that each V
i
has the
structure of a ringed space. Assume the following “patching” condition holds:
for all i. ; , V
i
¨ V
}
is open in both V
i
and V
}
and O
V
i
[V
i
¨ V
}
= O
V
j
[V
i
¨ V
}
.
Then there is a unique structure of a ringed space on V for which
(a) each inclusion V
i
·÷V is a homeomorphism of V
i
onto an open set, and
(b) for each i ÷ 1, O
V
[V
i
= O
V
i
.
If every V
i
is an algebraic prevariety, then so also is V , and to give a regular map from
V to a prevariety W amounts to giving a family of regular maps c
i
: V
i
÷ W such that
c
i
[V
i
¨ V
}
= c
}
[V
i
¨ V
}
.
PROOF. One checks easily that the subsets U c V such that U ¨V
i
is open for all i are the
open subsets for a topology on V satisfying (a), and that this is the only topology to satisfy
(a). Define O
V
(U) to be the set of functions } : U ÷k such that } [U ¨V
i
÷ O
V
i
(U ¨V
i
)
for all i . Again, one checks easily that O
V
is a sheaf of k-algebras satisfying (b), and that
it is the only such sheaf.
For the final statement, if each (V
i
. O
V
i
) is a finite union of open affines, so also is
(V. O
V
). Moreover, to give a map c: V ÷W amounts to giving a family of maps c
i
: V
i
÷
W such that c
i
[V
i
¨ V
}
= c
}
[V
i
¨ V
}
(obviously), and c is regular if and only c[V
i
is
regular for each i .
2
Clearly, the V
i
may be separated without V being separated (see, for example, 4.10).
In (4.27) below, we give a condition on an open affine covering of a prevariety sufficient to
ensure that the prevariety is separated.
Products of varieties
Let V and W be objects in a category C. A triple
(V × W. ]: V × W ÷V. q: V × W ÷W)
PRODUCTS OF VARIETIES 65
is said to be the product of V and W if it has the following universal property: for every
pair of morphisms 7 ÷ V , 7 ÷ W in C, there exists a unique morphism 7 ÷ V × W
making the diagram
7
.w
w
w
w
w
w
w
w
w


H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
V V × W
;

q

W
commute. In other words, it is a product if the map
c ÷(] ı c. q ı c): Hom(7. V × W) ÷Hom(7. V ) × Hom(7. W)
is a bijection. The product, if it exists, is uniquely determined up to a unique isomorphism
by this universal property.
For example, the product of two sets (in the category of sets) is the usual cartesion
product of the sets, and the product of two topological spaces (in the category of topological
spaces) is the cartesian product of the spaces (as sets) endowed with the product topology.
We shall show that products exist in the category of algebraic varieties. Suppose, for
the moment, that V × W exists. For any prevariety 7, Mor(A
0
. 7) is the underlying set of
7; more precisely, for any : ÷ 7, the map A
0
÷ 7 with image : is regular, and these are
all the regular maps (cf. 3.18b). Thus, from the definition of products we have
(underlying set of V × W) . Mor(A
0
. V × W)
. Mor(A
0
. V ) × Mor(A
0
. W)
. (underlying set of V ) × (underlying set of W).
Hence, our problem can be restated as follows: given two prevarieties V and W, define on
the set V × W the structure of a prevariety such that
(a) the projection maps ]. q: V × W ⇒V. W are regular, and
(b) a map c: T ÷ V × W of sets (with T an algebraic prevariety) is regular if its com-
ponents ] ı c. q ı c are regular.
Clearly, there can be at most one such structure on the set V ×W (because the identity map
will identify any two structures having these properties).
Products of affine varieties
EXAMPLE 4.14. Let a and b be ideals in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| and kŒX
n÷1
. . . . . X
n÷n
| respec-
tively, and let (a. b) be the ideal in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n÷n
| generated by the elements of a and b.
Then there is an isomorphism
} ˝g ÷}g:
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|
a
˝
k
kŒX
n÷1
. . . . . X
n÷n
|
b
÷
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n÷n
|
(a. b)
.
Again this comes down to checking that the natural map from
Hom
k-alg
(kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n÷n
|¡(a. b). 1)
to
Hom
k-alg
(kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡a. 1) × Hom
k-alg
(kŒX
n÷1
. . . . . X
n÷n
|¡b. 1)
66 CHAPTER 4. ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES
is a bijection. But the three sets are respectively
V(a. b) =zero-set of (a. b) in 1
n÷n
.
V(a) =zero-set of a in 1
n
.
V(b) =zero-set of b in 1
n
.
and so this is obvious.
The tensor product of two k-algebras ·and T has the universal property to be a product
in the category of k-algebras, but with the arrows reversed. Because of the category anti-
equivalence (3.15), this shows that Spm(·˝
k
T) will be the product of Spm· and SpmT
in the category of affine algebraic varieties once we have shown that · ˝
k
T is an affine
k-algebra.
PROPOSITION 4.15. Let · and T be k-algebras.
(a) If · and T are reduced, then so also is · ˝
k
T.
(b) If · and T are integral domains, then so also is · ˝
k
T.
PROOF. Let ˛ ÷ · ˝
k
T. Then ˛ =
¸
n
i=1
a
i
˝b
i
, some a
i
÷ ·, b
i
÷ T. If one of the
b
i
’s is a linear combination of the remaining b’s, say, b
n
=
¸
n-1
i=1
c
i
b
i
, c
i
÷ k, then, using
the bilinearity of ˝, we find that
˛ =
n-1
¸
i=1
a
i
˝b
i
÷
n-1
¸
i=1
c
i
a
n
˝b
i
=
n-1
¸
i=1
(a
i
÷c
i
a
n
) ˝b
i
.
Thus we can suppose that in the original expression of ˛, the b
i
’s are linearly independent
over k.
Now assume · and T to be reduced, and suppose that ˛ is nilpotent. Let m be a
maximal ideal of ·. From a ÷ ¨ a: · ÷·¡m = k we obtain homomorphisms
a ˝b ÷ ¨ a ˝b ÷ ¨ ab: · ˝
k
T ÷k ˝
k
T
:
÷T
The image
¸
¨ a
i
b
i
of ˛ under this homomorphism is a nilpotent element of T, and hence
is zero (because T is reduced). As the b
i
’s are linearly independent over k, this means that
the ¨ a
i
are all zero. Thus, the a
i
’s lie in all maximal ideals m of ·, and so are zero (see
2.13). Hence ˛ = 0, and we have shown that · ˝
k
T is reduced.
Now assume that · and T are integral domains, and let ˛, ˛
t
÷ · ˝
k
T be such that
˛˛
t
= 0. As before, we can write ˛ =
¸
a
i
˝ b
i
and ˛
t
=
¸
a
t
i
˝ b
t
i
with the sets
{b
1
. b
2
. . . .] and {b
t
1
. b
t
2
. . . .] each linearly independent over k. For each maximal ideal m
of ·, we know (
¸
¨ a
i
b
i
)(
¸
¨ a
t
i
b
t
i
) = 0 in T, and so either (
¸
¨ a
i
b
i
) = 0 or (
¸
¨ a
t
i
b
t
i
) = 0.
Thus either all the a
i
÷ m or all the a
t
i
÷ m. This shows that
spm(·) = V(a
1
. . . . . a
n
) L V(a
t
1
. . . . . a
t
n
).
As spm(·) is irreducible (see 2.19), it follows that spm(·) equals either V(a
1
. . . . . a
n
) or
V(a
t
1
. . . . . a
t
n
). In the first case ˛ = 0, and in the second ˛
t
= 0.
2
EXAMPLE 4.16. We give some examples to illustrate that k must be taken to be alge-
braically closed in the proposition.
PRODUCTS OF VARIETIES 67
(a) Suppose k is nonperfect of characteristic ], so that there exists an element ˛ in an
algebraic closure of k such that ˛ … k but ˛
;
÷ k. Let k
t
= kŒ˛|, and let ˛
;
= a. Then
(˛ ˝1 ÷ 1 ˝˛) = 0 in k
t
˝
k
k
t
(in fact, the elements ˛
i
˝˛
}
, 0 _ i. ; _ ] ÷ 1, form a
basis for k
t
˝
k
k
t
as a k-vector space), but
(˛ ˝1 ÷ 1 ˝˛)
;
= (a ˝1 ÷ 1 ˝a)
= (1 ˝a ÷ 1 ˝a) (because a ÷ k)
= 0.
Thus k
t
˝
k
k
t
is not reduced, even though k
t
is a field.
(b) Let 1 be a finite separable extension of k and let ˝ be a second field containing k.
By the primitive element theorem (FT 5.1),
1 = kŒ˛| = kŒX|¡(}(X)).
for some ˛ ÷ 1 and its minimal polynomial }(X). Assume that ˝ is large enough to split
} , say, }(X) =
¸
i
X ÷ ˛
i
with ˛
i
÷ ˝. Because 1¡k is separable, the ˛
i
are distinct,
and so
˝ ˝
k
1 . ˝ŒX|¡(}(X)) (1.35(b))
.
¸
˝ŒX|¡(X ÷ ˛
i
) (1.1)
and so it is not an integral domain. For example,
C ˝
R
C . CŒX|¡(X ÷ i ) × CŒX|¡(X ÷i ) . C × C.
The proposition allows us to make the following definition.
DEFINITION 4.17. The product of the affine varieties V and W is
(V × W. O
V ×W
) = Spm(kŒV | ˝
k
kŒW|)
with the projection maps ]. q: V × W ÷ V. W defined by the homomorphisms } ÷
} ˝1: kŒV | ÷kŒV | ˝
k
kŒW| and g ÷1 ˝g: kŒW| ÷kŒV | ˝
k
kŒW|.
PROPOSITION 4.18. Let V and W be affine varieties.
(a) The variety (V ×W. O
V ×W
) is the product of (V. O
V
) and (W. O
W
) in the category
of affine algebraic varieties; in particular, the set V × W is the product of the sets V
and W and ] and q are the projection maps.
(b) If V and W are irreducible, then so also is V × W.
PROOF. (a) As noted at the start of the subsection, the first statement follows from (4.15a),
and the second statement then follows by the argument on p65.
(b) This follows from (4.15b) and (2.19).
2
COROLLARY 4.19. Let V and W be affine varieties. For any prevariety T , a map c: T ÷
V × W is regular if ] ı c and q ı c are regular.
68 CHAPTER 4. ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES
PROOF. If ] ı c and q ı c are regular, then (4.18) implies that c is regular when restricted
to any open affine of T , which implies that it is regular on T .
2
The corollary shows that V ×W is the product of V and W in the category of prevarieties
(hence also in the categories of varieties).
EXAMPLE 4.20. (a) It follows from (1.34) that A
n÷n
endowed with the projection maps
A
n
;
÷A
n÷n
q
÷A
n
.

](a
1
. . . . . a
n÷n
) = (a
1
. . . . . a
n
)
q(a
1
. . . . . a
n÷n
) = (a
n÷1
. . . . . a
n÷n
).
is the product of A
n
and A
n
.
(b) It follows from (1.35c) that
V(a)
;
÷V(a. b)
q
÷V(b)
is the product of V(a) and V(b).
The topology on V × W is not the product topology; for example, the topology on
A
2
= A
1
× A
1
is not the product topology (see 2.29).
Products in general
We now define the product of two algebraic prevarieties V and W.
Write V as a union of open affines V =

V
i
, and note that V can be regarded as the
variety obtained by patching the (V
i
. O
V
i
); in particular, this covering satisfies the patching
condition (4.13). Similarly, write W as a union of open affines W =

W
}
. Then
V × W =
¸
V
i
× W
}
and the (V
i
× W
}
. O
V
i
×W
j
) satisfy the patching condition. Therefore, we can define (V ×
W. O
V ×W
) to be the variety obtained by patching the (V
i
× W
}
. O
V
i
×W
j
).
PROPOSITION 4.21. With the sheaf of k-algebras O
V ×W
just defined, V ×W becomes the
product of V and W in the category of prevarieties. In particular, the structure of prevariety
on V × W defined by the coverings V =

V
i
and W =

W
}
are independent of the
coverings.
PROOF. Let T be a prevariety, and let c: T ÷V ×W be a map of sets such that ] ı c and
q ı c are regular. Then (4.19) implies that the restriction of c to c
-1
(V
i
× W
}
) is regular.
As these open sets cover T , this shows that c is regular.
2
PROPOSITION 4.22. If V and W are separated, then so also is V × W.
PROOF. Let c
1
. c
2
be two regular maps U ÷ V × W. The set where c
1
. c
2
agree is the
intersection of the sets where ] ı c
1
. ] ı c
2
and q ı c
1
. q ı c
2
agree, which is closed.
2
THE SEPARATION AXIOM REVISITED 69
EXAMPLE 4.23. An algebraic group is a variety G together with regular maps
mult: G × G ÷G. inverse: G ÷G. A
0
e
÷÷G
that make G into a group in the usual sense. For example,
SL
n
= Spm(kŒX
11
. X
12
. . . . . X
nn
|¡(det(X
i}
) ÷ 1))
and
GL
n
= Spm(kŒX
11
. X
12
. . . . . X
nn
. Y |¡(Y det(X
i}
) ÷ 1))
become algebraic groups when endowed with their usual group structure. The only affine
algebraic groups of dimension 1 are
G
n
= GL
1
= SpmkŒX. X
-1
|
and
G
o
= SpmkŒX|.
Any finite group N can be made into an algebraic group by setting
N = Spm(·)
with · the set of all maps } : N ÷k.
Affine algebraic groups are called linear algebraic groups because they can all be re-
alized as closed subgroups of GL
n
for some n. Connected algebraic groups that can be
realized as closed algebraic subvarieties of a projective space are called abelian varieties
because they are related to the integrals studied by Abel (happily, they all turn out to be
commutative; see 7.15 below).
The connected component G
ı
of an algebraic group G containing the identity compo-
nent (the identity component) is a closed normal subgroup of G and the quotient G¡G
ı
is a
finite group. An important theorem of Chevalley says that every connected algebraic group
G contains a unique connected linear algebraic group G
1
such that G¡G
1
is an abelian va-
riety. Thus, we have the following coarse classification: every algebraic group G contains
a sequence of normal subgroups
G ¯ G
ı
¯ G
1
¯ {e]
with G¡G
ı
a finite group, G
ı
¡G
1
an abelian variety, and G
1
a linear algebraic group.
The separation axiom revisited
Now that we have the notion of the product of varieties, we can restate the separation axiom
in terms of the diagonal.
By way of motivation, consider a topological space V and the diagonal z c V × V ,
z
df
= {(.. .) [ . ÷ V ].
If z is closed (for the product topology), then every pair of points (.. .) … z has a neigh-
bourhood U ×U
t
such that U ×U
t
¨z = ∅. In other words, if . and . are distinct points in
V , then there are neighbourhoods U and U
t
of . and . respectively such that U ¨U
t
= ∅.
Thus V is Hausdorff. Conversely, if V is Hausdorff, the reverse argument shows that z is
closed.
For a variety V , we let z = z
V
(the diagonal) be the subset {(·. ·) [ · ÷ V ] of V ×V .
70 CHAPTER 4. ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES
PROPOSITION 4.24. An algebraic prevariety V is separated if and only if z
V
is closed.
3
PROOF. Assume z
V
is closed. Let c
1
and c
2
be regular maps 7 ÷V . The map
(c
1
. c
2
): 7 ÷V × V. : ÷(c
1
(:). c
2
(:))
is regular because its composites with the projections to V are c
1
and c
2
. In particular, it
is continuous, and so (c
1
. c
2
)
-1
(z) is closed. But this is precisely the subset on which c
1
and c
2
agree.
Conversely, suppose V is separated. This means that for any affine variety 7 and regular
maps c
1
. c
2
: 7 ÷ V , the set on which c
1
and c
2
agree is closed in 7. Apply this with c
1
and c
2
the two projection maps V × V ÷ V , and note that the set on which they agree is
z
V
.
2
COROLLARY 4.25. For any prevariety V , the diagonal is a locally closed subset of V ×V .
PROOF. Let 1 ÷ V , and let U be an open affine neighbourhood of 1. Then U × U is an
open neighbourhood of (1. 1) in V × V , and z
V
¨ (U × U) = z
U
, which is closed in
U × U because U is separated (4.6).
2
Thus z
V
is always a subvariety of V ×V , and it is closed if and only if V is separated.
The graph 1
c
of a regular map c: V ÷W is defined to be
{(·. c(·)) ÷ V × W [ · ÷ V ].
At this point, the reader should draw the picture suggested by calculus.
COROLLARY 4.26. For any morphism c: V ÷ W of prevarieties, the graph 1
c
of c is
locally closed in V × W, and it is closed if W is separated. The map · ÷ (·. c(·)) is an
isomorphism of V onto 1
c
(as algebraic prevarieties).
PROOF. The map
(·. n) ÷(c(·). n): V × W ÷W × W
is regular because its composites with the projections are c and id
W
which are regular.
In particular, it is continuous, and as 1
c
is the inverse image of z
W
under this map, this
proves the first statement. The second statement follows from the fact that the regular map
1
c
·÷V × W
;
÷V is an inverse to · ÷(·. c(·)): V ÷1
c
.
2
THEOREM 4.27. The following three conditions on a prevariety V are equivalent:
(a) V is separated;
(b) for every pair of open affines U and U
t
in V , U ¨ U
t
is an open affine, and the map
} ˝g ÷} [
UíU
0 g[
UíU
0 : kŒU| ˝
k
kŒU
t
| ÷kŒU ¨ U
t
|
is surjective;
3
Recall that the topology on V ×V is not the product topology. Thus the statement does not contradict the
fact that V is not Hausdorff.
THE SEPARATION AXIOM REVISITED 71
(c) the condition in (b) holds for the sets in some open affine covering of V .
PROOF. Let U and U
t
be open affines in V . We shall prove that
(i) if z is closed then U ¨ U
t
affine,
(ii) when U ¨ U
t
is affine,
(U × U
t
) ¨ z is closed ” kŒU| ˝
k
kŒU
t
| ÷kŒU ¨ U
t
| is surjective.
Assume (a); then these statements imply (b). Assume that (b) holds for the sets in an
open affine covering (U
i
)
i÷J
of V . Then (U
i
× U
}
)
(i,})÷J×J
is an open affine covering of
V × V , and z
V
¨ (U
i
× U
}
) is closed in U
i
× U
}
for each pair (i. ; ), which implies (a).
Thus, the statements (i) and (ii) imply the theorem.
Proof of (i): The graph of the inclusion U ¨ U
t
·÷ V is the subset (U × U
t
) ¨ z of
(U ¨ U
t
) × V. If z
V
is closed, then (U × U
t
) ¨ z
V
is a closed subvariety of an affine
variety, and hence is affine (see p55). Now (4.26) implies that U ¨ U
t
is affine.
Proof of (ii): Assume that U ¨ U
t
is affine. Then
(U × U
t
) ¨ z
V
is closed in U × U
t
” · ÷(·. ·): U ¨ U
t
÷U × U
t
is a closed immersion
” kŒU × U
t
| ÷kŒU ¨ U
t
| is surjective (3.22).
Since kŒU × U
t
| = kŒU| ˝
k
kŒU
t
|, this completes the proof of (ii).
2
In more down-to-earth terms, condition (b) says that U ¨U
t
is affine and every regular
function on U ¨U
t
is a sum of functions of the form1 ÷}(1)g(1) with } and g regular
functions on U and U
t
.
EXAMPLE 4.28. (a) Let V = P
1
, and let U
0
and U
1
be the standard open subsets (see
4.3). Then U
0
¨ U
1
= A
1
{0], and the maps on rings corresponding to the inclusions
U
i
·÷U
0
¨ U
1
are
}(X) ÷}(X): kŒX| ÷kŒX. X
-1
|
}(X) ÷}(X
-1
): kŒX| ÷kŒX. X
-1
|.
Thus the sets U
0
and U
1
satisfy the condition in (b).
(b) Let V be A
1
with the origin doubled (see 4.10), and let U and U
t
be the upper and
lower copies of A
1
in V . Then U ¨U
t
is affine, but the maps on rings corresponding to the
inclusions U
i
·÷U
0
¨ U
1
are
X ÷X: kŒX| ÷kŒX. X
-1
|
X ÷X: kŒX| ÷kŒX. X
-1
|.
Thus the sets U
0
and U
1
fail the condition in (b).
(c) Let V be A
2
with the origin doubled, and let U and U
t
be the upper and lower copies
of A
2
in V . Then U ¨ U
t
is not affine (see 3.21).
72 CHAPTER 4. ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES
Fibred products
Consider a variety S and two regular maps c: V ÷S and [: W ÷S. Then the set
V ×
S
W
df
= {(·. n) ÷ V × W [ c(·) = [(n)]
is a closed subvariety of V × W (because it is the set where c ı ] and [ ı q agree). It is
called the fibred product of V and W over S. Note that if S consists of a single point, then
V ×
S
W = V × W.
Write c
t
for the map (·. n) ÷ n: V ×
S
W ÷ W and [
t
for the map (·. n) ÷
·: V ×
S
W ÷V . We then have a commutative diagram:
V ×
S
W
c
0
÷÷÷÷÷ W

v
0

v
V
c
÷÷÷÷÷ S.
The fibred product has the following universal property: consider a pair of regular maps
˛: T ÷V , ˇ: T ÷W; then
t ÷(˛(t ), ˇ(t )): T ÷V × W
factors through V ×
S
W (as a map of sets) if and only if c˛ = [ˇ, in which case (˛. ˇ) is
regular (because it is regular as a map into V × W);
T
ˇ

˛

V ×
S
W

W
v

V
c

S
The map c
t
in the above diagram is called the base change of c with respect to [.
For any point 1 ÷ S, the base change of c: V ÷ S with respect to 1 ·÷ S is the map
c
-1
(1) ÷1 induced by c, which is called the fibre of V over 1.
EXAMPLE 4.29. If } : V ÷ S is a regular map and U is an open subvariety of S, then
V ×
S
U is the inverse image of U in S.
EXAMPLE 4.30. Since a tensor product of rings · ˝
T
T has the opposite universal prop-
erty to that of a fibred product, one might hope that
Spm(·) ×
Spm(T)
Spm(T)
‹‹
= Spm(· ˝
T
T).
This is true if ·˝
T
T is an affine k-algebra, but in general it may have nilpotent
4
elements.
For example, let 1 = kŒX|, let · = k with the 1-algebra structure sending X to a, and
let T = kŒX| with the 1-algebra structure sending X to X
;
. When k has characteristic
] = 0, then
· ˝
T
T . k ˝
kŒA
p
]
kŒX| . kŒX|¡(X
;
÷ a).
4
By this, of course, we mean nonzero nilpotent elements.
DIMENSION 73
The correct statement is
Spm(·) ×
Spm(T)
Spm(T) . Spm(· ˝
T
T¡N) (7)
where N is the ideal of nilpotent elements in · ˝
T
T. To prove this, note that for any
variety T ,
Mor(T. Spm(· ˝
T
T¡N)) . Hom(· ˝
T
T¡N. 1(T. O
T
))
. Hom(· ˝
T
T. 1(T. O
T
))
. Hom(·. 1(T. O
T
)) ×
Hom(T,T(T,O
T
))
Hom(T. 1(T. O
T
))
. Mor(V. Spm(·)) ×
Mor(V,Spm(T))
Mor(V. Spm(T)).
For the first and fourth isomorphisms, we used (4.11); for the second isomorphism, we used
that 1(T. O
T
) has no nilpotents; for the third isomorphism, we used the universal property
of · ˝
T
T.
Dimension
In an irreducible algebraic variety V , every nonempty open subset is dense and irreducible.
If U and U
t
are open affines in V , then so also is U ¨ U
t
and
kŒU| c kŒU ¨ U
t
| c k(U)
where k(U) is the field of fractions of kŒU|, and so k(U) is also the field of fractions of
kŒU ¨ U
t
| and of kŒU
t
|. Thus, we can attach to V a field k(V ), called the field of rational
functions on V , such that for every open affine U in V , k(V ) is the field of fractions of
kŒU|. The dimension of V is defined to be the transcendence degree of k(V ) over k. Note
the dim(V ) = dim(U) for any open subset U of V . In particular, dim(V ) = dim(U) for
U an open affine in V . It follows that some of the results in :2 carry over — for example,
if 7 is a proper closed subvariety of V , then dim(7) < dim(V ).
PROPOSITION 4.31. Let V and W be irreducible varieties. Then
dim(V × W) = dim(V ) ÷dim(W).
PROOF. We may suppose V and W to be affine. Write
kŒV | = kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
n
|
kŒW| = kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
n
|
where the .’s and .’s have been chosen so that {.
1
. . . . . .
d
] and {.
1
. . . . . .
e
] are maxi-
mal algebraically independent sets of elements of kŒV | and kŒW|. Then {.
1
. . . . . .
d
] and
{.
1
. . . . . .
e
] are transcendence bases of k(V ) and k(W) (see FT 8.12), and so dim(V ) = J
and dim(W) = e. Then
5
kŒV ×W|
df
= kŒV |˝
k
kŒW| ¯ kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
d

k
kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
e
| . kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
d
. .
1
. . . . . .
e
|.
5
In general, it is not true that if M
t
and N
t
are 1-submodules of M and N, then M
t
˝
T
N
t
is an 1-
submodule of M ˝
T
N. However, this is true if 1 is a field, because then M
t
and N
t
will be direct summands
of M and N, and tensor products preserve direct summands.
74 CHAPTER 4. ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES
Therefore {.
1
˝ 1. . . . . .
d
˝ 1. 1 ˝ .
1
. . . . . 1 ˝ .
e
] will be algebraically independent in
kŒV | ˝
k
kŒW|. Obviously kŒV × W| is generated as a k-algebra by the elements .
i
˝1,
1 ˝.
}
, 1 _ i _ m, 1 _ ; _ n, and all of them are algebraic over
kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
d
| ˝
k
kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
e
|.
Thus the transcendence degree of k(V × W) is J ÷e.
2
We extend the definition of dimension to an arbitrary variety V as follows. An algebraic
variety is a finite union of noetherian topological spaces, and so is noetherian. Consequently
(see 2.21), V is a finite union V =

V
i
of its irreducible components, and we define
dim(V ) = max dim(V
i
). When all the irreducible components of V have dimension n. V
is said to be pure of dimension n (or to be of pure dimension n).
Birational equivalence
Two irreducible varieties V and W are said to be birationally equivalent if k(V ) ~ k(W).
PROPOSITION 4.32. Two irreducible varieties V and W are birationally equivalent if and
only if there are open subsets U and U
t
of V and W respectively such that U ~ U
t
.
PROOF. Assume that V and W are birationally equivalent. We may suppose that V and W
are affine, corresponding to the rings · and T say, and that · and T have a common field
of fractions 1. Write T = kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
n
|. Then .
i
= a
i
¡b
i
, a
i
. b
i
÷ ·, and T c ·
b
1
...b
r
.
Since Spm(·
b
1
...b
r
) is a basic open subvariety of V , we may replace · with ·
b
1
...b
r
, and
suppose that T c ·. The same argument shows that there exists a J ÷ T c · such
· c T
d
. Now
T c · c T
d
=T
d
c ·
d
c (T
d
)
d
= T
d
.
and so ·
d
= T
d
. This shows that the open subvarieties D(b) c V and D(b) c W are
isomorphic. This proves the “only if” part, and the “if” part is obvious.
2
REMARK 4.33. Proposition 4.32 can be improved as follows: if V and W are irreducible
varieties, then every inclusion k(V ) c k(W) is defined by a regular surjective map c: U ÷
U
t
from an open subset U of W onto an open subset U
t
of V .
PROPOSITION 4.34. Every irreducible algebraic variety of dimension J is birationally
equivalent to a hypersurface in A
d÷1
.
PROOF. Let V be an irreducible variety of dimension J. According to FT 8.21, there exist
algebraically independent elements .
1
. . . . . .
d
÷ k(V ) such that k(V ) is finite and separa-
ble ove k(.
1
. . . . . .
d
). By the primitive element theorem(FT 5.1), k(V ) = k(.
1
. . . . . .
d
. .
d÷1
)
for some .
d÷1
. Let } ÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
d÷1
| be an irreducible polynomial satisfied by the .
i
,
and let H be the hypersurface } = 0. Then k(V ) ~ k(H).
2
REMARK 4.35. An irreducible variety V of dimension J is said to rational if it is bira-
tionally equivalent to A
d
. It is said to be unirational if k(V ) can be embedded in k(A
d
) —
according to (4.33), this means that there is a regular surjective map from an open subset of
DOMINATING MAPS 75
A
dimV
onto an open subset of V . L¨ uroth’s theorem (cf. FT 8.19) says that every unirational
curve is rational. It was proved by Castelnuovo that when k has characteristic zero every
unirational surface is rational. Only in the seventies was it shown that this is not true for
three dimensional varieties (Artin, Mumford, Clemens, Griffiths, Manin,...). When k has
characteristic ] = 0, Zariski showed that there exist nonrational unirational surfaces, and
P. Blass showed that there exist infinitely many surfaces V , no two birationally equivalent,
such that k(X
;
. Y
;
) c k(V ) c k(X. Y ).
Dominating maps
As in the affine case, a regular map c: V ÷W is said to be dominating if the image of c is
dense in W. Suppose V and W are irreducible. If V
t
and W
t
are open affine subsets of V
and W such that c(V
t
) c W
t
, then (3.22) implies that the map } ÷} ıc: kŒW
t
| ÷kŒV
t
|
is injective. Therefore it extends to a map on the fields of fractions, k(W) ÷ k(V ), and
this map is independent of the choice of V
t
and W
t
.
Algebraic varieties as a functors
Let · be an affine k-algebra, and let V be an algebraic variety. We define a point of V with
coordinates in · to be a regular map Spm(·) ÷V . For example, if V = V(a) c k
n
, then
V(·) = {(a
1
. . . . . a
n
) ÷ ·
n
[ }(a
1
. . . . . a
n
) = 0 all } ÷ a].
which is what you should expect. In particular V(k) = V (as a set), i.e., V (as a set) can be
identified with the set of points of V with coordinates in k. Note that
(V × W)(·) = V(·) × W(·)
(property of a product).
REMARK 4.36. Let V be the union of two subvarieties, V = V
1
L V
2
. If V
1
and V
2
are
both open, then V(·) = V
1
(·) L V
2
(·), but not necessarily otherwise. For example, for
any polynomial }(X
1
. . . . . X
n
),
A
n
= D
(
L V(} )
where D
(
. Spm(kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
. T |¡(1 ÷ T} )) and V(} ) is the zero set of } , but
·
n
= {a ÷ ·
n
[ }(a) ÷ ·
×
] L {a ÷ ·
n
[ }(a) = 0]
in general.
THEOREM 4.37. A regular map c: V ÷W of algebraic varieties defines a family of maps
of sets, c(·): V(·) ÷ W(·), one for each affine k-algebra ·, such that for every homo-
morphism ˛: · ÷T of affine k-algebras,
· V(·)
c(¹)
÷÷÷÷÷ W(·)

˛

V(¹)

V(B)
T V(T)
c(B)
÷÷÷÷÷ V(T)
(*)
commutes. Every family of maps with this property arises from a unique morphism of
algebraic varieties.
76 CHAPTER 4. ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES
For a variety V , let h
aff
V
be the functor sending an affine k-algebra · to V(·). We can
restate as Theorem 4.37 follows.
THEOREM 4.38. The functor
V ÷h
aff
V
: Var
k
÷Fun(Aff
k
. Sets)
if fully faithful.
PROOF. The Yoneda lemma (1.39) shows that the functor
V ÷h
V
: Var
k
÷Fun(Var
k
. Sets)
is fully faithful. Let c be a morphism h
aff
V
÷ h
aff
V
0
, and let T be a variety. Let (U
i
)
i÷J
be a
finite affine covering of T . Each intersection U
i
¨U
}
is affine (4.27), and so c gives rise to
a commutative diagram
0 ÷ h
V
(T ) ÷
¸
i
h
V
(U
i
) ⇒
¸
i,}
h
V
(U
i
¨ U
}
)
¡ ¡
0 ÷ h
V
0 (T ) ÷
¸
i
h
V
0 (U
i
) ⇒
¸
i,}
h
V
0 (U
i
¨ U
}
)
in which the pairs of maps are defined by the inclusions U
i
¨ U
}
·÷ U
i
. U
}
. As the rows
are exact (4.13), this shows that c
V
extends uniquely to a functor h
V
÷h
V
0 , which (by the
Yoneda lemma) arises from a unique regular map V ÷V
t
.
2
COROLLARY 4.39. To give an affine algebraic group is the same as to give a functor
G: Aff
k
÷Gp such that for some n and some finite set S of polynomials in kŒX
1
. X
2
. . . . . X
n
|,
G(·) is the set of zeros of S in ·
n
.
PROOF. Certainly an affine algebraic group defines such a functor. Conversely, the con-
ditions imply that G = h
V
for an affine algebraic variety V (unique up to a unique iso-
morphism). The multiplication maps G(·) × G(·) ÷ G(·) give a morphism of functors
h
V
× h
V
÷ h
V
. As h
V
× h
V
. h
V ×V
(by definition of V × V ), we see that they arise
from a regular map V × V ÷ V . Similarly, the inverse map and the identity-element map
are regular.
2
It is not unusual for a variety to be most naturally defined in terms of its points functor.
REMARK 4.40. The essential image of h ÷ h
V
: Var
aff
k
÷ Fun(Aff
k
. Sets) consists of the
functors J defined by some (finite) set of polynomials.
We now describe the essential image of h ÷ h
V
: Var
k
÷ Fun(Aff
k
. Sets). The fibre
product of two maps ˛
1
: J
1
÷J
3
, ˛
2
: J
2
÷J
3
of sets is the set
J
1
×
T
3
J
2
= {(.
1
. .
2
) [ ˛
1
(.
1
) = ˛
2
(.
2
)].
When J
1
. J
2
. J
3
are functors and ˛
1
. ˛
2
. ˛
3
are morphisms of functors, there is a functor
J = J
1
×
T
3
J
2
such that
(J
1
×
T
3
J
2
)(·) = J
1
(·) ×
T
3
(¹)
J
2
(·)
for all affine k-algebras ·.
To simplify the statement of the next proposition, we write U for h
U
when U is an
affine variety.
EXERCISES 77
PROPOSITION 4.41. A functor J: Aff
k
÷ Sets is in the essential image of Var
k
if and
only if there exists an affine scheme U and a morphism U ÷J such that
(a) the functor 1 =
df
U ×
T
U is a closed affine subvariety of U × U and the maps
1 ⇒U defined by the projections are open immersions;
(b) the set 1(k) is an equivalence relation on U(k), and the map U(k) ÷ J(k) realizes
J(k) as the quotient of U(k) by 1(k).
PROOF. Let J = h
V
for V an algebraic variety. Choose a finite open affine covering
V =

U
i
of V , and let U =
¸
U
i
. It is again an affine variety (Exercise 4-2). The
functor 1 is h
U
0 where U
t
is the disjoint union of the varieties U
i
¨ U
}
. These are affine
(4.27), and so U
t
is affine. As U
t
is the inverse image of z
V
in U × U, it is closed (4.24).
This proves (a), and (b) is obvious.
The converse is omitted for the present.
2
REMARK 4.42. A variety V defines a functor 1 ÷ V(1) from the category of all k-
algebras to Sets. For example, if V is affine,
V(1) = Hom
k-algebra
(kŒV |. 1).
More explicitly, if V c k
n
and 1(V ) = (}
1
. . . . . }
n
), then V(1) is the set of solutions in
1
n
of the system equations
}
i
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) = 0. i = 1. . . . . m.
Again, we call the elements of V(1) the points of V with coordinates in 1.
Note that, when we allow 1 to have nilpotent elements, it is important to choose the }
i
to generate 1(V ) (i.e., a radical ideal) and not just an ideal a such that V(a) = V .
6
Exercises
4-1. Show that the only regular functions on P
1
are the constant functions. [Thus P
1
is not
affine. When k = C, P
1
is the Riemann sphere (as a set), and one knows from complex
analysis that the only holomorphic functions on the Riemann sphere are constant. Since
regular functions are holomorphic, this proves the statement in this case. The general case
is easier.]
4-2. Let V be the disjoint union of algebraic varieties V
1
. . . . . V
n
. This set has an obvious
topology and ringed space structure for which it is an algebraic variety. Show that V is
affine if and only if each V
i
is affine.
4-3. Show that every algebraic subgroup of an algebraic group is closed.
6
Let a be an ideal in kŒX
1
. . . .|. If · has no nonzero nilpotent elements, then every k-algebra homomor-
phism kŒX
1
. . . .| ÷· that is zero on a is also zero on rad(a), and so
Hom
k
(kŒX
1
. . . .|¡a. ·) . Hom
k
(kŒX
1
. . . .|¡rad(a). ·).
This is not true if · has nonzero nilpotents.
Chapter 5
Local Study
In this chapter, we examine the structure of a variety near a point. We begin with the
case of a curve, since the ideas in the general case are the same but the formulas are more
complicated. Throughout, k is an algebraically closed field.
Tangent spaces to plane curves
Consider the curve
V : J(X. Y ) = 0
in the plane defined by a nonconstant polynomial J(X. Y ). We assume that J(X. Y ) has
no multiple factors, so that (J(X. Y )) is a radical ideal and 1(V ) = (J(X. Y )). We can
factor J into a product of irreducible polynomials, J(X. Y ) =
¸
J
i
(X. Y ), and then
V =

V(J
i
) expresses V as a union of its irreducible components. Each component
V(J
i
) has dimension 1 (see 2.25) and so V has pure dimension 1. More explicitly, suppose
for simplicity that J(X. Y ) itself is irreducible, so that
kŒV | = kŒX. Y |¡(J(X. Y )) = kŒ.. .|
is an integral domain. If J = X ÷c, then . is transcendental over k and . is algebraic over
k(.), and so . is a transcendence basis for k(V ) over k. Similarly, if J = Y ÷c, then . is
a transcendence basis for k(V ) over k.
Let (a. b) be a point on V . In calculus, the equation of the tangent at 1 = (a. b) is
defined to be
dJ
dX
(a. b)(X ÷ a) ÷
dJ
dY
(a. b)(Y ÷ b) = 0. (8)
This is the equation of a line unless both
JT
JA
(a. b) and
JT
JY
(a. b) are zero, in which case it
is the equation of a plane.
DEFINITION 5.1. The tangent space T
1
V to V at 1 = (a. b) is the space defined by
equation (8).
When
JT
JA
(a. b) and
JT
JY
(a. b) are not both zero, T
1
(V ) is a line, and we say that 1 is
a nonsingular or smooth point of V . Otherwise, T
1
(V ) has dimension 2, and we say that
1 is singular or multiple. The curve V is said to be nonsingular or smooth when all its
points are nonsingular.
We regard T
1
(V ) as a subspace of the two-dimensional vector space T
1
(A
2
), which is
the two-dimensional space of vectors with origin 1.
78
TANGENT SPACES TO PLANE CURVES 79
EXAMPLE 5.2. For each of the following examples, the reader (or his computer) is invited
to sketch the curve.
1
The characteristic of k is assumed to be = 2. 3.
(a) X
n
÷ Y
n
= 1. All points are nonsingular unless the characteristic divides m (in
which case X
n
÷Y
n
÷ 1 has multiple factors).
(b) Y
2
= X
3
. Here only (0. 0) is singular.
(c) Y
2
= X
2
(X ÷1). Here again only (0. 0) is singular.
(d) Y
2
= X
3
÷aX ÷b. In this case,
V is singular ” Y
2
÷ X
3
÷ aX ÷ b, 2Y , and 3X
2
÷a have a common zero
” X
3
÷aX ÷b and 3X
2
÷a have a common zero.
Since 3X
2
÷ a is the derivative of X
3
÷ aX ÷ b, we see that V is singular if and
only if X
3
÷aX ÷b has a multiple root.
(e) (X
2
÷Y
2
)
2
÷3X
2
Y ÷ Y
3
= 0. The origin is (very) singular.
(f) (X
2
÷Y
2
)
3
÷ 4X
2
Y
2
= 0. The origin is (even more) singular.
(g) V = V(JG) where JG has no multiple factors and J and G are relatively prime.
Then V = V(J) L V(G), and a point (a. b) is singular if and only if it is a singular
point of V(J), a singular point of V(G), or a point of V(J) ¨ V(G). This follows
immediately from the equations given by the product rule:
d(JG)
dX
= J
dG
dX
÷
dJ
dX
G.
d(JG)
dY
= J
dG
dY
÷
dJ
dY
G.
PROPOSITION 5.3. Let V be the curve defined by a nonconstant polynomial J without
multiple factors. The set of nonsingular points
2
is an open dense subset V .
PROOF. We can assume that J is irreducible. We have to show that the set of singular
points is a proper closed subset. Since it is defined by the equations
J = 0.
dJ
dX
= 0.
dJ
dY
= 0.
it is obviously closed. It will be proper unless dJ¡dX and dJ¡dY are identically zero on V ,
and are therefore both multiples of J, but, since they have lower degree, this is impossible
unless they are both zero. Clearly dJ¡dX = 0 if and only if J is a polynomial in Y (k
of characteristic zero) or is a polynomial in X
;
and Y (k of characteristic ]). A similar
remark applies to dJ¡dY . Thus if dJ¡dX and dJ¡dY are both zero, then J is constant
(characteristic zero) or a polynomial in X
;
, Y
;
, and hence a ]
th
power (characteristic ]).
These are contrary to our assumptions.
2
The set of singular points of a variety is called the singular locus of the variety.
1
For (b,e,f), see p57 of: Walker, Robert J., Algebraic Curves. Princeton Mathematical Series, vol. 13.
Princeton University Press, Princeton, N. J., 1950 (reprinted by Dover 1962).
2
In common usage, “singular” means uncommon or extraordinary as in “he spoke with singular shrewd-
ness”. Thus the proposition says that singular points (mathematical sense) are singular (usual sense).
80 CHAPTER 5. LOCAL STUDY
Tangent cones to plane curves
A polynomial J(X. Y ) can be written (uniquely) as a finite sum
J = J
0
÷J
1
÷J
2
÷ ÷J
n
÷ (9)
where J
n
is a homogeneous polynomial of degree m. The term J
1
will be denoted J
I
and
called the linear form of J, and the first nonzero term on the right of (9) (the homogeneous
summand of J of least degree) will be denoted J
+
and called the leading form of J.
If 1 = (0. 0) is on the curve V defined by J, then J
0
= 0 and (9) becomes
J = aX ÷bY ÷higher degree terms;
moreover, the equation of the tangent space is
aX ÷bY = 0.
DEFINITION 5.4. Let J(X. Y ) be a polynomial without square factors, and let V be the
curve defined by J. If (0. 0) ÷ V , then the geometric tangent cone to V at (0. 0) is the
zero set of J
+
. The tangent cone is the pair (V(J
+
). J
+
). To obtain the tangent cone at any
other point, translate to the origin, and then translate back.
EXAMPLE 5.5. (a) Y
2
= X
3
: the tangent cone at (0. 0) is defined by Y
2
— it is the X-axis
(doubled).
(b) Y
2
= X
2
(X ÷1): the tangent cone at (0,0) is defined by Y
2
÷ X
2
— it is the pair
of lines Y = ˙X.
(c) (X
2
÷Y
2
)
2
÷3X
2
Y ÷Y
3
= 0: the tangent cone at (0. 0) is defined by 3X
2
Y ÷Y
3
— it is the union of the lines Y = 0, Y = ˙

3X.
(d) (X
2
÷Y
2
)
3
÷4X
2
Y
2
= 0: the tangent cone at (0. 0) is defined by 4X
2
Y
2
= 0 —
it is the union of the X and Y axes (each doubled).
In general we can factor J
+
as
J
+
(X. Y ) =
¸
X
i
0
(Y ÷ a
i
X)
i
i
.
Then deg J
+
=
¸
r
i
is called the multiplicity of the singularity, mult
1
(V ). A multiple
point is ordinary if its tangents are nonmultiple, i.e., r
i
= 1 all i . An ordinary double point
is called a node, and a nonordinary double point is called a cusp. (There are many names
for special types of singularities — see any book, especially an old book, on curves.)
The local ring at a point on a curve
PROPOSITION 5.6. Let 1 be a point on a curve V , and let mbe the corresponding maximal
ideal in kŒV |. If 1 is nonsingular, then dim
k
(m¡m
2
) = 1, and otherwise dim
k
(m¡m
2
) =
2.
TANGENT SPACES OF SUBVARIETIES OF A
Æ
81
PROOF. Assume first that 1 = (0. 0). Then m = (.. .) in kŒV | = kŒX. Y |¡(J(X. Y )) =
kŒ.. .|. Note that m
2
= (.
2
. ... .
2
), and
m¡m
2
= (X. Y )¡(m
2
÷J(X. Y )) = (X. Y )¡(X
2
. XY. Y
2
. J(X. Y )).
In this quotient, every element is represented by a linear polynomial c. ÷J., and the only
relation is J
I
(.. .) = 0. Clearly dim
k
(m¡m
2
) = 1 if J
I
= 0, and dim
k
(m¡m
2
) = 2
otherwise. Since J
I
= 0 is the equation of the tangent space, this proves the proposition in
this case.
The same argument works for an arbitrary point (a. b) except that one uses the variables
X
t
= X ÷ a and Y
t
= Y ÷ b; in essence, one translates the point to the origin.
2
We explain what the condition dim
k
(m¡m
2
) = 1 means for the local ring O
1
=
kŒV |
m
. Let n be the maximal ideal mkŒV |
m
of this local ring. The map m ÷ n induces an
isomorphism m¡m
2
÷n¡n
2
(see 1.31), and so we have
1 nonsingular ” dim
k
m¡m
2
= 1 ” dim
k
n¡n
2
= 1.
Nakayama’s lemma (1.3) shows that the last condition is equivalent to n being a principal
ideal. Since O
1
is of dimension 1, n being principal means O
1
is a regular local ring of
dimension 1 (1.6), and hence a discrete valuation ring, i.e., a principal ideal domain with
exactly one prime element (up to associates) (Atiyah and MacDonald 1969). Thus, for a
curve,
1 nonsingular ” O
1
regular ” O
1
is a discrete valuation ring.
Tangent spaces of subvarieties of A
m
Before defining tangent spaces at points of closed subvarietes of A
n
we review some ter-
minology from linear algebra.
Linear algebra
For a vector space k
n
, let X
i
be the i
th
coordinate function a ÷ a
i
. Thus X
1
. . . . . X
n
is
the dual basis to the standard basis for k
n
. A linear form
¸
a
i
X
i
can be regarded as an
element of the dual vector space (k
n
)
·
= Hom(k
n
. k).
Let · = (a
i}
) be an n × m matrix. It defines a linear map ˛: k
n
÷k
n
, by

¸
¸
a
1
.
.
.
a
n

÷·

¸
¸
a
1
.
.
.
a
n

=

¸
¸
¸
n
}=1
a
1}
a
}
.
.
.
¸
n
}=1
a
n}
a
}

.
Write X
1
. . . . . X
n
for the coordinate functions on k
n
and Y
1
. . . . . Y
n
for the coordinate
functions on k
n
. Then
Y
i
ı ˛ =
n
¸
}=1
a
i}
X
}
.
This says that, when we apply ˛ to a, then the i
th
coordinate of the result is
n
¸
}=1
a
i}
(X
}
a) =
n
¸
}=1
a
i}
a
}
.
82 CHAPTER 5. LOCAL STUDY
Tangent spaces
Consider an affine variety V c k
n
, and let a = 1(V ). The tangent space T
a
(V ) to V
at a = (a
1
. . . . . a
n
) is the subspace of the vector space with origin a cut out by the linear
equations
m
¸
i=1
dJ
dX
i
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
a
(X
i
÷ a
i
) = 0. J ÷ a. (10)
Thus T
a
(A
n
) is the vector space of dimension m with origin a, and T
a
(V ) is the subspace
of T
a
(A
n
) defined by the equations (10).
Write (JX
i
)
a
for (X
i
÷ a
i
); then the (JX
i
)
a
form a basis for the dual vector space
T
a
(A
n
)
·
to T
a
(A
n
) — in fact, they are the coordinate functions on T
a
(A
n
)
·
. As in ad-
vanced calculus, we define the differential of a polynomial J ÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| at a by the
equation:
(JJ)
a
=
n
¸
i=1
dJ
dX
i
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
a
(JX
i
)
a
.
It is again a linear form on T
a
(A
n
). In terms of differentials, T
a
(V ) is the subspace of
T
a
(A
n
) defined by the equations:
(JJ)
a
= 0. J ÷ a. (11)
I claim that, in (10) and (11), it suffices to take the J in a generating subset for a. The
product rule for differentiation shows that if G =
¸
}
H
}
J
}
, then
(JG)
a
=
¸
}
H
}
(a) (JJ
}
)
a
÷J
}
(a) (JH
}
)
a
.
If J
1
. . . . . J
i
generate a and a ÷ V(a), so that J
}
(a) = 0 for all ; , then this equation
becomes
(JG)
a
=
¸
}
H
}
(a) (JJ
}
)
a
.
Thus (JJ
1
)
a
. . . . . (JJ
i
)
a
generate the k-space {(JJ)
a
[ J ÷ a].
When V is irreducible, a point a on V is said to be nonsingular (or smooth) if the
dimension of the tangent space at a is equal to the dimension of V ; otherwise it is singular
(or multiple). When V is reducible, we say a is nonsingular if dimT
a
(V ) is equal to the
maximum dimension of an irreducible component of V passing through a. It turns out then
that a is singular precisely when it lies on more than one irreducible component, or when it
lies on only one component but is a singular point of that component.
Let a = (J
1
. . . . . J
i
), and let
J = Jac(J
1
. . . . . J
i
) =

dJ
i
dX
}

=

¸
¸
¸
JT
1
JA
1
. . . . .
JT
1
JA
m
.
.
.
.
.
.
JT
r
JA
1
. . . . .
JT
r
JA
m

.
Then the equations defining T
a
(V ) as a subspace of T
a
(A
n
) have matrix J(a). Therefore,
linear algebra shows that
dim
k
T
a
(V ) = m÷ rank J(a).
THE DIFFERENTIAL OF A REGULAR MAP 83
and so a is nonsingular if and only if the rank of Jac(J
1
. . . . . J
i
)(a) is equal to m÷dim(V ).
For example, if V is a hypersurface, say 1(V ) = (J(X
1
. . . . . X
n
)), then
Jac(J)(a) =

dJ
dX
1
(a). . . . .
dJ
dX
n
(a)

.
and a is nonsingular if and only if not all of the partial derivatives
JT
JA
i
vanish at a.
We can regard J as a matrix of regular functions on V . For each r,
{a ÷ V [ rank J(a) _ r]
is closed in V , because it the set where certain determinants vanish. Therefore, there is an
open subset U of V on which rank J(a) attains its maximum value, and the rank jumps
on closed subsets. Later (5.18) we shall show that the maximum value of rank J(a) is
m÷ dimV , and so the nonsingular points of V form a nonempty open subset of V .
The differential of a regular map
Consider a regular map
c: A
n
÷A
n
. a ÷(1
1
(a
1
. . . . . a
n
). . . . . 1
n
(a
1
. . . . . a
n
)).
We think of c as being given by the equations
Y
i
= 1
i
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
), i = 1. . . . n.
It corresponds to the map of rings c
+
: kŒY
1
. . . . . Y
n
| ÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| sending Y
i
to
1
i
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
), i = 1. . . . n.
Let a ÷ A
n
, and let b = c(a). Define (Jc)
a
: T
a
(A
n
) ÷ T
b
(A
n
) to be the map such
that
(JY
i
)
b
ı (Jc)
a
=
¸
d1
i
dX
}
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
a
(JX
}
)
a
.
i.e., relative to the standard bases, (Jc)
a
is the map with matrix
Jac(1
1
. . . . . 1
n
)(a) =

¸
¸
¸
J1
1
JA
1
(a). . . . .
J1
1
JA
m
(a)
.
.
.
.
.
.
J1
n
JA
1
(a). . . . .
J1
n
JA
m
(a)

.
For example, suppose a = (0. . . . . 0) and b = (0. . . . . 0), so that T
a
(A
n
) = k
n
and
T
b
(A
n
) = k
n
, and
1
i
=
m
¸
jD1
c
i}
X
}
÷(higher terms), i = 1. . . . . n.
Then Y
i
ı (Jc)
a
=
¸
}
c
i}
X
}
, and the map on tangent spaces is given by the matrix (c
i}
),
i.e., it is simply t ÷(c
i}
)t.
Let J ÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|. We can regard J as a regular map A
n
÷ A
1
, whose differ-
ential will be a linear map
(JJ)
a
: T
a
(A
n
) ÷T
b
(A
1
). b = J(a).
When we identify T
b
(A
1
) with k, we obtain an identification of the differential of J (J
regarded as a regular map) with the differential of J (J regarded as a regular function).
84 CHAPTER 5. LOCAL STUDY
LEMMA 5.7. Let c: A
n
÷A
n
be as at the start of this subsection. If c maps V = V(a) c
k
n
into W = V(b) c k
n
, then (Jc)
a
maps T
a
(V ) into T
b
(W), b = c(a).
PROOF. We are given that
} ÷ b =} ı c ÷ a.
and have to prove that
} ÷ b =(J} )
b
ı (Jc)
a
is zero on T
a
(V ).
The chain rule holds in our situation:
d}
dX
i
=
n
¸
i=1
d}
dY
}
dY
}
dX
i
. Y
}
= 1
}
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
). } = }(Y
1
. . . . . Y
n
).
If c is the map given by the equations
Y
}
= 1
}
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
). ; = 1. . . . . m.
then the chain rule implies
J(} ı c)
a
= (J} )
b
ı (Jc)
a
. b = c(a).
Let t ÷ T
a
(V ); then
(J} )
b
ı (Jc)
a
(t) = J(} ı c)
a
(t).
which is zero if } ÷ b because then } ı c ÷ a. Thus (Jc)
a
(t) ÷ T
b
(W).
2
We therefore get a map (Jc)
a
: T
a
(V ) ÷T
b
(W). The usual rules from advanced calcu-
lus hold. For example,
(J[)
b
ı (Jc)
a
= J([ ı c)
a
. b = c(a).
The definition we have given of T
a
(V ) appears to depend on the embedding V ·÷
A
n
. Later we shall give an intrinsic of the tangent space, which is independent of any
embedding.
EXAMPLE 5.8. Let V be the union of the coordinate axes in A
3
, and let W be the zero set
of XY(X ÷Y ) in A
2
. Each of V and W is a union of three lines meeting at the origin. Are
they isomorphic as algebraic varieties? Obviously, the origin o is the only singular point on
V or W. An isomorphism V ÷ W would have to send the singular point to the singular
point, i.e., o ÷o, and map T
o
(V ) isomorphically onto T
o
(W). But V = V(XY. Y7. X7),
and so T
o
(V ) has dimension 3, whereas T
o
W has dimension 2. Therefore, they are not
isomorphic.
Etale maps
DEFINITION 5.9. A regular map c: V ÷W of smooth varieties is ´ etale at a point 1 of V
if (Jc)
1
: T
1
(V ) ÷T
c(1)
(W) is an isomorphism; c is ´ etale if it is ´ etale at all points of V .
ETALE MAPS 85
EXAMPLE 5.10. (a) A regular map
c: A
n
÷A
n
, a ÷(1
1
(a
1
. . . . . a
n
). . . . . 1
n
(a
1
. . . . . a
n
))
is ´ etale at a if and only if rank Jac(1
1
. . . . . 1
n
)(a) = n, because the map on the tangent
spaces has matrix Jac(1
1
. . . . . 1
n
)(a)). Equivalent condition: det

J1
i
JA
j
(a)

= 0
(b) Let V = Spm(·) be an affine variety, and let } =
¸
c
i
X
i
÷ ·ŒX| be such that
·ŒX|¡(}(X)) is reduced. Let W = Spm(·ŒX|¡(}(X)), and consider the map W ÷ V
corresponding to the inclusion · ·÷·ŒX|¡(} ). Thus
·ŒX|¡(} ) ·ŒX|

W

H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H



V × A
1

·
_L
L
L
L
L
L
L
L
L
L
L

V.
The points of W lying over a point a ÷ V are the pairs (a. b) ÷ V ×A
1
such that b is a root
of
¸
c
i
(a)X
i
. I claim that the map W ÷ V is ´ etale at (a. b) if and only if b is a simple
root of
¸
c
i
(a)X
i
.
To see this, write · = SpmkŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡a, a = (}
1
. . . . . }
i
), so that
·ŒX|¡(} ) = kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡(}
1
. . . . . }
i
. } ).
The tangent spaces to W and V at (a. b) and a respectively are the null spaces of the
matrices

¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
J(
1
JA
1
(a) . . .
J(
1
JA
m
(a) 0
.
.
.
.
.
.
J(
n
JA
1
(a) . . .
J(
n
JA
m
(a) 0
J(
JA
1
(a) . . .
J(
JA
m
(a)
J(
JA
(a. b)

¸
¸
¸
J(
1
JA
1
(a) . . .
J(
1
JA
m
(a)
.
.
.
.
.
.
J(
n
JA
1
(a) . . .
J(
n
JA
m
(a)

and the map T
(a,b)
(W) ÷ T
a
(V ) is induced by the projection map k
n÷1
÷ k
n
omitting
the last coordinate. This map is an isomorphism if and only if
J(
JA
(a. b)= 0, because then
any solution of the smaller set of equations extends uniquely to a solution of the larger set.
But
d}
dX
(a. b) =
J(
¸
i
c
i
(a)X
i
)
JX
(b).
which is zero if and only if b is a multiple root of
¸
i
c
i
(a)X
i
. The intuitive picture is that
W ÷ V is a finite covering with deg(} ) sheets, which is ramified exactly at the points
where two or more sheets cross.
(c) Consider a dominating map c: W ÷V of smooth affine varieties, corresponding to
a map · ÷T of rings. Suppose T can be written T = ·ŒY
1
. . . . . Y
n
|¡(1
1
. . . . . 1
n
) (same
number of polynomials as variables). A similar argument to the above shows that c is ´ etale
if and only if det

J1
i
JA
j
(a)

is never zero.
(d) The example in (b) is typical; in fact every ´ etale map is locally of this form, provided
V is normal (in the sense defined below p92). More precisely, let c: W ÷ V be ´ etale at
1 ÷ W, and assume V to normal; then there exist a map c
t
: W
t
÷ V
t
with kŒW
t
| =
86 CHAPTER 5. LOCAL STUDY
kŒV
t
|ŒX|¡(}(X)), and a commutative diagram
W ¯¯ U
1
U
1
~ U
t
1
cc W
t
V ¯¯ U
2
U
2
~~ U
t
2
U
t
2
c
W
V
c

U
1
U
2

U
t
1
U
t
2

W
t
V
t
c
0

with the U’s all open subvarieties and 1 ÷ U
1
.
In advanced calculus (or differential topology, or complex analysis), the inverse
function theorem says that a map c that is ´ etale at a point a is a local isomorphism
there, i.e., there exist open neighbourhoods U and U
t
of a and c(a) such that c induces an
isomorphism U ÷ U
t
. This is not true in algebraic geometry, at least not for the Zariski
topology: a map can be ´ etale at a point without being a local isomorphism. Consider for
example the map
c: A
1
{0] ÷A
1
{0]. a ÷a
2
.
This is ´ etale if the characteristic is = 2, because the Jacobian matrix is (2X), which has
rank one for all X = 0 (alternatively, it is of the form (5.10b) with }(X) = X
2
÷T , where
T is the coordinate function on A
1
, and X
2
÷c has distinct roots for c = 0). Nevertheless,
I claim that there do not exist nonempty open subsets U and U
t
of A
1
÷ {0] such that
c defines an isomorphism U ÷ U
t
. If there did, then c would define an isomorphism
kŒU
t
| ÷ kŒU| and hence an isomorphism on the fields of fractions k(A
1
) ÷ k(A
1
). But
on the fields of fractions, c defines the map k(X) ÷ k(X), X ÷ X
2
, which is not an
isomorphism.
ASIDE 5.11. There is an old conjecture that any ´ etale map c: A
n
÷A
n
is an isomorphism.
If we write c = (1
1
. . . . . 1
n
), then this becomes the statement:
if det

d1
i
dX
}
(a)

is never zero (for a ÷ k
n
), then c has a inverse.
The condition, det

J1
i
JA
j
(a)

never zero, implies that det

J1
i
JA
j

is a nonzero constant (by
the Nullstellensatz 2.6 applied to the ideal generated by det

J1
i
JA
j

). This conjecture, which
is known as the Jacobian conjecture, has not been settled even for k = Cand n = 2, despite
the existence of several published proofs and innumerable announced proofs. It has caused
many mathematicians a good deal of grief. It is probably harder than it is interesting. See
Bass et al. 1982
3
.
Intrinsic definition of the tangent space
The definition we have given of the tangent space at a point used an embedding of the
variety in affine space. In this section, we give an intrinsic definition that depends only on
a small neighbourhood of the point.
3
Bass, Hyman; Connell, Edwin H.; Wright, David. The Jacobian conjecture: reduction of degree and
formal expansion of the inverse. Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.) 7 (1982), no. 2, 287–330.
INTRINSIC DEFINITION OF THE TANGENT SPACE 87
LEMMA 5.12. Let c be an ideal in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| generated by linear forms (
1
. . . . . (
i
,
which we may assume to be linearly independent. Let X
i
1
. . . . . X
i
nr
be such that
{(
1
. . . . . (
i
. X
i
1
. . . . . X
i
nr
]
is a basis for the linear forms in X
1
. . . . . X
n
. Then
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡c . kŒX
i
1
. . . . . X
i
nr
|.
PROOF. This is obvious if the forms are X
1
. . . . . X
i
. In the general case, because {X
1
. . . . . X
n
]
and {(
1
. . . . . (
i
. X
i
1
. . . . . X
i
nr
] are both bases for the linear forms, each element of one
set can be expressed as a linear combination of the elements of the other. Therefore,
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| = kŒ(
1
. . . . . (
i
. X
i
1
. . . . . X
i
nr
|.
and so
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡c = kŒ(
1
. . . . . (
i
. X
i
1
. . . . . X
i
nr
|¡c
. kŒX
i
1
. . . . . X
i
nr
|.
2
Let V = V(a) c k
n
, and assume that the origin o lies on V . Let a
I
be the ideal
generated by the linear terms }
I
of the } ÷ a. By definition, T
o
(V ) = V(a
I
). Let ·
I
=
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡a
I
, and let m be the maximal ideal in kŒV | consisting of the functions zero
at o; thus m = (.
1
. . . . . .
n
).
PROPOSITION 5.13. There are canonical isomorphisms
Hom
k-linear
(m¡m
2
. k)
:
÷÷Hom
k-alg

I
. k)
:
÷÷T
o
(V ).
PROOF. First isomorphism: Let n = (X
1
. . . . . X
n
) be the maximal ideal at the origin in
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|. Then m¡m
2
. n¡(n
2
÷a), and as } ÷}
I
÷ n
2
for every } ÷ a, it follows
that m¡m
2
. n¡(n
2
÷a
I
). Let }
1,I
. . . . . }
i,I
be a basis for the vector space a
I
. From linear
algebra we know that there are n ÷ r linear forms X
i
1
. . . . . X
i
nr
forming with the }
i,I
a
basis for the linear forms on k
n
. Then X
i
1
÷m
2
. . . . . X
i
nr
÷m
2
form a basis for m¡m
2
as a k-vector space, and the lemma shows that ·
I
. kŒX
i
1
. . . . X
i
nr
|. A homomorphism
˛: ·
I
÷k of k-algebras is determined by its values ˛(X
i
1
). . . . . ˛(X
i
nr
), and they can be
arbitrarily given. Since the k-linear maps m¡m
2
÷ k have a similar description, the first
isomorphism is now obvious.
Second isomorphism: To give a k-algebra homomorphism ·
I
÷ k is the same as to
give an element (a
1
. . . . . a
n
) ÷ k
n
such that }(a
1
. . . . . a
n
) = 0 for all } ÷ ·
I
, which is
the same as to give an element of T
1
(V ).
2
Let n be the maximal ideal in O
o
(= ·
m
). According to (1.31), m¡m
2
÷n¡n
2
, and so
there is a canonical isomorphism
T
o
(V )
:
÷÷Hom
k-lin
(n¡n
2
. k).
We adopt this as our definition.
88 CHAPTER 5. LOCAL STUDY
DEFINITION 5.14. The tangent space T
1
(V ) at a point 1 of a variety V is defined to be
Hom
k-linear
(n
1
¡n
2
1
. k), where n
1
the maximal ideal in O
1
.
The above discussion shows that this agrees with previous definition
4
for 1 = o ÷ V c
A
n
. The advantage of the present definition is that it obviously depends only on a (small)
neighbourhood of 1. In particular, it doesn’t depend on an affine embedding of V .
Note that (1.4) implies that the dimension of T
1
(V ) is the minimum number of ele-
ments needed to generate n
1
c O
1
.
A regular map ˛: V ÷W sending 1 to O defines a local homomorphism O
O
÷O
1
,
which induces maps n
O
÷ n
1
, n
O
¡n
2
O
÷ n
1
¡n
2
1
, and T
1
(V ) ÷ T
O
(W). The last
map is written (J˛)
1
. When some open neighbourhoods of 1 and O are realized as closed
subvarieties of affine space, then (J˛)
1
becomes identified with the map defined earlier.
In particular, an } ÷ n
1
is represented by a regular map U ÷A
1
on a neighbourhood
U of 1 sending 1 to 0 and hence defines a linear map (J} )
1
: T
1
(V ) ÷ k. This is just
the map sending a tangent vector (element of Hom
k-linear
(n
1
¡n
2
1
. k)) to its value at }
mod n
2
1
. Again, in the concrete situation V c A
n
this agrees with the previous definition.
In general, for } ÷ O
1
, i.e., for } a germ of a function at 1, we define
(J} )
1
= } ÷ }(1) mod n
2
.
The tangent space at 1 and the space of differentials at 1 are dual vector spaces.
Consider for example, a ÷ V(a) c A
n
, with a a radical ideal. For } ÷ kŒA
n
| =
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|, we have (trivial Taylor expansion)
} = }(1) ÷
¸
c
i
(X
i
÷ a
i
) ÷terms of degree _ 2 in the X
i
÷ a
i
.
that is,
} ÷ }(1) ÷
¸
c
i
(X
i
÷ a
i
) mod m
2
1
.
Therefore (J} )
1
can be identified with
¸
c
i
(X
i
÷ a
i
) =
¸
d}
dX
i
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
a
(X
i
÷ a
i
).
which is how we originally defined the differential.
5
The tangent space T
a
(V(a)) is the zero
set of the equations
(J} )
1
= 0. } ÷ a.
and the set {(J} )
1
[
T
a
(V )
[ } ÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|] is the dual space to T
a
(V ).
REMARK 5.15. Let 1 be a finite dimensional vector space over k. Then
T
o
(A(1)) . 1.
4
More precisely, define T
1
(V ) = Hom
k-linear
(n¡n
2
. k). For V = A
n
, the elements (JX
i
)
o
= X
i
÷n
2
for 1 _ i _ m form a basis for n¡n
2
, and hence form a basis for the space of linear forms on T
1
(V ). A closed
immersion i : V ÷ A
n
sending 1 to o maps T
1
(V ) isomorphically onto the linear subspace of T
o
(A
n
)
defined by the equations
¸
1_i_n

d}
dX
i

o
(JX
i
)
o
= 0. } ÷ 1(iV ).
5
The same discussion applies to any } ÷ O
1
. Such an } is of the form
v
h
with h(a) = 0, and has a (not
quite so trivial) Taylor expansion of the same form, but with an infinite number of terms, i.e., it lies in the power
series ring kŒŒX
1
÷ a
1
. . . . . X
n
÷ a
n
||.
NONSINGULAR POINTS 89
Nonsingular points
DEFINITION 5.16. (a) A point 1 on an algebraic variety V is said to be nonsingular if it
lies on a single irreducible component V
i
of V , and dim
k
T
1
(V ) = dimV
i
; otherwise the
point is said to be singular.
(b) A variety is nonsingular if all of its points are nonsingular.
(c) The set of singular points of a variety is called its singular locus.
Thus, on an irreducible variety V of dimension J,
1 is nonsingular ” dim
k
T
1
(V ) = J
” dim
k
(n
1
¡n
2
1
) = J
” n
1
can be generated by J functions.
PROPOSITION 5.17. Let V be an irreducible variety of dimension J. If 1 ÷ V is nonsin-
gular, then there exist J regular functions }
1
. . . . . }
d
defined in an open neighbourhood U
of 1 such that 1 is the only common zero of the }
i
on U.
PROOF. Let }
1
. . . . . }
d
generate the maximal ideal n
1
in O
1
. Then }
1
. . . . . }
d
are all
defined on some open affine neighbourhood U of 1, and I claim that 1 is an irreducible
component of the zero set V(}
1
. . . . . }
d
) of }
1
. . . . . }
d
in U. If not, there will be some
irreducible component 7 = 1 of V(}
1
. . . . . }
d
) passing through 1. Write 7 = V(p) with
p a prime ideal in kŒU|. Because V(p) c V(}
1
. . . . . }
d
) and because 7 contains 1 and is
not equal to it, we have
(}
1
. . . . . }
d
) c p ´ m
1
(ideals in kŒU|).
On passing to the local ring O
1
= kŒU|
m
P
, we find (using 1.30) that
(}
1
. . . . . }
d
) c pO
1
´ n
1
(ideals in O
1
).
This contradicts the assumption that the }
i
generate m
1
. Hence 1 is an irreducible compo-
nent of V(}
1
. . . . . }
d
). On removing the remaining irreducible components of V(}
1
. . . . . }
d
)
from U, we obtain an open neighbourhood of 1 with the required property.
2
THEOREM 5.18. The set of nonsingular points of a variety is dense and open.
PROOF. We have to show that the singular points form a proper closed subset of every
irreducible component of V .
Closed: We can assume that V is affine, say V = V(a) c A
n
. Let 1
1
. . . . . 1
i
generate
a. Then the set of singular points is the zero set of the ideal generated by the (n÷J)×(n÷J)
minors of the matrix
Jac(1
1
. . . . . 1
i
)(a) =

¸
¸
¸
J1
1
JA
1
(a) . . .
J1
1
JA
m
(a)
.
.
.
.
.
.
J1
r
JA
1
(a) . . .
J1
r
JA
m
(a)

Proper: According to (4.32) and (4.34) there is a nonempty open subset of V isomor-
phic to a nonempty open subset of an irreducible hypersurface in A
d÷1
, and so we may
90 CHAPTER 5. LOCAL STUDY
suppose that V is an irreducible hypersurface in A
d÷1
, i.e., that it is the zero set of a single
nonconstant irreducible polynomial J(X
1
. . . . . X
d÷1
). By (2.25), dimV = J. Now the
proof is the same as that of (5.3): if
JT
JA
1
is identically zero on V(J), then
JT
JA
1
must be
divisible by J, and hence be zero. Thus J must be a polynomial in X
2
. . . . X
d÷1
(charac-
teristic zero) or in X
;
1
. X
2
. . . . . X
d÷1
(characteristic ]). Therefore, if all the points of V
are singular, then J is constant (characteristic 0) or a ]
th
power (characteristic ]) which
contradict the hypothesis.
2
COROLLARY 5.19. An irreducible algebraic variety is nonsingular if and only if its tangent
spaces T
1
(V ), 1 ÷ V , all have the same dimension.
PROOF. According to the theorem, the constant dimension of the tangent spaces must be
the dimension of V , and so all points are nonsingular.
2
COROLLARY 5.20. Any algebraic group G is nonsingular.
PROOF. From the theorem we know that there is an open dense subset U of G of nonsin-
gular points. For any g ÷ G, a ÷ ga is an isomorphism G ÷ G, and so gU consists
of nonsingular points. Clearly G =

gU. (Alternatively, because G is homogeneous, all
tangent spaces have the same dimension.)
2
In fact, any variety on which a group acts transitively by regular maps will be nonsin-
gular.
ASIDE 5.21. Note that, if V is irreducible, then
dimV = min
1
dimT
1
(V )
This formula can be useful in computing the dimension of a variety.
Nonsingularity and regularity
In this section we assume two results that won’t be proved until :9.
5.22. For any irreducible variety V and regular functions }
1
. . . . . }
i
on V , the irreducible
components of V(}
1
. . . . . }
i
) have dimension _ dimV ÷ r (see 9.7).
Note that for polynomials of degree 1 on k
n
, this is familiar from linear algebra: a
system of r linear equations in n variables either has no solutions (the equations are incon-
sistent) or its solutions form an affine space of dimension at least n ÷ r.
5.23. If V is an irreducible variety of dimension J, then the local ring at each point 1 of
V has dimension J (see 9.6).
Because of (1.30), the height of a prime ideal p of a ring · is the Krull dimension of
·
p
. Thus (5.23) can be restated as: if V is an irreducible affine variety of dimension J, then
every maximal ideal in kŒV | has height J.
NONSINGULARITY AND NORMALITY 91
Sketch of proof of (5.23): If V = A
d
, then · = kŒX
1
. . . . . X
d
|, and all maximal ideals
in this ring have height J, for example,
(X
1
÷ a
1
. . . . . X
d
÷ a
d
) ¯ (X
1
÷ a
1
. . . . . X
d-1
÷ a
d-1
) ¯ . . . ¯ (X
1
÷ a
1
) ¯ 0
is a chain of prime ideals of length J that can’t be refined, and there is no longer chain. In the
general case, the Noether normalization theoremsays that kŒV | is integral over a polynomial
ring kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
d
|, .
i
÷ kŒV |; then clearly .
1
. . . . . .
d
is a transcendence basis for k(V ),
and the going up and down theorems show that the local rings of kŒV | and kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
d
|
have the same dimension.
THEOREM 5.24. Let 1 be a point on an irreducible variety V . Any generating set for the
maximal ideal n
1
of O
1
has at least J elements, and there exists a generating set with J
elements if and only if 1 is nonsingular.
PROOF. If }
1
. . . . . }
i
generate n
1
, then the proof of (5.17) shows that 1 is an irreducible
component of V(}
1
. . . . . }
i
) in some open neighbourhood U of 1. Therefore (5.22) shows
that 0 _ J ÷ r, and so r _ J. The rest of the statement has already been noted.
2
COROLLARY 5.25. A point 1 on an irreducible variety is nonsingular if and only if O
1
is
regular.
PROOF. This is a restatement of the second part of the theorem.
2
According to (Atiyah and MacDonald 1969, 11.23), a regular local ring is an integral
domain. If 1 lies on two irreducible components of a V , then O
1
is not an integral do-
main,
6
and so O
1
is not regular. Therefore, the corollary holds also for reducible varieties.
Nonsingularity and normality
An integral domain that is integrally closed in its field of fractions is called a normal ring.
LEMMA 5.26. An integral domain · is normal if and only if ·
m
is normal for all maximal
ideals m of ·.
PROOF. =: If · is integrally closed, then so is S
-1
· for any multiplicative subset S (not
containing 0), because if
b
n
÷c
1
b
n-1
÷ ÷c
n
= 0. c
i
÷ S
-1
·.
then there is an s ÷ S such that sc
i
÷ · for all i , and then
(sb)
n
÷(sc
1
)(sb)
n-1
÷ ÷s
n
c
n
= 0.
6
Suppose that 1 lies on the intersection 7
1
¨7
2
of the distinct irreducible components 7
1
and 7
2
. Since
7
1
¨7
2
is a proper closed subset of 7
1
, there is an open affine neighbourhood U of 1 such that U ¨7
1
¨7
2
is a proper closed subset of U ¨ 7
1
, and so there is a nonzero regular function }
1
on U ¨ 7
1
that is zero on
U ¨ 7
1
¨ 7
2
. Extend }
1
to a neighbourhood of 1 in 7
1
L 7
2
by setting }
1
(O) = 0 for O ÷ 7
2
. Then }
1
defines a nonzero germ of regular function at 1. Similarly construct a function }
2
that is zero on 7
1
. Then }
1
and }
2
define nonzero germs of functions at 1, but their product is zero.
92 CHAPTER 5. LOCAL STUDY
demonstrates that sb ÷ ·, whence b ÷ S
-1
·.
=: If c is integral over ·, it is integral over each ·
m
, hence in each ·
m
, and · =
¸
·
m
(if c ÷
¸
·
m
, then the set of a ÷ · such that ac ÷ · is an ideal in ·, not contained in any
maximal ideal, and therefore equal to · itself).
2
Thus the following conditions on an irreducible variety V are equivalent:
(a) for all 1 ÷ V , O
1
is integrally closed;
(b) for all irreducible open affines U of V , kŒU| is integrally closed;
(c) there is a covering V =

V
i
of V by open affines such that kŒV
i
| is integrally closed
for all i .
An irreducible variety V satisfying these conditions is said to be normal. More generally,
an algebraic variety V is said to be normal if O
1
is normal for all 1 ÷ V . Since, as
we just noted, the local ring at a point lying on two irreducible components can’t be an
integral domain, a normal variety is a disjoint union of irreducible varieties (each of which
is normal).
A regular local noetherian ring is always normal (cf. Atiyah and MacDonald 1969,
p123); conversely, a normal local integral domain of dimension one is regular (ibid.). Thus
nonsingular varieties are normal, and normal curves are nonsingular. However, a normal
surface need not be nonsingular: the cone
X
2
÷Y
2
÷ 7
2
= 0
is normal, but is singular at the origin — the tangent space at the origin is k
3
. However, it is
true that the set of singular points on a normal variety V must have dimension _ dimV ÷2.
For example, a normal surface can only have isolated singularities — the singular locus
can’t contain a curve.
Etale neighbourhoods
Recall that a regular map ˛: W ÷V is said to be ´ etale at a nonsingular point 1 of W if the
map (J˛)
1
: T
1
(W) ÷T
˛(1)
(V ) is an isomorphism.
Let 1 be a nonsingular point on a variety V of dimension J. A local system of pa-
rameters at 1 is a family {}
1
. . . . . }
d
] of germs of regular functions at 1 generating the
maximal ideal n
1
c O
1
. Equivalent conditions: the images of }
1
. . . . . }
d
in n
1
¡n
2
1
gen-
erate it as a k-vector space (see 1.4); or (J}
1
)
1
. . . . . (J}
d
)
1
is a basis for dual space to
T
1
(V ).
PROPOSITION 5.27. Let {}
1
. . . . . }
d
] be a local system of parameters at a nonsingular
point 1 of V . Then there is a nonsingular open neighbourhood U of 1 such that }
1
. }
2
. . . . . }
d
are represented by pairs (
¯
}
1
. U). . . . . (
¯
}
d
. U) and the map (
¯
}
1
. . . . .
¯
}
d
): U ÷A
d
is ´ etale.
PROOF. Obviously, the }
i
are represented by regular functions
¯
}
i
defined on a single open
neighbourhood U
t
of 1, which, because of (5.18), we can choose to be nonsingular. The
map ˛ = (
¯
}
1
. . . . .
¯
}
d
): U
t
÷A
d
is ´ etale at 1, because the dual map to (J˛)
a
is (JX
i
)
o
÷
(J
¯
}
i
)
a
. The next lemma then shows that ˛ is ´ etale on an open neighbourhood U of 1.
2
LEMMA 5.28. Let W and V be nonsingular varieties. If ˛: W ÷ V is ´ etale at 1, then it
is ´ etale at all points in an open neighbourhood of 1.
ETALE NEIGHBOURHOODS 93
PROOF. The hypotheses imply that W and V have the same dimension J, and that their
tangent spaces all have dimension J. We may assume W and V to be affine, say W c A
n
and V c A
n
, and that ˛ is given by polynomials 1
1
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
). . . . . 1
n
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
).
Then (J˛)
a
: T
a
(A
n
) ÷T
˛(a)
(A
n
) is a linear map with matrix

J1
i
JA
j
(a)

, and ˛ is not ´ etale
at a if and only if the kernel of this map contains a nonzero vector in the subspace T
a
(V ) of
T
a
(A
n
). Let }
1
. . . . . }
i
generate 1(W). Then ˛ is not ´ etale at a if and only if the matrix

J(
i
JA
j
(a)
J1
i
JA
j
(a)

has rank less than m. This is a polynomial condition on a, and so it fails on a closed subset
of W, which doesn’t contain 1.
2
Let V be a nonsingular variety, and let 1 ÷ V . An ´ etale neighbourhood of a point 1
of V is pair (O. ¬: U ÷V ) with ¬ an ´ etale map from a nonsingular variety U to V and O
a point of U such that ¬(O) = 1.
COROLLARY 5.29. Let V be a nonsingular variety of dimension J, and let 1 ÷ V . There
is an open Zariski neighbourhood U of 1 and a map ¬: U ÷ A
d
realizing (1. U) as an
´ etale neighbourhood of (0. . . . . 0) ÷ A
d
.
PROOF. This is a restatement of the Proposition.
2
ASIDE 5.30. Note the analogy with the definition of a differentiable manifold: every point
1 on nonsingular variety of dimension J has an open neighbourhood that is also a “neigh-
bourhood” of the origin in A
d
. There is a “topology” on algebraic varieties for which the
“open neighbourhoods” of a point are the ´ etale neighbourhoods. Relative to this “topol-
ogy”, any two nonsingular varieties are locally isomorphic (this is not true for the Zariski
topology). The “topology” is called the ´ etale topology — see my notes Lectures on Etale
Cohomology.
The inverse function theorem
THEOREM 5.31 (INVERSE FUNCTION THEOREM). If a regular map of nonsingular vari-
eties c: V ÷W is ´ etale at 1 ÷ V , then there exists a commutative diagram
V
open
÷÷÷÷÷ U
1

c ~

c
0
W
´ etale
÷÷÷÷÷ U
c(1)
with U
1
an open neighbourhood U of 1, U
((1)
an ´ etale neighbourhood c(1), and c
t
an
isomorphism.
PROOF. According to (5.38), there exists an open neighbourhood U of 1 such that the
restriction c[U of c to U is ´ etale. To get the above diagram, we can take U
1
= U, U
c(1)
to be the ´ etale neighbourhood c[U: U ÷W of c(1), and c
t
to be the identity map.
2
94 CHAPTER 5. LOCAL STUDY
The rank theorem
For vector spaces, the rank theorem says the following: let ˛: V ÷ W be a linear map of
k-vector spaces of rank r; then there exist bases for V and W relative to which ˛ has matrix

1
i
0
0 0

. In other words, there is a commutative diagram
V
˛
÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ W

~

~
k
n
(x
1
,...,x
m
)|-(x
1
,...,x
r
,0,...)
÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ k
n
A similar result holds locally for differentiable manifolds. In algebraic geometry, there is
the following weaker analogue.
THEOREM 5.32 (RANK THEOREM). Let c: V ÷ W be a regular map of nonsingular va-
rieties of dimensions m and n respectively, and let 1 ÷ V . If rank(T
1
(c)) = n, then there
exists a commutative diagram
U
1
c|U
P
÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ U
c(1)

´ etale

´ etale
A
n
(x
1
,...,x
m
)|-(x
1
,...,x
n
)
÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ A
n
in which U
1
and U
c(1)
are open neighbourhoods of 1 and c(1) respectively and the
vertical maps are ´ etale.
PROOF. Choose a local system of parameters g
1
. . . . . g
n
at c(1), and let }
1
= g
1
ı
c. . . . . }
n
= g
n
ı c. Then J}
1
. . . . . J}
n
are linearly independent forms on T
1
(V ), and
there exist }
n÷1
. . . . . }
n
such J}
1
. . . . . J}
n
is a basis for T
1
(V )
·
. Then }
1
. . . . . }
n
is a
local system of parameters at 1. According to (5.28), there exist open neighbourhoods U
1
of 1 and U
c(1)
of c(1) such that the maps
(}
1
. . . . . }
n
): U
1
÷A
n
(g
1
. . . . . g
n
): U
c(1)
÷A
n
are ´ etale. They give the vertical maps in the above diagram.
2
Smooth maps
DEFINITION 5.33. A regular map c: V ÷W of nonsingular varieties is smooth at a point
1 of V if (Jc)
1
: T
1
(V ) ÷T
c(1)
(W) is surjective; c is smooth if it is smooth at all points
of V .
THEOREM 5.34. A map c: V ÷ W is smooth at 1 ÷ V if and only if there exist open
neighbourhoods U
1
and U
c(1)
of 1 and c(1) respectively such that c[U
1
factors into
U
1
´ etale
÷÷÷A
dimV -dimW
× U
c(1)
q
÷÷U
c(1)
.
DUAL NUMBERS AND DERIVATIONS 95
PROOF. Certainly, if c[U
1
factors in this way, it is smooth. Conversely, if c is smooth at
1, then we get a diagram as in the rank theorem. From it we get maps
U
1
÷A
n
×
A
n U
c(1)
÷U
c(1)
.
The first is ´ etale, and the second is the projection of A
n-n
× U
c(1)
onto U
c(1)
.
2
COROLLARY 5.35. Let V and W be nonsingular varieties. If c: V ÷ W is smooth at 1,
then it is smooth on an open neighbourhood of V .
PROOF. In fact, it is smooth on the neighbourhood U
1
in the theorem.
2
Dual numbers and derivations
In general, if · is a k-algebra and M is an ·-module, then a k-derivation is a map D: · ÷
M such that
(a) D(c) = 0 for all c ÷ k;
(b) D(} ÷g) = D(} ) ÷D(g);
(c) D(}g) = } Dg ÷} Dg (Leibniz’s rule).
Note that the conditions imply that D is k-linear (but not ·-linear). We write Der
k
(·. M)
for the space of all k-derivations · ÷M.
For example, the map } ÷ (J} )
1
df
= } ÷ }(1) mod n
2
1
is a k-derivation O
1
÷
n
1
¡n
2
1
.
PROPOSITION 5.36. There are canonical isomorphisms
Der
k
(O
1
. k)
:
÷Hom
k-linear
(n
1
¡n
2
1
. k)
:
÷T
1
(V ).
PROOF. The composite k
c|-c
÷÷÷÷ O
1
( |-((1)
÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ k is the identity map, and so, when re-
garded as k-vector space, O
1
decomposes into
O
1
= k ˚n
1
. } -(}(1). } ÷ }(1)).
A derivation D: O
1
÷ k is zero on k and on n
2
1
(by Leibniz’s rule). It therefore defines
a k-linear map n
1
¡n
2
1
÷ k. Conversely, a k-linear map n
1
¡n
2
1
÷ k defines a derivation
by composition
O
1
( |-(d( )
P
÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷n
1
¡n
2
1
÷k.
2
The ring of dual numbers is kŒc| = kŒX|¡(X
2
) where c = X ÷(X
2
). As a k-vector
space it has a basis {1. c], and (a ÷bc)(a
t
÷b
t
c) = aa
t
÷(ab
t
÷a
t
b)c.
PROPOSITION 5.37. The tangent space to V at 1 is canonically isomorphic to the space
of local homomorphisms of local k-algebras O
1
÷kŒc|:
T
1
(V ) . Hom(O
1
. kŒc|).
96 CHAPTER 5. LOCAL STUDY
PROOF. Let ˛: O
1
÷ kŒc| be a local homomorphism of k-algebras, and write ˛(a) =
a
0
÷ D
˛
(a)c. Because ˛ is a homomorphism of k-algebras, a ÷ a
0
is the quotient map
O
1
÷O
1
¡m = k. We have
˛(ab) = (ab)
0
÷D
˛
(ab)c. and
˛(a)˛(b) = (a
0
÷D
˛
(a)c)(b
0
÷D
˛
(b)c) = a
0
b
0
÷(a
0
D
˛
(b) ÷b
0
D
˛
(a))c.
On comparing these expressions, we see that D
˛
satisfies Leibniz’s rule, and therefore is a
k-derivation O
1
÷k. Conversely, all such derivations D arise in this way.
2
Recall (4.42) that for an affine variety V and a k-algebra 1 (not necessarily an affine
k-algebra), we define V(1) to be Hom
k-alg
(kŒV |. ·). For example, if V = V(a) c A
n
with a radical, then
V(·) = {(a
1
. . . . . a
n
) ÷ ·
n
[ }(a
1
. . . . . a
n
) = 0 all } ÷ a].
Consider an ˛ ÷ V(kŒc|), i.e., a k-algebra homomorphism ˛: kŒV | ÷kŒc|. The composite
kŒV | ÷kŒc| ÷k is a point 1 of V , and
m
1
= Ker(kŒV | ÷kŒc| ÷k) = ˛
-1
((c)).
Therefore elements of kŒV | not in m
1
map to units in kŒc|, and so ˛ extends to a homomor-
phism ˛
t
: O
1
÷ kŒc|. By construction, this is a local homomorphism of local k-algebras,
and every such homomorphism arises in this way. In this way we get a one-to-one corre-
spondence between the local homomorphisms of k-algebras O
1
÷kŒc| and the set
{1
t
÷ V(kŒc|) [ 1
t
÷1 under the map V(kŒc|) ÷V(k)].
This gives us a new interpretation of the tangent space at 1.
Consider, for example, V = V(a) c A
n
, a a radical ideal in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|, and let
a ÷ V . In this case, it is possible to show directly that
T
a
(V ) = {a
t
÷ V(kŒc|) [ a
t
maps to a under V(kŒc|) ÷V(k)]
Note that when we write a polynomial J(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) in terms of the variables X
i
÷a
i
, we
obtain a formula (trivial Taylor formula)
J(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) = J(a
1
. . . . . a
n
) ÷
¸
dJ
dX
i
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
a
(X
i
÷ a
i
) ÷1
with 1 a finite sum of products of at least two terms (X
i
÷ a
i
). Now let a ÷ k
n
be a point
on V , and consider the condition for a÷cb ÷ kŒc|
n
to be a point on V . When we substitute
a
i
÷cb
i
for X
i
in the above formula and take J ÷ a, we obtain:
J(a
1
÷cb
1
. . . . . a
n
÷cb
n
) = c

¸
dJ
dX
i
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
a
b
i

.
Consequently, (a
1
÷ cb
1
. . . . . a
n
÷ cb
n
) lies on V if and only if (b
1
. . . . . b
n
) ÷ T
a
(V )
(original definition p82).
Geometrically, we can think of a point of V with coordinates in kŒc| as being a point
of V with coordinates in k (the image of the point under V(kŒc|) ÷ V(k)) together with a
“tangent direction”
DUAL NUMBERS AND DERIVATIONS 97
REMARK 5.38. The description of the tangent space in terms of dual numbers is particu-
larly convenient when our variety is given to us in terms of its points functor. For example,
let M
n
be the set of n × n matrices, and let 1 be the identity matrix. Write e for 1 when it
is to be regarded as the identity element of GL
n
.
(a) Amatrix 1 ÷c·has inverse 1 ÷c·in M
n
(kŒc|), and so lies in GL
n
(kŒc|). Therefore,
T
e
(GL
n
) = {1 ÷c· [ · ÷ M
n
]
. M
n
(k).
(b) Since
det(1 ÷c·) = 1 ÷ctrace(·)
(using that c
2
= 0),
T
e
(SL
n
) = {1 ÷c· [ trace(·) = 0]
. {· ÷ M
n
(k) [ trace(·) = 0].
(c) Assume the characteristic = 2, and let O
n
be orthogonal group:
O
n
= {· ÷ GL
n
[ ·
tr
· = 1].

tr
denotes the transpose of ·). This is the group of matrices preserving the quadratic form
X
2
1
÷ ÷ X
2
n
. The determinant defines a surjective regular homomorphism det: O
n
÷
{˙1], whose kernel is defined to be the special orthogonal group SO
n
. For 1 ÷ c· ÷
M
n
(kŒc|),
(1 ÷c·)
tr
(1 ÷c·) = 1 ÷c·
tr
÷c·.
and so
T
e
(O
n
) = T
e
(SO
n
) = {1 ÷c· ÷ M
n
(kŒc|) [ · is skew-symmetric]
. {· ÷ M
n
(k) [ · is skew-symmetric].
Note that, because an algebraic group is nonsingular, dimT
e
(G) = dimG — this gives
a very convenient way of computing the dimension of an algebraic group.
ASIDE 5.39. On the tangent space T
e
(GL
n
) . M
n
of GL
n
, there is a bracket operation
ŒM. N|
df
= MN ÷ NM
which makes T
e
(GL
n
) into a Lie algebra. For any closed algebraic subgroup G of GL
n
,
T
e
(G) is stable under the bracket operation on T
e
(GL
n
) and is a sub-Lie-algebra of M
n
,
which we denote Lie(G). The Lie algebra structure on Lie(G) is independent of the em-
bedding of G into GL
n
(in fact, it has an intrinsic definition in terms of left invarian deriva-
tions), and G ÷Lie(G) is a functor from the category of linear algebraic groups to that of
Lie algebras.
This functor is not fully faithful, for example, any ´ etale homomorphism G ÷ G
t
will
define an isomorphism Lie(G) ÷Lie(G
t
), but it is nevertheless very useful.
Assume k has characteristic zero. A connected algebraic group G is said to be semi-
simple if it has no closed connected solvable normal subgroup (except {e]). Such a group
G may have a finite nontrivial centre 7(G), and we call two semisimple groups G and G
t
98 CHAPTER 5. LOCAL STUDY
locally isomorphic if G¡7(G) ~ G
t
¡7(G
t
). For example, SL
n
is semisimple, with centre
u
n
, the set of diagonal matrices diag(¯. . . . . ¯), ¯
n
= 1, and SL
n
¡u
n
= PSL
n
. A Lie
algebra is semisimple if it has no commutative ideal (except {0]). One can prove that
G is semisimple ” Lie(G) is semisimple.
and the map G ÷ Lie(G) defines a one-to-one correspondence between the set of local
isomorphism classes of semisimple algebraic groups and the set of isomorphism classes of
Lie algebras. The classification of semisimple algebraic groups can be deduced from that of
semisimple Lie algebras and a study of the finite coverings of semisimple algebraic groups
— this is quite similar to the relation between Lie groups and Lie algebras.
Tangent cones
In this section, I assume familiarity with parts of Atiyah and MacDonald 1969, Chapters
11, 12.
Let V = V(a) c k
n
, a = rad(a), and let 1 = (0. . . . . 0) ÷ V . Define a
+
to be the
ideal generated by the polynomials J
+
for J ÷ a, where J
+
is the leading form of J (see
p80). The geometric tangent cone at 1, C
1
(V ) is V(a
+
), and the tangent cone is the pair
(V(a
+
). kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡a
+
). Obviously, C
1
(V ) c T
1
(V ).
Computing the tangent cone
If a is principal, say a = (J), then a
+
= (J
+
), but if a = (J
1
. . . . . J
i
), then it need not
be true that a
+
= (J
1+
. . . . . J
i+
). Consider for example a = (XY. X7 ÷7(Y
2
÷ 7
2
)).
One can show that this is a radical ideal either by asking Macaulay (assuming you believe
Macaulay), or by following the method suggested in Cox et al. 1992, p474, problem 3 to
show that it is an intersection of prime ideals. Since
Y7(Y
2
÷ 7
2
) = Y (X7 ÷7(Y
2
÷ 7
2
)) ÷ 7 (XY ) ÷ a
and is homogeneous, it is in a
+
, but it is not in the ideal generated by XY , X7. In fact, a
+
is the ideal generated by
XY. X7. Y7(Y
2
÷ 7
2
).
This raises the following question: given a set of generators for an ideal a, how do you
find a set of generators for a
+
? There is an algorithm for this in Cox et al. 1992, p467. Let
a be an ideal (not necessarily radical) such that V = V(a), and assume the origin is in V .
Introduce an extra variable T such that T “>” the remaining variables. Make each generator
of a homogeneous by multiplying its monomials by appropriate (small) powers of T , and
find a Gr¨ obner basis for the ideal generated by these homogeneous polynomials. Remove
T from the elements of the basis, and then the polynomials you get generate a
+
.
Intrinsic definition of the tangent cone
Let · be a local ring with maximal ideal n. The associated graded ring is
gr(·) =

i_0
n
i
¡n
i÷1
.
Note that if · = T
m
and n = m·, then gr(·) =
¸
m
i
¡m
i÷1
(because of (1.31)).
TANGENT CONES 99
PROPOSITION 5.40. The map kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡a
+
÷ gr(O
1
) sending the class of X
i
in
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡a
+
to the class of X
i
in gr(O
1
) is an isomorphism.
PROOF. Let m be the maximal ideal in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡a corresponding to 1. Then
gr(O
1
) =
¸
m
i
¡m
i÷1
=
¸
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
)
i
¡(X
1
. . . . . X
n
)
i÷1
÷a ¨ (X
1
. . . . . X
n
)
i
=
¸
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
)
i
¡(X
1
. . . . . X
n
)
i÷1
÷a
i
where a
i
is the homogeneous piece of a
+
of degree i (that is, the subspace of a
+
consisting
of homogeneous polynomials of degree i ). But
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
)
i
¡(X
1
. . . . . X
n
)
i÷1
÷a
i
= i
th
homogeneous piece of kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡a
+
.
2
For a general variety V and 1 ÷ V , we define the geometric tangent cone C
1
(V ) of
V at 1 to be Spm(gr(O
1
)
red
), where gr(O
1
)
red
is the quotient of gr(O
1
) by its nilradical,
and we define the tangent cone to be (C
1
(V ). gr(O
1
)).
Recall (Atiyah and MacDonald 1969, 11.21) that dim(·) = dim(gr(·)). Therefore
the dimension of the geometric tangent cone at 1 is the same as the dimension of V (in
contrast to the dimension of the tangent space).
Recall (ibid., 11.22) that gr(O
1
) is a polynomial ring in J variables (J = dimV ) if
and only if O
1
is regular. Therefore, 1 is nonsingular if and only if gr(O
1
) is a polynomial
ring in J variables, in which case C
1
(V ) = T
1
(V ).
Using tangent cones, we can extend the notion of an ´ etale morphism to singular va-
rieties. Obviously, a regular map ˛: V ÷ W induces a homomorphism gr(O
˛(1)
) ÷
gr(O
1
).
The map on the rings kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡a
+
defined by a map of algebraic varieties is
not the obvious one, i.e., it is not necessarily induced by the same map on polyno-
mial rings as the original map. To see what it is, it is necessary to use Proposition 5.40, i.e.,
it is necessary to work with the rings gr(O
1
).
We say that ˛ is ´ etale at 1 if this is an isomorphism. Note that then there is an iso-
morphism of the geometric tangent cones C
1
(V ) ÷ C
˛(1)
(W), but this map may be an
isomorphism without ˛ being ´ etale at 1. Roughly speaking, to be ´ etale at 1, we need the
map on geometric tangent cones to be an isomorphism and to preserve the “multiplicities”
of the components.
It is a fairly elementary result that a local homomorphism of local rings ˛: · ÷ T
induces an isomorphism on the graded rings if and only if it induces an isomorphism on the
completions (ibid., 10.23). Thus ˛: V ÷ W is ´ etale at 1 if and only if the map
´
O
˛(1)
÷
´
O
1
is an isomorphism. Hence (5.27) shows that the choice of a local system of parameters
}
1
. . . . . }
d
at a nonsingular point 1 determines an isomorphism
´
O
1
÷kŒŒX
1
. . . . . X
d
||.
We can rewrite this as follows: let t
1
. . . . . t
d
be a local system of parameters at a nonsin-
gular point 1; then there is a canonical isomorphism
´
O
1
÷ kŒŒt
1
. . . . . t
d
||. For } ÷
´
O
1
,
the image of } ÷ kŒŒt
1
. . . . . t
d
|| can be regarded as the Taylor series of } .
100 CHAPTER 5. LOCAL STUDY
For example, let V = A
1
, and let 1 be the point a. Then t = X÷a is a local parameter
at a, O
1
consists of quotients }(X) = g(X)¡h(X) with h(a) = 0, and the coefficients
of the Taylor expansion
¸
n_0
a
n
(X ÷ a)
n
of }(X) can be computed as in elementary
calculus courses: a
n
= }
(n)
(a)¡nŠ.
Exercises
5-1. Find the singular points, and the tangent cones at the singular points, for each of
(a) Y
3
÷ Y
2
÷X
3
÷ X
2
÷3Y
2
X ÷3X
2
Y ÷2XY :
(b) X
4
÷Y
4
÷ X
2
Y
2
(assume the characteristic is not 2).
5-2. Let V c A
n
be an irreducible affine variety, and let 1 be a nonsingular point on V .
Let H be a hyperplane in A
n
(i.e., the subvariety defined by a linear equation
¸
a
i
X
i
=
J with not all a
i
zero) passing through 1 but not containing T
1
(V ). Show that 1 is
a nonsingular point on each irreducible component of V ¨ H on which it lies. (Each
irreducible component has codimension 1 in V — you may assume this.) Give an example
with H ¯ T
1
(V ) and 1 singular on V ¨H. Must 1 be singular on V ¨H if H ¯ T
1
(V )?
5-3. Let 1 and O be points on varieties V and W. Show that
T
(1,O)
(V × W) = T
1
(V ) ˚T
O
(W).
5-4. For each n, show that there is a curve C and a point 1 on C such that the tangent
space to C at 1 has dimension n (hence C can’t be embedded in A
n-1
).
5-5. Let 1 be the n×n identity matrix, and let J be the matrix

0 1
÷1 0

. The symplectic
group Sp
n
is the group of 2n×2n matrices · with determinant 1 such that ·
tr
J · = J.
(It is the group of matrices fixing a nondegenerate skew-symmetric form.) Find the tangent
space to Sp
n
at its identity element, and also the dimension of Sp
n
.
5-6. Find a regular map ˛: V ÷ W which induces an isomorphism on the geometric
tangent cones C
1
(V ) ÷C
˛(1)
(W) but is not ´ etale at 1.
5-7. Show that the cone X
2
÷ Y
2
= 7
2
is a normal variety, even though the origin is
singular (characteristic = 2). See p92.
5-8. Let V = V(a) c A
n
. Suppose that a = 1(V ), and for a ÷ V , let T
t
a
be the subspace
of T
a
(A
n
) defined by the equations (J} )
a
= 0, } ÷ a. Clearly, T
t
a
¯ T
a
(V ), but need they
always be different?
Chapter 6
Projective Varieties
Throughout this chapter, k will be an algebraically closed field. Recall (4.3) that we defined
P
n
to be the set of equivalence classes in k
n÷1
{origin] for the relation
(a
0
. . . . . a
n
) ~ (b
0
. . . . . b
n
) ” (a
0
. . . . . a
n
) = c(b
0
. . . . . b
n
) for some c ÷ k
×
.
Write (a
0
: . . . : a
n
) for the equivalence class of (a
0
. . . . . a
n
), and ¬ for the map
k
n÷1
{origin]¡~÷P
n
.
Let U
i
be the set of (a
0
: . . . : a
n
) ÷ P
n
such that a
i
= 0, and let u
i
be the bijection
(a
0
: . . . : a
n
) ÷

o
0
o
i
. . . . .
o
n
o
i

: U
i
÷A
n
(
o
i
o
i
omitted).
In this chapter, we shall define on P
n
a (unique) structure of an algebraic variety for which
these maps become isomorphisms of affine algebraic varieties. A variety isomorphic to a
closed subvariety of P
n
is called a projective variety, and a variety isomorphic to a locally
closed subvariety of P
n
is called a quasi-projective variety.
1
Every affine variety is quasi-
projective, but there are many varieties that are not quasiprojective. We study morphisms
between quasiprojective varieties.
Projective varieties are important for the same reason compact manifolds are important:
results are often simpler when stated for projective varieties, and the “part at infinity” often
plays a role, even when we would like to ignore it. For example, a famous theorem of
Bezout (see 6.34 below) says that a curve of degree m in the projective plane intersects a
curve of degree n in exactly mn points (counting multiplicities). For affine curves, one has
only an inequality.
Algebraic subsets of P
n
A polynomial J(X
0
. . . . . X
n
) is said to be homogeneous of degree J if it is a sum of terms
a
i
0
,...,i
n
X
i
0
0
X
i
n
n
with i
0
÷ ÷i
n
= J; equivalently,
J(tX
0
. . . . . tX
n
) = t
d
J(X
0
. . . . . X
n
)
1
A subvariety of an affine variety is said to be quasi-affine. For example, A
2
{(0. 0)] is quasi-affine but
not affine.
101
102 CHAPTER 6. PROJECTIVE VARIETIES
for all t ÷ k. Write kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|
d
for the subspace of kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
| of polynomials of
degree J. Then
kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
| =

d_0
kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|
d
:
that is, each polynomial J can be written uniquely as a sum J =
¸
J
d
with J
d
homoge-
neous of degree J.
Let 1 = (a
0
: . . . : a
n
) ÷ P
n
. Then 1 also equals (ca
0
: . . . : ca
n
) for any c ÷ k
×
,
and so we can’t speak of the value of a polynomial J(X
0
. . . . . X
n
) at 1. However, if J is
homogeneous, then J(ca
0
. . . . . ca
n
) = c
d
J(a
0
. . . . . a
n
), and so it does make sense to say
that J is zero or not zero at 1. An algebraic set in P
n
(or projective algebraic set) is the
set of common zeros in P
n
of some set of homogeneous polynomials.
EXAMPLE 6.1. Consider the projective algebraic subset 1 of P
2
defined by the homoge-
neous equation
Y
2
7 = X
3
÷aX7
2
÷b7
3
(12)
where X
3
÷aX÷b is assumed not to have multiple roots. It consists of the points (. : . : 1)
on the affine curve 1 ¨ U
2
Y
2
= X
3
÷aX ÷b.
together with the point “at infinity” (0 : 1 : 0).
Curves defined by equations of the form (12) are called elliptic curves. They can also
be described as the curves of genus one, or as the abelian varieties of dimension one. Such
a curve becomes an algebraic group, with the group law such that 1 ÷O÷1 = 0 if and
only if 1, O, and 1 lie on a straight line. The zero for the group is the point at infinity.
(Without the point at infinity, it is not possible to make 1 into an algebraic group.)
When a. b ÷ ´, we can speak of the zeros of (*) with coordinates in ´. They also form
a group 1(´), which Mordell showed to be finitely generated. It is easy to compute the
torsion subgroup of 1(´), but there is at present no known algorithm for computing the
rank of 1(´). More precisely, there is an “algorithm” which always works, but which has
not been proved to terminate after a finite amount of time, at least not in general. There is
a very beautiful theory surrounding elliptic curves over ´ and other number fields, whose
origins can be traced back 1,800 years to Diophantus. (See my notes on Elliptic Curves for
all of this.)
An ideal a c kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
| is said to be homogeneous if it contains with any polyno-
mial J all the homogeneous components of J, i.e., if
J ÷ a == J
d
÷ a, all J.
It is straightforward to check that
˘ an ideal is homogeneous if and only if it is generated by (a finite set of) homogeneous
polynomials;
˘ the radical of a homogeneous ideal is homogeneous;
˘ an intersection, product, or sum of homogeneous ideals is homogeneous.
For a homogeneous ideal a, we write V(a) for the set of common zeros of the homoge-
neous polynomials in a. If J
1
. . . . . J
i
are homogeneous generators for a, then V(a) is the
ALGEBRAIC SUBSETS OF P
1
103
set of common zeros of the J
i
. Clearly every polynomial in a is zero on every representa-
tive of a point in V(a). We write V
aff
(a) for the set of common zeros of a in k
n÷1
. It is
cone in k
n÷1
, i.e., together with any point 1 it contains the line through 1 and the origin,
and
V(a) = (V
aff
(a) (0. . . . . 0))¡~ .
The sets V(a) have similar properties to their namesakes in A
n
.
PROPOSITION 6.2. There are the following relations:
(a) a c b =V(a) ¯ V(b):
(b) V(0) = P
n
: V(a) = ∅ ”rad(a) ¯ (X
0
. . . . . X
n
):
(c) V(ab) = V(a ¨ b) = V(a) L V(b):
(d) V(
¸
a
i
) =
¸
V(a
i
).
PROOF. Statement (a) is obvious. For the second part of (b), note that
V(a) = 0 ” V
aff
(a) c {(0. . . . . 0)] ” rad(a) ¯ (X
0
. . . . . X
n
).
by the strong Nullstellensatz (2.11). The remaining statements can be proved directly, or
by using the relation between V(a) and V
aff
(a).
2
If C is a cone in k
n÷1
, then 1(C) is a homogeneous ideal in kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|: if J(ca
0
. . . . . ca
n
) =
0 for all c ÷ k
×
, then
¸
d
J
d
(a
0
. . . . . a
n
) c
d
= J(ca
0
. . . . . ca
n
) = 0.
for infinitely many c, and so
¸
J
d
(a
0
. . . . . a
n
)X
d
is the zero polynomial. For a subset S
of P
n
, we define the affine cone over S in k
n÷1
to be
C = ¬
-1
(S) L {origin]
and we set
1(S) = 1(C).
Note that if S is nonempty and closed, then C is the closure of ¬
-1
(S) = 0, and that 1(S)
is spanned by the homogeneous polynomials in kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
| that are zero on S.
PROPOSITION 6.3. The maps V and 1 define inverse bijections between the set of alge-
braic subsets of P
n
and the set of proper homogeneous radical ideals of kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|.
An algebraic set V in P
n
is irreducible if and only if 1(V ) is prime; in particular, P
n
is
irreducible.
PROOF. Note that we have bijections
{algebraic subsets of P
n
] {nonempty closed cones in k
n÷1
]
S|-C

{nonempty closed cones in k
n÷1
]
{proper homogeneous radical ideals in kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|]
J
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
{proper homogeneous radical ideals in kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|]
{algebraic subsets of P
n
]
V
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
104 CHAPTER 6. PROJECTIVE VARIETIES
Here the top map sends S to the affine cone over S, and the maps V and 1 are in the sense
of projective geometry and affine geometry respectively. The composite of any three of
these maps is the identity map, which proves the first statement because the composite of
the top map with 1 is 1 in the sense of projective geometry. Obviously, V is irreducible if
and only if the closure of ¬
-1
(V ) is irreducible, which is true if and only if 1(V ) is a prime
ideal.
2
Note that (X
0
. . . . . X
n
) and kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
| are both radical homogeneous ideals, but
V(X
0
. . . . . X
n
) = 0 = V(kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|)
and so the correspondence between irreducible subsets of P
n
and radical homogeneous
ideals is not quite one-to-one.
The Zariski topology on P
n
Proposition 6.2 shows that the projective algebraic sets are the closed sets for a topology on
P
n
. In this section, we verify that it agrees with that defined in the first paragraph of this
chapter. For a homogeneous polynomial J, let
D(J) = {1 ÷ P
n
[ J(1) = 0].
Then, just as in the affine case, D(J) is open and the sets of this type form a base for the
topology of P
n
.
To each polynomial }(X
1
. . . . . X
n
), we attach the homogeneous polynomial of the
same degree
}
+
(X
0
. . . . . X
n
) = X
deg(( )
0
}

A
1
A
0
. . . . .
A
n
A
0

.
and to each homogeneous polynomial J(X
0
. . . . . X
n
), we attach the polynomial
J
+
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) = J(1. X
1
. . . . . X
n
).
PROPOSITION 6.4. For the topology on P
n
just defined, each U
i
is open, and when we
endow it with the induced topology, the bijection
U
i
-A
n
, (a
0
: . . . : 1 : . . . : a
n
) -(a
0
. . . . . a
i-1
. a
i÷1
. . . . . a
n
)
becomes a homeomorphism.
PROOF. It suffices to prove this with i = 0. The set U
0
= D(X
0
), and so it is a basic open
subset in P
n
. Clearly, for any homogeneous polynomial J ÷ kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|,
D(J(X
0
. . . . . X
n
)) ¨ U
0
= D(J(1. X
1
. . . . . X
n
)) = D(J
+
)
and, for any polynomial } ÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|,
D(} ) = D(}
+
) ¨ U
0
.
Thus, under U
0
- A
n
, the basic open subsets of A
n
correspond to the intersections with
U
i
of the basic open subsets of P
n
, which proves that the bijection is a homeomorphism.
2
CLOSED SUBSETS OF A
1
AND P
1
105
REMARK 6.5. It is possible to use this to give a different proof that P
n
is irreducible. We
apply the criterion that a space is irreducible if and only if every nonempty open subset is
dense (see p39). Note that each U
i
is irreducible, and that U
i
¨ U
}
is open and dense in
each of U
i
and U
}
(as a subset of U
i
, it is the set of points (a
0
: . . . : 1 : . . . : a
}
: . . . : a
n
)
with a
}
= 0). Let U be a nonempty open subset of P
n
; then U ¨ U
i
is open in U
i
. For
some i , U ¨U
i
is nonempty, and so must meet U
i
¨U
}
. Therefore U meets every U
}
, and
so is dense in every U
}
. It follows that its closure is all of P
n
.
Closed subsets of A
n
and P
n
We identify A
n
with U
0
, and examine the closures in P
n
of closed subsets of A
n
. Note that
P
n
= A
n
L H
o
. H
o
= V(X
0
).
With each ideal a in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|, we associate the homogeneous ideal a
+
in kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|
generated by {}
+
[ } ÷ a]. For a closed subset V of A
n
, set V
+
= V(a
+
) with a = 1(V ).
With each homogeneous ideal a in kŒX
0
. X
1
. . . . . X
n
], we associate the ideal a
+
in
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| generated by {J
+
[ J ÷ a]. When V is a closed subset of P
n
, we set
V
+
= V(a
+
) with a = 1(V ).
PROPOSITION 6.6. (a) Let V be a closed subset of A
n
. Then V
+
is the closure of V in P
n
,
and (V
+
)
+
= V . If V =

V
i
is the decomposition of V into its irreducible components,
then V
+
=

V
+
i
is the decomposition of V
+
into its irreducible components.
(b) Let V be a closed subset of P
n
. Then V
+
= V ¨A
n
, and if no irreducible component
of V lies in H
o
or contains H
o
, then V
+
is a proper subset of A
n
, and (V
+
)
+
= V .
PROOF. Straightforward.
2
EXAMPLE 6.7. (a) For
V : Y
2
= X
3
÷aX ÷b.
we have
V
+
: Y
2
7 = X
3
÷aX7
2
÷b7
3
.
and (V
+
)
+
= V .
(b) Let V = V(}
1
. . . . . }
n
); then the closure of V in P
n
is the union of the irreducible
components of V(}
+
1
. . . . . }
+
n
) not contained in H
o
. For example, let V = V(X
1
. X
2
1
÷
X
2
) = {(0. 0)]; then V(X
0
X
1
. X
2
1
÷X
0
X
2
) consists of the two points (1: 0: 0) (the closure
of V ) and (0: 0: 1) (which is contained in H
o
).
2
(b) For V = H
o
= V(X
0
), V
+
= 0 = V(1) and (V
+
)
+
= 0 = V .
The hyperplane at infinity
It is often convenient to think of P
n
as being A
n
= U
0
with a hyperplane added “at infinity”.
More precisely, identify the U
0
with A
n
. The complement of U
0
in P
n
is
H
o
= {(0 : a
1
: . . . : a
n
) c P
n
].
2
Of course, in this case a = (X
1
. X
2
), a
+
= (X
1
. X
2
), and V
+
= {(1: 0: 0)], and so this example doesn’t
contradict the proposition.
106 CHAPTER 6. PROJECTIVE VARIETIES
which can be identified with P
n-1
.
For example, P
1
= A
1
L H
o
(disjoint union), with H
o
consisting of a single point,
and P
2
= A
2
L H
o
with H
o
a projective line. Consider the line
1 ÷aX
1
÷bX
2
= 0
in A
2
. Its closure in P
2
is the line
X
0
÷aX
1
÷bX
2
= 0.
This line intersects the line H
o
= V(X
0
) at the point (0 : ÷b : a), which equals (0 : 1 :
÷a¡b) when b = 0. Note that ÷a¡b is the slope of the line 1 ÷aX
1
÷bX
2
= 0, and so
the point at which a line intersects H
o
depends only on the slope of the line: parallel lines
meet in one point at infinity. We can think of the projective plane P
2
as being the affine
plane A
2
with one point added at infinity for each direction in A
2
.
Similarly, we can think of P
n
as being A
n
with one point added at infinity for each
direction in A
n
— being parallel is an equivalence relation on the lines in A
n
, and there is
one point at infinity for each equivalence class of lines.
We can also identify A
n
with U
n
, as in Example 6.1. Note that in this case the point at
infinity on the elliptic curve Y
2
= X
3
÷aX ÷b is the intersection of the closure of any
vertical line with H
o
.
P
n
is an algebraic variety
For each i , write O
i
for the sheaf on U
i
c P
n
defined by the homeomorphismu
i
: U
i
÷A
n
.
LEMMA 6.8. Write U
i}
= U
i
¨ U
}
; then O
i
[U
i}
= O
}
[U
i}
. When endowed with this
sheaf U
i}
is an affine variety; moreover, 1(U
i}
. O
i
) is generated as a k-algebra by the
functions (} [U
i}
)(g[U
i}
) with } ÷ 1(U
i
. O
i
), g ÷ 1(U
}
. O
}
).
PROOF. It suffices to prove this for (i. ; ) = (0. 1). All rings occurring in the proof will be
identified with subrings of the field k(X
0
. X
1
. . . . . X
n
).
Recall that
U
0
= {(a
0
: a
1
: . . . : a
n
) [ a
0
= 0]; (a
0
: a
1
: . . . : a
n
) -(
o
1
o
0
.
o
2
o
0
. . . . .
o
n
o
0
) ÷ A
n
.
Let kŒ
A
1
A
0
.
A
2
A
0
. . . . .
A
n
A
0
| be the subring of k(X
0
. X
1
. . . . . X
n
) generated by the quotients
A
i
A
0
— it is the polynomial ring in the n symbols
A
1
A
0
. . . . .
A
n
A
0
. An element }(
A
1
A
0
. . . . .
A
n
A
0
) ÷

A
1
A
0
. . . . .
A
n
A
0
| defines a map
(a
0
: a
1
: . . . : a
n
) ÷}(
o
1
o
0
. . . . .
o
n
o
0
): U
0
÷k.
and in this way kŒ
A
1
A
0
.
A
2
A
0
. . . . .
A
n
A
0
| becomes identified with the ring of regular functions on
U
0
. and U
0
with Spm


A
1
A
0
. . . . .
A
n
A
0
|

.
Next consider the open subset of U
0
.
U
01
= {(a
0
: . . . : a
n
) [ a
0
= 0, a
1
= 0].
P
1
IS AN ALGEBRAIC VARIETY 107
It is D(
A
1
A
0
), and is therefore an affine subvariety of (U
0
. O
0
). The inclusion U
01
·÷
U
0
corresponds to the inclusion of rings kŒ
A
1
A
0
. . . . .
A
n
A
0
| ·÷ kŒ
A
1
A
0
. . . . .
A
n
A
0
.
A
0
A
1
|. An ele-
ment }(
A
1
A
0
. . . . .
A
n
A
0
.
A
0
A
1
) of kŒ
A
1
A
0
. . . . .
A
n
A
0
.
A
0
A
1
| defines the function (a
0
: . . . : a
n
) ÷
}(
o
1
o
0
. . . . .
o
n
o
0
.
o
0
o
1
) on U
01
.
Similarly,
U
1
= {(a
0
: a
1
: . . . : a
n
) [ a
1
= 0]; (a
0
: a
1
: . . . : a
n
) -(
o
0
o
1
. . . . .
o
n
o
1
) ÷ A
n
.
and we identify U
1
with Spm


A
0
A
1
.
A
2
A
0
. . . . .
A
n
A
1
|

. A polynomial }(
A
0
A
1
. . . . .
A
n
A
1
) in

A
0
A
1
. . . . .
A
n
A
1
| defines the map (a
0
: . . . : a
n
) ÷}(
o
0
o
1
. . . . .
o
n
o
1
): U
1
÷k.
When regarded as an open subset of U
1
. U
01
= D(
A
0
A
1
), and is therefore an affine
subvariety of (U
1
. O
1
), and the inclusion U
01
·÷ U
1
corresponds to the inclusion of rings

A
0
A
1
. . . . .
A
n
A
1
| ·÷kŒ
A
0
A
1
. . . . .
A
n
A
1
.
A
1
A
0
|. An element }(
A
0
A
1
. . . . .
A
n
A
1
.
A
1
A
0
) of kŒ
A
0
A
1
. . . . .
A
n
A
1
.
A
1
A
0
|
defines the function (a
0
: . . . : a
n
) ÷}(
o
0
o
1
. . . . .
o
n
o
1
.
o
1
o
0
) on U
01
.
The two subrings kŒ
A
1
A
0
. . . . .
A
n
A
0
.
A
0
A
1
| and kŒ
A
0
A
1
. . . . .
A
n
A
1
.
A
1
A
0
| of k(X
0
. X
1
. . . . . X
n
) are
equal, and an element of this ring defines the same function on U
01
regardless of which of
the two rings it is considered an element. Therefore, whether we regard U
01
as a subvariety
of U
0
or of U
1
it inherits the same structure as an affine algebraic variety (3.8a). This
proves the first two assertions, and the third is obvious: kŒ
A
1
A
0
. . . . .
A
n
A
0
.
A
0
A
1
| is generated by
its subrings kŒ
A
1
A
0
. . . . .
A
n
A
0
| and kŒ
A
0
A
1
.
A
2
A
1
. . . . .
A
n
A
1
|.
2
PROPOSITION 6.9. There is a unique structure of a (separated) algebraic variety on P
n
for
which each U
i
is an open affine subvariety of P
n
and each map u
i
is an isomorphism of
algebraic varieties.
PROOF. Endow each U
i
with the structure of an affine algebraic variety for which u
i
is
an isomorphism. Then P
n
=

U
i
, and the lemma shows that this covering satisfies the
patching condition (4.13), and so P
n
has a unique structure of a ringed space for which
U
i
·÷P
n
is a homeomorphism onto an open subset of P
n
and O
P
n[U
i
= O
U
i
. Moreover,
because each U
i
is an algebraic variety, this structure makes P
n
into an algebraic prevariety.
Finally, the lemma shows that P
n
satisfies the condition (4.27c) to be separated.
2
EXAMPLE 6.10. Let C be the plane projective curve
C: Y
2
7 = X
3
and assume char(k) = 2. For each a ÷ k
×
, there is an automorphism
(. : . : :) ÷(a. : . : a
3
:): C
c
a
÷÷C.
Patch two copies of C × A
1
together along C × (A
1
÷ {0]) by identifying (1. u) with
(c
o
(1). a
-1
), 1 ÷ C, a ÷ A
1
{0]. One obtains in this way a singular 2-dimensional
variety that is not quasiprojective (see Hartshorne 1977, Exercise 7.13). It is even complete
— see below — and so if it were quasiprojective, it would be projective. It is known
that every irreducible separated curve is quasiprojective, and every nonsingular complete
surface is projective, and so this is an example of minimum dimension. In Shafarevich
1994, VI 2.3, there is an example of a nonsingular complete variety of dimension 3 that is
not projective.
108 CHAPTER 6. PROJECTIVE VARIETIES
The homogeneous coordinate ring of a subvariety of P
n
Recall (page 41) that we attached to each irreducible variety V a field k(V ) with the prop-
erty that k(V ) is the field of fractions of kŒU| for any open affine U c V . We now describe
this field in the case that V = P
n
. Recall that kŒU
0
| = kŒ
A
1
A
0
. . . . .
A
n
A
0
|. We regard this as a
subring of k(X
0
. . . . . X
n
), and wish to identify the field of fractions of kŒU
0
| as a subfield
of k(X
0
. . . . . X
n
). Any nonzero J ÷ kŒU
0
| can be written
J(
A
1
A
0
. . . . .
A
n
A
0
) =
J
+
(X
0
. . . . . X
n
)
X
deg(T)
0
with J
+
homogeneous of degree deg(J), and it follows that the field of fractions of kŒU
0
|
is
k(U
0
) =

G(X
0
. . . . . X
n
)
H(X
0
. . . . . X
n
)
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
G, H homogeneous of the same degree
¸
L {0].
Write k(X
0
. . . . . X
n
)
0
for this field (the subscript 0 is short for “subfield of elements of
degree 0”), so that k(P
n
) = k(X
0
. . . . . X
n
)
0
. Note that for J =
G
1
in k(X
0
. . . . . X
n
)
0
.
(a
0
: . . . : a
n
) ÷
G(a
0
. . . . . a
n
)
H(a
0
. . . . . a
n
)
: D(H) ÷k,
is a well-defined function, which is obviously regular (look at its restriction to U
i
).
We now extend this discussion to any irreducible projective variety V . Such a V can be
written V = V(p) with p a homogeneous radical ideal in kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|, and we define the
homogeneous coordinate ring of V (with its given embedding) to be
k
hom
ŒV | = kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|¡p.
Note that k
hom
ŒV | is the ring of regular functions on the affine cone over V ; therefore its
dimension is dim(V ) ÷ 1. It depends, not only on V , but on the embedding of V into
P
n
, i.e., it is not intrinsic to V (see 6.19 below). We say that a nonzero } ÷ k
hom
ŒV | is
homogeneous of degree J if it can be represented by a homogeneous polynomial J of
degree J in kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
| (we say that 0 is homogeneous of degree 0).
LEMMA 6.11. Each element of k
hom
ŒV | can be written uniquely in the form
} = }
0
÷ ÷}
d
with }
i
homogeneous of degree i .
PROOF. Let J represent } ; then J can be written J = J
0
÷ ÷ J
d
with J
i
homo-
geneous of degree i , and when reduced modulo p, this gives a decomposition of } of the
required type. Suppose } also has a decomposition } =
¸
g
i
, with g
i
represented by
the homogeneous polynomial G
i
of degree i . Then J ÷ G ÷ p, and the homogeneity of p
implies that J
i
÷ G
i
= (J ÷ G)
i
÷ p. Therefore }
i
= g
i
.
2
It therefore makes sense to speak of homogeneous elements of kŒV |. For such an ele-
ment h, we define D(h) = {1 ÷ V [ h(1) = 0].
Since k
hom
ŒV | is an integral domain, we can form its field of fractions k
hom
(V ). Define
k
hom
(V )
0
=

g
h
÷ k
hom
(V )
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ g and h homogeneous of the same degree
¸
L {0].
REGULAR FUNCTIONS ON A PROJECTIVE VARIETY 109
PROPOSITION 6.12. The field of rational functions on V is k(V )
df
= k
hom
(V )
0
.
PROOF. Consider V
0
df
= U
0
¨V . As in the case of P
n
, we can identify kŒV
0
| with a subring
of k
hom
ŒV |, and then the field of fractions of kŒV
0
| becomes identified with k
hom
(V )
0
.
2
Regular functions on a projective variety
Let V be an irreducible projective variety, and let } ÷ k(V ). By definition, we can write
} =
v
h
with g and h homogeneous of the same degree in k
hom
ŒV | and h = 0. For any
1 = (a
0
: . . . : a
n
) with h(1) = 0,
}(1) =
df
g(a
0
. . . . . a
n
)
h(a
0
. . . . . a
n
)
is well-defined: if (a
0
. . . . . a
n
) is replaced by (ca
0
. . . . . ca
n
), then both the numerator and
denominator are multiplied by c
deg(v)
= c
deg(h)
.
We can write } in the form
v
h
in many different ways,
3
but if
} =
g
h
=
g
t
h
t
(in k(V )
0
),
then
gh
t
÷ g
t
h (in k
hom
ŒV |)
and so
g(a
0
. . . . . a
n
) h
t
(a
0
. . . . . a
n
) = g
t
(a
0
. . . . . a
n
) h(a
0
. . . . . a
n
).
Thus, of h
t
(1) = 0, the two representions give the same value for }(1).
PROPOSITION 6.13. For each } ÷ k(V ) =
df
k
hom
(V )
0
, there is an open subset U of V
where }(1) is defined, and 1 ÷ }(1) is a regular function on U; every regular function
on an open subset of V arises from a unique element of k(V ).
PROOF. From the above discussion, we see that } defines a regular function on U =

D(h) where h runs over the denominators of expressions } =
v
h
with g and h homoge-
neous of the same degree in k
hom
ŒV |.
Conversely, let } be a regular function on an open subset U of V , and let 1 ÷ U. Then
1 lies in the open affine subvariety V ¨U
i
for some i , and so } coincides with the function
defined by some }
1
÷ k(V ¨U
i
) = k(V ) on an open neighbourhood of 1. If } coincides
with the function defined by }
O
÷ k(V ) in a neighbourhood of a second point O of U, then
}
1
and }
O
define the same function on some open affine U
t
, and so }
1
= }
O
as elements
of kŒU
t
| c k(V ). This shows that } is the function defined by }
1
on the whole of U.
2
REMARK 6.14. (a) The elements of k(V ) = k
hom
(V )
0
should be regarded as the alge-
braic analogues of meromorphic functions on a complex manifold; the regular functions on
an open subset U of V are the “meromorphic functions without poles” on U. [In fact, when
k = C, this is more than an analogy: a nonsingular projective algebraic variety over C de-
fines a complex manifold, and the meromorphic functions on the manifold are precisely the
3
Unless k
hom
ŒV | is a unique factorization domain, there will be no preferred representation } =
v
h
.
110 CHAPTER 6. PROJECTIVE VARIETIES
rational functions on the variety. For example, the meromorphic functions on the Riemann
sphere are the rational functions in :.]
(b) We shall see presently (6.21) that, for any nonzero homogeneous h ÷ k
hom
ŒV |,
D(h) is an open affine subset of V . The ring of regular functions on it is
kŒD(h)| = {g¡h
n
[ g homogeneous of degree mdeg(h)] L {0].
We shall also see that the ring of regular functions on V itself is just k, i.e., any regular
function on an irreducible (connected will do) projective variety is constant. However, if U
is an open nonaffine subset of V , then the ring 1(U. O
V
) of regular functions can be almost
anything — it needn’t even be a finitely generated k-algebra!
Morphisms from projective varieties
We describe the morphisms from a projective variety to another variety.
PROPOSITION 6.15. The map
¬: A
n÷1
{origin] ÷P
n
, (a
0
. . . . . a
n
) ÷(a
0
: . . . : a
n
)
is an open morphism of algebraic varieties. A map ˛: P
n
÷ V with V a prevariety is
regular if and only if ˛ ı ¬ is regular.
PROOF. The restriction of ¬ to D(X
i
) is the projection
(a
0
. . . . . a
n
) ÷(
o
0
o
i
: . . . :
o
n
o
i
): k
n÷1
V(X
i
) ÷U
i
.
which is the regular map of affine varieties corresponding to the map of k-algebras
k
¸
A
0
A
i
. . . . .
A
n
A
i
¸
÷kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|ŒX
-1
i
|.
(In the first algebra
A
j
A
i
is to be thought of as a single symbol.) It now follows from (4.4)
that ¬ is regular.
Let U be an open subset of k
n÷1
{origin], and let U
t
be the union of all the lines
through the origin that meet U, that is, U
t
= ¬
-1
¬(U). Then U
t
is again open in k
n÷1

{origin], because U
t
=

cU, c ÷ k
×
, and . ÷c. is an automorphismof k
n÷1
{origin].
The complement 7 of U
t
in k
n÷1
{origin] is a closed cone, and the proof of (6.3) shows
that its image is closed in P
n
; but ¬(U) is the complement of ¬(7). Thus ¬ sends open
sets to open sets.
The rest of the proof is straightforward.
2
Thus, the regular maps P
n
÷ V are just the regular maps A
n÷1
{origin] ÷ V
factoring through P
n
(as maps of sets).
REMARK 6.16. Consider polynomials J
0
(X
0
. . . . . X
n
). . . . . J
n
(X
0
. . . . . X
n
) of the same
degree. The map
(a
0
: . . . : a
n
) ÷(J
0
(a
0
. . . . . a
n
) : . . . : J
n
(a
0
. . . . . a
n
))
obviously defines a regular map to P
n
on the open subset of P
n
where not all J
i
vanish,
that is, on the set

D(J
i
) = P
n
V(J
1
. . . . . J
n
). Its restriction to any subvariety V of
P
n
will also be regular. It may be possible to extend the map to a larger set by representing
it by different polynomials. Conversely, every such map arises in this way, at least locally.
More precisely, there is the following result.
EXAMPLES OF REGULAR MAPS OF PROJECTIVE VARIETIES 111
PROPOSITION 6.17. Let V = V(a) c P
n
and W = V(b) c P
n
. A map c: V ÷ W is
regular if and only if, for every 1 ÷ V , there exist polynomials
J
0
(X
0
. . . . . X
n
). . . . . J
n
(X
0
. . . . . X
n
).
homogeneous of the same degree, such that
c ((b
0
: . . . : b
n
)) = (J
0
(b
0
. . . . . b
n
) : . . . : J
n
(b
0
. . . . . b
n
))
for all points (b
0
: . . . : b
n
) in some neighbourhood of 1 in V(a).
PROOF. Straightforward.
2
EXAMPLE 6.18. We prove that the circle X
2
÷ Y
2
= 7
2
is isomorphic to P
1
. This
equation can be rewritten (X ÷iY )(X ÷iY ) = 7
2
, and so, after a change of variables, the
equation of the circle becomes C : X7 = Y
2
. Define
c: P
1
÷C, (a : b) ÷(a
2
: ab : b
2
).
For the inverse, define
[: C ÷P
1
by

(a : b : c) ÷(a : b) if a = 0
(a : b : c) ÷(b : c) if b = 0
.
Note that,
a = 0 = b. ac = b
2
==
c
b
=
b
a
and so the two maps agree on the set where they are both defined. Clearly, both c and [
are regular, and one checks directly that they are inverse.
Examples of regular maps of projective varieties
We list some of the classic maps.
EXAMPLE 6.19. Let 1 =
¸
c
i
X
i
be a nonzero linear form in n ÷1 variables. Then the
map
(a
0
: . . . : a
n
) ÷

a
0
1(a)
. . . . .
a
n
1(a)

is a bijection of D(1) c P
n
onto the hyperplane 1(X
0
. X
1
. . . . . X
n
) = 1 of A
n÷1
, with
inverse
(a
0
. . . . . a
n
) ÷(a
0
: . . . : a
n
).
Both maps are regular — for example, the components of the first map are the regular
functions
A
j
¸
c
i
A
i
. As V(1 ÷ 1) is affine, so also is D(1), and its ring of regular functions
is kŒ
A
0
¸
c
i
A
i
. . . . .
A
n
¸
c
i
A
i
|. In this ring, each quotient
A
j
¸
c
i
A
i
is to be thought of as a single
symbol, and
¸
c
}
A
j
¸
c
i
A
i
= 1; thus it is a polynomial ring in n symbols; any one symbol
A
j
¸
c
i
A
i
for which c
}
= 0 can be omitted (see Lemma 5.12).
112 CHAPTER 6. PROJECTIVE VARIETIES
For a fixed 1 = (a
0
: . . . : a
n
) ÷ P
n
, the set of c = (c
0
: . . . : c
n
) such that
1
c
(1)
df
=
¸
c
i
a
i
= 0
is a nonempty open subset of P
n
(n > 0). Therefore, for any finite set S of points of P
n
,
{c ÷ P
n
[ S c D(1
c
)]
is a nonempty open subset of P
n
(because P
n
is irreducible). In particular, S is contained
in an open affine subset D(1
c
) of P
n
. Moreover, if S c V where V is a closed subvariety
of P
n
, then S c V ¨ D(1
c
): any finite set of points of a projective variety is contained in
an open affine subvariety.
EXAMPLE 6.20. (The Veronese map.) Let
1 = {(i
0
. . . . . i
n
) ÷ N
n÷1
[
¸
i
}
= m].
Note that 1 indexes the monomials of degree m in n÷1 variables. It has

n÷n
n

elements
4
.
Write v
n,n
=

n÷n
n

÷ 1, and consider the projective space P
¡
n;m
whose coordinates are
indexed by 1; thus a point of P
¡
n;m
can be written (. . . : b
i
0
...i
n
: . . .). The Veronese
mapping is defined to be
·: P
n
÷P
¡
n;m
, (a
0
: . . . : a
n
) ÷(. . . : b
i
0
...i
n
: . . .). b
i
0
...i
n
= a
i
0
0
. . . a
i
n
n
.
In other words, the Veronese mapping sends an n ÷ 1-tuple (a
0
: . . . : a
n
) to the set of
monomials in the a
i
of degre m. For example, when n = 1 and m = 2, the Veronese map
is
P
1
÷P
2
, (a
0
: a
1
) ÷(a
2
0
: a
0
a
1
: a
2
1
).
Its image is the curve v(P
1
) : X
0
X
2
= X
2
1
, and the map
(b
2,0
: b
1,1
: b
0,2
) ÷

(b
2,0
: b
1,1
) if b
2,0
= 1
(b
1,1
: b
0,2
) if b
0,2
= 0.
is an inverse v(P
1
) ÷P
1
. (Cf. Example 6.19.)
5
When n = 1 and m is general, the Veronese map is
P
1
÷P
n
, (a
0
: a
1
) ÷(a
n
0
: a
n-1
0
a
1
: . . . : a
n
1
).
4
This can be proved by induction on m ÷ n. If m = 0 = n, then

0
0

= 1, which is correct. A general
homogeneous polynomial of degree m can be written uniquely as
J(X
0
. X
1
. . . . . X
n
) = J
1
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) ÷X
0
J
2
(X
0
. X
1
. . . . . X
n
)
with J
1
homogeneous of degree m and J
2
homogeneous of degree m÷ 1. But

n÷n
n

=

n÷n-1
n

÷

n÷n-1
n-1

because they are the coefficients of X
n
in
(X ÷1)
n÷n
= (X ÷1)(X ÷1)
n÷n-1
.
and this proves the induction.
5
Note that, although P
1
and v(P
1
) are isomorphic, their homogeneous coordinate rings are not. In fact
k
hom
ŒP
1
| = kŒX
0
. X
1
|, which is the affine coordinate ring of the smooth variety A
2
, whereas k
hom
Œv(P
1
)| =
kŒX
0
. X
1
. X
2
|¡(X
0
X
2
÷ X
2
1
) which is the affine coordinate ring of the singular variety X
0
X
2
÷ X
2
1
.
EXAMPLES OF REGULAR MAPS OF PROJECTIVE VARIETIES 113
I claim that, in the general case, the image of v is a closed subset of P
¡
n;m
and that v
defines an isomorphism of projective varieties v: P
n
÷v(P
n
).
First note that the map has the following interpretation: if we regard the coordinates a
i
of a point 1 of P
n
as being the coefficients of a linear form 1 =
¸
a
i
X
i
(well-defined up
to multiplication by nonzero scalar), then the coordinates of v(1) are the coefficients of the
homogeneous polynomial 1
n
with the binomial coefficients omitted.
As 1 = 0 =1
n
= 0, the map v is defined on the whole of P
n
, that is,
(a
0
. . . . . a
n
) = (0. . . . . 0) =(. . . . b
i
0
...i
n
. . . .) = (0. . . . . 0).
Moreover, 1
1
= c1
2
= 1
n
1
= c1
n
2
, because kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
| is a unique factorization
domain, and so v is injective. It is clear from its definition that v is regular.
We shall see later in this chapter that the image of any projective variety under a regular
map is closed, but in this case we can prove directly that v(P
n
) is defined by the system of
equations:
b
i
0
...i
n
b
}
0
...}
n
= b
k
0
...k
n
b
I
0
...I
n
. i
h
÷;
h
= k
h
÷(
h
, all h (*).
Obviously P
n
maps into the algebraic set defined by these equations. Conversely, let
V
i
= {(. . . . : b
i
0
...i
n
: . . .) [ b
0...0n0...0
= 0].
Then v(U
i
) c V
i
and v
-1
(V
i
) = U
i
. It is possible to write down a regular map V
i
÷ U
i
inverse to v[U
i
: for example, define V
0
÷P
n
to be
(. . . : b
i
0
...i
n
: . . .) ÷(b
n,0,...,0
: b
n-1,1,0,...,0
: b
n-1,0,1,0,...,0
: . . . : b
n-1,0,...,0,1
).
Finally, one checks that v(P
n
) c

V
i
.
For any closed variety W c P
n
, v[W is an isomorphism of W onto a closed subvariety
v(W) of v(P
n
) c P
¡
n;m
.
REMARK 6.21. The Veronese mapping has a very important property. If J is a nonzero
homogeneous form of degree m _ 1, then V(J) c P
n
is called a hypersurface of degree m
and V(J) ¨W is called a hypersurface section of the projective variety W. When m = 1,
“surface” is replaced by “plane”.
Now let H be the hypersurface in P
n
of degree m
¸
a
i
0
...i
n
X
i
0
0
X
i
n
n
= 0,
and let 1 be the hyperplane in P
¡
n;m
defined by
¸
a
i
0
...i
n
X
i
0
...i
n
.
Then v(H) = v(P
n
) ¨ 1, i.e.,
H(a) = 0 ” 1(v(a)) = 0.
Thus for any closed subvariety W of P
n
, v defines an isomorphism of the hypersurface
section W ¨H of V onto the hyperplane section v(W)¨1of v(W). This observation often
allows one to reduce questions about hypersurface sections to questions about hyperplane
sections.
As one example of this, note that v maps the complement of a hypersurface section of
W isomorphically onto the complement of a hyperplane section of v(W), which we know
to be affine. Thus the complement of any hypersurface section of a projective variety is an
affine variety—we have proved the statement in (6.14b).
114 CHAPTER 6. PROJECTIVE VARIETIES
EXAMPLE 6.22. An element · = (a
i}
) of GL
n÷1
defines an automorphism of P
n
:
(.
0
: . . . : .
n
) ÷(. . . :
¸
a
i}
.
}
: . . .):
clearly it is a regular map, and the inverse matrix gives the inverse map. Scalar matrices act
as the identity map.
Let PGL
n÷1
= GL
n÷1
¡k
×
1, where I is the identity matrix, that is, PGL
n÷1
is the
quotient of GL
n÷1
by its centre. Then PGL
n÷1
is the complement in P
(n÷1)
2
-1
of the
hypersurface det(X
i}
) = 0, and so it is an affine variety with ring of regular functions
kŒPGL
n÷1
| = {J(. . . . X
i}
. . . .)¡ det(X
i}
)
n
[ deg(J) = m (n ÷1)] L {0].
It is an affine algebraic group.
The homomorphism PGL
n÷1
÷ Aut(P
n
) is obviously injective. We sketch a proof
that it is surjective.
6
Consider a hypersurface
H: J(X
0
. . . . . X
n
) = 0
in P
n
and a line
1 = {(t a
0
: . . . : t a
n
) [ t ÷ k]
in P
n
. The points of H ¨ 1 are given by the solutions of
J(t a
0
. . . . . t a
n
) = 0,
which is a polynomial of degree _ deg(J) in t unless 1 c H. Therefore, H ¨1 contains
_ deg(J) points, and it is not hard to show that for a fixed H and most 1 it will contain
exactly deg(J) points. Thus, the hyperplanes are exactly the closed subvarieties H of P
n
such that
(a) dim(H) = n ÷ 1.
(b) #(H ¨ 1) = 1 for all lines 1 not contained in H.
These are geometric conditions, and so any automorphism of P
n
must map hyperplanes to
hyperplanes. But on an open subset of P
n
, such an automorphism takes the form
(b
0
: . . . : b
n
) ÷(J
0
(b
0
. . . . . b
n
) : . . . : J
n
(b
0
. . . . . b
n
))
where the J
i
are homogeneous of the same degree J (see 6.17). Such a map will take
hyperplanes to hyperplanes if only if J = 1.
EXAMPLE 6.23. (The Segre map.) This is the mapping
((a
0
: . . . : a
n
). (b
0
: . . . : b
n
)) ÷((. . . : a
i
b
}
: . . .)): P
n
× P
n
÷P
nn÷n÷n
.
The index set for P
nn÷n÷n
is {(i. ; ) [ 0 _ i _ m. 0 _ ; _ n]. Note that if we
interpret the tuples on the left as being the coefficients of two linear forms 1
1
=
¸
a
i
X
i
and 1
2
=
¸
b
}
Y
}
, then the image of the pair is the set of coefficients of the homogeneous
form of degree 2, 1
1
1
2
. From this observation, it is obvious that the map is defined on the
6
This is related to the fundamental theorem of projective geometry — see E. Artin, Geometric Algebra,
Interscience, 1957, Theorem 2.26.
EXAMPLES OF REGULAR MAPS OF PROJECTIVE VARIETIES 115
whole of P
n
× P
n
(1
1
= 0 = 1
2
= 1
1
1
2
= 0) and is injective. On any subset of the
form U
i
× U
}
it is defined by polynomials, and so it is regular. Again one can show that it
is an isomorphism onto its image, which is the closed subset of P
nn÷n÷n
defined by the
equations
n
i}
n
k/
÷ n
i/
n
k}
= 0
– see Shafarevich 1994, I 5.1. For example, the map
((a
0
: a
1
). (b
0
: b
1
)) ÷(a
0
b
0
: a
0
b
1
: a
1
b
0
: a
1
b
1
): P
1
× P
1
÷P
3
has image the hypersurface
H : W7 = XY.
The map
(n : . : . : :) ÷((n : .). (n : .))
is an inverse on the set where it is defined. [Incidentally, P
1
× P
1
is not isomorphic to
P
2
, because in the first variety there are closed curves, e.g., two vertical lines, that don’t
intersect.]
If V and W are closed subvarieties of P
n
and P
n
, then the Segre map sends V × W
isomorphically onto a closed subvariety of P
nn÷n÷n
. Thus products of projective varieties
are projective.
There is an explicit description of the topology on P
n
×P
n
: the closed sets are the sets
of common solutions of families of equations
J(X
0
. . . . . X
n
: Y
0
. . . . . Y
n
) = 0
with J separately homogeneous in the X’s and in the Y ’s.
EXAMPLE 6.24. Let 1
1
. . . . . 1
n-d
be linearly independent linear forms in n÷1 variables.
Their zero set 1 in k
n÷1
has dimension J ÷1, and so their zero set in P
n
is a J-dimensional
linear space. Define ¬: P
n
÷ 1 ÷ P
n-d-1
by ¬(a) = (1
1
(a) : . . . : 1
n-d
(a)); such a
map is called a projection with centre 1. If V is a closed subvariety disjoint from 1, then
¬ defines a regular map V ÷ P
n-d-1
. More generally, if J
1
. . . . . J
i
are homogeneous
forms of the same degree, and 7 = V(J
1
. . . . . J
i
), then a ÷ (J
1
(a) : . . . : J
i
(a)) is a
morphism P
n
÷ 7 ÷P
i-1
.
By carefully choosing the centre 1, it is possible to linearly project any smooth curve
in P
n
isomorphically onto a curve in P
3
, and nonisomorphically (but bijectively on an open
subset) onto a curve in P
2
with only nodes as singularities.
7
For example, suppose we have
a nonsingular curve C in P
3
. To project to P
2
we need three linear forms 1
0
, 1
1
, 1
2
and
the centre of the projection is the point 1
0
where all forms are zero. We can think of the
map as projecting from the centre 1
0
onto some (projective) plane by sending the point 1
to the point where 1
0
1 intersects the plane. To project C to a curve with only ordinary
nodes as singularities, one needs to choose 1
0
so that it doesn’t lie on any tangent to C, any
trisecant (line crossing the curve in 3 points), or any chord at whose extremities the tangents
are coplanar. See for example Samuel, P., Lectures on Old and New Results on Algebraic
Curves, Tata Notes, 1966.
7
A nonsingular curve of degree J in P
2
has genus
(d-1)(d-2)
2
. Thus, if g is not of this form, a curve of
genus g can’t be realized as a nonsingular curve in P
2
.
116 CHAPTER 6. PROJECTIVE VARIETIES
PROPOSITION 6.25. Every finite set S of points of a quasiprojective variety V is contained
in an open affine subset of V .
PROOF. Regard V as a subvariety of P
n
, let
¨
V be the closure of V in P
n
, and let 7 =
¨
V V .
Because S ¨ 7 = 0, for each 1 ÷ S there exists a homogeneous polynomial J
1
÷ 1(7)
such that J
1
(1) = 0. We may suppose that the J
1
’s have the same degree. An elementary
argument shows that some linear combination J of the J
1
, 1 ÷ S, is nonzero at each 1.
Then J is zero on 7, and so
¨
V ¨D(J) is an open affine of V , but J is nonzero at each 1,
and so
¨
V ¨ D(J) contains S.
2
Projective space without coordinates
Let 1 be a vector space over k of dimension n. The set P(1) of lines through zero in 1 has
a natural structure of an algebraic variety: the choice of a basis for 1 defines an bijection
P(1) ÷ P
n
, and the inherited structure of an algebraic variety on P(1) is independent of
the choice of the basis (because the bijections defined by two different bases differ by an au-
tomorphism of P
n
). Note that in contrast to P
n
, which has n÷1 distinguished hyperplanes,
namely, X
0
= 0. . . . . X
n
= 0, no hyperplane in P(1) is distinguished.
Grassmann varieties
Let 1 be a vector space over k of dimension n, and let G
d
(1) be the set of J-dimensional
subspaces of 1. When J = 0 or n, G
d
(1) has a single element, and so from now on we
assume that 0 < J < n. Fix a basis for 1, and let S ÷ G
d
(1). The choice of a basis for S
then determines a J ×n matrix ·(S) whose rows are the coordinates of the basis elements.
Changing the basis for S multiplies ·(S) on the left by an invertible J ×J matrix. Thus, the
family of J × J minors of ·(S) is determined up to multiplication by a nonzero constant,
and so defines a point 1(S) in P

n
d

-1
.
PROPOSITION 6.26. The map S ÷ 1(S): G
d
(1) ÷ P

n
d

-1
is injective, with image a
closed subset of P

n
d

-1
.
We give the proof below. The maps 1 defined by different bases of 1 differ by an
automorphism of P

n
d

-1
, and so the statement is independent of the choice of the basis
— later (6.31) we shall give a “coordinate-free description” of the map. The map realizes
G
d
(1) as a projective algebraic variety called the Grassmann variety of J-dimensional
subspaces of 1.
EXAMPLE 6.27. The affine cone over a line in P
3
is a two-dimensional subspace of k
4
.
Thus, G
2
(k
4
) can be identified with the set of lines in P
3
. Let 1 be a line in P
3
, and let
x = (.
0
: .
1
: .
2
: .
3
) and y = (.
0
: .
1
: .
2
: .
3
) be distinct points on 1. Then
1(1) = (]
01
: ]
02
: ]
03
: ]
12
: ]
13
: ]
23
) ÷ P
5
. ]
i}
df
=
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
.
i
.
}
.
i
.
}
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
.
depends only on 1. The map 1 ÷1(1) is a bijection from G
2
(k
4
) onto the quadric
˘ : X
01
X
23
÷ X
02
X
13
÷X
03
X
12
= 0
GRASSMANN VARIETIES 117
in P
5
. For a direct elementary proof of this, see (10.20, 10.21) below.
REMARK 6.28. Let S
t
be a subspace of 1 of complementary dimension n ÷ J, and let
G
d
(1)
S
0 be the set of S ÷ G
d
(V ) such that S ¨ S
t
= {0]. Fix an S
0
÷ G
d
(1)
S
0 , so that
1 = S
0
˚S
t
. For any S ÷ G
d
(V )
S
0 , the projection S ÷S
0
given by this decomposition
is an isomorphism, and so S is the graph of a homomorphism S
0
÷S
t
:
s ÷s
t
” (s. s
t
) ÷ S.
Conversely, the graph of any homomorphism S
0
÷S
t
lies in G
d
(V )
S
0 . Thus,
G
d
(V )
S
0 ~ Hom(S
0
. S
t
) ~ Hom(1¡S
t
. S
t
). (13)
The isomorphism G
d
(V )
S
0 ~ Hom(1¡S
t
. S
t
) depends on the choice of S
0
— it is the
element of G
d
(V )
S
0 corresponding to 0 ÷ Hom(1¡S
t
. S
t
). The decomposition 1 =
S
0
˚ S
t
gives a decomposition End(1) =

End(S
0
) Hom(S
0
,S
0
)
Hom(S
0
,S
0
) End(S
0
)

, and the bijections
(13) show that the group

1 0
Hom(S
0
,S
0
) 1

acts simply transitively on G
d
(1)
S
0 .
REMARK 6.29. The bijection (13) identifies G
d
(1)
S
0 with the affine variety A(Hom(S
0
. S
t
))
defined by the vector space Hom(S
0
. S
t
) (cf. p57). Therefore, the tangent space to G
d
(1)
at S
0
,
T
S
0
(G
d
(1)) . Hom(S
0
. S
t
) . Hom(S
0
. 1¡S
0
). (14)
Since the dimension of this space doesn’t depend on the choice of S
0
, this shows that
G
d
(1) is nonsingular (5.19).
REMARK 6.30. Let T be the set of all bases of 1. The choice of a basis for 1 identifies
T with GL
n
, which is the principal open subset of A
n
2
where det = 0. In particular,
T has a natural structure as an irreducible algebraic variety. The map (e
1
. . . . . e
n
) ÷
'e
1
. . . . . e
d
): T ÷G
d
(1) is a surjective regular map, and so G
d
(1) is also irreducible.
REMARK 6.31. The exterior algebra

1 =
¸
d_0

d
1 of 1 is the quotient of the
tensor algebra by the ideal generated by all vectors e ˝e, e ÷ 1. The elements of

d
1 are
called (exterior) J-vectors.The exterior algebra of 1 is a finite-dimensional graded algebra
over k with

0
1 = k,

1
1 = 1; if e
1
. . . . . e
n
form an ordered basis for V , then the

n
d

wedge products e
i
1
. . . . . e
i
d
(i
1
< < i
d
) form an ordered basis for

d
1. In
particular,

n
1 has dimension 1. For a subspace S of 1 of dimension J,

d
S is the
one-dimensional subspace of

d
1 spanned by e
1
.. . . .e
d
for any basis e
1
. . . . . e
d
of S.
Thus, there is a well-defined map
S ÷

d
S: G
d
(1) ÷P(

d
1) (15)
which the choice of a basis for 1 identifies with S ÷ 1(S). Note that the subspace
spanned by e
1
. . . . . e
n
can be recovered from the line through e
1
.. . . .e
d
as the space of
vectors · such that · . e
1
. . . . . e
d
= 0 (cf. 6.32 below).
118 CHAPTER 6. PROJECTIVE VARIETIES
First proof of Proposition 6.26. Fix a basis e
1
. . . . . e
n
of 1, and let S
0
= 'e
1
. . . . . e
d
)
and S
t
= 'e
d÷1
. . . . . e
n
). Order the coordinates in P

n
d

-1
so that
1(S) = (a
0
: . . . : a
i}
: . . . : . . .)
where a
0
is the left-most J × J minor of ·(S), and a
i}
, 1 _ i _ J, J < ; _ n, is
the minor obtained from the left-most J × J minor by replacing the i
th
column with the
;
th
column. Let U
0
be the (“typical”) standard open subset of P

n
d

-1
consisting of the
points with nonzero zero
th
coordinate. Clearly,
8
1(S) ÷ U
0
if and only if S ÷ G
d
(1)
S
0 .
We shall prove the proposition by showing that 1: G
d
(1)
S
0 ÷U
0
is injective with closed
image.
For S ÷ G
d
(1)
S
0 , the projection S ÷S
0
is bijective. For each i , 1 _ i _ J, let
e
t
i
= e
i
÷
¸
d~}_n
a
i}
e
}
(16)
denote the unique element of S projecting to e
i
. Then e
t
1
. . . . . e
t
d
is a basis for S. Con-
versely, for any (a
i}
) ÷ k
d(n-d)
, the e
t
i
’s defined by (16) span an S ÷ G
d
(1)
S
0 and project
to the e
i
’s. Therefore, S -(a
i}
) gives a one-to-one correspondence G
d
(1)
S
0 -k
d(n-d)
(this is a restatement of (13) in terms of matrices).
Now, if S -(a
i}
), then
1(S) = (1 : . . . : a
i}
: . . . : . . . : }
k
(a
i}
): . . .)
where }
k
(a
i}
) is a polynomial in the a
i}
whose coefficients are independent of S. Thus,
1(S) determines (a
i}
) and hence also S. Moreover, the image of 1: G
d
(1)
S
0 ÷U
0
is the
graph of the regular map
(. . . . a
i}
. . . .) ÷(. . . . }
k
(a
i}
). . . .): A
d(n-d)
÷A

n
d

-d(n-d)-1
.
which is closed (4.26).
Second proof of Proposition 6.26. An exterior J-vector · is said to be pure (or de-
composable) if there exist vectors e
1
. . . . . e
d
÷ V such that · = e
1
. . . . . e
d
. According
to (6.31), the image of G
d
(1) in P(

d
1) consists of the lines through the pure J-vectors.
LEMMA 6.32. Let n be a nonzero J-vector and let
M(n) = {· ÷ 1 [ · . n = 0]:
then dim
k
M(n) _ J, with equality if and only if n is pure.
PROOF. Let e
1
. . . . . e
n
be a basis of M(n), and extend it to a basis e
1
. . . . . e
n
. . . . . e
n
of
V . Write
n =
¸
1_i
1
~...~i
d
a
i
1
...i
d
e
i
1
. . . . . e
i
d
. a
i
1
...i
d
÷ k.
If there is a nonzero term in this sum in which e
}
does not occur, then e
}
. n = 0.
Therefore, each nonzero term in the sum is of the form ae
1
.. . . .e
n
.. . .. It follows that
m _ J, and m = J if and only if n = ae
1
. . . . . e
d
with a = 0.
2
8
If e ÷ S
t
¨ S is nonzero, we may choose it to be part of the basis for S, and then the left-most J × J
submatrix of ·(S) has a row of zeros. Conversely, if the left-most J × J submatrix is singular, we can change
the basis for S so that it has a row of zeros; then the basis element corresponding to the zero row lies in S
t
¨S.
GRASSMANN VARIETIES 119
For a nonzero J-vector n, let Œn| denote the line through n. The lemma shows that
Œn| ÷ G
d
(1) if and only if the linear map · ÷ · . n: 1 ÷

d÷1
1 has rank _ n ÷ J
(in which case the rank is n ÷J). Thus G
d
(1) is defined by the vanishing of the minors of
order n ÷ J ÷1 of this map.
9
Flag varieties
The discussion in the last subsection extends easily to chains of subspaces. Let d =
(J
1
. . . . . J
i
) be a sequence of integers with 0 < J
1
< < J
i
< n, and let G
d
(1) be
the set of flags
J : 1 ¯ 1
1
¯ ¯ 1
i
¯ 0 (17)
with 1
i
a subspace of 1 of dimension J
i
. The map
G
d
(1)
T|-(V
i
)
÷÷÷÷÷÷÷
¸
i
G
d
i
(1) c
¸
i
P(

d
i
1)
realizes G
d
(1) as a closed subset
10
¸
i
G
d
i
(1), and so it is a projective variety, called a
flag variety. The tangent space to G
d
(1) at the flag J consists of the families of homomor-
phisms
c
i
: 1
i
÷V¡1
i
. 1 _ i _ r. (18)
that are compatible in the sense that
c
i
[1
i÷1
÷ c
i÷1
mod 1
i÷1
.
ASIDE 6.33. Abasis e
1
. . . . . e
n
for 1 is adapted to the flag J if it contains a basis e
1
. . . . . e
}
i
for each 1
i
. Clearly, every flag admits such a basis, and the basis then determines the flag.
As in (6.30), this implies that G
d
(1) is irreducible. Because GL(1) acts transitively on
the set of bases for 1, it acts transitively on G
d
(1). For a flag J, the subgroup 1(J)
stabilizing J is an algebraic subgroup of GL(1), and the map
g ÷gJ
0
: GL(1)¡1(J
0
) ÷G
d
(1)
is an isomorphism of algebraic varieties. Because G
d
(1) is projective, this shows that
1(J
0
) is a parabolic subgroup of GL(V ).
9
In more detail, the map
n ÷(· ÷· . n):

d
1 ÷Hom
k
(1.

d÷1
1)
is injective and linear, and so defines an injective regular map
P(

d
1) ·÷P(Hom
k
(1.

d÷1
1)).
The condition rank _ n÷J defines a closed subset W of P(Hom
k
(1.

d÷1
1)) (once a basis has been chosen
for 1, the condition becomes the vanishing of the minors of order n ÷ J ÷1 of a linear map 1 ÷

d÷1
1),
and
G
d
(1) = P(

d
1) ¨ W.
10
For example, if u
i
is a pure J
i
-vector and u
i÷1
is a pure J
i÷1
-vector, then it follows from (6.32) that
M(u
i
) c M(u
i÷1
) if and only if the map
· ÷(· . u
i
. · . u
i÷1
): V ÷

d
i
÷1
V ˚

d
iC1
÷1
V
has rank _ n ÷J
i
(in which case it has rank n ÷J
i
). Thus, G
d
(V ) is defined by the vanishing of many minors.
120 CHAPTER 6. PROJECTIVE VARIETIES
Bezout’s theorem
Let V be a hypersurface in P
n
(that is, a closed subvariety of dimension n ÷ 1). For such
a variety, 1(V ) = (J(X
0
. . . . . X
n
)) with J a homogenous polynomial without repeated
factors. We define the degree of V to be the degree of J.
The next theorem is one of the oldest, and most famous, in algebraic geometry.
THEOREM 6.34. Let C and D be curves in P
2
of degrees m and n respectively. If C and
D have no irreducible component in common, then they intersect in exactly mn points,
counted with appropriate multiplicities.
PROOF. Decompose C and D into their irreducible components. Clearly it suffices to
prove the theorem for each irreducible component of C and each irreducible component of
D. We can therefore assume that C and D are themselves irreducible.
We know from (2.26) that C ¨ D is of dimension zero, and so is finite. After a change
of variables, we can assume that a = 0 for all points (a : b : c) ÷ C ¨ D.
Let J(X. Y. 7) and G(X. Y. 7) be the polynomials defining C and D, and write
J = s
0
7
n
÷s
1
7
n-1
÷ ÷s
n
. G = t
0
7
n
÷t
1
7
n-1
÷ ÷t
n
with s
i
and t
}
polynomials in X and Y of degrees i and ; respectively. Clearly s
n
= 0 =
t
n
, for otherwise J and G would have 7 as a common factor. Let 1 be the resultant of
J and G, regarded as polynomials in 7. It is a homogeneous polynomial of degree mn
in X and Y , or else it is identically zero. If the latter occurs, then for every (a. b) ÷ k
2
,
J(a. b. 7) and G(a. b. 7) have a common zero, which contradicts the finiteness of C ¨D.
Thus 1 is a nonzero polynomial of degree mn. Write 1(X. Y ) = X
nn
1
+
(
Y
A
) where
1
+
(T ) is a polynomial of degree _ mn in T =
Y
A
.
Suppose first that deg 1
+
= mn, and let ˛
1
. . . . . ˛
nn
be the roots of 1
+
(some of them
may be multiple). Each such root can be written ˛
i
=
b
i
o
i
, and 1(a
i
. b
i
) = 0. According to
(7.12) this means that the polynomials J(a
i
. b
i
. 7) and G(a
i
. b
i
. 7) have a common root
c
i
. Thus (a
i
: b
i
: c
i
) is a point on C ¨D, and conversely, if (a : b : c) is a point on C ¨D
(so a = 0), then
b
o
is a root of 1
+
(T ). Thus we see in this case, that C ¨ D has precisely
mn points, provided we take the multiplicity of (a : b : c) to be the multiplicity of
b
o
as a
root of 1
+
.
Now suppose that 1
+
has degree r < mn. Then 1(X. Y ) = X
nn-i
1(X. Y ) where
1(X. Y ) is a homogeneous polynomial of degree r not divisible by X. Obviously 1(0. 1) =
0, and so there is a point (0 : 1 : c) in C ¨ D, in contradiction with our assumption.
2
REMARK 6.35. The above proof has the defect that the notion of multiplicity has been too
obviously chosen to make the theoremcome out right. It is possible to showthat the theorem
holds with the following more natural definition of multiplicity. Let 1 be an isolated point
of C ¨ D. There will be an affine neighbourhood U of 1 and regular functions } and g
on U such that C ¨ U = V(} ) and D ¨ U = V(g). We can regard } and g as elements
of the local ring O
1
, and clearly rad(}. g) = m, the maximal ideal in O
1
. It follows that
O
1
¡(}. g) is finite-dimensional over k, and we define the multiplicity of 1 in C ¨ D to
be dim
k
(O
1
¡(}. g)). For example, if C and D cross transversely at 1, then } and g will
form a system of local parameters at 1 — (}. g) = m — and so the multiplicity is one.
The attempt to find good notions of multiplicities in very general situations motivated
much of the most interesting work in commutative algebra in the second half of the twenti-
eth century.
HILBERT POLYNOMIALS (SKETCH) 121
Hilbert polynomials (sketch)
Recall that for a projective variety V c P
n
,
k
hom
ŒV | = kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|¡b = kŒ.
0
. . . . . .
n
|.
where b = 1(V ). We observed that b is homogeneous, and therefore k
hom
ŒV | is a graded
ring:
k
hom
ŒV | =

n_0
k
hom
ŒV |
n
.
where k
hom
ŒV |
n
is the subspace generated by the monomials in the .
i
of degree m. Clearly
k
hom
ŒV |
n
is a finite-dimensional k-vector space.
THEOREM 6.36. There is a unique polynomial 1(V. T ) such that 1(V. m) = dim
k
kŒV |
n
for all m sufficiently large.
PROOF. Omitted.
2
EXAMPLE 6.37. For V = P
n
, k
hom
ŒV | = kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|, and (see the footnote on page
112), dimk
hom
ŒV |
n
=

n÷n
n

=
(n÷n)···(n÷1)

, and so
1(P
n
. T ) =

T÷n
n

=
(T ÷n) (T ÷1)

.
The polynomial 1(V. T ) in the theorem is called the Hilbert polynomial of V . Despite
the notation, it depends not just on V but also on its embedding in projective space.
THEOREM 6.38. Let V be a projective variety of dimension J and degree ı; then
1(V. T ) =
ı

T
d
÷terms of lower degree.
PROOF. Omitted.
2
The degree of a projective variety is the number of points in the intersection of the
variety and of a general linear variety of complementary dimension (see later).
EXAMPLE 6.39. Let V be the image of the Veronese map
(a
0
: a
1
) ÷(a
d
0
: a
d-1
0
a
1
: . . . : a
d
1
): P
1
÷P
d
.
Then k
hom
ŒV |
n
can be identified with the set of homogeneous polynomials of degree m J
in two variables (look at the map A
2
÷ A
d÷1
given by the same equations), which is a
space of dimension Jm÷1, and so
1(V. T ) = JT ÷1.
Thus V has dimension 1 (which we certainly knew) and degree J.
Macaulay knows how to compute Hilbert polynomials.
References: Hartshorne 1977, I.7; Atiyah and Macdonald 1969, Chapter 11; Harris
1992, Lecture 13.
122 CHAPTER 6. PROJECTIVE VARIETIES
Exercises
6-1. Show that a point 1 on a projective curve J(X. Y. 7) = 0 is singular if and only if
dJ¡dX, dJ¡dY , and dJ¡d7 are all zero at 1. If 1 is nonsingular, show that the tangent
line at 1 has the (homogeneous) equation
(dJ¡dX)
1
X ÷(dJ¡dY )
1
Y ÷(dJ¡d7)
1
7 = 0.
Verify that Y
2
7 = X
3
÷aX7
2
÷b7
3
is nonsingular if X
3
÷aX ÷b has no repeated
root, and find the tangent line at the point at infinity on the curve.
6-2. Let 1be a line in P
2
and let C be a nonsingular conic in P
2
(i.e., a curve in P
2
defined
by a homogeneous polynomial of degree 2). Show that either
(a) 1 intersects C in exactly 2 points, or
(b) 1 intersects C in exactly 1 point, and it is the tangent at that point.
6-3. Let V = V(Y ÷ X
2
. 7 ÷ X
3
) c A
3
. Prove
(a) 1(V ) = (Y ÷ X
2
. 7 ÷ X
3
).
(b) 7W ÷ XY ÷ 1(V )
+
c kŒW. X. Y. 7|, but 7W ÷ XY … ((Y ÷ X
2
)
+
. (7 ÷ X
3
)
+
).
(Thus, if J
1
. . . . . J
i
generate a, it does not follow that J
+
1
. . . . . J
+
i
generate a
+
, even
if a
+
is radical.)
6-4. Let 1
0
. . . . . 1
i
be points in P
n
. Show that there is a hyperplane H in P
n
passing
through 1
0
but not passing through any of 1
1
. . . . . 1
i
.
6-5. Is the subset
{(a : b : c) [ a = 0. b = 0] L {(1 : 0 : 0)]
of P
2
locally closed?
6-6. Show that the image of the Segre map P
n
× P
n
÷ P
nn÷n÷n
(see 6.23) is not
contained in any hyperplane of P
nn÷n÷n
.
Chapter 7
Complete varieties
Throughout this chapter, k is an algebraically closed field.
Definition and basic properties
Complete varieties are the analogues in the category of algebraic varieties of compact topo-
logical spaces in the category of Hausdorff topological spaces. Recall that the image of a
compact space under a continuous map is compact, and hence is closed if the image space
is Hausdorff. Moreover, a Hausdorff space V is compact if and only if, for all topological
spaces W, the projection q: V ×W ÷W is closed, i.e., maps closed sets to closed sets (see
Bourbaki, N., General Topology, I, 10.2, Corollary 1 to Theorem 1).
DEFINITION 7.1. An algebraic variety V is said to be complete if for all algebraic varieties
W, the projection q: V × W ÷W is closed.
Note that a complete variety is required to be separated — we really mean it to be a
variety and not a prevariety.
EXAMPLE 7.2. Consider the projection
(.. .) ÷.: A
1
× A
1
÷A
1
This is not closed; for example, the variety V : XY = 1 is closed in A
2
but its image in A
1
omits the origin. However, if we replace V with its closure in P
1
× A
1
, then its projection
is the whole of A
1
.
PROPOSITION 7.3. Let V be a complete variety.
(a) A closed subvariety of V is complete.
(b) If V
t
is complete, so also is V × V
t
.
(c) For any morphism c: V ÷ W, c(V ) is closed and complete; in particular, if V is a
subvariety of W, then it is closed in W.
(d) If V is connected, then any regular map c: V ÷P
1
is either constant or onto.
(e) If V is connected, then any regular function on V is constant.
123
124 CHAPTER 7. COMPLETE VARIETIES
PROOF. (a) Let 7 be a closed subvariety of a complete variety V . Then for any variety W,
7 × W is closed in V × W, and so the restriction of the closed map q: V × W ÷ W to
7 × W is also closed.
(b) The projection V × V
t
× W

W is the composite of the projections
V × V
t
× W

V
t
× W

W.
both of which are closed.
(c) Let 1
c
= {(·. c(·))] c V × W be the graph of c. It is a closed subset of V × W
(because W is a variety, see 4.26), and c(V ) is the projection of 1
c
into W. Since V is
complete, the projection is closed, and so c(V ) is closed, and hence is a subvariety of W
(see p64). Consider
1
c
× W ÷c(V ) × W ÷W.
The variety 1
c
, being isomorphic to V (see 4.26), is complete, and so the mapping 1
c
×
W ÷ W is closed. As 1
c
÷ c(V ) is surjective, it follows that c(V ) × W ÷ W is also
closed.
(d) Recall that the only proper closed subsets of P
1
are the finite sets, and such a set is
connected if and only if it consists of a single point. Because c(V ) is connected and closed,
it must either be a single point (and c is constant) or P
1
(and c is onto).
(e) A regular function on V is a regular map } : V ÷A
1
c P
1
, which (d) shows to be
constant.
2
COROLLARY 7.4. A variety is complete if and only if its irreducible components are com-
plete.
PROOF. It follows from (a) that the irreducible components of a complete variety are com-
plete. Conversely, let V be a variety whose irreducible components V
i
are complete. If 7
is closed in V × W, then 7
i
=
df
7 ¨ (V
i
× W) is closed in V
i
× W. Therefore, q(7
i
) is
closed in W, and so q(7) =

q(7
i
) is also closed.
2
COROLLARY 7.5. A regular map c: V ÷ W from a complete connected variety to an
affine variety has image equal to a point. In particular, any complete connected affine
variety is a point.
PROOF. Embed W as a closed subvariety of A
n
, and write c = (c
1
. . . . . c
n
) where c
i
is the composite of c with the coordinate function A
n
÷ A
1
. Then each c
i
is a regular
function on V , and hence is constant. (Alternatively, apply the remark following 4.11.)
This proves the first statement, and the second follows from the first applied to the identity
map.
2
REMARK 7.6. (a) The statement that a complete variety V is closed in any larger variety
W perhaps explains the name: if V is complete, W is irreducible, and dimV = dimW,
then V = W — contrast A
n
c P
n
.
(b) Here is another criterion: a variety V is complete if and only if every regular map
C {1] ÷V extends to a regular map C ÷V ; here 1 is a nonsingular point on a curve
C. Intuitively, this says that Cauchy sequences have limits in V .
PROJECTIVE VARIETIES ARE COMPLETE 125
Projective varieties are complete
THEOREM 7.7. A projective variety is complete.
Before giving the proof, we shall need two lemmas.
LEMMA 7.8. A variety V is complete if q: V × W ÷ W is a closed mapping for all
irreducible affine varieties W (or even all affine spaces A
n
).
PROOF. Write W as a finite union of open subvarieties W =

W
i
. If 7 is closed in
V × W, then 7
i
=
df
7 ¨(V × W
i
) is closed in V × W
i
. Therefore, q(7
i
) is closed in W
i
for all i . As q(7
i
) = q(7) ¨ W
i
, this shows that q(7) is closed.
2
After (7.3a), it suffices to prove the Theorem for projective space P
n
itself; thus we
have to prove that the projection P
n
×W ÷W is a closed mapping in the case that W is an
irreducible affine variety. We shall need to understand the topology on W × P
n
in terms of
ideals. Let · = kŒW|, and let T = ·ŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|. Note that T = · ˝
k
kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|,
and so we can view it as the ring of regular functions on W × A
n÷1
: for } ÷ · and
g ÷ kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|, } ˝g is the function
(n. a) ÷}(n) g(a): W × A
n÷1
÷k.
The ring T has an obvious grading — a monomial aX
i
0
0
. . . X
i
n
n
, a ÷ ·, has degree
¸
i
}
— and so we have the notion of a homogeneous ideal b c T. It makes sense to speak of
the zero set V(b) c W × P
n
of such an ideal. For any ideal a c ·, aT is homogeneous,
and V(aT) = V(a) × P
n
.
LEMMA 7.9. (a) For each homogeneous ideal b c T, the set V(b) is closed, and every
closed subset of W × P
n
is of this form.
(b) The set V(b) is empty if and only if rad(b) ¯ (X
0
. . . . . X
n
).
(c) If W is irreducible, then W = V(b) for some homogeneous prime ideal b.
PROOF. In the case that · = k, we proved this in (6.1) and (6.2), and similar arguments
apply in the present more general situation. For example, to see that V(b) is closed, cover
P
n
with the standard open affines U
i
and show that V(b) ¨ U
i
is closed for all i .
The set V(b) is empty if and only if the cone V
aff
(b) c W × A
n÷1
defined by b is
contained in W × {origin]. But
¸
a
i
0
...i
n
X
i
0
0
. . . X
i
n
n
. a
i
0
...i
n
÷ kŒW|.
is zero on W × {origin] if and only if its constant term is zero, and so
1
aff
(W × {origin]) = (X
0
. X
1
. . . . . X
n
).
Thus, the Nullstellensatz shows that V(b) = 0 = rad(b) = (X
0
. . . . . X
n
). Conversely, if
X
1
i
÷ b for all i , then obviously V(b) is empty.
For (c), note that if V(b) is irreducible, then the closure of its inverse image in W×A
n÷1
is also irreducible, and so 1V(b) is prime.
2
126 CHAPTER 7. COMPLETE VARIETIES
PROOF (OF 7.7). Write ] for the projection W ×P
n
÷W. We have to show that 7 closed
in W × P
n
implies ](7) closed in W. If 7 is empty, this is true, and so we can assume it
to be nonempty. Then 7 is a finite union of irreducible closed subsets 7
i
of W ×P
n
, and it
suffices to show that each ](7
i
) is closed. Thus we may assume that 7 is irreducible, and
hence that 7 = V(b) with b a homogeneous prime ideal in T = ·ŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|.
If ](7) is contained in some closed subvariety W
t
of W, then 7 is contained in W
t
×
P
n
, and we can replace W with W
t
. This allows us to assume that ](7) is dense in W, and
we now have to show that ](7) = W.
Because ](7) is dense in W, the image of the cone V
aff
(b) under the projection W ×
A
n÷1

W is also dense in W, and so (see 3.22a) the map ·

T¡b is injective.
Let n ÷ W: we shall show that if n … ](7), i.e., if there does not exist a 1 ÷ P
n
such
that (n. 1) ÷ 7, then ](7) is empty, which is a contradiction.
Let m c · be the maximal ideal corresponding to n. Then mT ÷b is a homogeneous
ideal, and V(mT ÷b) = V(mT) ¨V(b) = (n×P
n
) ¨V(b), and so n will be in the image
of 7 unless V(mT ÷ b) = 0. But if V(mT ÷ b) = 0, then mT ÷ b ¯ (X
0
. . . . . X
n
)
1
for some N (by 7.9b), and so mT ÷b contains the set T
1
of homogeneous polynomials of
degree N. Because mT and b are homogeneous ideals,
T
1
c mT ÷b == T
1
= mT
1
÷T
1
¨ b.
In detail: the first inclusion says that an } ÷ T
1
can be written } = g÷h with g ÷ mT and
h ÷ b. On equating homogeneous components, we find that }
1
= g
1
÷h
1
. Moreover:
}
1
= } ; if g =
¸
m
i
b
i
, m
i
÷ m, b
i
÷ T, then g
1
=
¸
m
i
b
i1
; and h
1
÷ b because b
is homogeneous. Together these show } ÷ mT
1
÷T
1
¨ b.
Let M = T
1
¡T
1
¨ b, regarded as an ·-module. The displayed equation says that
M = mM. The argument in the proof of Nakayama’s lemma (1.3) shows that (1÷m)M =
0 for some m ÷ m. Because · ÷ T¡b is injective, the image of 1 ÷m in T¡b is nonzero.
But M = T
1
¡T
1
¨ b c T¡b, which is an integral domain, and so the equation (1 ÷
m)M = 0 implies that M = 0. Hence T
1
c b, and so X
1
i
÷ b for all i , which contradicts
the assumption that 7 = V(b) is nonempty.
2
REMARK 7.10. In Example 6.19 above, we showed that every finite set of points in a
projective variety is contained in an open affine subvariety. There is a partial converse to
this statement: let V be a nonsingular complete irreducible variety; if every finite set of
points in V is contained in an open affine subset of V then V is projective. (Conjecture of
Chevalley; proved by Kleiman.
1
)
Elimination theory
We have shown that, for any closed subset 7 of P
n
×W, the projection q(7) of 7 in W is
closed. Elimination theory
2
is concerned with providing an algorithm for passing from the
equations defining 7 to the equations defining q(7). We illustrate this in one case.
1
Kleiman, Steven L., Toward a numerical theory of ampleness. Ann. of Math. (2) 84 1966 293–344.
See also,
Hartshorne, Robin, Ample subvarieties of algebraic varieties. Lecture Notes in Mathematics, Vol. 156 Springer,
1970, I :9 p45.
2
Elimination theory became unfashionable several decades ago—one prominent algebraic geometer went
so far as to announce that Theorem 7.7 eliminated elimination theory from mathematics, provoking Abhyankar,
who prefers equations to abstractions, to start the chant “eliminate the eliminators of elimination theory”. With
the rise of computers, it has become fashionable again.
ELIMINATION THEORY 127
Let 1 = s
0
X
n
÷ s
1
X
n-1
÷ ÷ s
n
and O = t
0
X
n
÷ t
1
X
n-1
÷ ÷ t
n
be
polynomials. The resultant of 1 and O is defined to be the determinant
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
s
0
s
1
. . . s
n
s
0
. . . s
n
. . . . . .
t
0
t
1
. . . t
n
t
0
. . . t
n
. . . . . .
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
n-rows
m-rows
There are n rows of s’s and m rows of t ’s, so that the matrix is (m÷n) ×(m÷n); all blank
spaces are to be filled with zeros. The resultant is a polynomial in the coefficients of 1 and
O.
PROPOSITION 7.11. The resultant Res(1. O) = 0 if and only if
(a) both s
0
and t
0
are zero; or
(b) the two polynomials have a common root.
PROOF. If (a) holds, then Res(1. O) = 0 because the first column is zero. Suppose that ˛
is a common root of 1 and O, so that there exist polynomials 1
1
and O
1
of degrees m÷1
and n ÷ 1 respectively such that
1(X) = (X ÷ ˛)1
1
(X). O(X) = (X ÷ ˛)O
1
(X).
Using these equalities, we find that
1(X)O
1
(X) ÷ O(X)1
1
(X) = 0. (19)
On equating the coefficients of X
n÷n-1
. . . . . X. 1 in (19) to zero, we find that the coef-
ficients of 1
1
and O
1
are the solutions of a system of m ÷ n linear equations in m ÷ n
unknowns. The matrix of coefficients of the system is the transpose of the matrix

¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
s
0
s
1
. . . s
n
s
0
. . . s
n
. . . . . .
t
0
t
1
. . . t
n
t
0
. . . t
n
. . . . . .

The existence of the solution shows that this matrix has determinant zero, which implies
that Res(1. O) = 0.
Conversely, suppose that Res(1. O) = 0 but neither s
0
nor t
0
is zero. Because the
above matrix has determinant zero, we can solve the linear equations to find polynomials
1
1
and O
1
satisfying (19). A root ˛ of 1 must be also be a root of 1
1
or of O. If the
former, cancel X ÷˛ from the left hand side of (19), and consider a root ˇ of 1
1
¡(X ÷˛).
As deg 1
1
< deg 1, this argument eventually leads to a root of 1 that is not a root of 1
1
,
and so must be a root of O.
2
The proposition can be restated in projective terms. We define the resultant of two
homogeneous polynomials
1(X. Y ) = s
0
X
n
÷s
1
X
n-1
Y ÷ ÷s
n
Y
n
. O(X. Y ) = t
0
X
n
÷ ÷t
n
Y
n
.
exactly as in the nonhomogeneous case.
128 CHAPTER 7. COMPLETE VARIETIES
PROPOSITION 7.12. The resultant Res(1. O) = 0 if and only if 1 and O have a common
zero in P
1
.
PROOF. The zeros of 1(X. Y ) in P
1
are of the form:
(a) (1 : 0) in the case that s
0
= 0;
(b) (a : 1) with a a root of 1(X. 1).
Since a similar statement is true for O(X. Y ), (7.12) is a restatement of (7.11).
2
Now regard the coefficients of 1 and O as indeterminates. The pairs of polynomials
(1. O) are parametrized by the space A
n÷1
× A
n÷1
= A
n÷n÷2
. Consider the closed
subset V(1. O) in A
n÷n÷2
× P
1
. The proposition shows that its projection on A
n÷n÷2
is the set defined by Res(1. O) = 0. Thus, not only have we shown that the projection
of V(1. O) is closed, but we have given an algorithm for passing from the polynomials
defining the closed set to those defining its projection.
Elimination theory does this in general. Given a family of polynomials
1
i
(T
1
. . . . . T
n
: X
0
. . . . . X
n
).
homogeneous in the X
i
, elimination theory gives an algorithm for finding polynomials
1
}
(T
1
. . . . . T
n
) such that the 1
i
(a
1
. . . . . a
n
: X
0
. . . . . X
n
) have a common zero if and only
if 1
}
(a
1
. . . . . a
n
) = 0 for all ; . (Theorem 7.7 shows only that the 1
}
exist.) See Cox et
al. 1992, Chapter 8, Section 5..
Maple can find the resultant of two polynomials in one variable: for example, entering
“resultant((. ÷a)
5
. (. ÷b)
5
. .)” gives the answer (÷a ÷b)
25
. Explanation: the polyno-
mials have a common root if and only if a = b, and this can happen in 25 ways. Macaulay
doesn’t seem to know how to do more.
The rigidity theorem
The paucity of maps between complete varieties has some interesting consequences. First
an observation: for any point n ÷ W, the projection map V × W ÷ V defines an isomor-
phism V × {n] ÷ V with inverse · ÷ (·. n): V ÷ V × W (this map is regular because
its components are).
THEOREM 7.13 (RIGIDITY THEOREM). Let c: V ×W ÷7 be a regular map, and assume
that V is complete, that V and W are irreducible, and that 7 is separated. If there exist
points ·
0
÷ V , n
0
÷ W, :
0
÷ 7 such that
c(V × {n
0
]) = {:
0
] = c({·
0
] × W),
then c(V × W) = {:
0
].
PROOF. Because V is complete, the projection map q: V × W ÷W is closed. Therefore,
for any open affine neighbourhood U of :
0
,
T = q(c
-1
(7 U))
THEOREMS OF CHOW 129
is closed in W. Note that
W T = {n ÷ W [ c(V. n) c U],
and so n
0
÷ W T . In particular, W T is nonempty, and so it is dense in W. As V ×{n]
is complete and U is affine, c(V × {n]) must be a point whenever n ÷ W T : in fact,
c(V. n) = c(·
0
. n) = {:
0
].
We have shown that c takes the constant value :
0
on the dense subset V × (W ÷ T ) of
V × W, and therefore on the whole of V × W.
2
In more colloquial terms, the theorem says that if c collapses a vertical and a horizontal
slice to a point, then it collapses the whole of V × W to a point, which must therefore be
“rigid”.
An abelian variety is a complete connected group variety.
COROLLARY 7.14. Every regular map ˛: · ÷ T of abelian varieties is the composite
of a homomorphism with a translation; in particular, a regular map ˛: · ÷ T such that
˛(0) = 0 is a homomorphism.
PROOF. After composing ˛ with a translation, we may suppose that ˛(0) = 0. Consider
the map
c: · × · ÷T. c(a. a
t
) = ˛(a ÷a
t
) ÷ ˛(a) ÷ ˛(a
t
).
Then c(· × 0) = 0 = c(0 × ·) and so c = 0. This means that ˛ is a homomorphism.
2
COROLLARY 7.15. The group law on an abelian variety is commutative.
PROOF. Commutative groups are distinguished among all groups by the fact that the map
taking an element to its inverse is a homomorphism: if (gh)
-1
= g
-1
h
-1
, then, on taking
inverses, we find that gh = hg. Since the negative map, a ÷ ÷a: · ÷ ·, takes the
identity element to itself, the preceding corollary shows that it is a homomorphism.
2
Theorems of Chow
THEOREM 7.16. For every algebraic variety V , there exists a projective algebraic variety
W and a regular map c from an open dense subset U of W to V whose graph is closed in
V × W; the set U = W if and only if V is complete.
PROOF. To be added.
2
See:
Chow, W-L., On the projective embedding of homogeneous varieties, Lef-
schetz’s volume, Princeton 1956.
Serre, Jean-Pierre. G´ eom´ etrie alg´ ebrique et g´ eom´ etrie analytique. Ann. Inst.
Fourier, Grenoble 6 (1955–1956), 1–42 (p12).
130 CHAPTER 7. COMPLETE VARIETIES
THEOREM 7.17. For any complete algebraic variety V , there exists a projective algebraic
variety W and a surjective birational map W ÷V .
PROOF. To be added. (See Mumford 1999, p60.)
2
Theorem 7.17 is usually known as Chow’s Lemma.
Nagata’s Embedding Theorem
A necessary condition for a prevariety to be an open subvariety of a complete variety is that
it be separated. A theorem of Nagata says that this condition is also sufficient.
THEOREM 7.18. For every variety V , there exists an open immersion V ÷ W with W
complete.
PROOF. To be added.
2
See:
Nagata, Masayoshi. Imbedding of an abstract variety in a complete variety. J. Math.
Kyoto Univ. 2 1962 1–10.
Nagata, Masayoshi. A generalization of the imbedding problem of an abstract variety
in a complete variety. J. Math. Kyoto Univ. 3 1963 89–102.
L¨ utkebohmert, W. On compactification of schemes. Manuscripta Math. 80 (1993), no.
1, 95–111.
Deligne, P., Le th´ eor` eme de plongement de Nagata, personal notes.
Conrad, B., Deligne’s notes on Nagata compactifications, 1997, 26pp, http://www.
math.lsa.umich.edu/
~
bdconrad/.
Exercises
7-1. Identify the set of polynomials J(X. Y ) =
¸
a
i}
X
i
Y
}
, 0 _ i. ; _ m, with an affine
space. Show that the subset of reducible polynomials is closed.
7-2. Let V and W be complete irreducible varieties, and let · be an abelian variety. Let
1 and O be points of V and W. Show that any regular map h: V × W ÷ · such that
h(1. O) = 0 can be written h = } ı ] ÷ g ı q where } : V ÷ · and g: W ÷ · are
regular maps carrying 1 and O to 0 and ] and q are the projections V × W ÷V. W.
Chapter 8
Finite Maps
Throughout this chapter, k is an algebraically closed field.
Definition and basic properties
Recall that an ·-algebra T is said to be finite if it is finitely generated as an ·-module. This
is equivalent to T being finitely generated as an ·-algebra and integral over ·. Recall also
that a variety V is affine if and only if 1(V. O
V
) is an affine k-algebra and the canonical
map (V. O
V
) ÷Spm(1(V. O
V
)) is an isomorphism (3.13).
DEFINITION 8.1. A regular map c: W ÷V is said to be finite if for all open affine subsets
U of V , c
-1
(U) is an affine variety and kŒc
-1
(U)| is a finite kŒU|-algebra.
For example, suppose W and V are affine and kŒW| is a finite kŒV |-algebra. Then c is
finite because, for any open affine U in V , c
-1
(U) is affine with
kŒc
-1
(U)| . kŒW| ˝
kŒV ]
kŒU| (20)
(see 4.29, 4.30); in particular, the canonical map
c
-1
(U) ÷Spm(1(c
-1
(U). O
W
) (21)
is an isomorphism.
PROPOSITION 8.2. It suffices to check the condition in the definition for all subsets in one
open affine covering of V .
Unfortunately, this is not as obvious as it looks. We first need a lemma.
LEMMA 8.3. Let c: W ÷ V be a regular map with V affine, and let U be an open affine
in V . There is a canonical isomorphism of k-algebras
1(W. O
W
) ˝
kŒV ]
kŒU| ÷1(c
-1
(U). O
W
).
PROOF. Let U
t
= c
-1
(U). The map is defined by the kŒV |-bilinear pairing
(}. g) ÷(} [
U
0 . g ı c[
U
0 ): 1(W. O
W
) × kŒU| ÷1(U
t
. O
W
).
131
132 CHAPTER 8. FINITE MAPS
When W is also affine, it is the isomorphism (20).
Let W =

W
i
be a finite open affine covering of W, and consider the commutative
diagram:
0 ÷ 1(W. O
W
) ˝
kŒV ]
kŒU| ÷
¸
i
1(W
i
. O
W
) ˝
kŒV ]
kŒU| ⇒
¸
i,}
1(W
i}
. O
W
) ˝
kŒV ]
kŒU|
¡ ¡ ¡
0 ÷ 1(U
t
. O
W
) ÷
¸
i
1(U
t
¨ W
i
. O
W
) ⇒
¸
i,}
1(U ¨ W
i}
. O
W
)
Here W
i}
= W
i
¨ W
}
. The bottom row is exact because O
W
is a sheaf, and the top row
is exact because O
W
is a sheaf and kŒU| is flat over kŒV | (see Section 1)
1
. The varieties
W
i
and W
i
¨ W
}
are all affine, and so the two vertical arrows at right are products of
isomorphisms (20). This implies that the first is also an isomorphism.
2
PROOF (OF THE PROPOSITION). Let V
i
be an open affine covering of V (which we may
suppose to be finite) such that W
i
=
def
c
-1
(V
i
) is an affine subvariety of W for all i and
kŒW
i
| is a finite kŒV
i
|-algebra. Let U be an open affine in V , and let U
t
= c
-1
(U). Then
1(U
t
. O
W
) is a subalgebra of
¸
i
1(U
t
¨ W
i
. O
W
), and so it is an affine k-algebra finite
over kŒU|.
2
We have a morphism of varieties over V
U
t
V

?
?
?
?
?
?
?
?
?
?
?
?
U
t
Spm(1(U
t
. O
W
))
can

Spm(1(U
t
. O
W
))
V
·











(22)
which we shall show to be an isomorphism. We know (see (21)) that each of the maps
U
t
¨ W
i
÷Spm(1(U
t
¨ W
i
. O
W
))
is an isomorphism. But (8.2) shows that Spm(1(U
t
¨ W
i
. O
W
)) is the inverse image of
V
i
in Spm(1(U
t
. O
W
)). Therefore can is an isomorphism over each V
i
, and so it is an
isomorphism.
2
PROPOSITION 8.4. (a) For any closed subvariety 7 of V , the inclusion 7 ·÷ V is
finite.
(b) The composite of two finite morphisms is finite.
(c) The product of two finite morphisms is finite.
PROOF. (a) Let U be an open affine subvariety of V . Then 7¨U is a closed subvariety of
U. It is therefore affine, and the map 7 ¨ U

U corresponds to a map ·

·¡a of
rings, which is obviously finite.
1
A sequence 0 ÷M
t
÷M ÷M
tt
is exact if and only if 0 ÷·
m
˝
¹
M
t
÷·
m
˝
¹
M ÷·
m
˝
¹
M
tt
is exact for all maximal ideals m of ·. This implies the claim because kŒU|
m
P
. O
U,1
. O
V,1
. kŒV |
m
P
for all 1 ÷ U.
2
Recall that a module over a noetherian ring is noetherian if and only if it is finitely generated, and that
a submodule of a noetherian module is noetherian. Therefore, a submodule of a finitely generated module is
finitely generated.
DEFINITION AND BASIC PROPERTIES 133
(b) If T is a finite ·-algebra and C is a finite T-algebra, then C is a finite ·-algebra.
To see this, note that if {b
i
] is a set of generators for T as an ·-module, and {c
}
] is a set of
generators for C as a T-module, then {b
i
c
}
] is a set of generators for C as an ·-module.
(c) If T and T
t
are respectively finite · and ·
t
-algebras, then T ˝
k
T
t
is a finite
· ˝
k
·
t
-algebra. To see this, note that if {b
i
] is a set of generators for T as an ·-module,
and {b
t
}
] is a set of generators for T
t
as an ·-module, the {b
i
˝b
t
}
] is a set of generators
for T ˝
¹
T
t
as an ·-module.
2
By way of contrast, an open immersion is rarely finite. For example, the inclusion
A
1
÷{0] ·÷A
1
is not finite because the ring kŒT. T
-1
| is not finitely generated as a kŒT |-
module (any finitely generated kŒT |-submodule of kŒT. T
-1
| is contained in T
-n
kŒT | for
some n).
The fibres of a regular map c: W ÷ V are the subvarieties c
-1
(1) of W for 1 ÷ V .
When the fibres are all finite, c is said to be quasi-finite.
PROPOSITION 8.5. A finite map c: W ÷V is quasi-finite.
PROOF. Let 1 ÷ V ; we wish to show c
-1
(1) is finite. After replacing V with an affine
neighbourhood of 1, we can suppose that it is affine, and then W will be affine also. The
map c then corresponds to a map ˛: · ÷ T of affine k-algebras, and a point O of W
maps to 1 if and only ˛
-1
(m
O
) = m
1
. But this holds if and only if m
O
¯ ˛(m
1
),
and so the points of W mapping to 1 are in one-to-one correspondence with the maximal
ideals of T¡˛(m)T. Clearly T¡˛(m)T is generated as a k-vector space by the image of
any generating set for T as an ·-module, and the next lemma shows that it has only finitely
many maximal ideals.
2
LEMMA 8.6. A finite k-algebra · has only finitely many maximal ideals.
PROOF. Let m
1
. . . . . m
n
be maximal ideals in ·. They are obviously coprime in pairs, and
so the Chinese Remainder Theorem (1.1) shows that the map
· ÷·¡m
1
× × ·¡m
n
. a ÷(. . . . a
i
mod m
i
. . . .).
is surjective. It follows that dim
k
· _
¸
dim
k
(·¡m
i
) _ n (dimensions as k-vector
spaces).
2
THEOREM 8.7. A finite map c: W ÷V is closed.
PROOF. Again we can assume V and W to be affine. Let 7 be a closed subset of W. The
restriction of c to 7 is finite (by 8.4a and b), and so we can replace W with 7; we then
have to show that Im(c) is closed. The map corresponds to a finite map of rings · ÷ T.
This will factors as · ÷·¡a ·÷T, from which we obtain maps
Spm(T) ÷Spm(·¡a) ·÷Spm(·).
The second map identifies Spm(·¡a) with the closed subvariety V(a) of Spm(·), and so it
remains to show that the first map is surjective. This is a consequence of the next lemma.
2
LEMMA 8.8 (GOING-UP THEOREM). Let · c T be rings with T integral over ·.
134 CHAPTER 8. FINITE MAPS
(a) For every prime ideal p of ·, there is a prime ideal q of T such that q ¨ · = p.
(b) Let p = q ¨ ·; then p is maximal if and only if q is maximal.
PROOF. (a) If S is a multiplicative subset of a ring ·, then the prime ideals of S
-1
·
are in one-to-one correspondence with the prime ideals of · not meeting S (see 1.30). It
therefore suffices to prove (a) after ·and T have been replaced by S
-1
·and S
-1
T, where
S = · ÷ p. Thus we may assume that · is local, and that p is its unique maximal ideal. In
this case, for all proper ideals b of T, b ¨ · c p (otherwise b ¯ · ÷ 1). To complete the
proof of (a), I shall show that for all maximal ideals n of T, n ¨ · = p.
Consider T¡n ¯ ·¡(n ¨ ·). Here T¡n is a field, which is integral over its subring
·¡(n ¨ ·), and n ¨ · will be equal to p if and only if ·¡(n ¨ ·) is a field. This follows
from Lemma 8.9 below.
(b) The ring T¡q contains ·¡p, and it is integral over ·¡p. If q is maximal, then
Lemma 8.9 shows that p is also. For the converse, note that any integral domain integral
over a field is a field because it is a union of integral domains finite over the field, which
are automatically fields (left multiplication by an element is injective, and hence surjective,
being a linear map of a finite-dimensional vector space).
2
LEMMA 8.9. Let · be a subring of a field 1. If 1 is integral over ·, then · is also a field.
PROOF. Let a be a nonzero element of ·. Then a
-1
÷ 1, and it is integral over ·:
(a
-1
)
n
÷a
1
(a
-1
)
n-1
÷ ÷a
n
= 0. a
i
÷ ·.
On multiplying through by a
n-1
, we find that
a
-1
÷a
1
÷ ÷a
n
a
n-1
= 0.
from which it follows that a
-1
÷ ·.
2
COROLLARY 8.10. Let c: W ÷V be finite; if V is complete, then so also is W.
PROOF. Consider
W × T

V × T

T. (n. t ) ÷(c(n). t ) ÷t.
Because W × T

V × T is finite (see 8.4c), it is closed, and because V is complete,
V ×T

T is closed. A composite of closed maps is closed, and therefore the projection
W × T

T is closed.
2
EXAMPLE 8.11. (a) Project XY = 1 onto the X axis. This map is quasi-finite but not
finite, because kŒX. X
-1
| is not finite over kŒX|.
(b) The map A
2
÷ {origin] ·÷ A
2
is quasi-finite but not finite, because the inverse
image of A
2
is not affine (3.21).
(c) Let
V = V(X
n
÷T
1
X
n-1
÷ ÷T
n
) c A
n÷1
.
and consider the projection map
(a
1
. . . . . a
n
. .) ÷(a
1
. . . . . a
n
): V ÷A
n
.
NOETHER NORMALIZATION THEOREM 135
The fibre over any point (a
1
. . . . . a
n
) ÷ A
n
is the set of solutions of
X
n
÷a
1
X
n-1
÷ ÷a
n
= 0.
and so it has exactly n points, counted with multiplicities. The map is certainly quasi-finite;
it is also finite because it corresponds to the finite map of k-algebras,
kŒT
1
. . . . . T
n
| ÷kŒT
1
. . . . . T
n
. X|¡(X
n
÷T
1
X
n-1
÷ ÷T
n
).
(d) Let
V = V(T
0
X
n
÷T
1
X
n-1
÷ ÷T
n
) c A
n÷2
.
The projection
(a
0
. . . . . a
n
. .) ÷(a
1
. . . . . a
n
): V
c
÷÷A
n÷1
has finite fibres except for the fibre above o = (0. . . . . 0), which is A
1
. The restriction
c[V c
-1
(o) is quasi-finite, but not finite. Above points of the form (0. . . . . 0. +. . . . . +)
some of the roots “vanish off to o”. (Example (a) is a special case of this.)
(e) Let
1(X. Y ) = T
0
X
n
÷T
1
X
n-1
Y ÷... ÷T
n
Y
n
.
and let V be its zero set in P
1
× (A
n÷1
{o]). In this case, the projection map V ÷
A
n÷1
{o] is finite. (Prove this directly, or apply 8.24 below.)
(f) The morphism A
1

A
2
, t ÷ (t
2
. t
3
) is finite because the image of kŒX. Y | in
kŒT | is kŒT
2
. T
3
|, and {1. T ] is a set of generators for kŒT | over this subring.
(g) The morphism A
1

A
1
, a ÷a
n
is finite (special case of (c)).
(h) The obvious map
(A
1
with the origin doubled ) ÷A
1
is quasi-finite but not finite (the inverse image of A
1
is not affine).
The Frobenius map t ÷ t
;
: A
1
÷ A
1
in characteristic ] = 0 and the map t ÷
(t
2
. t
3
): A
1
÷ V(Y
2
÷ X
3
) c A
2
from the line to the cuspidal cubic (see 3.18c) are
examples of finite bijective regular maps that are not isomorphisms.
Noether Normalization Theorem
This theorem sometimes allows us to reduce the proofs of statements about affine varieties
to the case of A
n
.
THEOREM 8.12. For any irreducible affine algebraic variety V of a variety of dimension
J, there is a finite surjective map c: V ÷A
d
.
PROOF. This is a geometric re-statement of the following theorem.
2
THEOREM 8.13 (NOETHER NORMALIZATION THEOREM). Let · be a finitely generated
k-algebra, and assume that ·is an integral domain. Then there exist elements .
1
. . . . . .
d
÷
· that are algebraically independent over k and such that · is integral over kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
d
|.
136 CHAPTER 8. FINITE MAPS
PROOF. Let .
1
. . . . . .
n
generate · as a k-algebra. We can renumber the .
i
so that
.
1
. . . . . .
d
are algebraically independent and .
d÷1
. . . . . .
n
are algebraically dependent on
.
1
. . . . . .
d
(FT, 8.12).
Because .
n
is algebraically dependent on .
1
. . . . . .
d
, there exists a nonzero polynomial
}(X
1
. . . . . X
d
. T ) such that }(.
1
. . . . . .
d
. .
n
) = 0. Write
}(X
1
. . . . . X
d
. T ) = a
0
T
n
÷a
1
T
n-1
÷ ÷a
n
with a
i
÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
d
| (~ kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
d
|). If a
0
is a nonzero constant, we can divide
through by it, and then .
n
will satisfy a monic polynomial with coefficients in kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
d
|,
that is, .
n
will be integral (not merely algebraic) over kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
d
|. The next lemma sug-
gest how we might achieve this happy state by making a linear change of variables.
LEMMA 8.14. If J(X
1
. . . . . X
d
. T ) is a homogeneous polynomial of degree r, then
J(X
1
÷z
1
T. . . . . X
d
÷z
d
T. T ) = J(z
1
. . . . . z
d
. 1)T
i
÷terms of degree < r in T.
PROOF. The polynomial J(X
1
÷z
1
T. . . . . X
d
÷z
d
T. T ) is still homogeneous of degree
r (in X
1
. . . . . X
d
. T ), and the coefficient of the monomial T
i
in it can be obtained by
substituting 0 for each X
i
and 1 for T .
2
PROOF (OF THE NORMALIZATION THEOREM (CONTINUED)). Note that unless J(X
1
. . . . . X
d
. T )
is the zero polynomial, it will always be possible to choose (z
1
. . . . . z
d
) so that J(z
1
. . . . . z
d
. 1) =
0 — substituting T = 1 merely dehomogenizes the polynomial (no cancellation of terms
occurs), and a nonzero polynomial can’t be zero on all of k
n
(Exercise 1-1).
Let J be the homogeneous part of highest degree of } , and choose (z
1
. . . . . z
d
) so that
J(z
1
. . . . . z
d
. 1) = 0. The lemma then shows that
}(X
1
÷z
1
T. . . . . X
d
÷z
d
T. T ) = cT
i
÷b
1
T
i-1
÷ ÷b
0
.
with c = J(z
1
. . . . . z
d
. 1) ÷ k
×
, b
i
÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
d
|, deg b
i
< r. On substituting .
n
for
T and .
i
÷z
i
.
n
for X
i
we obtain an equation demonstrating that .
n
is integral over kŒ.
1
÷
z
1
.
n
. . . . . .
d
÷ z
d
.
n
|. Put .
t
i
= .
i
÷ z
i
.
n
, 1 _ i _ J. Then .
n
is integral over the ring
kŒ.
t
1
. . . . . .
t
d
|, and it follows that · is integral over ·
t
= kŒ.
t
1
. . . . . .
t
d
. .
d÷1
. . . . . .
n-1
|.
Repeat the process for ·
t
, and continue until the theorem is proved.
2
REMARK 8.15. The above proof uses only that k is infinite, not that it is algebraically
closed (that’s all one needs for a nonzero polynomial not to be zero on all of k
n
). There are
other proofs that work also for finite fields (see Mumford 1999, p2), but the above proof
gives us the additional information that the .
i
’s can be chosen to be linear combinations of
the .
i
. This has the following geometric interpretation:
let V be a closed subvariety of A
n
of dimension J; then there exists a linear
map A
n
÷A
d
whose restriction to V is a finite map V A
d
.
Zariski’s main theorem
An obvious way to construct a nonfinite quasi-finite map W ÷ V is to take a finite map
W
t
÷V and remove a closed subset of W
t
. Zariski’s Main Theorem shows that, when W
and V are separated, every quasi-finite map arises in this way.
ZARISKI’S MAIN THEOREM 137
THEOREM 8.16 (ZARISKI’S MAIN THEOREM). Any quasi-finite map of varieties c: W ÷
V factors into W
t
·÷W
t
c
0
÷V with c
t
finite and | an open immersion.
PROOF. Omitted — see the references below (138).
2
REMARK 8.17. Assume (for simplicity) that V and W are irreducible and affine. The
proof of the theorem provides the following description of the factorization: it corresponds
to the maps
kŒV | ÷kŒW
t
| ÷kŒW|
with kŒW
t
| the integral closure of kŒV | in kŒW|.
A regular map c: W ÷ V of irreducible varieties is said to be birational if it induces
an isomorphismk(V ) ÷k(W) on the fields of rational functions (that is, if it demonstrates
that W and V are birationally equivalent).
REMARK 8.18. One may ask how a birational regular map c: W ÷ V can fail to be an
isomorphism. Here are three examples.
(a) The inclusion of an open subset into a variety is birational.
(b) The map A
1

C, t ÷ (t
2
. t
3
), is birational. Here C is the cubic Y
2
= X
3
, and
the map kŒC|

kŒA
1
| = kŒT | identifies kŒC| with the subring kŒT
2
. T
3
| of kŒT |.
Both rings have k(T ) as their fields of fractions.
(c) For any smooth variety V and point 1 ÷ V , there is a regular birational map c: V
t
÷
V such that the restriction of c to V
t
÷ c
-1
(1) is an isomorphism onto V ÷ 1, but
c
-1
(1) is the projective space attached to the vector space T
1
(V ).
The next result says that, if we require the target variety to be normal (thereby excluding
example (b)), and we require the map to be quasi-finite (thereby excluding example (c)),
then we are left with (a).
COROLLARY 8.19. Let c: W ÷ V be a birational regular map of irreducible varieties.
Assume
(a) V is normal, and
(b) c is quasi-finite.
Then c is an isomorphism of W onto an open subset of V .
PROOF. Factor c as in the theorem. For each open affine subset U of V , kŒc
t-1
(U)| is the
integral closure of kŒU| in k(W). But k(W) = k(V ) (because c is birational), and kŒU|
is integrally closed in k(V ) (because V is normal), and so U = c
t-1
(U) (as varieties). It
follows that W
t
= V .
2
COROLLARY 8.20. Any quasi-finite regular map c: W ÷V with W complete is finite.
PROOF. In this case, |: W ·÷W
t
must be an isomorphism (7.3).
2
138 CHAPTER 8. FINITE MAPS
REMARK 8.21. Let W and V be irreducible varieties, and let c: W ÷V be a dominating
map. It induces a map k(V ) ·÷ k(W), and if dimW = dimV , then k(W) is a finite
extension of k(V ). We shall see later that, if n is the separable degree of k(V ) over k(W),
then there is an open subset U of W such that c is n : 1 on U, i.e., for 1 ÷ c(U), c
-1
(1)
has exactly n points.
Now suppose that c is a bijective regular map W ÷ V . We shall see later that this
implies that W and V have the same dimension. Assume:
(a) k(W) is separable over k(V );
(b) V is normal.
From (a) and the preceding discussion, we find that c is birational, and from (b) and
the corollary, we find that c is an isomorphism of W onto an open subset of V ; as it is
surjective, it must be an isomorphism of W onto V . We conclude: a bijective regular map
c: W ÷V satisfying the conditions (a) and (b) is an isomorphism.
NOTES. The full name of Theorem 8.16 is “the main theorem of Zariski’s paper Transactions AMS,
53 (1943), 490-532”. Zariski’s original statement is that in (8.19). Grothendieck proved it in the
stronger form (8.16) for all schemes. There is a good discussion of the theorem in Mumford 1999,
III.9. For a proof see Musili, C., Algebraic geometry for beginners. Texts and Readings in Mathe-
matics, 20. Hindustan Book Agency, New Delhi, 2001, :65.
The base change of a finite map
Recall that the base change of a regular map c: V ÷S is the map c
t
in the diagram:
V ×
S
W
v
0
÷÷÷÷÷ V

c
0

c
W
v
÷÷÷÷÷ S.
PROPOSITION 8.22. The base change of a finite map is finite.
PROOF. We may assume that all the varieties concerned are affine. Then the statement
becomes: if ·is a finite 1-algebra, then ·˝
T
T¡Nis a finite T-algebra, which is obvious.
2
Proper maps
A regular map c: V ÷S of varieties is said to be proper if it is “universally closed”, that is,
if for all maps T ÷S, the base change c
t
: V ×
S
T ÷T of c is closed. Note that a variety
V is complete if and only if the map V ÷ {point] is proper. From its very definition, it is
clear that the base change of a proper map is proper. In particular, if c: V ÷ S is proper,
then c
-1
(1) is a complete variety for all 1 ÷ S.
PROPOSITION 8.23. If W ÷V is proper and V is complete, then W is complete.
EXERCISES 139
PROOF. Let T be a variety, and consider
W ÷÷÷÷÷ W × T

closed
V ÷÷÷÷÷ V × T

closed
{point] ÷÷÷÷÷ T
As W ×T . W ×
V
(V ×T ) and W ÷V is proper, W ×T ÷V ×T is closed, and as V
is complete, V × T ÷T is closed. Therefore, W × T ÷T is closed.
2
PROPOSITION 8.24. A finite map of varieties is proper.
PROOF. The base change of a finite map is finite, and hence closed.
2
The next result (whose proof requires Zariski’s Main Theorem) gives a purely geometric
criterion for a regular map to be finite.
PROPOSITION 8.25. A proper quasi-finite map c: W ÷V of varieties is finite.
PROOF. Factor c into W
t
·÷W
t
˛
÷W with ˛ finite and | an open immersion. Factor | into
W
u|-(u,tu)
÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ W ×
V
W
t
(u,u
0
)|-u
0
÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ W
t
.
The image of the first map is 1
t
, which is closed because W
t
is a variety (see 4.26; W
t
is
separated because it is finite over a variety — exercise). Because c is proper, the second
map is closed. Hence | is an open immersion with closed image. It follows that its image is
a connected component of W
t
, and that W is isomorphic to that connected component.
2
If W and V are curves, then any surjective map W ÷ V is closed. Thus it is easy to
give examples of closed surjective quasi-finite nonfinite maps. For example, the map
a ÷a
n
: A
1
{0] ÷A
1
.
which corresponds to the map on rings
kŒT | ÷kŒT. T
-1
|. T ÷T
n
.
is such a map. This doesn’t violate the theorem, because the map is only closed, not uni-
versally closed.
Exercises
8-1. Prove that a finite map is an isomorphism if and only if it is bijective and ´ etale. (Cf.
Harris 1992, 14.9.)
8-2. Give an example of a surjective quasi-finite regular map that is not finite (different
from any in the notes).
140 CHAPTER 8. FINITE MAPS
8-3. Let c: V ÷ W be a regular map with the property that c
-1
(U) is an open affine
subset of W whenever U is an open affine subset of V . Show that if V is separated, then so
also is W.
8-4. For every n _ 1, find a finite map c: W ÷ V with the following property: for all
1 _ i _ n,
V
i
df
= {1 ÷ V [ c
-1
(1) has _ i points]
is a closed subvariety of dimension i .
Chapter 9
Dimension Theory
Throughout this chapter, k is an algebraically closed field. Recall that to an irreducible
variety V , we attach a field k(V ) — it is the field of fractions of kŒU| for any open affine
subvariety U of V , and also the field of fractions of O
1
for any point 1 in V . We defined
the dimension of V to be the transcendence degree of k(V ) over k. Note that, directly from
this definition, dimV = dimU for any open subvariety U of V . Also, that if W ÷ V is
a finite surjective map, then dimW = dimV (because k(W) is a finite field extension of
k(V )).
When V is not irreducible, we defined the dimension of V to be the maximum dimen-
sion of an irreducible component of V , and we said that V is pure of dimension J if the
dimensions of the irreducible components are all equal to J.
Let W be a subvariety of a variety V . The codimension of W in V is
codim
V
W = dimV ÷ dimW.
In :3 and :6 we proved the following results:
9.1. (a) The dimension of a linear subvariety of A
n
(that is, a subvariety defined by
linear equations) has the value predicted by linear algebra (see 2.24b, 5.12). In par-
ticular, dimA
n
= n. As a consequence, dimP
n
= n.
(b) Let 7 be a proper closed subset of A
n
; then 7 has pure codimension one in A
n
if
and only if 1(7) is generated by a single nonconstant polynomial. Such a variety is
called an affine hypersurface (see 2.25 and 2.27)
1
.
(c) If V is irreducible and 7 is a proper closed subset of V , then dim7 < dimV (see
2.26).
Affine varieties
The fundamental additional result that we need is that, when we impose additional poly-
nomial conditions on an algebraic set, the dimension doesn’t go down by more than linear
algebra would suggest.
THEOREM 9.2. Let V be an irreducible affine variety, and let } a nonzero regular function.
If } has a zero on V , then its zero set is pure of dimension dim(V ) ÷ 1.
1
The careful reader will check that we didn’t use 5.22 or 5.23 in the proof of 2.27.
141
142 CHAPTER 9. DIMENSION THEORY
In other words: let V be a closed subvariety of A
n
and let J ÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|; then
V ¨ V(J) =

¸
¸
V if J is identically zero on V
0 if J has no zeros on V
hypersurface otherwise.
where by hypersurface we mean a closed subvariety of pure codimension 1.
We can also state it in terms of the algebras: let · be an affine k-algebra; let } ÷ ·
be neither zero nor a unit, and let p be a prime ideal that is minimal among those containing
(} ); then
tr deg
k
·¡p = tr deg
k
· ÷ 1.
LEMMA 9.3. Let · be an integral domain, and let 1 be a finite extension of the field of
fractions 1 of ·. If ˛ ÷ 1 is integral over ·, then so also is Nm
1¡1
˛. Hence, if · is
integrally closed (e.g., if · is a unique factorization domain), then Nm
1¡1
˛ ÷ ·. In this
last case, ˛ divides Nm
1¡1
˛ in the ring ·Œ˛|.
PROOF. Let g(X) be the minimum polynomial of ˛ over 1.
g(X) = X
i
÷a
i-1
X
i-1
÷ ÷a
0
.
In some extension field 1 of 1, g(X) will split
g(X) =
¸
i
i=1
(X ÷ ˛
i
). ˛
1
= ˛.
¸
i
i=1
˛
i
= ˙a
0
.
Because ˛ is integral over ·, each ˛
i
is integral over ·(see the proof of 1.22), and it follows
that Nm
1¡1
˛
FT 5.38
= (
¸
i
i=1
˛
i
)
Œ1:1(˛)]
is integral over · (see 1.16).
Now suppose · is integrally closed, so that Nm˛ ÷ ·. From the equation
0 = ˛(˛
i-1
÷a
i-1
˛
i-2
÷ ÷a
1
) ÷a
0
we see that ˛ divides a
0
in ·Œ˛|, and therefore it also divides Nm˛ = ˙a
n
r
0
.
2
PROOF (OF THEOREM 9.2). We first show that it suffices to prove the theorem in the case
that V(} ) is irreducible. Suppose 7
0
. . . . . 7
n
are the irreducible components of V(} ).
There exists a point 1 ÷ 7
0
that does not lie on any other 7
i
(otherwise the decomposition
V(} ) =

7
i
would be redundant). As 7
1
. . . . . 7
n
are closed, there is an open neigh-
bourhood U of 1, which we can take to be affine, that does not meet any 7
i
except 7
0
.
Now V(} [U) = 7
0
¨ U, which is irreducible.
As V(} ) is irreducible, rad(} ) is a prime ideal p c kŒV |. According to the Noether
normalization theorem (8.13), there is a finite surjective map ¬: V ÷ A
d
, which realizes
k(V ) as a finite extension of the field k(A
d
). We shall show that p ¨ kŒA
d
| = rad(}
0
)
where }
0
= Nm
k(V )¡k(A
d
)
} . Hence
kŒA
d
|¡rad(}
0
) ÷kŒV |¡p
is injective. As it is also finite, this shows that dimV(} ) = dimV(}
0
), and we already
know the theorem for A
d
(9.1b).
AFFINE VARIETIES 143
By assumption kŒV | is finite (hence integral) over its subring kŒA
d
|. According to the
lemma, }
0
lies in kŒA
d
|, and I claim that p ¨ kŒA
d
| = rad(}
0
). The lemma shows that }
divides }
0
in kŒV |, and so }
0
÷ (} ) c p. Hence (}
0
) c p ¨ kŒA
d
|, which implies
rad(}
0
) c p ¨ kŒA
d
|
because p is radical. For the reverse inclusion, let g ÷ p ¨ kŒA
d
|. Then g ÷ rad(} ), and
so g
n
= } h for some h ÷ kŒV |, m ÷ N. Taking norms, we find that
g
ne
= Nm(} h) = }
0
Nm(h) ÷ (}
0
).
where e = Œk(V ) : k(A
n
)|, which proves the claim.
The inclusion kŒA
d
| ·÷kŒV | therefore induces an inclusion
kŒA
d
|¡ rad(}
0
) = kŒA
d
|¡p ¨ kŒA
d
| ·÷kŒV |¡p.
which makes kŒV |¡p into a finite algebra over kŒA
d
|¡ rad(}
0
). Hence
dimV(p) = dimV(}
0
).
Clearly } = 0 = }
0
= 0, and }
0
÷ p = }
0
is not a nonzero constant. Therefore
dimV(}
0
) = J ÷ 1 by (9.1b).
2
COROLLARY 9.4. Let V be an irreducible variety, and let 7 be a maximal proper closed
irreducible subset of V . Then dim(7) = dim(V ) ÷ 1.
PROOF. For any open affine subset U of V meeting 7, dimU = dimV and dimU ¨7 =
dim7. We may therefore assume that V itself is affine. Let } be a nonzero regular function
on V vanishing on 7, and let V(} ) be the set of zeros of } (in V ). Then 7 c V(} ) c V ,
and 7 must be an irreducible component of V(} ) for otherwise it wouldn’t be maximal in
V . Thus Theorem 9.2 implies that dim7 = dimV ÷ 1.
2
COROLLARY 9.5 (TOPOLOGICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF DIMENSION). Suppose V is
irreducible and that
V V
1
V
d
= 0
is a maximal chain of closed irreducible subsets of V . Then dim(V ) = J. (Maximal means
that the chain can’t be refined.)
PROOF. From (9.4) we find that
dimV = dimV
1
÷1 = dimV
2
÷2 = = dimV
d
÷J = J.
2
REMARK 9.6. (a) The corollary shows that, when V is affine, dimV = Krull dimkŒV |,
but it shows much more. Note that each V
i
in a maximal chain (as above) has dimension
J ÷ i , and that any closed irreducible subset of V of dimension J ÷ i occurs as a V
i
in a
maximal chain. These facts translate into statements about ideals in affine k-algebras that
do not hold for all noetherian rings. For example, if · is an affine k-algebra that is an
integral domain, then Krull dim·
m
is the same for all maximal ideals of · — all maximal
144 CHAPTER 9. DIMENSION THEORY
ideals in · have the same height (we have proved 5.23). Moreover, if p is an ideal in kŒV |
with height i , then there is a maximal (i.e., nonrefinable) chain of prime ideals
(0) ´ p
1
´ p
2
´ ´ p
d
´ kŒV |
with p
i
= p.
(b) Now that we know that the two notions of dimension coincide, we can restate (9.2)
as follows: let · be an affine k-algebra; let } ÷ · be neither zero nor a unit, and let p be a
prime ideal that is minimal among those containing (} ); then
Krull dim(·¡p) = Krull dim(·) ÷ 1.
This statement does hold for all noetherian local rings (see Atiyah and MacDonald 1969,
11.18), and is called Krull’s principal ideal theorem.
COROLLARY 9.7. Let V be an irreducible variety, and let 7 be an irreducible component
of V(}
1
. . . . }
i
), where the }
i
are regular functions on V . Then
codim(7) _ r, i.e., dim(7) _ dimV ÷ r.
PROOF. As in the proof of (9.4), we can assume V to be affine. We use induction on
r. Because 7 is a closed irreducible subset of V(}
1
. . . . }
i-1
), it is contained in some
irreducible component 7
t
of V(}
1
. . . . }
i-1
). By induction, codim(7
t
) _ r ÷1. Also 7 is
an irreducible component of 7
t
¨ V(}
i
) because
7 c 7
t
¨ V(}
i
) c V(}
1
. . . . . }
i
)
and 7 is a maximal closed irreducible subset of V(}
1
. . . . . }
i
). If }
i
vanishes identically
on 7
t
, then 7 = 7
t
and codim(7) = codim(7
t
) _ r ÷ 1; otherwise, the theorem shows
that 7 has codimension 1 in 7
t
, and codim(7) = codim(7
t
) ÷1 _ r.
2
PROPOSITION 9.8. Let V and W be closed subvarieties of A
n
; for any (nonempty) irre-
ducible component 7 of V ¨ W,
dim(7) _ dim(V ) ÷dim(W) ÷ n:
that is,
codim(7) _ codim(V ) ÷codim(W).
PROOF. In the course of the proof of (4.27), we showed that V ¨ W is isomorphic to
z¨(V ×W), and this is defined by the n equations X
i
= Y
i
in V ×W. Thus the statement
follows from (9.7).
2
REMARK 9.9. (a) The example (in A
3
)

X
2
÷Y
2
= 7
2
7 = 0
shows that Proposition 9.8 becomes false if one only looks at real points. Also, that the
pictures we draw can mislead.
AFFINE VARIETIES 145
(b) The statement of (9.8) is false if A
n
is replaced by an arbitrary affine variety. Con-
sider for example the affine cone V
X
1
X
4
÷ X
2
X
3
= 0.
It contains the planes,
7 : X
2
= 0 = X
4
: 7 = {(+. 0. +. 0)]
7
t
: X
1
= 0 = X
3
: 7
t
= {(0. +. 0. +)]
and 7 ¨ 7
t
= {(0. 0. 0. 0)]. Because V is a hypersurface in A
4
, it has dimension 3, and
each of 7 and 7
t
has dimension 2. Thus
codim7 ¨ 7
t
= 3 _ 1 ÷1 = codim7 ÷codim7
t
.
The proof of (9.8) fails because the diagonal in V × V cannot be defined by 3 equations
(it takes the same 4 that define the diagonal in A
4
) — the diagonal is not a set-theoretic
complete intersection.
REMARK 9.10. In (9.7), the components of V(}
1
. . . . . }
i
) need not all have the same di-
mension, and it is possible for all of them to have codimension < r without any of the }
i
being redundant.
For example, let V be the same affine cone as in the above remark. Note that V(X
1
)¨V
is a union of the planes:
V(X
1
) ¨ V = {(0. 0. +. +)] L {(0. +. 0. +)].
Both of these have codimension 1 in V (as required by (9.2)). Similarly, V(X
2
) ¨ V is the
union of two planes,
V(X
2
) ¨ V = {(0. 0. +. +)] L {(+. 0. +. 0)].
but V(X
1
. X
2
) ¨V consists of a single plane {(0. 0. +. +)]: it is still of codimension 1 in V ,
but if we drop one of two equations from its defining set, we get a larger set.
PROPOSITION 9.11. Let 7 be a closed irreducible subvariety of codimension r in an affine
variety V . Then there exist regular functions }
1
. . . . . }
i
on V such that 7 is an irreducible
component of V(}
1
. . . . . }
i
) and all irreducible components of V(}
1
. . . . . }
i
) have codi-
mension r.
PROOF. We know that there exists a chain of closed irreducible subsets
V ¯ 7
1
¯ ¯ 7
i
= 7
with codim 7
i
= i . We shall show that there exist }
1
. . . . . }
i
÷ kŒV | such that, for all
s _ r, 7
x
is an irreducible component of V(}
1
. . . . . }
x
) and all irreducible components of
V(}
1
. . . . . }
x
) have codimension s.
We prove this by induction on s. For s = 1, take any }
1
÷ 1(7
1
), }
1
= 0, and apply
Theorem 9.2. Suppose }
1
. . . . . }
x-1
have been chosen, and let Y
1
= 7
x-1
. . . . . Y
n
, be the
irreducible components of V(}
1
. . . . . }
x-1
). We seek an element }
x
that is identically zero
146 CHAPTER 9. DIMENSION THEORY
on 7
x
but is not identically zero on any Y
i
—for such an }
x
, all irreducible components of
Y
i
¨V(}
x
) will have codimension s, and 7
x
will be an irreducible component of Y
1
¨V(}
x
).
But Y
i
_ 7
x
for any i (7
x
has smaller dimension than Y
i
), and so 1(7
x
) _ 1(Y
i
). Now
the prime avoidance lemma (see below) tells us that there is an element }
x
÷ 1(7
x
) such
that }
x
… 1(Y
i
) for any i , and this is the function we want.
2
LEMMA 9.12 (PRIME AVOIDANCE LEMMA). If an ideal a of a ring · is not contained in
any of the prime ideals p
1
. . . . . p
i
, then it is not contained in their union.
PROOF. We may assume that none of the prime ideals is contained in a second, because
then we could omit it. Fix an i
0
and, for each i = i
0
, choose an }
i
÷ p
i
. }
i
… p
i
0
, and
choose }
i
0
÷ a, }
i
0
… p
i
0
. Then h
i
0
df
=
¸
}
i
lies in each p
i
with i = i
0
and a, but not in p
i
0
(here we use that p
i
0
is prime). The element
¸
i
i=1
h
i
is therefore in a but not in any p
i
.
2
REMARK 9.13. The proposition shows that for a prime ideal p in an affine k-algebra, if p
has height r, then there exist elements }
1
. . . . . }
i
÷ · such that p is minimal among the
prime ideals containing (}
1
. . . . . }
i
). This statement is true for all noetherian local rings.
REMARK 9.14. The last proposition shows that a curve C in A
3
is an irreducible compo-
nent of V(}
1
. }
2
) for some }
1
, }
2
÷ kŒX. Y. 7|. In fact C = V(}
1
. }
2
. }
3
) for suitable
polynomials }
1
. }
2
, and }
3
— this is an exercise in Shafarevich 1994 (I 6, Exercise 8; see
also Hartshorne 1977, I, Exercise 2.17). Apparently, it is not known whether two polynomi-
als always suffice to define a curve in A
3
— see Kunz 1985, p136. The union of two skew
lines in P
3
can’t be defined by two polynomials (ibid. p140), but it is unknown whether
all connected curves in P
3
can be defined by two polynomials. Macaulay (the man, not the
program) showed that for every r _ 1, there is a curve C in A
3
such that 1(C) requires
at least r generators (see the same exercise in Hartshorne for a curve whose ideal can’t be
generated by 2 elements).
In general, a closed variety V of codimension r in A
n
(resp. P
n
) is said to be a set-
theoretic complete intersection if there exist r polynomials }
i
÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| (resp.
homogeneous polynomials }
i
÷ kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|) such that
V = V(}
1
. . . . . }
i
).
Such a variety is said to be an ideal-theoretic complete intersection if the }
i
can be chosen
so that 1(V ) = (}
1
. . . . . }
i
). Chapter V of Kunz’s book is concerned with the question of
when a variety is a complete intersection. Obviously there are many ideal-theoretic com-
plete intersections, but most of the varieties one happens to be interested in turn out not
to be. For example, no abelian variety of dimension > 1 is an ideal-theoretic complete
intersection (being an ideal-theoretic complete intersection imposes constraints on the co-
homology of the variety, which are not fulfilled in the case of abelian varieties).
Let 1 be a point on an irreducible variety V c A
n
. Then (9.11) shows that there
is a neighbourhood U of 1 in A
n
and functions }
1
. . . . . }
i
on U such that U ¨ V =
V(}
1
. . . . . }
i
) (zero set in U). Thus U ¨ V is a set-theoretic complete intersection in
U. One says that V is a local complete intersection at 1 ÷ V if there is an open affine
neighbourhood U of 1 in A
n
such that 1(V ¨ U) can be generated by r regular functions
on U. Note that
ideal-theoretic complete intersection =local complete intersection at all p.
AFFINE VARIETIES 147
It is not difficult to show that a variety is a local complete intersection at every nonsingular
point (cf. 5.17).
PROPOSITION 9.15. Let 7 be a closed subvariety of codimension r in variety V , and let
1 be a point of 7 that is nonsingular when regarded both as a point on 7 and as a point on
V . Then there is an open affine neighbourhood U of 1 and regular functions }
1
. . . . . }
i
on
U such that 7 ¨ U = V(}
1
. . . . . }
i
).
PROOF. By assumption
dim
k
T
1
(7) = dim7 = dimV ÷ r = dim
k
T
1
(V ) ÷ r.
There exist functions }
1
. . . . . }
i
contained in the ideal of O
1
corresponding to 7 such that
T
1
(7) is the subspace of T
1
(V ) defined by the equations
(J}
1
)
1
= 0. . . . . (J}
i
)
1
= 0.
All the }
i
will be defined on some open affine neighbourhood U of 1 (in V ), and clearly
7 is the only component of 7
t
df
= V(}
1
. . . . . }
i
) (zero set in U) passing through 1. Af-
ter replacing U by a smaller neighbourhood, we can assume that 7
t
is irreducible. As
}
1
. . . . . }
i
÷ 1(7
t
), we must have T
1
(7
t
) c T
1
(7), and therefore dim7
t
_ dim7. But
1(7
t
) c 1(7 ¨ U), and so 7
t
¯ 7 ¨ U. These two facts imply that 7
t
= 7 ¨ U.
2
PROPOSITION 9.16. Let V be an affine variety such that kŒV | is a unique factorization
domain. Then every pure closed subvariety 7 of V of codimension one is principal, i.e.,
1(7) = (} ) for some } ÷ kŒV |.
PROOF. In (2.27) we proved this in the case that V = A
n
, but the argument only used that
kŒA
n
| is a unique factorization domain.
2
EXAMPLE 9.17. The condition that kŒV | is a unique factorization domain is definitely
needed. Again let V be the cone
X
1
X
4
÷ X
2
X
3
= 0
in A
4
and let 7 and 7
t
be the planes
7 = {(+. 0. +. 0)] 7
t
= {(0. +. 0. +)].
Then 7 ¨ 7
t
= {(0. 0. 0. 0)], which has codimension 2 in 7
t
. If 7 = V(} ) for some
regular function } on V , then V(} [7
t
) = {(0. . . . . 0)], which is impossible (because it has
codimension 2, which violates 9.2). Thus 7 is not principal, and so
kŒX
1
. X
2
. X
3
. X
4
|¡(X
1
X
4
÷ X
2
X
3
)
is not a unique factorization domain.
148 CHAPTER 9. DIMENSION THEORY
Projective varieties
The results for affine varieties extend to projective varieties with one important simplifica-
tion: if V and W are projective varieties of dimensions r and s in P
n
and r ÷s _ n, then
V ¨ W = 0.
THEOREM 9.18. Let V = V(a) c P
n
be a projective variety of dimension _ 1, and let
} ÷ kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
| be homogeneous, nonconstant, and … a; then V ¨ V(} ) is nonempty
and of pure codimension 1.
PROOF. Since the dimension of a variety is equal to the dimension of any dense open affine
subset, the only part that doesn’t follow immediately from (9.2) is the fact that V ¨ V(} )
is nonempty. Let V
aff
(a) be the zero set of a in A
n÷1
(that is, the affine cone over V ).
Then V
aff
(a) ¨V
aff
(} ) is nonempty (it contains (0. . . . . 0)), and so it has codimension 1 in
V
aff
(a). Clearly V
aff
(a) has dimension _ 2, and so V
aff
(a) ¨V
aff
(} ) has dimension _ 1.
This implies that the polynomials in a have a zero in common with } other than the origin,
and so V(a) ¨ V(} ) = 0.
2
COROLLARY 9.19. Let }
1
. . }
i
be homogeneous nonconstant elements of kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|;
and let 7 be an irreducible component of V ¨ V(}
1
. . . . }
i
). Then codim(7) _ r, and if
dim(V ) _ r, then V ¨ V(}
1
. . . . }
i
) is nonempty.
PROOF. Induction on r, as before.
2
COROLLARY 9.20. Let ˛: P
n
÷P
n
be regular; if m < n, then ˛ is constant.
PROOF. Let ¬: A
n÷1
÷ {origin] ÷ P
n
be the map (a
0
. . . . . a
n
) ÷ (a
0
: . . . : a
n
). Then
˛ ı ¬ is regular, and there exist polynomials J
0
. . . . . J
n
÷ kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
| such that ˛ ı ¬
is the map
(a
0
. . . . . a
n
) ÷(J
0
(a) : . . . : J
n
(a)).
As ˛ ı ¬ factors through P
n
, the J
i
must be homogeneous of the same degree. Note that
˛(a
0
: . . . : a
n
) = (J
0
(a) : . . . : J
n
(a)).
If m < n and the J
i
are nonconstant, then (9.18) shows they have a common zero and so ˛
is not defined on all of P
n
. Hence the J
i
’s must be constant.
2
PROPOSITION 9.21. Let 7 be a closed irreducible subvariety of V ; if codim(7) = r,
then there exist homogeneous polynomials }
1
. . . . . }
i
in kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
| such that 7 is an
irreducible component of V ¨ V(}
1
. . . . . }
i
).
PROOF. Use the same argument as in the proof (9.11).
2
PROPOSITION 9.22. Every pure closed subvariety 7 of P
n
of codimension one is princi-
pal, i.e., 1(7) = (} ) for some } homogeneous element of kŒX
0
. . . . . X
n
|.
PROOF. Follows from the affine case.
2
PROJECTIVE VARIETIES 149
COROLLARY 9.23. Let V and W be closed subvarieties of P
n
; if dim(V ) ÷dim(W) _ n,
then V ¨W = 0, and every irreducible component of it has codim(7) _codim(V )÷codim(W).
PROOF. Write V = V(a) and W = V(b), and consider the affine cones V
t
= V(a) and
W
t
= W(b) over them. Then
dim(V
t
) ÷dim(W
t
) = dim(V ) ÷1 ÷dim(W) ÷1 _ n ÷2.
As V
t
¨ W
t
= 0, V
t
¨ W
t
has dimension _ 1, and so it contains a point other than the
origin. Therefore V ¨ W = 0. The rest of the statement follows from the affine case.
2
PROPOSITION 9.24. Let V be a closed subvariety of P
n
of dimension r < n; then there
is a linear projective variety 1 of dimension n ÷ r ÷ 1 (that is, 1 is defined by r ÷ 1
independent linear forms) such that 1 ¨ V = 0.
PROOF. Induction on r. If r = 0, then V is a finite set, and the next lemma shows that
there is a hyperplane in k
n÷1
not meeting V .
2
LEMMA 9.25. Let W be a vector space of dimension J over an infinite field k, and let
1
1
. . . . . 1
i
be a finite set of nonzero subspaces of W. Then there is a hyperplane H in W
containing none of the 1
i
.
PROOF. Pass to the dual space V of W. The problem becomes that of showing V is not
a finite union of proper subspaces 1
·
i
. Replace each 1
·
i
by a hyperplane H
i
containing
it. Then H
i
is defined by a nonzero linear form 1
i
. We have to show that
¸
1
}
is not
identically zero on V . But this follows from the statement that a polynomial in n variables,
with coefficients not all zero, can not be identically zero on k
n
(Exercise 1-1).
Suppose r > 0, and let V
1
. . . . . V
x
be the irreducible components of V . By assumption,
they all have dimension _ r. The intersection 1
i
of all the linear projective varieties
containing V
i
is the smallest such variety. The lemma shows that there is a hyperplane
H containing none of the nonzero 1
i
; consequently, H contains none of the irreducible
components V
i
of V , and so each V
i
¨H is a pure variety of dimension _ r÷1 (or is empty).
By induction, there is an linear subvariety 1
t
not meeting V ¨ H. Take 1 = 1
t
¨ H.
2
Let V and 1 be as in the theorem. If 1 is defined by the linear forms 1
0
. . . . . 1
i
then
the projection a ÷(1
0
(a) : : 1
i
(a)) defines a map V ÷P
i
. We shall see later that this
map is finite, and so it can be regarded as a projective version of the Noether normalization
theorem.
Chapter 10
Regular Maps and Their Fibres
Throughout this chapter, k is an algebraically closed field.
Consider again the regular map c: A
2
÷ A
2
, (.. .) ÷ (.. ..) (Exercise 3-3). The
image of c is
C = {(a. b) ÷ A
2
[ a = 0 or a = 0 = b]
= (A
2
{.-axis]) L {(0. 0)].
which is neither open nor closed, and, in fact, is not even locally closed. The fibre
c
-1
(a. b) =

¸
¸
{(a. b¡a)] if a = 0
Y -axis if (a. b) = (0. 0)
0 if a = 0, b = 0.
From this unpromising example, it would appear that it is not possible to say anything about
the image of a regular map, nor about the dimension or number of elements in its fibres.
However, it turns out that almost everything that can go wrong already goes wrong for this
map. We shall show:
(a) the image of a regular map is a finite union of locally closed sets;
(b) the dimensions of the fibres can jump only over closed subsets;
(c) the number of elements (if finite) in the fibres can drop only on closed subsets, pro-
vided the map is finite, the target variety is normal, and k has characteristic zero.
Constructible sets
Let W be a topological space. A subset C of W is said to constructible if it is a finite union
of sets of the form U ¨ 7 with U open and 7 closed. Obviously, if C is constructible and
V c W, then C ¨ V is constructible. A constructible set in A
n
is definable by a finite
number of polynomials; more precisely, it is defined by a finite number of statements of the
form
}(X
1
. . X
n
) = 0. g(X
1
. . X
n
) = 0
combined using only “and” and “or” (or, better, statements of the form } = 0 combined
using “and”, “or”, and “not”). The next proposition shows that a constructible set C that
is dense in an irreducible variety V must contain a nonempty open subset of V . Contrast
´, which is dense in 1 (real topology), but does not contain an open subset of 1, or any
infinite subset of A
1
that omits an infinite set.
150
CONSTRUCTIBLE SETS 151
PROPOSITION 10.1. Let C be a constructible set whose closure
¨
C is irreducible. Then C
contains a nonempty open subset of
¨
C.
PROOF. We are given that C =

(U
i
¨ 7
i
) with each U
i
open and each 7
i
closed. We
may assume that each set U
i
¨ 7
i
in this decomposition is nonempty. Clearly
¨
C c

7
i
,
and as
¨
C is irreducible, it must be contained in one of the 7
i
. For this i
C ¯ U
i
¨ 7
i
¯ U
i
¨
¨
C ¯ U
i
¨ C ¯ U
i
¨ (U
i
¨ 7
i
) = U
i
¨ 7
i
.
Thus U
i
¨ 7
i
= U
i
¨
¨
C is a nonempty open subset of
¨
C contained in C.
2
THEOREM 10.2. A regular map c: W ÷ V sends constructible sets to constructible sets.
In particular, if U is a nonempty open subset of W, then c(U) contains a nonempty open
subset of its closure in V .
The key result we shall need from commutative algebra is the following. (In the next
two results, · and T are arbitrary commutative rings—they need not be k-algebras.)
PROPOSITION 10.3. Let · c T be integral domains with T finitely generated as an alge-
bra over ·, and let b be a nonzero element of T. Then there exists an element a = 0 in ·
with the following property: every homomorphism ˛: · ÷˝ from · into an algebraically
closed field ˝ such that ˛(a) = 0 can be extended to a homomorphism ˇ: T ÷ ˝ such
that ˇ(b) = 0.
Consider, for example, the rings kŒX| c kŒX. X
-1
|. A homomorphism ˛: kŒX| ÷ k
extends to a homomorphism kŒX. X
-1
| ÷ k if and only if ˛(X) = 0. Therefore, for
b = 1, we can take a = X. In the application we make of Proposition 10.3, we only really
need the case b = 1, but the more general statement is needed so that we can prove it by
induction.
LEMMA 10.4. Let T ¯ · be integral domains, and assume T = ·Œt | ~ ·ŒT |¡a. Let
c c ·be the set of leading coefficients of the polynomials in a. Then every homomorphism
˛: · ÷˝ from · into an algebraically closed field ˝ such that ˛(c) = 0 can be extended
to a homomorphism of T into ˝.
PROOF. Note that c is an ideal in ·. If a = 0, then c = 0, and there is nothing to prove
(in fact, every ˛ extends). Thus we may assume a = 0. Let } = a
n
T
n
÷ ÷a
0
be a
nonzero polynomial of minimum degree in a such that ˛(a
n
) = 0. Because T = 0, we
have that m _ 1.
Extend ˛ to a homomorphism ¯ ˛: ·ŒT | ÷˝ŒT | by sending T to T . The ˝-submodule
of ˝ŒT | generated by ¯ ˛(a) is an ideal (because T
¸
c
i
¯ ˛(g
i
) =
¸
c
i
¯ ˛(g
i
T )). Therefore,
unless ¯ ˛(a) contains a nonzero constant, it generates a proper ideal in ˝ŒT |, which will
have a zero c in ˝. The homomorphism
·ŒT |
¯˛
÷˝ŒT | ÷˝. T ÷T ÷c
then factors through ·ŒT |¡a = T and extends ˛.
In the contrary case, a contains a polynomial
g(T ) = b
n
T
n
÷ ÷b
0
. ˛(b
i
) = 0 (i > 0). ˛(b
0
) = 0.
152 CHAPTER 10. REGULAR MAPS AND THEIR FIBRES
On dividing }(T ) into g(T ) we find that
a
d
n
g(T ) = q(T )}(T ) ÷r(T ). J ÷ N. q. r ÷ ·ŒT |. deg r < m.
On applying ¯ ˛ to this equation, we obtain
˛(a
n
)
d
˛(b
0
) = ¯ ˛(q) ¯ ˛(} ) ÷ ¯ ˛(r).
Because ¯ ˛(} ) has degree m > 0, we must have ¯ ˛(q) = 0, and so ¯ ˛(r) is a nonzero
constant. After replacing g(T ) with r(T ), we may assume n < m. If m = 1, such a g(T )
can’t exist, and so we may suppose m > 1 and (by induction) that the lemma holds for
smaller values of m.
For h(T ) = c
i
T
i
÷ c
i-1
T
i-1
÷ ÷ c
0
, let h
t
(T ) = c
i
÷ ÷ c
0
T
i
. Then the
·-module generated by the polynomials T
x
h
t
(T ), s _ 0, h ÷ a, is an ideal a
t
in ·ŒT |.
Moreover, a
t
contains a nonzero constant if and only if a contains a nonzero polynomial
cT
i
, which implies t = 0 and · = T (since T is an integral domain).
If a
t
does not contain nonzero constants, then set T
t
= ·ŒT |¡a
t
= ·Œt
t
|. Then a
t
contains the polynomial g
t
= b
n
÷ ÷b
0
T
n
, and ˛(b
0
)= 0. Because deg g
t
< m, the
induction hypothesis implies that ˛ extends to a homomorphism T
t
÷˝. Therefore, there
is a c ÷ ˝ such that, for all h(T ) = c
i
T
i
÷c
i-1
T
i-1
÷ ÷c
0
÷ a,
h
t
(c) = ˛(c
i
) ÷˛(c
i-1
)c ÷ ÷c
0
c
i
= 0.
On taking h = g, we see that c = 0, and on taking h = } , we obtain the contradiction
˛(a
n
) = 0.
2
PROOF (OF 10.3) Suppose that we know the proposition in the case that T is generated by
a single element, and write T = ·Œ.
1
. . . . . .
n
|. Then there exists an element b
n-1
such
that any homomorphism ˛: ·Œ.
1
. . . . . .
n-1
| ÷ ˝ such that ˛(b
n-1
) = 0 extends to a
homomorphism ˇ: T ÷ ˝ such that ˇ(b) = 0. Continuing in this fashion, we obtain an
element a ÷ · with the required property.
Thus we may assume T = ·Œ.|. Let a be the kernel of the homomorphism X ÷ .,
·ŒX| ÷·Œ.|.
Case (i). The ideal a = (0). Write
b = }(.) = a
0
.
n
÷a
1
.
n-1
÷ ÷a
n
. a
i
÷ ·.
and take a = a
0
. If ˛: · ÷ ˝ is such that ˛(a
0
) = 0, then there exists a c ÷ ˝ such that
}(c) = 0, and we can take ˇ to be the homomorphism
¸
J
i
.
i
÷
¸
˛(J
i
)c
i
.
Case (ii). The ideal a = (0). Let }(T ) = a
n
T
n
÷ , a
n
= 0, be an element of
a of minimum degree. Let h(T ) ÷ ·ŒT | represent b. Since b = 0, h … a. Because } is
irreducible over the field of fractions of ·, it and h are coprime over that field. Hence there
exist u. · ÷ ·ŒT | and c ÷ · ÷ {0] such that
uh ÷·} = c.
It follows now that ca
n
satisfies our requirements, for if ˛(ca
n
) = 0, then ˛ can be
extended to ˇ: T ÷ ˝ by the previous lemma, and ˇ(u(.) b) = ˇ(c) = 0, and so
ˇ(b) = 0.
2
ORBITS OF GROUP ACTIONS 153
ASIDE 10.5. In case (ii) of the above proof, both b and b
-1
are algebraic over ·, and so
there exist equations
a
0
b
n
÷ ÷a
n
= 0. a
i
÷ ·. a
0
= 0:
a
t
0
b
-n
÷ ÷a
t
n = 0. a
t
i
÷ ·. a
t
0
= 0.
One can show that a = a
0
a
t
0
has the property required by the Proposition—see Atiyah and
MacDonald, 5.23.
PROOF (OF 10.2) We first prove the “in particular” statement of the Theorem. By consid-
ering suitable open affine coverings of W and V , one sees that it suffices to prove this in
the case that both W and V are affine. If W
1
. . . . . W
i
are the irreducible components of W,
then the closure of c(W) in V , c(W)
-
= c(W
1
)
-
L . . . L c(W
i
)
-
, and so it suffices to
prove the statement in the case that W is irreducible. We may also replace V with c(W)
-
,
and so assume that both W and V are irreducible. Then c corresponds to an injective ho-
momorphism · ÷ T of affine k-algebras. For some b = 0, D(b) c U. Choose a as in
the lemma. Then for any point 1 ÷ D(a), the homomorphism } ÷}(1): · ÷k extends
to a homomorphism ˇ: T ÷ k such that ˇ(b) = 0. The kernel of ˇ is a maximal ideal
corresponding to a point O ÷ D(b) lying over 1.
We now prove the theorem. Let W
i
be the irreducible components of W. Then C ¨W
i
is constructible in W
i
, and c(W) is the union of the c(C ¨W
i
); it is therefore constructible
if the c(C ¨ W
i
) are. Hence we may assume that W is irreducible. Moreover, C is a
finite union of its irreducible components, and these are closed in C; they are therefore
constructible. We may therefore assume that C also is irreducible;
¨
C is then an irreducible
closed subvariety of W.
We shall prove the theorem by induction on the dimension of W. If dim(W) = 0, then
the statement is obvious because W is a point. If
¨
C = W, then dim(
¨
C) < dim(W), and
because C is constructible in
¨
C, we see that c(C) is constructible (by induction). We may
therefore assume that
¨
C = W. But then
¨
C contains a nonempty open subset of W, and so
the case just proved shows that c(C) contains an nonempty open subset U of its closure.
Replace V be the closure of c(C), and write
c(C) = U L c(C ¨ c
-1
(V ÷ U)).
Then c
-1
(V ÷ U) is a proper closed subset of W (the complement of V ÷ U is dense in
V and c is dominating). As C ¨ c
-1
(V ÷ U) is constructible in c
-1
(V ÷ U), the set
c(C ¨ c
-1
(V ÷ U)) is constructible in V by induction, which completes the proof.
2
Orbits of group actions
Let G be an algebraic group. An action of G on a variety V is a regular map
(g. 1) ÷g1: G × V ÷V
such that
(a) 1
G
1 = 1, all 1 ÷ V ;
(b) g(g
t
1) = (gg
t
)1, all g. g
t
÷ G, 1 ÷ V .
154 CHAPTER 10. REGULAR MAPS AND THEIR FIBRES
PROPOSITION 10.6. Let G×V ÷V be an action of an algebraic group G on a variety V .
(a) Each orbit of G in X is open in its closure.
(b) There exist closed orbits.
PROOF. (a) Let O be an orbit of G in V and let 1 ÷ O. Then g ÷ g1: G ÷ V is a
regular map with image O, and so O contains a nonempty set U open in
¨
O (10.2). As
O =

v÷G(k)
gU, it is open in
¨
O.
(b) Let S =
¨
O be minimal among the closures of orbits. From (a), we know that O is
open in S. Therefore, if S O were nonempty, it would contain the closure of an orbit,
contradicting the minimality of S. Hence S = O.
2
Let G be an algebraic group acting on a variety V . Let G\V denote the quotient topo-
logical space with the sheaf O
G\V
such that 1(U. O
G\V
) = 1(¬
-1
U. O
V
)
G
, where
¬: G ÷ G¡V is the quotient map. When (G\V. O
G\V
) is a variety, we call it the geo-
metric quotient of V under the action of G.
PROPOSITION 10.7. Let N be a normal algebraic subgroup of an affine algebraic group
G. Then the geometric quotient of G by N exists, and is an affine algebraic group.
PROOF. Omitted for the present.
2
A connected affine algebraic group G is solvable if there exist connected algebraic
subgroups
G = G
d
¯ G
d-1
¯ ¯ G
0
= {1]
such that G
i
is normal in G
i÷1
, and G
i
¡G
i÷1
is commutative.
THEOREM 10.8 (BOREL FIXED POINT THEOREM). Aconnected solvable affine algebraic
group G acting on a complete algebraic variety V has at least one fixed point.
PROOF. We prove this by induction on the dimG. Assume first that G is commutative, and
let O = G. be a closed orbit of G in V (see 10.6). Let N be the stabilizer of .. Because G
is commutative, N is normal, and we get a bijection G¡N ÷ O. As G acts transitively on
G¡N and O, the map G¡N ÷O is proper (see Exercise 10-4); as O is complete (7.3a), so
also is G¡N (see 8.23), and as it is affine and connected, it consists of a single point (7.5).
Therefore, O consists of a single point, which is a fixed point for the action.
By assumption, there exists a closed normal subgroup H of G such that G¡H is a
commutative. The set X
1
of fixed points of H in X is nonempty (by induction) and closed
(because it is the intersection of the sets
X
h
= {. ÷ X [ h. = .]
for h ÷ H). Because H is normal, X
1
is stable under G, and the action of G on it factors
through G¡H. Every fixed point of G¡H in X
1
is a fixed point for G acting on X.
2
THE FIBRES OF MORPHISMS 155
The fibres of morphisms
We wish to examine the fibres of a regular map c: W ÷ V . Clearly, we can replace V by
the closure of c(W) in V and so assume c to be dominating.
THEOREM 10.9. Let c: W ÷ V be a dominating regular map of irreducible varieties.
Then
(a) dim(W) _ dim(V );
(b) if 1 ÷ c(W), then
dim(c
-1
(1)) _ dim(W) ÷ dim(V )
for every 1 ÷ V , with equality holding exactly on a nonempty open subset U of V .
(c) The sets
V
i
= {1 ÷ V [ dim(c
-1
(1)) _ i ]
are closed c(W).
EXAMPLE 10.10. Consider the subvariety W c V × A
n
defined by r linear equations
n
¸
}=1
a
i}
X
}
= 0. a
i}
÷ kŒV |. i = 1. . . . . r.
and let c be the projection W

V . For 1 ÷ V , c
-1
(1) is the set of solutions of
n
¸
}=1
a
i}
(1)X
}
= 0. a
i}
(1) ÷ k. i = 1. . . . . r.
and so its dimension is m÷ rank(a
i}
(1)). Since the rank of the matrix (a
i}
(1)) drops on
closed subsets, the dimension of the fibre jumps on closed subsets.
PROOF. (a) Because the map is dominating, there is a homomorphism k(V ) ·÷ k(W),
and obviously tr deg
k
k(V ) _ tr deg
k
k(W) (an algebraically independent subset of k(V )
remains algebraically independent in k(W)).
(b) In proving the first part of (b), we may replace V by any open neighbourhood of
1. In particular, we can assume V to be affine. Let m be the dimension of V . From
(9.11) we know that there exist regular functions }
1
. . . . . }
n
such that 1 is an irreducible
component of V(}
1
. . . . . }
n
). After replacing V by a smaller neighbourhood of 1, we can
suppose that 1 = V(}
1
. . . . . }
n
). Then c
-1
(1) is the zero set of the regular functions
}
1
ı c. . . . . }
n
ı c, and so (if nonempty) has codimension _ m in W (see 9.7). Hence
dimc
-1
(1) _ dimW ÷ m = dim(W) ÷ dim(V ).
In proving the second part of (b), we can replace both W and V with open affine subsets.
Since c is dominating, kŒV | ÷ kŒW| is injective, and we may regard it as an inclusion
(we identify a function . on V with . ı c on W). Then k(V ) c k(W). Write kŒV | =
kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
Æ
| and kŒW| = kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
1
|, and suppose V and W have dimensions m and
n respectively. Then k(W) has transcendence degree n÷mover k(V ), and we may suppose
156 CHAPTER 10. REGULAR MAPS AND THEIR FIBRES
that .
1
. . . . . .
n-n
are algebraically independent over kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
n
|, and that the remaining
.
i
are algebraic over kŒ.
1
. . . . . .
n
. .
1
. . . . . .
n-n
|. There are therefore relations
J
i
(.
1
. . . . . .
n
. .
1
. . . . . .
n-n
. .
i
) = 0. i = n ÷ m÷1. . . . . N. (23)
with J
i
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
. Y
1
. . . . . Y
n-n
. Y
i
) a nonzero polynomial. We write ¨ .
i
for the restric-
tion of .
i
to c
-1
(1). Then
kŒc
-1
(1)| = kŒ ¨ .
1
. . . . . ¨ .
1
|.
The equations (23) give an algebraic relation among the functions .
1
. . . . . .
i
on W. When
we restrict them to c
-1
(1), they become equations:
J
i
(.
1
(1). . . . . .
n
(1). ¨ .
1
. . . . . ¨ .
n-n
. ¨ .
i
) = 0. i = n ÷ m÷1. . . . . N.
If these are nontrivial algebraic relations, i.e., if none of the polynomials
J
i
(.
1
(1). . . . . .
n
(1). Y
1
. . . . . Y
n-n
. Y
i
)
is identically zero, then the transcendence degree of k( ¨ .
1
. . . . . ¨ .
1
) over k will be _ n÷m.
Thus, regard J
i
(.
1
. . . . . .
n
. Y
1
. . . . . Y
n-n
. Y
i
) as a polynomial in the Y ’s with coeffi-
cients polynomials in the .’s. Let V
i
be the closed subvariety of V defined by the simul-
taneous vanishing of the coefficients of this polynomial—it is a proper closed subset of V .
Let U = V ÷

V
i
—it is a nonempty open subset of V . If 1 ÷ U, then none of the poly-
nomials J
i
(.
1
(1). . . . . .
n
(1). Y
1
. . . . . Y
n-n
. Y
i
) is identically zero, and so for 1 ÷ U,
the dimension of c
-1
(1) is _ n ÷ m, and hence = n ÷ m by (a).
Finally, if for a particular point 1, dimc
-1
(1) = n ÷ m, then one can modify the
above argument to show that the same is true for all points in an open neighbourhood of 1.
(c) We prove this by induction on the dimension of V —it is obviously true if dimV =
0. We know from (b) that there is an open subset U of V such that
dimc
-1
(1) = n ÷ m ” 1 ÷ U.
Let 7 be the complement of U in V ; thus 7 = V
n-n÷1
. Let 7
1
. . . . . 7
i
be the irre-
ducible components of 7. On applying the induction to the restriction of c to the map
c
-1
(7
}
)

7
}
for each ; , we obtain the result.
2
PROPOSITION 10.11. Let c: W ÷ V be a regular surjective closed mapping of varieties
(e.g., W complete or c finite). If V is irreducible and all the fibres c
-1
(1) are irreducible
of dimension n, then W is irreducible of dimension dim(V ) ÷n.
PROOF. Let 7 be a closed irreducible subset of W, and consider the map c[7: 7 ÷V ; it
has fibres (c[7)
-1
(1) = c
-1
(1) ¨ 7. There are three possibilities.
(a) c(7) = V . Then c(7) is a proper closed subset of V .
(b) c(7) = V , dim(7) < n÷dim(V ). Then (b) of (10.9) shows that there is a nonempty
open subset U of V such that for 1 ÷ U,
dim(c
-1
(1) ¨ 7) = dim(7) ÷ dim(V ) < n:
thus for 1 ÷ U, c
-1
(1) _ 7.
THE FIBRES OF FINITE MAPS 157
(c) c(7) = V , dim(7) _ n ÷dim(V ). Then (b) of (10.9) shows that
dim(c
-1
(1) ¨ 7) _ dim(7) ÷ dim(V ) _ n
for all 1; thus c
-1
(1) c 7 for all 1 ÷ V , and so 7 = W; moreover dim7 = n.
Now let 7
1
. . . . . 7
i
be the irreducible components of W. I claim that (iii) holds for at
least one of the 7
i
. Otherwise, there will be an open subset U of V such that for 1 in U,
c
-1
(1) _ 7
i
for any i , but c
-1
(1) is irreducible and c
-1
(1) =

(c
-1
(1) ¨ 7
i
), and
so this is impossible.
2
The fibres of finite maps
Let c: W ÷ V be a finite dominating morphism of irreducible varieties. Then dim(W) =
dim(V ), and so k(W) is a finite field extension of k(V ). Its degree is called the degree of
the map c.
THEOREM 10.12. Let c: W ÷V be a finite surjective regular map of irreducible varieties,
and assume that V is normal.
(a) For all 1 ÷ V , #c
-1
(1) _ deg(c).
(b) The set of points 1 of V such that #c
-1
(1) = deg(c) is an open subset of V , and
it is nonempty if k(W) is separable over k(V ).
Before proving the theorem, we give examples to show that we need W to be separated
and V to be normal in (a), and that we need k(W) to be separable over k(V ) for the second
part of (b).
EXAMPLE 10.13. (a) Consider the map
{A
1
with origin doubled ] ÷A
1
.
The degree is one and that map is one-to-one except at the origin where it is two-to-one.
(b) Let C be the curve Y
2
= X
3
÷X
2
, and consider the map
t ÷(t
2
÷ 1. t (t
2
÷ 1)): A
1
÷C.
It is one-to-one except that the points t = ˙1 both map to 0. On coordinate rings, it
corresponds to the inclusion
kŒ.. .| ·÷kŒT |, . ÷T
2
÷ 1, . ÷t (t
2
÷ 1).
and so is of degree one. The ring kŒ.. .| is not integrally closed; in fact kŒT | is its integral
closure in its field of fractions.
(c) Consider the Frobenius map c: A
n
÷ A
n
, (a
1
. . . . . a
n
) ÷ (a
;
1
. . . . . a
;
n
), where
] = chark. This map has degree ]
n
but it is one-to-one. The field extension corresponding
to the map is
k(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) ¯ k(X
;
1
. . . . . X
;
n
)
which is purely inseparable.
158 CHAPTER 10. REGULAR MAPS AND THEIR FIBRES
LEMMA 10.14. Let O
1
. . . . . O
i
be distinct points on an affine variety V . Then there is a
regular function } on V taking distinct values at the O
i
.
PROOF. We can embed V as closed subvariety of A
n
, and then it suffices to prove the
statement with V = A
n
— almost any linear form will do.
2
PROOF (OF 10.12). In proving (a) of the theorem, we may assume that V and W are
affine, and so the map corresponds to a finite map of k-algebras, kŒV | ÷ kŒW|. Let
c
-1
(1) = {O
1
. . . . . O
i
]. According to the lemma, there exists an } ÷ kŒW| taking
distinct values at the O
i
. Let
J(T ) = T
n
÷a
1
T
n-1
÷ ÷a
n
be the minimum polynomial of } over k(V ). It has degree m _ Œk(W) : k(V )| = deg c,
and it has coefficients in kŒV | because V is normal (see 1.22). Now J(} ) = 0 implies
J(}(O
i
)) = 0, i.e.,
}(O
i
)
n
÷a
1
(1) }(O
i
)
n-1
÷ ÷a
n
(1) = 0.
Therefore the }(O
i
) are all roots of a single polynomial of degree m, and so r _ m _
deg(c).
In order to prove the first part of (b), we show that, if there is a point 1 ÷ V such that
c
-1
(1) has deg(c) elements, then the same is true for all points in an open neighbourhood
of 1. Choose } as in the last paragraph corresponding to such a 1. Then the polynomial
T
n
÷a
1
(1) T
n-1
÷ ÷a
n
(1) = 0 (*)
has r = deg c distinct roots, and so m = r. Consider the discriminant disc J of J.
Because (*) has distinct roots, disc(J)(1) = 0, and so disc(J) is nonzero on an open
neighbourhood U of 1. The factorization
kŒV | ÷kŒV |ŒT |¡(J)
T|-(
÷ kŒW|
gives a factorization
W ÷Spm(kŒV |ŒT |¡(J)) ÷V.
Each point 1
t
÷ U has exactly m inverse images under the second map, and the first map
is finite and dominating, and therefore surjective (recall that a finite map is closed). This
proves that c
-1
(1
t
) has at least deg(c) points for 1
t
÷ U, and part (a) of the theorem then
implies that it has exactly deg(c) points.
We now show that if the field extension is separable, then there exists a point such
that #c
-1
(1) has deg c elements. Because k(W) is separable over k(V ), there exists a
} ÷ kŒW| such that k(V )Œ} | = k(W). Its minimum polynomial J has degree deg(c) and
its discriminant is a nonzero element of kŒV |. The diagram
W

Spm(·ŒT |¡(J))

V
shows that #c
-1
(1) _ deg(c) for 1 a point such that disc(} )(1) = 0.
2
When k(W) is separable over k(V ), then c is said to be separable.
REMARK 10.15. Let c: W ÷V be as in the theorem, and let V
i
= {1 ÷ V [ #c
-1
(1) _
i ]. Let J = deg c. Part (b) of the theorem states that V
d-1
is closed, and is a proper subset
when c is separable. I don’t know under what hypotheses all the sets V
i
will closed (and V
i
will be a proper subset of V
i-1
). The obvious induction argument fails because V
i-1
may
not be normal.
FLAT MAPS 159
Flat maps
A regular map c: V ÷ W is flat if for all 1 ÷ V , the homomorphism O
c(1)
÷ O
1
defined by c is flat. If c is flat, then for every pair U and U
t
of open affines of V and
W such that c(U) c U
t
the map 1(U
t
. O
W
) ÷ 1(U. O
V
) is flat; conversely, if this
condition holds for sufficiently many pairs that the U’s cover V and the U
t
’s cover W, then
c is flat.
PROPOSITION 10.16. (a) An open immersion is flat.
(b) The composite of two flat maps is flat.
(c) Any base extension of a flat map is flat.
PROOF. To be added.
2
THEOREM 10.17. A finite map c: V ÷W is flat if and only if
¸
O|-1
dim
k
O
O
¡m
1
O
O
is independent of 1 ÷ W.
PROOF. To be added.
2
THEOREM 10.18. Let V and W be irreducible varieties. If c: V ÷W is flat, then
dimc
-1
(O) = dimV ÷ dimW (24)
for all O ÷ W. Conversely, if V and W are nonsingular and (24) holds for all O ÷ W, then
c is flat.
PROOF. To be added.
2
Lines on surfaces
As an application of some of the above results, we consider the problem of describing the
set of lines on a surface of degree m in P
3
. To avoid possible problems, we assume for the
rest of this chapter that k has characteristic zero.
We first need a way of describing lines in P
3
. Recall that we can associate with each
projective variety V c P
n
an affine cone over
¯
V in k
n÷1
. This allows us to think of points
in P
3
as being one-dimensional subspaces in k
4
, and lines in P
3
as being two-dimensional
subspaces in k
4
. To such a subspace W c k
4
, we can attach a one-dimensional subspace

2
W in

2
k
4
~ k
6
, that is, to each line 1 in P
3
, we can attach point ](1) in P
5
. Not
every point in P
5
should be of the form ](1)—heuristically, the lines in P
3
should form a
four-dimensional set. (Fix two planes in P
3
; giving a line in P
3
corresponds to choosing a
point on each of the planes.) We shall show that there is natural one-to-one correspondence
between the set of lines in P
3
and the set of points on a certain hyperspace ˘ c P
5
. Rather
than using exterior algebras, I shall usually give the old-fashioned proofs.
160 CHAPTER 10. REGULAR MAPS AND THEIR FIBRES
Let 1 be a line in P
3
and let x = (.
0
: .
1
: .
2
: .
3
) and y = (.
0
: .
1
: .
2
: .
3
) be
distinct points on 1. Then
](1) = (]
01
: ]
02
: ]
03
: ]
12
: ]
13
: ]
23
) ÷ P
5
. ]
i}
df
=
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
.
i
.
}
.
i
.
}
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
.
depends only on 1. The ]
i}
are called the Pl¨ ucker coordinates of 1, after Pl ¨ ucker (1801-
1868).
In terms of exterior algebras, write e
0
, e
1
, e
2
, e
3
for the canonical basis for k
4
, so that
x, regarded as a point of k
4
is
¸
.
i
e
i
, and y =
¸
.
i
e
i
; then

2
k
4
is a 6-dimensional
vector space with basis e
i
^e
}
, 0 _ i < ; _ 3, and .^. =
¸
]
i}
e
i
^e
}
with ]
i}
given by
the above formula.
We define ]
i}
for all i. ; , 0 _ i. ; _ 3 by the same formula — thus ]
i}
= ÷]
}i
.
LEMMA 10.19. The line 1 can be recovered from ](1) as follows:
1 = {(
¸
}
a
}
]
0}
:
¸
}
a
}
]
1}
:
¸
}
a
}
]
2}
:
¸
}
a
}
]
3}
) [ (a
0
: a
1
: a
2
: a
3
) ÷ P
3
].
PROOF. Let
¯
1 be the cone over 1 in k
4
—it is a two-dimensional subspace of k
4
—and let
x = (.
0
. .
1
. .
2
. .
3
) and y = (.
0
. .
1
. .
2
. .
3
) be two linearly independent vectors in
¯
1.
Then
¯
1 = {}(y)x ÷ }(x)y [ } : k
4
÷k linear].
Write } =
¸
a
}
X
}
; then
}(y)x ÷ }(x)y = (
¸
a
}
]
0}
.
¸
a
}
]
1}
.
¸
a
}
]
2}
.
¸
a
}
]
3}
).
2
LEMMA 10.20. The point ](1) lies on the quadric ˘ c P
5
defined by the equation
X
01
X
23
÷ X
02
X
13
÷X
03
X
12
= 0.
PROOF. This can be verified by direct calculation, or by using that
0 =
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
.
0
.
1
.
2
.
3
.
0
.
1
.
2
.
3
.
0
.
1
.
2
.
3
.
0
.
1
.
2
.
3
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
ˇ
= 2(]
01
]
23
÷ ]
02
]
13
÷]
03
]
12
)
(expansion in terms of 2 × 2 minors).
2
LEMMA 10.21. Every point of ˘ is of the form ](1) for a unique line 1.
PROOF. Assume ]
03
= 0; then the line through the points (0 : ]
01
: ]
02
: ]
03
) and
(]
03
: ]
13
: ]
23
: 0) has Pl ¨ ucker coordinates
(÷]
01
]
03
: ÷]
02
]
03
: ÷]
2
03
: ]
01
]
23
÷ ]
02
]
13
„ ƒ‚ …
-;
03
;
12
: ÷]
03
]
13
: ÷]
03
]
23
)
= (]
01
: ]
02
: ]
03
: ]
12
: ]
13
: ]
23
).
A similar construction works when one of the other coordinates is nonzero, and this way
we get inverse maps.
2
LINES ON SURFACES 161
Thus we have a canonical one-to-one correspondence
{lines in P
3
] -{points on ˘]:
that is, we have identified the set of lines in P
3
with the points of an algebraic variety. We
may now use the methods of algebraic geometry to study the set. (This is a special case of
the Grassmannians discussed in :6.)
We next consider the set of homogeneous polynomials of degree m in 4 variables,
J(X
0
. X
1
. X
2
. X
3
) =
¸
i
0
÷i
1
÷i
2
÷i
3
=n
a
i
0
i
1
i
2
i
3
X
i
0
0
. . . X
i
3
3
.
LEMMA 10.22. The set of homogeneous polynomials of degree min 4 variables is a vector
space of dimension

3÷n
n

PROOF. See the footnote p112.
2
Let v =

3÷n
n

=
(n÷1)(n÷2)(n÷3)
6
÷1, and regard P
¡
as the projective space attached
to the vector space of homogeneous polynomials of degree m in 4 variables (p116). Then
we have a surjective map
P
¡
÷{surfaces of degree m in P
3
].
(. . . : a
i
0
i
1
i
2
i
3
: . . .) ÷V(J). J =
¸
a
i
0
i
1
i
2
i
3
X
i
0
0
X
i
1
1
X
i
2
2
X
i
3
3
.
The map is not quite injective—for example, X
2
Y and XY
2
define the same surface—
but nevertheless, we can (somewhat loosely) think of the points of P
¡
as being (possibly
degenerate) surfaces of degree m in P
3
.
Let 1
n
c ˘ × P
¡
c P
5
× P
¡
be the set of pairs (1. J) consisting of a line 1 in P
3
lying on the surface J(X
0
. X
1
. X
2
. X
3
) = 0.
THEOREM 10.23. The set 1
n
is a closed irreducible subset of ˘ × P
¡
; it is therefore a
projective variety. The dimension of 1
n
is
n(n÷1)(n÷5)
6
÷3.
EXAMPLE 10.24. For m = 1. 1
n
is the set of pairs consisting of a plane in P
3
and a line
on the plane. The theorem says that the dimension of 1
1
is 5. Since there are o
3
planes in
P
3
, and each has o
2
lines on it, this seems to be correct.
PROOF. We first show that 1
n
is closed. Let
](1) = (]
01
: ]
02
: . . .) J =
¸
a
i
0
i
1
i
2
i
3
X
i
0
0
X
i
3
3
.
From (10.19) we see that 1 lies on the surface J(X
0
. X
1
. X
2
. X
3
) = 0 if and only if
J(
¸
b
}
]
0}
:
¸
b
}
]
1}
:
¸
b
}
]
2}
:
¸
b
}
]
3}
) = 0, all (b
0
. . . . . b
3
) ÷ k
4
.
Expand this out as a polynomial in the b
}
’s with coefficients polynomials in the a
i
0
i
1
i
2
i
3
and ]
i}
’s. Then J(...) = 0 for all b ÷ k
4
if and only if the coefficients of the polynomial
are all zero. But each coefficient is of the form
1(. . . . a
i
0
i
1
i
2
i
3
. . . . : ]
01
. ]
02
: . . .)
162 CHAPTER 10. REGULAR MAPS AND THEIR FIBRES
with 1 homogeneous separately in the a’s and ]’s, and so the set is closed in ˘ × P
¡
(cf.
the discussion in 7.9).
It remains to compute the dimension of 1
n
. We shall apply Proposition 10.11 to the
projection map
(1. J)
_

1
n
c

c
˘ × P
¡
1 ˘
For 1 ÷ ˘, c
-1
(1) consists of the homogeneous polynomials of degree m such that
1 c V(J) (taken up to nonzero scalars). After a change of coordinates, we can assume
that 1 is the line

X
0
= 0
X
1
= 0.
i.e., 1 = {(0. 0. +. +)]. Then 1 lies on J(X
0
. X
1
. X
2
. X
3
) = 0 if and only if X
0
or X
1
occurs in each nonzero monomial term in J, i.e.,
J ÷ c
-1
(1) ” a
i
0
i
1
i
2
i
3
= 0 whenever i
0
= 0 = i
1
.
Thus c
-1
(1) is a linear subspace of P
¡
; in particular, it is irreducible. We now compute its
dimension. Recall that J has v ÷1 coefficients altogether; the number with i
0
= 0 = i
1
is
m÷1, and so c
-1
(1) has dimension
(m÷1)(m÷2)(m÷3)
6
÷ 1 ÷ (m÷1) =
m(m÷1)(m÷5)
6
÷ 1.
We can now deduce from (10.11) that 1
n
is irreducible and that
dim(1
n
) = dim(˘) ÷dim(c
-1
(1)) =
m(m÷1)(m÷5)
6
÷3.
as claimed.
2
Now consider the other projection By definition
[
-1
(J) = {1 [ 1 lies on V(J)].
EXAMPLE 10.25. Let m = 1. Then v = 3 and dim1
1
= 5. The projection [: 1
1
÷P
3
is
surjective (every plane contains at least one line), and (10.9) tells us that dim[
-1
(J) _ 2.
In fact of course, the lines on any plane form a 2-dimensional family, and so [
-1
(J) = 2
for all J.
THEOREM 10.26. When m > 3, the surfaces of degree m containing no line correspond
to an open subset of P
¡
.
PROOF. We have
dim1
n
÷dimP
¡
=
m(m÷1)(m÷5)
6
÷3÷
(m÷1)(m÷2)(m÷3)
6
÷1 = 4÷(m÷1).
Therefore, if m > 3, then dim1
n
< dimP
¡
, and so [(1
n
) is a proper closed subvariety
of P
¡
. This proves the claim.
2
LINES ON SURFACES 163
We now look at the case m = 2. Here dim1
n
= 10, and v = 9, which suggests that
[ should be surjective and that its fibres should all have dimension _ 1. We shall see that
this is correct.
A quadric is said to be nondegenerate if it is defined by an irreducible polynomial of
degree 2. After a change of variables, any nondegenerate quadric will be defined by an
equation
XW = Y7.
This is just the image of the Segre mapping (see 6.23)
(a
0
: a
1
), (b
0
: b
1
) ÷(a
0
b
0
: a
0
b
1
: a
1
b
0
: a
1
b
1
) : P
1
× P
1
÷P
3
.
There are two obvious families of lines on P
1
× P
1
, namely, the horizontal family and the
vertical family; each is parametrized by P
1
, and so is called a pencil of lines. They map to
two families of lines on the quadric:

t
0
X = t
1
X
t
0
Y = t
1
W
and

t
0
X = t
1
Y
t
0
7 = t
1
W.
Since a degenerate quadric is a surface or a union of two surfaces, we see that every quadric
surface contains a line, that is, that [: 1
2
÷ P
9
is surjective. Thus (10.9) tells us that all
the fibres have dimension _ 1, and the set where the dimension is > 1 is a proper closed
subset. In fact the dimension of the fibre is > 1 exactly on the set of reducible J’s, which
we know to be closed (this was a homework problem in the original course).
It follows from the above discussion that if J is nondegenerate, then [
-1
(J) is iso-
morphic to the disjoint union of two lines, [
-1
(J) ~ P
1
L P
1
. Classically, one defines a
regulus to be a nondegenerate quadric surface together with a choice of a pencil of lines.
One can show that the set of reguli is, in a natural way, an algebraic variety 1, and that,
over the set of nondegenerate quadrics, [ factors into the composite of two regular maps:
1
2
÷ [
-1
(S) = pairs, (J. 1) with 1 on J:
¡
1 = set of reguli;
¡
P
9
÷ S = set of nondegenerate quadrics.
The fibres of the top map are connected, and of dimension 1 (they are all isomorphic to
P
1
), and the second map is finite and two-to-one. Factorizations of this type occur quite
generally (see the Stein factorization theorem (10.30) below).
We now look at the case m = 3. Here dim1
3
= 19; v = 19 : we have a map
[: 1
3
÷P
19
.
THEOREM 10.27. The set of cubic surfaces containing exactly 27 lines corresponds to an
open subset of P
19
; the remaining surfaces either contain an infinite number of lines or a
nonzero finite number _ 27.
EXAMPLE 10.28. (a) Consider the Fermat surface
X
3
0
÷X
3
1
÷X
3
2
÷X
3
3
= 0.
164 CHAPTER 10. REGULAR MAPS AND THEIR FIBRES
Let ¯ be a primitive cube root of one. There are the following lines on the surface, 0 _
i. ; _ 2:

X
0
÷¯
i
X
1
= 0
X
2
÷¯
}
X
3
= 0

X
0
÷¯
i
X
2
= 0
X
1
÷¯
}
X
3
= 0

X
0
÷¯
i
X
3
= 0
X
1
÷¯
}
X
2
= 0
There are three sets, each with nine lines, for a total of 27 lines.
(b) Consider the surface
X
1
X
2
X
3
= X
3
0
.
In this case, there are exactly three lines. To see this, look first in the affine space where
X
0
= 0—here we can take the equation to be X
1
X
2
X
3
= 1. A line in A
3
can be written in
parametric form X
i
= a
i
t ÷b
i
, but a direct inspection shows that no such line lies on the
surface. Now look where X
0
= 0, that is, in the plane at infinity. The intersection of the
surface with this plane is given by X
1
X
2
X
3
= 0 (homogeneous coordinates), which is the
union of three lines, namely,
X
1
= 0; X
2
= 0; X
3
= 0.
Therefore, the surface contains exactly three lines.
(c) Consider the surface
X
3
1
÷X
3
2
= 0.
Here there is a pencil of lines:

t
0
X
1
= t
1
X
0
t
0
X
2
= ÷t
1
X
0
.
(In the affine space where X
0
= 0, the equation is X
3
÷Y
3
= 0, which contains the line
X = t , Y = ÷t , all t.)
We now discuss the proof of Theorem 10.27). If [: 1
3
÷ P
19
were not surjective,
then [(1
3
) would be a proper closed subvariety of P
19
, and the nonempty fibres would all
have dimension _ 1 (by 10.9), which contradicts two of the above examples. Therefore the
map is surjective
1
, and there is an open subset U of P
19
where the fibres have dimension 0;
outside U, the fibres have dimension > 0.
Given that every cubic surface has at least one line, it is not hard to show that there is
an open subset U
t
where the cubics have exactly 27 lines (see Reid, 1988, pp106–110); in
fact, U
t
can be taken to be the set of nonsingular cubics. According to (8.24), the restriction
of [ to [
-1
(U) is finite, and so we can apply (10.12) to see that all cubics in U ÷U
t
have
fewer than 27 lines.
REMARK 10.29. The twenty-seven lines on a cubic surface were discovered in 1849 by
Salmon and Cayley, and have been much studied—see A. Henderson, The Twenty-Seven
Lines Upon the Cubic Surface, Cambridge University Press, 1911. For example, it is known
that the group of permutations of the set of 27 lines preserving intersections (that is, such
that 1 ¨ 1
t
= 0 ” o(1) ¨ o(1
t
) = 0) is isomorphic to the Weyl group of the root
system of a simple Lie algebra of type 1
6
, and hence has 25920 elements.
It is known that there is a set of 6 skew lines on a nonsingular cubic surface V . Let 1
and 1
t
be two skew lines. Then “in general” a line joining a point on 1 to a point on 1
t
will
1
According to Miles Reid (1988, p126) every adult algebraic geometer knows the proof that every cubic
contains a line.
STEIN FACTORIZATION 165
meet the surface in exactly one further point. In this way one obtains an invertible regular
map from an open subset of P
1
× P
1
to an open subset of V , and hence V is birationally
equivalent to P
2
.
Stein factorization
The following important theorem shows that the fibres of a proper map are disconnected
only because the fibres of finite maps are disconnected.
THEOREM 10.30. Let c: W ÷ V be a proper morphism of varieties. It is possible to
factor c into W
c
1
÷W
t
c
2
÷V with c
1
proper with connected fibres and c
2
finite.
PROOF. This is usually proved at the same time as Zariski’s main theorem (if W and V are
irreducible, and V is affine, then W
t
is the affine variety with kŒW
t
| the integral closure of
kŒV | in k(W)).
2
Exercises
10-1. Let G be a connected algebraic group, and consider an action of G on a variety V ,
i.e., a regular map G × V ÷ V such that (gg
t
)· = g(g
t
·) for all g. g
t
÷ G and · ÷ V .
Show that each orbit O = G· of G is nonsingular and open in its closure
¨
O, and that
¨
O O is a union of orbits of strictly lower dimension. Deduce that there is at least one
closed orbit.
10-2. Let G = GL
2
= V , and let G act on V by conjugation. According to the theory of
Jordan canonical forms, the orbits are of three types:
(a) Characteristic polynomial X
2
÷aX ÷b; distinct roots.
(b) Characteristic polynomial X
2
÷ aX ÷ b; minimal polynomial the same; repeated
roots.
(c) Characteristic polynomial X
2
÷aX ÷b = (X ÷ ˛)
2
; minimal polynomial X ÷ ˛.
For each type, find the dimension of the orbit, the equations defining it (as a subvariety of
V ), the closure of the orbit, and which other orbits are contained in the closure.
(You may assume, if you wish, that the characteristic is zero. Also, you may assume the
following (fairly difficult) result: for any closed subgroup H of an algebraic group G, G¡H
has a natural structure of an algebraic variety with the following properties: G ÷ G¡H is
regular, and a map G¡H ÷ V is regular if the composite G ÷ G¡H ÷ V is regular;
dimG¡H = dimG ÷ dimH.)
[The enthusiasts may wish to carry out the analysis for GL
n
.]
10-3. Find 3J
2
lines on the Fermat projective surface
X
d
0
÷X
d
1
÷X
d
2
÷X
d
3
= 0. J _ 3. (]. J) = 1. ] the characteristic.
10-4. (a) Let c: W ÷V be a quasi-finite dominating regular map of irreducible varieties.
Show that there are open subsets U
t
and U of W and V such that c(U
t
) c U and c: U
t
÷
U is finite.
166 CHAPTER 10. REGULAR MAPS AND THEIR FIBRES
(b) Let G be an algebraic group acting transitively on irreducible varieties W and V ,
and let c: W ÷ V be G-equivariant regular map satisfying the hypotheses in (a). Then c
is finite, and hence proper.
Chapter 11
Algebraic spaces; geometry over an
arbitrary field
In this chapter, we explain how to extend the theory of the preceding chapters to a nonalge-
braically closed base field. One major difference is that we need to consider ringed spaces
in which the sheaf of rings is no longer a sheaf of functions on the base space. Once we
allow that degree of extra generality, it is natural to allow the rings to have nilpotents. In
this way we obtain the notion of an algebraic space, which even over an algebraically closed
field is more general than that of an algebraic variety.
Throughout this chapter, k is a field and k
al
is an algebraic closure of k.
Preliminaries
Sheaves
A presheaf F on a topological space V is a map assigning to each open subset U of V a
set F(U) and to each inclusion U
t
c U a “restriction” map
a ÷a[U
t
: F(U) ÷F(U
t
):
when U = U
t
the restriction map is required to be the identity map, and if
U
tt
c U
t
c U.
then the composite of the restriction maps
F(U) ÷F(U
t
) ÷F(U
tt
)
is required to be the restriction map F(U) ÷ F(U
tt
). In other words, a presheaf is a
contravariant functor to the category of sets from the category whose objects are the open
subsets of V and whose morphisms are the inclusions. A homomorphism of presheaves
˛: F ÷F
t
is a family of maps
˛(U): F(U) ÷F
t
(U)
commuting with the restriction maps, i.e., a morphism of functors.
A presheaf F is a sheaf if for every open covering {U
i
] of an open subset U of V
and family of elements a
i
÷ F(U
i
) agreeing on overlaps (that is, such that a
i
[U
i
¨ U
}
=
167
168 CHAPTER 11. ALGEBRAIC SPACES
a
}
[U
i
¨ U
}
for all i. ; ), there is a unique element a ÷ F(U) such that a
i
= a[U
i
for all i .
A homomorphism of sheaves on V is a homomorphism of presheaves.
If the sets F(U) are abelian groups and the restriction maps are homomorphisms, then
the sheaf is a sheaf of abelian groups. Similarly one defines a sheaf of rings, a sheaf of
k-algebras, and a sheaf of modules over a sheaf of rings.
For · ÷ V , the stalk of a sheaf F (or presheaf) at · is
F
¡
= lim
÷÷
F(U) (limit over open neighbourhoods of ·).
In other words, it is the set of equivalence classes of pairs (U. s) with U an open neighbour-
hood of · and s ÷ F(U); two pairs (U. s) and (U
t
. s
t
) are equivalent if s[U
tt
= s[U
tt
for
some open neighbourhood U
tt
of · contained in U ¨ U
t
.
A ringed space is a pair (V. O) consisting of topological space V together with a sheaf
of rings. If the stalk O
¡
of O at · is a local ring for all · ÷ V , then (V. O) is called a locally
ringed space.
A morphism (V. O) ÷ (V
t
. O
t
) of ringed spaces is a pair (c. [) with c a continuous
map V ÷V
t
and [ a family of maps
[(U
t
): O
t
(U
t
) ÷O(c
-1
(U
t
)). U
t
open in V
t
,
commuting with the restriction maps. Such a pair defines homomorphismof rings [
¡
: O
t
c(¡)
÷
O
¡
for all · ÷ V . A morphism of locally ringed spaces is a morphism of ringed space such
that [
¡
is a local homomorphism for all ·.
In the remainder of this chapter, a ringed space will be a topological space V together
with a sheaf of k-algebras, and morphisms of ringed spaces will be required to preserve
the k-algebra structures.
Extending scalars (extending the base field)
Nilpotents
Recall that a ring · is reduced if it has no nilpotents. If · is reduced, then · ˝
k
k
al
need
not be reduced. Consider for example the algebra · = kŒX. Y |¡(X
;
÷ Y
;
÷ a) where
] = char(k) and a is not a ]
th
-power in k. Then · is reduced (even an integral domain)
because X
;
÷Y
;
÷a is irreducible in kŒX. Y |, but
· ˝
k
k
al
. k
al
ŒX. Y |¡(X
;
÷Y
;
÷a)
= k
al
ŒX. Y |¡((X ÷Y ÷˛)
;
). ˛
;
= a.
which is not reduced because . ÷. ÷˛ = 0 but (. ÷. ÷˛)
;
= 0.
In this subsection, we show that problems of this kind arise only because of insepara-
bility. In particular, they don’t occur if k is perfect.
Now assume k has characteristic ] = 0, and let ˝ be some (large) field containing k
al
.
Let
k
1
p
= {˛ ÷ k
al
[ ˛
;
÷ k].
It is a subfield of k
al
, and k
1
p
= k if and only if k is perfect.
DEFINITION 11.1. Subfields 1. 1
t
of ˝ containing k are said to be linearly disjoint over
k if the map 1 ˝
k
1
t
÷˝ is injective.
PRELIMINARIES 169
Equivalent conditions:
˘ if e
1
. . . . . e
n
are elements of 1 linearly independent over k and e
t
1
. . . . . e
t
n
0
are el-
ements of 1
t
linearly independent over k, then e
1
e
t
1
. e
1
e
t
2
. . . . . e
n
e
t
n
0
are linearly
independent over k;
˘ if e
1
. . . . . e
n
are elements of 1 linearly independent over k, then they are also lin-
early independent over 1
t
.
LEMMA 11.2. Let 1 = k(.
1
. . . . . .
d÷1
) c ˝ with .
1
. . . . . .
d
algebraically independent
over J, and let } ÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
d÷1
| be an irreducible polynomial such that }(.
1
. . . . . .
d÷1
) =
0. If k is linearly disjoint from k
1
p
, then } … kŒX
;
1
. . . . . X
;
d÷1
|.
PROOF. Suppose otherwise, say, } = g(X
;
1
. . . . . X
;
d÷1
). Let M
1
. . . . . M
i
be the mono-
mials in X
1
. . . . . X
d÷1
that actually occur in g(X
1
. . . . . X
d÷1
), and let m
i
= M
i
(.
1
. . . . . .
d÷1
).
Then m
1
. . . . . m
i
are linearly independent over k (because each has degree less than that of
} ). However, m
;
1
. . . . . m
;
i
are linearly dependent over k, because g(.
;
1
. . . . . .
;
d÷1
) = 0.
But
¸
a
i
m
;
i
= 0 (a
i
÷ k) ==
¸
a
1
p
i
m
i
= 0 (a
1
p
i
÷ k
1
p
)
and we have a contradiction.
2
Recall (FT :8) that a separating transcendence basis for 1 ¯ k is a transcendence
basis {.
1
. . . . . .
d
] such that 1 is separable over k(.
1
. . . . . .
d
). The next proposition is an
improvement of FT, Theorem 8.21.
PROPOSITION 11.3. A finitely generated field extension 1 ¯ k admits a separating tran-
scendence basis if 1 and k
1
p
are linearly disjoint (in 1
al
, say).
PROOF. Let 1 = k(.
1
. . . . . .
n
). We prove the result by induction on n. If n = J,
the transcendence degree of 1 over k, there is nothing to prove, and so we may assume
n _ J ÷ 1. After renumbering, we may suppose that .
1
. . . . . .
d
are algebraically inde-
pendent (FT 8.12). Then }(.
1
. . . . . .
d÷1
) = 0 for some nonzero irreducible polynomial
}(X
1
. . . . . X
d÷1
) with coefficients in k. Not all d}¡dX
i
are zero, for otherwise } would
be a polynomial in X
;
1
. . . . . X
;
d÷1
, which is impossible by the lemma. After renumbering,
we may suppose that d}¡dX
d÷1
= 0, and so {.
1
. . . . . .
d÷1
] is a separating transcendence
basis for k(.
1
. . . . . .
d÷1
) over k, which proves the proposition when n = J ÷ 1. In the
general case, k(.
1
. . . . . .
d÷1
. .
d÷2
) is algebraic over k(.
1
. . . . . .
d
) and .
d÷1
is separable
over k(.
1
. . . . . .
d
), and so, by the primitive element theorem (FT 5.1) there is an element
. such that k(.
1
. . . . . .
d÷2
) = k(.
1
. . . . . .
d
. .). Thus 1 is generated by n ÷ 1 elements
(as a field containing k), and we apply induction.
2
A finitely generated field extension 1 ¯ k is said to be regular if it satisfies the condi-
tion in the proposition.
PROPOSITION 11.4. Let · be a reduced finitely generated k-algebra. The following state-
ments are equivalent:
(a) k
1
p
˝
k
· is reduced;
(b) k
al
˝
k
· is reduced;
170 CHAPTER 11. ALGEBRAIC SPACES
(c) 1 ˝
k
· is reduced for all fields 1 ¯ k.
PROOF. The implications c==b==a are obvious, and so we only have to prove a ==c.
After localizing · at a minimal prime, we may suppose that it is a field. Let e
1
. . . . . e
n
be elements of · linearly independent over k. If they become linearly dependent over k
1
p
,
then e
;
1
. . . . . e
;
n
are linearly dependent over k, say,
¸
a
i
e
;
i
= 0, a
i
÷ k. Now
¸
a
1
p
i
˝e
i
is a nonzero element of k
1
p
˝
k
·, but

¸
a
1
p
i
˝e
i

;
=
¸
a
i
˝e
;
i
=
¸
1 ˝a
i
e
;
i
= 1 ˝
¸
a
i
e
;
i
= 0.
This shows that · and k
1
p
are linearly disjoint over k, and so · has a separating transcen-
dence basis over k. From this it follows that 1 ˝
k
· is reduced for all fields 1 ¯ k.
2
Idempotents
Even when · is an integral domain and · ˝
k
k
al
is reduced, the latter need not be an
integral domain. Suppose, for example, that · is a finite separable field extension of k.
Then · ~ kŒX|¡(}(X)) for some irreducible separable polynomial }(X), and so
· ˝
k
k
al
~ k
al
ŒX|¡(}(X)) = k
al
¡(
¸
(X ÷ a
i
)) .
¸
k
al
¡(X ÷ a
i
)
(by the Chinese remainder theorem). This shows that if · contains a finite separable field
extension of k, then · ˝
k
k
al
can’t be an integral domain. The next proposition gives a
converse.
PROPOSITION 11.5. Let · be a finitely generated k-algebra, and assume that · is an inte-
gral domain, and that ·˝
k
k
al
is reduced. Then ·˝
k
k
al
is an integral domain if and only
if k is algebraically closed in · (i.e., if a ÷ · is algebraic over k, then a ÷ k).
PROOF. To be added (Zariski and Samuel 1958, III 15, Theorem 40).
2
After these preliminaries, it is possible rewrite all of the preceding sections with k not
necessarily algebraically closed. I indicate briefly how this is done.
Affine algebraic spaces
For a finitely generated k-algebra ·, we define spm(·) to be the set of maximal ideals in
· endowed with the topology having as basis the sets D(} ), D(} ) = {m [ } … m]. There
is a unique sheaf of k-algebras O on spm(·) such that 1(D(} ). O)) = ·
(
for all } ÷ ·
(recall that ·
(
is the ring obtained from · by inverting } ), and we denote the resulting
ringed space by Spm(·). The stalk at m ÷ V is lim
÷÷(
·
(
. ·
m
.
Let m be a maximal ideal of ·. Then k(m) =
df
·¡m is field that is finitely generated
as a k-algebra, and is therefore of finite degree over k (Zariski’s lemma, 2.7).
The sections of O are no longer functions on V = spm·. For m ÷ spm(·) and } ÷ ·
we set }(m) equal to the image of } in k(m). It does make sense to speak of the zero set
of } in V , and D(} ) = {m [ }(m) = 0]. For }. g ÷ ·,
}(m) = g(m) for all m ÷ · ” } ÷ g is nilpotent.
AFFINE ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES. 171
When k is algebraically closed and · is an affine k-algebra, k(m) . k and we recover the
definition of Spm· in :3.
An affine algebraic space
1
over k is a ringed space (V. O
V
) such that
˘ 1(V. O
V
) is a finitely generated k-algebra,
˘ for each 1 ÷ V , 1(1) =
df
{} ÷ 1(V. O
V
) [ }(1) = 0] is a maximal ideal in
1(V. O
V
), and
˘ the map 1 ÷1(1): V ÷Spm(1(V. O
V
)) is an isomorphism of ringed spaces.
For an affine algebraic space, we sometimes denote 1(V. O
V
) by kŒV |. A morphism of
algebraic spaces over k is a morphism of ringed spaces — it is automatically a morphism
of locally ringed spaces. An affine algebraic space (V. O
V
) is reduced if 1(V. O
V
) is
reduced.
Let ˛: · ÷ T be a homomorphism of finitely generated k-algebras. For any maximal
ideal m of T, there is an injection of k-algebras ·¡˛
-1
(m) ·÷ T¡m. As T¡m is a field of
finite degree over k, this shows that ˛
-1
(m) is a maximal ideal of ·. Therefore ˛ defines
a map spmT ÷ spm·, which one shows easily defines a morphism of affine algebraic
k-spaces
SpmT ÷Spm ·.
and this gives a bijection
Hom
k-alg
(·. T) . Hom
k
(SpmT. Spm·).
Therefore · ÷ Spm(·) is an equivalence of from the category of finitely generated
k-algebras to that of affine algebraic spaces over k; its quasi-inverse is V ÷ kŒV |
df
=
1(V. O
V
). Under this correspondence, reduced algebraic spaces correspond to reduced
algebras.
Let V be an affine algebraic space over k. For an ideal a in kŒV |,
spm(·¡a) . V(a)
df
= {1 ÷ V [ }(1) = 0 for all } ÷ a].
We call V(a) endowed with the ring structure provided by this isomorphism a closed al-
gebraic subspace of V . Thus, there is a one-to-one correspondence between the closed
algebraic subspaces of V and the ideals in kŒV |. Note that if rad(a) = rad(b), then V(a) =
V(b) as topological spaces (but not as algebraic spaces).
Let c: Spm(T) ÷Spm(·) be the map defined by a homomorphism ˛: · ÷T.
˘ The image of c is dense if and only if the kernel of ˛ is nilpotent.
˘ The map c defines an isomorphism of Spm(T) with a closed subvariety of Spm(·)
if and only if ˛ is surjective.
Affine algebraic varieties.
An affine k-algebra is a finitely generated k-algebra · such that ·˝
k
k
al
is reduced. Since
· c · ˝
k
k
al
, · itself is then reduced. Proposition 11.4 has the following consequences:
1
Not to be confused with the algebraic spaces of, for example, of J-P. Serre, Espaces Fibr´ es Alg´ ebriques,
1958, which are simply algebraic varieties in the sense of these notes, or with the algebraic spaces of M. Artin,
Algebraic Spaces, 1969, which generalize (!) schemes.
172 CHAPTER 11. ALGEBRAIC SPACES
if · is an affine k-algebra, then ·˝
k
1 is reduced for all fields 1 containing k; when k is
perfect, every reduced finitely generated k-algebra is affine.
Let · be a finitely generated k-algebra. The choice of a set {.
1
. .... .
n
] of generators
for ·, determines isomorphisms
· ÷kŒ.
1
. .... .
n
| ÷kŒX
1
. .... X
n
|¡(}
1
. .... }
n
).
and
· ˝
k
k
al
÷k
al
ŒX
1
. .... X
n
|¡(}
1
. .... }
n
).
Thus · is an affine algebra if the elements }
1
. .... }
n
of kŒX
1
. .... X
n
| generate a radical
ideal when regarded as elements of k
al
ŒX
1
. .... X
n
|. From the above remarks, we see that
this condition implies that they generate a radical ideal in kŒX
1
. .... X
n
|, and the converse
implication holds when k is perfect.
An affine algebraic space (V. O
V
) such that 1(V. O
V
) is an affine k-algebra is called
an affine algebraic variety over k. Thus, a ringed space (V. O
V
) is an affine algebraic
variety if 1(V. O
V
) is an affine k-algebra, 1(1) is a maximal ideal in 1(V. O
V
) for each
1 ÷ V , and 1 ÷1(1): V ÷spm(1(V. O
V
)) is an isomorphism of ringed spaces.
Let
· = kŒX
1
. .... X
n
|¡a.
T = kŒY
1
. .... Y
n
|¡b.
A homomorphism · ÷ T is determined by a family of polynomials, 1
i
(Y
1
. .... Y
n
), i =
1. .... m; the homomorphism sends .
i
to 1
i
(.
1
. .... .
n
); in order to define a homomorphism,
the 1
i
must be such that
J ÷ a ==J(1
1
. .... 1
n
) ÷ b;
two families 1
1
. .... 1
n
and O
1
. .... O
n
determine the same map if and only if 1
i
÷ O
i
mod b for all i .
Let · be a finitely generated k-algebra, and let V = Spm·. For any field 1 ¯ k,

k
·is a finitely generated 1-algebra, and hence we get a variety V
1
=
df
Spm(1˝
k
·)
over 1. We say that V
1
has been obtained from V by extension of scalars or exten-
sion of the base field. Note that if · = kŒX
1
. .... X
n
|¡(}
1
. .... }
n
) then · ˝
k
1 =
1ŒX
1
. .... X
n
|¡(}
1
. .... }
n
). The map V ÷ V
1
is a functor from affine varieties over k
to affine varieties over 1.
Let V
0
= Spm(·
0
) be an affine variety over k. and let W = V(b) be a closed subvari-
ety of V
df
= V
0,k
al . Then W arises by extension of scalars from a closed subvariety W
0
of
V
0
if and only if the ideal b of ·
0
˝
k
k
al
is generated by elements ·
0
. Except when k is
perfect, this is stronger than saying W is the zero set of a family of elements of ·.
The definition of the affine space A(1) attached to a vector space 1 works over any
field.
Algebraic spaces; algebraic varieties.
An algebraic space over k is a ringed space (V. O) for which there exists a finite covering
(U
i
) of V by open subsets such that (U
i
. O[U
i
) is an affine algebraic space over k for all
i . A morphism of algebraic spaces (also called a regular map) over k is a morphism
ALGEBRAIC SPACES; ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES. 173
of locally ringed spaces of k-algebras. An algebraic space is separated if for all pairs of
morphisms of k-spaces ˛. ˇ: 7 ÷V , the subset of 7 on which ˛ and ˇ agree is closed.
Similarly, an algebraic prevariety over k is a ringed space (V. O) for which there exists
a finite covering (U
i
) of V by open subsets such that (U
i
. O[U
i
) is an affine algebraic
variety over k for all i . A separated prevariety is called a variety.
With any algebraic space V over k we can associate a reduced algebraic space V
red
such
that
˘ V
red
= V as a topological space,
˘ for all open affines U c V , 1(U. O
V
red
) is the quotient of 1(U. O
V
) by its nilradical.
For example, if V = SpmkŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡a, then V
red
= SpmkŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡rad(a). The
identity map V
red
÷ V is a regular map. Any closed subset of V can be given a unique
structure of a reduced algebraic space.
Products.
If · and T are finitely generated k-algebras, then ·˝
k
T is a finitely generated k-algebra,
and Spm(· ˝
k
T) is the product of Spm(·) and Spm(T) in the category of algebraic
k-spaces, i.e., it has the correct universal property. This definition of product extends in a
natural way to all algebraic spaces.
The tensor product of two reduced k-algebras may fail to be reduced — consider for
example,
· = kŒX. Y |¡(X
;
÷Y
;
÷a). T = kŒ7|¡(7
;
÷ a). a … k
;
.
However, if · and T are affine k-algebras, then ·˝
k
T is again an affine k-algebra. To see
this, note that (by definition), · ˝
k
k
al
and T ˝
k
k
al
are affine k-algebras, and therefore
so also is their tensor product over k
al
(4.15); but
(· ˝
k
k
al
) ˝
k
al (k
al
˝
k
T) . ((· ˝
k
k
al
) ˝
k
al k
al
) ˝
k
T . (· ˝
k
T) ˝
k
k
al
.
Thus, if V and W are algebraic (pre)varieties over k, then so also is their product.
Just as in (4.24, 4.25), the diagonal z is locally closed in V × V , and it is closed if and
only if V is separated.
Extension of scalars (extension of the base field).
Let V be an algebraic space over k, and let 1 be a field containing k. There is a natural
way of defining an algebraic space V
1
over 1, said to be obtained from V by extension of
scalars (or extension of the base field): if V is a union of open affines, V =

U
i
, then
V
1
=

U
i,1
and the U
i,1
are patched together the same way as the U
i
. If 1 is algebraic
over k, there is a morphism (V
1
. O
V
K
) ÷ (V. O
V
) that is universal: for any algebraic 1-
space W and morphism (W. O
W
) ÷(V. O
V
), there exists a unique regular map W ÷V
1
giving a commutative diagram,
W

B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
V
1

1
V k.
174 CHAPTER 11. ALGEBRAIC SPACES
The dimension of an algebraic space or variety doesn’t change under extension of
scalars.
When V is an algebraic space (or variety) over k
al
obtained from an algebraic space
(or variety) V
0
over k by extension of scalars, we sometimes call V
0
a model for V over k.
More precisely, a model of V over k is an algebraic space (or variety) V
0
over k together
with an isomorphism c: V ÷V
0,k
al .
Of course, V need not have a model over k — for example, an elliptic curve
1 : Y
2
7 = X
3
÷aX7
2
÷b7
3
over k
al
will have a model over k c k
al
if and only if its ; -invariant ;(1)
df
=
1T2S(4o)
3
-16(4o
3
÷2Tb
2
)
lies in k. Moreover, when V has a model over k, it will usually have a large number of
them, no two of which are isomorphic over k. Consider, for example, the quadric surface
in P
3
over ´
al
.
V : X
2
÷Y
2
÷7
2
÷W
2
= 0.
The models over V over ´ are defined by equations
aX
2
÷bY
2
÷c7
2
÷JW
2
= 0, a, b, c, J ÷ ´.
Classifying the models of V over ´ is equivalent to classifying quadratic forms over ´ in
4 variables. This has been done, but it requires serious number theory. In particular, there
are infinitely many (see Chapter VIII of my notes on Class Field Theory).
Let V be an algebraic space over k. When k is perfect, V
red
is an algebraic prevariety
over k, but not necessarily otherwise, i.e., (V
red
)
k
al need not be reduced. This shows that
when k is not perfect, passage to the associated reduced algebraic space does not commute
with extension of the base field: we may have
(V
red
)
1
= (V
1
)
red
.
PROPOSITION 11.6. Let V be an algebraic space over a field k. Then V is an algebraic
prevariety if and only if V
k
1
p
is reduced, in which case V
1
is reduced for all fields 1 ¯ k.
PROOF. Apply 11.4.
2
Connectedness
A variety V over a field k is said to be geometrically connected if V
k
al is connected, in
which case, V
˝
is connected for every field ˝ containing k.
We first examine zero-dimensional varieties. Over C, a zero-dimensional variety is
nothing more than a finite set (finite disjoint union of copies A
0
). Over 1, a connected
zero-dimensional variety V is either geometrically connected (e.g., A
0
R
) or geometrically
nonconnected (e.g., V : X
2
÷1; subvariety of A
1
), in which case V(C) is a conjugate pair
of complex points. Thus, one sees that to give a zero-dimensional variety over 1 is to give
a finite set with an action of Gal(C¡1).
Similarly, a connected variety V over 1 may be geometrically connected, or it may
decompose over C into a pair of conjugate varieties. Consider, for example, the following
subvarieties of A
2
:
1 : Y ÷1 is a geometrically connected line over 1;
ALGEBRAIC SPACES; ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES. 175
1
t
: Y
2
÷1 is connected over 1, but over C it decomposes as the pair of conjugate lines
Y = ˙i .
Note that 1 is algebraically closed
2
in
1Œ1| = 1ŒX. Y |¡(Y ÷1) Š 1ŒX|
but not in
1Œ1
t
| = 1ŒX. Y |¡(Y
2
÷1) Š

1ŒY |¡(Y
2
÷1)

ŒX| Š CŒX|.
PROPOSITION 11.7. A connected variety V over a field k is geometrically connected if
and only if k is algebraically closed in k(V ).
PROOF. This follows from the statement: let · be a finitely generated k-algebra such that
· is an integral domain and · ˝
k
k
al
is reduced; then · ˝k
al
is an integral domain if and
only if k is algebraically closed in · (11.5).
2
PROPOSITION 11.8. To give a zero-dimensional variety V over a field k is to give (equiv-
alently)
(a) a finite set 1 plus, for each e ÷ 1, a finite separable field extension ´(e) of ´, or
(b) a finite set S with a continuous
3
(left) action of ˙ =
df
Gal(k
sep
¡k).
4
PROOF. Because each point of a variety is closed, the underlying topological space V of
a zero-dimensional variety (V. O
V
) is finite and discrete. For U an open affine in V , · =
1(U. O
V
) is a finite affine k-algebra. In particular, it is reduced, and so the intersection of
its maximal ideals
¸
m = 0. The Chinese remainder theorem shows that · .
¸
·¡m.
Each ·¡mis a finite field extension of k, and it is separable because otherwise (·¡m)˝
k
k
al
would not be reduced. The proves (a).
The set S in (b) is V(k
sep
) with the natural action of ˙. We can recover (V. O
V
) from
S as follows: let V be the set ˙\S of orbits endowed with the discrete topology, and, for
e = ˙s ÷ ˙\S, let k(e) = (k
sep
)
˙
s
where ˙
x
is the stabilizer of s in ˙; then, for U c V ,
1(U. O
V
) =
¸
e÷U
k(e).
2
PROPOSITION 11.9. Given a variety V over k, there exists a map } : V ÷ ¬ from V
to a zero-dimensional variety ¬ such that, for all e ÷ ¬, the fibre V
e
is a geometrically
connected variety over k(e).
PROOF. Let ¬ be the zero-dimensional variety whose underlying set is the set of connected
components of V over ´and such that, for each e = V
i
÷ ¬, k(e) is the algebraic closure of
k in ´(V
i
). Apply (11.7) to see that the obvious map } : V ÷¬ has the desired property.
2
EXAMPLE 11.10. Let V be a connected variety over a k, and let k
t
be the algebraic closure
of k in k(V ). The map } : V ÷ Spmk realizes V as a geometrically connected variety
over k. Conversely, for a geometrically connected variety } : V ÷ Spmk
t
over a finite
extension of k, the composite of } with Spmk
t
÷ Spmk realizes V as a variety over k
(connected, but not geometrically connected if k
t
= k).
2
A field k is algebraically closed in a k-algebra · if every a ÷ · algebraic over k lies in k.
3
This means that the action factors through the quotient of Gal(Q
al
¡Q) by an open subgroup (all open
subgroups of Gal(Q
al
¡Q) are of finite index, but not all subgroups of finite index are open).
4
The cognoscente will recognize this as Grothendieck’s way of expressing Galois theory over Q.
176 CHAPTER 11. ALGEBRAIC SPACES
EXAMPLE 11.11. Let } : V ÷¬ be as in (11.9). When we regard ¬ as a set with an action
of ˙, then its points are in natural one-to-one correspondence with the connected compo-
nents of V
k
sep and its ˙-orbits are in natural one-to-one correspondence with the connected
components of V . Let e ÷ ¬ and let V
t
= }
-1
k
sep
(e) — it is a connected component of V
k
sep .
Let ˙
e
be the stabilizer of e; then V
t
arises from a geometrically connected variety over
k(e)
df
= (k
sep
)
˙
e
.
ASIDE 11.12. Proposition 11.9 is a special case of Stein factorization (10.30).
Fibred products
Fibred products exist in the category of algebraic spaces. For example, if 1 ÷ · and
1 ÷ T are homomorphisms of finitely generated k-algebras, then · ˝
T
T is a finitely
generated k-algebras and
Spm(·) ×
Spm(T)
Spm(T) = Spm(· ˝
T
T).
For algebraic prevarieties, the situation is less satisfactory. Consider a variety S and
two regular maps V ÷ S and W ÷ S. Then (V ×
S
W)
red
is the fibred product of V
and W over S in the category of reduced algebraic k-spaces. When k is perfect, this is a
variety, but not necessarily otherwise. Even when the fibred product exists in the category
of algebraic prevarieties, it is anomolous. The correct object is the fibred product in the
category of algebraic spaces which, as we have observed, may no longer be an algebraic
variety. This is one reason for introducing algebraic spaces.
Consider the fibred product:
A
1
÷÷÷÷÷ A
1
×
A
1 {a]
x|-x
p

A
1
÷÷÷÷÷ {a]
In the category of algebraic varieties, A
1
×
A
1 {a] is a single point if a is a ]th power in k and
is empty otherwise; in the category of algebraic spaces, A
1
×
A
1 {a] = SpmkŒT |¡(T
;
÷a),
which can be thought of as a ]-fold point (point with multiplicity ]).
The points on an algebraic space
Let V be an algebraic space over k. A point of V with coordinates in k (or a point of V
rational over k, or a k-point of V ) is a morphism Spmk ÷V . For example, if V is affine,
say V = Spm(·), then a point of V with coordinates in k is a k-homomorphism · ÷ k.
If · = kŒX
1
. .... X
n
|¡(}
1
. .... }
n
), then to give a k-homomorphism · ÷ k is the same as
to give an n-tuple (a
1
. .... a
n
) such that
}
i
(a
1
. .... a
n
) = 0, i = 1. .... m.
In other words, if V is the affine algebraic space over k defined by the equations
}
i
(X
1
. . . . . X
n
) = 0. i = 1. . . . . m
then a point of V with coordinates in k is a solution to this system of equations in k. We
write V(k) for the points of V with coordinates in k.
LOCAL STUDY 177
We extend this notion to obtain the set of points V(1) of a variety V with coordinates
in any k-algebra 1. For example, when V = Spm(·), we set
V(1) = Hom
k-alg
(·. 1).
Again, if
· = kŒX
1
. .... X
n
|¡(}
1
. .... }
n
).
then
V(1) = {(a
1
. .... a
n
) ÷ 1
n
[ }
i
(a
1
. .... a
n
) = 0. i = 1. 2. .... m].
What is the relation between the elements of V and the elements of V(k)? Suppose V
is affine, say V = Spm(·). Let · ÷ V . Then · corresponds to a maximal ideal m
¡
in ·
(actually, it is a maximal ideal), and we write k(·) for the residue field O
¡
¡m
¡
. Then k(·)
is a finite extension of k, and we call the degree of k(·) over k the degree of ·. Let 1 be a
field algebraic over k. To give a point of V with coordinates in 1 is to give a homomorphism
of k-algebras · ÷ 1. The kernel of such a homomorphism is a maximal ideal m
¡
in ·,
and the homomorphisms · ÷ k with kernel m
¡
are in one-to-one correspondence with
the k-homomorphisms k(·) ÷ 1. In particular, we see that there is a natural one-to-one
correspondence between the points of V with coordinates in k and the points · of V with
k(·) = k, i.e., with the points · of V of degree 1. This statement holds also for nonaffine
algebraic varieties.
Now assume k to be perfect. The k
al
-rational points of V with image · ÷ V are in
one-to-one correspondence with the k-homomorphisms k(·) ÷ k
al
— therefore, there are
exactly deg(·) of them, and they form a single orbit under the action of Gal(k
al
¡k). The
natural map V
k
al ÷ V realizes V (as a topological space) as the quotient of V
k
al by the
action of Gal(k
al
¡k) — there is a one-to-one correspondence between the set of points of
V and the set of orbits for Gal(k
al
¡k) acting on V(k
al
).
Local study
Let V = V(a) c A
n
, and let a = (}
1
. .... }
i
). Let J = dimV . The singular locus V
sing
of V is defined by the vanishing of the (n ÷ J) × (n ÷ J) minors of the matrix
Jac(}
1
. }
2,
. . . . }
i
) =

¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
J(
1
Jx
1
J(
1
Jx
2

J(
1
Jx
r
J(
2
Jx
1
.
.
.
J(
r
Jx
1
J(
r
Jx
r

.
We say that · is nonsingular if some (n ÷ J) × (n ÷ J) minor doesn’t vanish at ·. We
say V is nonsingular if its singular locus is empty (i.e., V
sing
is the empty variety or,
equivalently, V
sing
(k
al
) is empty) . Obviously V is nonsingular ” V
k
al is nonsingular;
also the formation of V
sing
commutes with extension of scalars. Therefore, if V is a variety,
V
sing
is a proper closed subvariety of V (Theorem 5.18).
THEOREM 11.13. Let V be an algebraic space over k.
(a) If 1 ÷ V is nonsingular, then O
1
is regular.
(b) If all points of V are nonsingular, then V is a nonsingular algebraic variety.
178 CHAPTER 11. ALGEBRAIC SPACES
PROOF. (a) Similar arguments to those in chapter 5 show that m
1
can be generated by
dimV elements, and dimV is the Krull dimension of O
1
.
(b) It suffices to show that V is geometrically reduced, and so we may replace k with
its algebraic closure. From (a), each local ring O
1
is regular, but regular local rings are
integral domains (Atiyah and MacDonald 1969, 11.23).
5
2
THEOREM 11.14. The converse to (a) of the theorem fails. For example, let k be a field of
characteristic ] = 0. 2, and let a be a nonzero element of k that is not a ]
th
power. Then
}(X. Y ) = Y
2
÷X
;
÷ a is irreducible, and remains irreducible over k
al
. Therefore,
· = kŒX. Y |¡(}(X. Y )) = kŒ.. .|
is an affine k-algebra, and we let V be the curve Spm·. One checks that V is normal, and
hence is regular by Atiyah and MacDonald 1969, 9.2. However,
d}
dX
= 0.
d}
dY
= 2Y.
and so (a
1
p
. 0) ÷ V
sing
(k
al
): the point 1 in V corresponding to the maximal ideal (.) of ·
is singular even though O
1
is regular.
The relation between “nonsingular” and “regular” is examined in detail in: Zariski,
O., The Concept of a Simple Point of an Abstract Algebraic Variety, Transactions of the
American Mathematical Society, Vol. 62, No. 1. (Jul., 1947), pp. 1-52.
Separable points
Let V be an algebraic variety over k. Call a point 1 ÷ V separable if k(1) is a separable
extension of k.
PROPOSITION 11.15. The separable points are dense in V ; in particular, V(k) is dense in
V if k is separably closed.
PROOF. It suffices to prove this for each irreducible component of V , and we may re-
place an irreducible component of V by any variety birationally equivalent with it (4.32).
Therefore, it suffices to prove it for a hypersurface H in A
d÷1
defined by a polynomial
}(X
1
. . . . . X
d÷1
) that is separable when regarded as a polynomial in X
d÷1
with coeffi-
cients in k(X
1
. . . . . X
d
) (4.34, 11.3). Then
J(
JA
dC1
= 0 (as a polynomial in X
1
. . . . . X
d
),
and on the nonempty open subset D(
J(
JA
dC1
) of A
d
, }(a
1
. . . . . a
d
. X
d÷1
) will be a sepa-
rable polynomial. The points of H lying over points of U are separable.
2
Tangent cones
DEFINITION 11.16. The tangent cone at a point 1 on an algebraic space V is Spm(gr(O
1
)).
When V is a variety over an algebraically closed field, this agrees with the definition
in chapter 5, except that there we didn’t have the correct language to describe it — even in
that case, the tangent cone may be an algebraic space (not an algebraic variety).
5
One shows that if 1 is regular, then the associated graded ring
¸
m
i
¡m
i÷1
is a polynomial ring in dim1
symbols. Using this, one see that if .. = 0 in 1, then one of . or . lies in
¸
n
m
n
, which is zero by the Krull
intersection theorem (1.8).
PROJECTIVE VARIETIES. 179
Projective varieties.
Everything in this chapter holds, essentially unchanged, when k is allowed to be an arbitrary
field.
If V
k
al is a projective variety, then so also is V . The idea of the proof is the following:
to say that V is projective means that it has an ample divisor; but a divisor D on V is ample
if D
k
al is ample on V
k
al ; by assumption, there is a divisor D on V
k
al that is ample; any
multiple of the sum of the Galois conjugates of D will also be ample, but some such divisor
will arise from a divisor on V .
Complete varieties.
Everything in this chapter holds unchanged when k is allowed to be an arbitrary field.
Normal varieties; Finite maps.
As noted in (8.15), the Noether normalization theorem requires a different proof when the
field is finite. Also, as noted earlier in this chapter, one needs to be careful with the definition
of fibre. For example, one should define a regular map c: V ÷ W to be quasifinite if the
fibres of the map of sets V(k
al
) ÷W(k
al
) are finite.
Otherwise, k can be allowed to be arbitrary.
Dimension theory
The dimension of a variety V over an arbitrary field k can be defined as in the case that k
is algebraically closed. The dimension of V is unchanged by extension of the base field.
Most of the results of this chapter hold for arbitrary base fields.
Regular maps and their fibres
Again, the results of this chapter hold for arbitrary fields provided one is careful with the
notion of a fibre.
Algebraic groups
We now define an algebraic group to be an algebraic space G together with regular maps
mult: G × G. inverse: G ÷G. e: A
0
÷G
making G(1) into a group in the usual sense for all k-algebras 1.
THEOREM 11.17. Let G be an algebraic group over k.
(a) If G is connected, then it is geometrically connected.
(b) If G is geometrically reduced (i.e., a variety), then it is nonsingular.
(c) If k is perfect and G is reduced, then it is geometrically reduced.
(d) If k has characteristic zero, then G is geometrically reduced (hence nonsingular).
180 CHAPTER 11. ALGEBRAIC SPACES
PROOF. (a) The existence of e shows that k is algebraically closed in k(G). Therefore (a)
follows from (11.7).
(b) It suffices to show that G
k
al is nonsingular, but this we did in (5.20).
(c) As k = k
1
p
, this follows from (11.6).
(d) See my notes, Algebraic Groups and Arithmetic Groups, Theorem 2.31.
2
Exercises
11-1. Show directly that, up to isomorphism, the curve X
2
÷Y
2
= 1 over C has exactly
two models over 1.
Chapter 12
Divisors and Intersection Theory
In this chapter, k is an arbitrary field.
Divisors
Recall that a normal ring is an integral domain that is integrally closed in its field of frac-
tions, and that a variety V is normal if O
¡
is a normal ring for all · ÷ V . Equivalent
condition: for every open connected affine subset U of V , 1(U. O
V
) is a normal ring.
REMARK 12.1. Let V be a projective variety, say, defined by a homogeneous ring 1.
When 1 is normal, V is said to be projectively normal. If V is projectively normal, then it
is normal, but the converse statement is false.
Assume now that V is normal and irreducible.
A prime divisor on V is an irreducible subvariety of V of codimension 1. A divisor on
V is an element of the free abelian group Div(V ) generated by the prime divisors. Thus a
divisor D can be written uniquely as a finite (formal) sum
D =
¸
n
i
7
i
. n
i
÷ Z. 7
i
a prime divisor on V.
The support [D[ of D is the union of the 7
i
corresponding to nonzero n
i
’s. A divisor is
said to be effective (or positive) if n
i
_ 0 for all i . We get a partial ordering on the divisors
by defining D _ D
t
to mean D ÷ D
t
_ 0.
Because V is normal, there is associated with every prime divisor 7 on V a discrete
valuation ring O
7
. This can be defined, for example, by choosing an open affine subvariety
U of V such that U ¨ 7 = 0; then U ¨ 7 is a maximal proper closed subset of U, and
so the ideal p corresponding to it is minimal among the nonzero ideals of 1 = 1(U. O):
so 1
p
is a normal ring with exactly one nonzero prime ideal p1 — it is therefore a discrete
valuation ring (Atiyah and MacDonald 9.2), which is defined to be O
7
. More intrinsically
we can define O
7
to be the set of rational functions on V that are defined an open subset U
of V with U ¨ 7 = 0.
Let ord
7
be the valuation of k(V )
×
Z with valuation ring O
7
. The divisor of a
nonzero element } of k(V ) is defined to be
div(} ) =
¸
ord
7
(} ) 7.
181
182 CHAPTER 12. DIVISORS AND INTERSECTION THEORY
The sum is over all the prime divisors of V , but in fact ord
7
(} ) = 0 for all but finitely
many 7’s. In proving this, we can assume that V is affine (because it is a finite union of
affines), say V = Spm(1). Then k(V ) is the field of fractions of 1, and so we can write
} = g¡h with g. h ÷ 1, and div(} ) = div(g) ÷ div(h). Therefore, we can assume
} ÷ 1. The zero set of } , V(} ) either is empty or is a finite union of prime divisors,
V =

7
i
(see 9.2) and ord
7
(} ) = 0 unless 7 is one of the 7
i
.
The map
} ÷div(} ): k(V )
×
÷Div(V )
is a homomorphism. A divisor of the form div(} ) is said to be principal, and two divisors
are said to be linearly equivalent, denoted D ~ D
t
, if they differ by a principal divisor.
When V is nonsingular, the Picard group Pic(V ) of V is defined to be the group of
divisors on V modulo principal divisors. (Later, we shall define Pic(V ) for an arbitrary va-
riety; when V is singular it will differ from the group of divisors modulo principal divisors,
even when V is normal.)
EXAMPLE 12.2. Let C be a nonsingular affine curve corresponding to the affine k-algebra
1. Because C is nonsingular, 1 is a Dedekind domain. A prime divisor on C can be
identified with a nonzero prime divisor in 1, a divisor on C with a fractional ideal, and
1i c(C) with the ideal class group of 1.
Let U be an open subset of V , and let 7 be a prime divisor of V . Then 7 ¨U is either
empty or is a prime divisor of U. We define the restriction of a divisor D =
¸
n
7
7 on V
to U to be
D[
U
=
¸
7íU=0
n
7
7 ¨ U.
When V is nonsingular, every divisor D is locally principal, i.e., every point 1 has an
open neighbourhood U such that the restriction of D to U is principal. It suffices to prove
this for a prime divisor 7. If 1 is not in the support of D, we can take } = 1. The prime
divisors passing through 1 are in one-to-one correspondence with the prime ideals p of
height 1 in O
1
, i.e., the minimal nonzero prime ideals. Our assumption implies that O
1
is
a regular local ring. It is a (fairly hard) theorem in commutative algebra that a regular local
ring is a unique factorization domain. It is a (fairly easy) theorem that a noetherian integral
domain is a unique factorization domain if every prime ideal of height 1 is principal (Nagata
1962, 13.1). Thus p is principal in O
p
. and this implies that it is principal in 1(U. O
V
) for
some open affine set U containing 1 (see also 9.13).
If D[
U
= div(} ), then we call } a local equation for D on U.
Intersection theory.
Fix a nonsingular variety V of dimension n over a field k, assumed to be perfect. Let
W
1
and W
2
be irreducible closed subsets of V , and let 7 be an irreducible component of
W
1
¨W
2
. Then intersection theory attaches a multiplicity to 7. We shall only do this in an
easy case.
Divisors.
Let V be a nonsingular variety of dimension n, and let D
1
. . . . . D
n
be effective divisors on
V . We say that D
1
. . . . . D
n
intersect properly at 1 ÷ [D
1
[ ¨. . . ¨[D
n
[ if 1 is an isolated
INTERSECTION THEORY. 183
point of the intersection. In this case, we define
(D
1
. . . D
n
)
1
= dim
k
O
1
¡(}
1
. . . . . }
n
)
where }
i
is a local equation for D
i
near 1. The hypothesis on 1 implies that this is finite.
EXAMPLE 12.3. In all the examples, the ambient variety is a surface.
(a) Let 7
1
be the affine plane curve Y
2
÷ X
3
, let 7
2
be the curve Y = X
2
, and let
1 = (0. 0). Then
(7
1
7
2
)
1
= dimkŒX. Y |
(A,Y )
¡(Y ÷ X
3
. Y
2
÷ X
3
) = dimkŒX|¡(X
4
÷ X
3
) = 3.
(b) If 7
1
and 7
2
are prime divisors, then (7
1
7
2
)
1
= 1 if and only if }
1
, }
2
are local
uniformizing parameters at 1. Equivalently, (7
1
7
2
)
1
= 1 if and only if 7
1
and 7
2
are
transversal at 1, that is, T
7
1
(1) ¨ T
7
2
(1) = {0].
(c) Let D
1
be the .-axis, and let D
2
be the cuspidal cubic Y
2
÷ X
3
. For 1 = (0. 0),
(D
1
D
2
)
1
= 3.
(d) In general, (7
1
7
2
)
1
is the “order of contact” of the curves 7
1
and 7
2
.
We say that D
1
. . . . . D
n
intersect properly if they do so at every point of intersection
of their supports; equivalently, if [D
1
[ ¨ . . . ¨ [D
n
[ is a finite set. We then define the
intersection number
(D
1
. . . D
n
) =
¸
1÷|T
1
|í...í|T
n
|
(D
1
. . . D
n
)
1
.
EXAMPLE 12.4. Let C be a curve. If D =
¸
n
i
1
i
, then the intersection number
(D) =
¸
n
i
Œk(1
i
) : k|.
By definition, this is the degree of D.
Consider a regular map ˛: W ÷ V of connected nonsingular varieties, and let D be a
divisor on V whose support does not contain the image of W. There is then a unique divisor
˛
+
D on W with the following property: if D has local equation } on the open subset U
of V , then ˛
+
D has local equation } ı ˛ on ˛
-1
U. (Use 9.2 to see that this does define a
divisor on W; if the image of ˛ is disjoint from [D[, then ˛
+
D = 0.)
EXAMPLE 12.5. Let C be a curve on a surface V , and let ˛: C
t
÷C be the normalization
of C. For any divisor D on V ,
(C D) = deg ˛
+
D.
LEMMA 12.6 (ADDITIVITY). Let D
1
. . . . . D
n
. D be divisors on V . If (D
1
. . . D
n
)
1
and (D
1
. . . D)
1
are both defined, then so also is (D
1
. . . D
n
÷D)
1
. and
(D
1
. . . D
n
÷D)
1
= (D
1
. . . D
n
)
1
÷(D
1
. . . D)
1
.
PROOF. One writes some exact sequences. See Shafarevich 1994, IV.1.2.
2
184 CHAPTER 12. DIVISORS AND INTERSECTION THEORY
Note that in intersection theory, unlike every other branch of mathematics, we add first,
and then multiply.
Since every divisor is the difference of two effective divisors, Lemma 12.1 allows us to
extend the definition of (D
1
. . . D
n
) to all divisors intersecting properly (not just effective
divisors).
LEMMA 12.7 (INVARIANCE UNDER LINEAR EQUIVALENCE). Assume V is complete. If
D
n
~ D
t
n
, then
(D
1
. . . D
n
) = (D
1
. . . D
t
n
).
PROOF. By additivity, it suffices to show that (D
1
. . . D
n
) = 0 if D
n
is a principal divisor.
For n = 1, this is just the statement that a function has as many poles as zeros (counted
with multiplicities). Suppose n = 2. By additivity, we may assume that D
1
is a curve, and
then the assertion follows from Example 12.5 because
D principal =˛
+
D principal.
The general case may be reduced to this last case (with some difficulty). See Shafare-
vich 1994, IV.1.3.
2
LEMMA 12.8. For any n divisors D
1
. . . . . D
n
on an n-dimensional variety, there exists n
divisors D
t
1
. . . . . D
t
n
intersect properly.
PROOF. See Shafarevich 1994, IV.1.4.
2
We can use the last two lemmas to define (D
1
. . . D
n
) for any divisors on a complete
nonsingular variety V : choose D
t
1
. . . . . D
t
n
as in the lemma, and set
(D
1
. . . D
n
) = (D
t
1
. . . D
t
n
).
EXAMPLE 12.9. Let C be a smooth complete curve over C, and let ˛: C ÷C be a regular
map. Then the Lefschetz trace formula states that
(z 1
˛
) = Tr(˛[H
0
(C. ´)÷Tr(˛[H
1
(C. ´)÷Tr(˛[H
2
(C. ´).
In particular, we see that (z z) = 2 ÷ 2g, which may be negative, even though z is an
effective divisor.
Let ˛: W ÷V be a finite map of irreducible varieties. Then k(W) is a finite extension
of k(V ), and the degree of this extension is called the degree of ˛. If k(W) is separable
over k(V ) and k is algebraically closed, then there is an open subset U of V such that
˛
-1
(u) consists exactly J = deg ˛ points for all u ÷ U. In fact, ˛
-1
(u) always consists
of exactly deg ˛ points if one counts multiplicities. Number theorists will recognize this as
the formula
¸
e
i
}
i
= J. Here the }
i
are 1 (if we take k to be algebraically closed), and e
i
is the multiplicity of the i
th
point lying over the given point.
A finite map ˛: W ÷ V is flat if every point 1 of V has an open neighbourhood U
such that 1(˛
-1
U. O
W
) is a free 1(U. O
V
)-module — it is then free of rank deg ˛.
INTERSECTION THEORY. 185
THEOREM 12.10. Let ˛: W ÷ V be a finite map between nonsingular varieties. For any
divisors D
1
. . . . . D
n
on V intersecting properly at a point 1 of V ,
¸
˛(O)=1

+
D
1
. . . ˛
+
D
n
) = deg ˛ (D
1
. . . D
n
)
1
.
PROOF. After replacing V by a sufficiently small open affine neighbourhood of 1, we may
assume that ˛ corresponds to a map of rings · ÷ T and that T is free of rank J = deg ˛
as an ·-module. Moreover, we may assume that D
1
. . . . . D
n
are principal with equations
}
1
. . . . . }
n
on V , and that 1 is the only point in [D
1
[ ¨ . . . ¨ [D
n
[. Then m
1
is the only
ideal of · containing a = (}
1
. . . . . }
n
). Set S = · m
1
; then
S
-1
·¡S
-1
a = S
-1
(·¡a) = ·¡a
because ·¡a is already local. Hence
(D
1
. . . D
n
)
1
= dim·¡(}
1
. . . . . }
n
).
Similarly,

+
D
1
. . . ˛
+
D
n
)
1
= dimT¡(}
1
ı ˛. . . . . }
n
ı ˛).
But T is a free ·-module of rank J, and
·¡(}
1
. . . . . }
n
) ˝
¹
T = T¡(}
1
ı ˛. . . . . }
n
ı ˛).
Therefore, as ·-modules, and hence as k-vector spaces,
T¡(}
1
ı ˛. . . . . }
n
ı ˛) ~ (·¡(}
1
. . . . . }
n
))
d
which proves the formula.
2
EXAMPLE 12.11. Assume k is algebraically closed of characteristic ] = 0. Let ˛: A
1
÷
A
1
be the Frobenius map c ÷ c
;
. It corresponds to the map kŒX| ÷ kŒX|, X ÷ X
;
,
on rings. Let D be the divisor c. It has equation X ÷ c on A
1
, and ˛
+
D has the equation
X
;
÷ c = (X ÷ ,)
;
. Thus ˛
+
D = ](,), and so
deg(˛
+
D) = ] = ] deg(D).
The general case.
Let V be a nonsingular connected variety. A cycle of codimension r on V is an element of
the free abelian group C
i
(V ) generated by the prime cycles of codimension r.
Let 7
1
and 7
2
be prime cycles on any nonsingular variety V , and let W be an irre-
ducible component of 7
1
¨ 7
2
. Then
dim 7
1
÷dim 7
2
_ dim V ÷dim W.
and we say 7
1
and 7
2
intersect properly at W if equality holds.
Define O
V,W
to be the set of rational functions on V that are defined on some open
subset U of V with U ¨ W = 0 — it is a local ring. Assume that 7
1
and 7
2
intersect
properly at W, and let p
1
and p
2
be the ideals in O
V,W
corresponding to 7
1
and 7
2
(so
186 CHAPTER 12. DIVISORS AND INTERSECTION THEORY
p
i
= (}
1
. }
2
. .... }
i
) if the }
}
define 7
i
in some open subset of V meeting W). The
example of divisors on a surface suggests that we should set
(7
1
7
2
)
W
= dim
k
O
V,W
¡(p
1
. p
2
).
but examples show this is not a good definition. Note that
O
V,W
¡(p
1
. p
2
) = O
V,W
¡p
1
˝
O
V;W
O
V,W
¡p
2
.
It turns out that we also need to consider the higher Tor terms. Set
,
O
(O¡p
1
. O¡p
2
) =
dimV
¸
i=0
(÷1)
i
dim
k
(Tor
O
i
(O¡p
1
. O¡p
2
))
where O = O
V,W
. It is an integer _ 0, and = 0 if 7
1
and 7
2
do not intersect properly at
W. When they do intersect properly, we define
(7
1
7
2
)
W
= mW. m = ,
O
(O¡p
1
. O¡p
2
).
When 7
1
and 7
2
are divisors on a surface, the higher Tor’s vanish, and so this definition
agrees with the previous one.
Now assume that V is projective. It is possible to define a notion of rational equivalence
for cycles of codimension r: let W be an irreducible subvariety of codimension r ÷1, and let
} ÷ k(W)
×
; then div(} ) is a cycle of codimension r on V (since W may not be normal, the
definition of div(} ) requires care), and we let C
i
(V )
t
be the subgroup of C
i
(V ) generated
by such cycles as W ranges over all irreducible subvarieties of codimension r ÷ 1 and }
ranges over all elements of k(W)
×
. Two cycles are said to be rationally equivalent if they
differ by an element of C
i
(V )
t
, and the quotient of C
i
(V ) by C
i
(V )
t
is called the Chow
group CH
i
(V ). A discussion similar to that in the case of a surface leads to well-defined
pairings
CH
i
(V ) × CH
x
(V ) ÷CH
i÷x
(V ).
In general, we know very little about the Chow groups of varieties — for example, there
has been little success at finding algebraic cycles on varieties other than the obvious ones
(divisors, intersections of divisors,...). However, there are many deep conjectures concern-
ing them, due to Beilinson, Bloch, Murre, and others.
We can restate our definition of the degree of a variety in P
n
as follows: a closed
subvariety V of P
n
of dimension J has degree (V H) for any linear subspace of P
n
of
codimension J. (All linear subspaces of P
n
of codimension r are rationally equivalent, and
so (V H) is independent of the choice of H.)
REMARK 12.12. (Bezout’s theorem). A divisor D on P
n
is linearly equivalent of ıH,
where ı is the degree of D and H is any hyperplane. Therefore
(D
1
D
n
) = ı
1
ı
n
where ı
}
is the degree of D
}
. For example, if C
1
and C
2
are curves in P
2
defined by irre-
ducible polynomials J
1
and J
2
of degrees ı
1
and ı
2
respectively, then C
1
and C
2
intersect
in ı
1
ı
2
points (counting multiplicities).
EXERCISES 187
References.
Fulton, W., Introduction to Intersection Theory in Algebraic Geometry, (AMS Publication;
CBMS regional conference series #54.) This is a pleasant introduction.
Fulton, W., Intersection Theory. Springer, 1984. The ultimate source for everything to
do with intersection theory.
Serre: Alg` ebre Locale, Multiplicit´ es, Springer Lecture Notes, 11, 1957/58 (third edition
1975). This is where the definition in terms of Tor’s was first suggested.
Exercises
You may assume the characteristic is zero if you wish.
12-1. Let V = V(J) c P
n
, where J is a homogeneous polynomial of degree ı without
multiple factors. Show that V has degree ı according to the definition in the notes.
12-2. Let C be a curve in A
2
defined by an irreducible polynomial J(X. Y ), and assume C
passes through the origin. Then J = J
n
÷J
n÷1
÷ , m _ 1, with J
n
the homogeneous
part of J of degree m. Let o: W ÷ A
2
be the blow-up of A
2
at (0. 0), and let C
t
be the
closure of o
-1
(C (0. 0)). Let 7 = o
-1
(0. 0). Write J
n
=
¸
x
i=1
(a
i
X ÷b
i
Y )
i
i
, with
the (a
i
: b
i
) being distinct points of P
1
, and show that C
t
¨ 7 consists of exactly s distinct
points.
12-3. Find the intersection number of D
1
: Y
2
= X
i
and D
2
: Y
2
= X
x
, r > s > 2, at the
origin.
12-4. Find Pic(V ) when V is the curve Y
2
= X
3
.
Chapter 13
Coherent Sheaves; Invertible Sheaves
In this chapter, k is an arbitrary field.
Coherent sheaves
Let V = Spm· be an affine variety over k, and let M be a finitely generated ·-module.
There is a unique sheaf of O
V
-modules Mon V such that, for all } ÷ ·,
1(D(} ). M) = M
(
(= ·
(
˝
¹
M).
Such an O
V
-module Mis said to be coherent. A homomorphism M ÷ N of ·-modules
defines a homomorphismM÷N of O
V
-modules, and M ÷Mis a fully faithful functor
from the category of finitely generated ·-modules to the category of coherent O
V
-modules,
with quasi-inverse M÷1(V. M).
Now consider a variety V . An O
V
-module Mis said to be coherent if, for every open
affine subset U of V , M[U is coherent. It suffices to check this condition for the sets in an
open affine covering of V .
For example, O
n
V
is a coherent O
V
-module. An O
V
-module Mis said to be locally
free of rank n if it is locally isomorphic to O
n
V
, i.e., if every point 1 ÷ V has an open
neighbourhood such that M[U ~ O
n
V
. A locally free O
V
-module of rank n is coherent.
Let · ÷ V , and let Mbe a coherent O
V
-module. We define a k(·)-module M(·) as
follows: after replacing V with an open neighbourhood of ·, we can assume that it is affine;
hence we may suppose that V = Spm(·), that · corresponds to a maximal ideal m in ·
(so that k(·) = ·¡m), and Mcorresponds to the ·-module M; we then define
M(·) = M ˝
¹
k(·) = M¡mM.
It is a finitely generated vector space over k(·). Don’t confuse M(·) with the stalk M
¡
of
Mwhich, with the above notations, is M
m
= M ˝
¹
·
m
. Thus
M(·) = M
¡
¡mM
¡
= k(·) ˝
¹
m
M
m
.
Nakayama’s lemma (1.3) shows that
M(·) = 0 =M
¡
= 0.
The support of a coherent sheaf Mis
Supp(M) = {· ÷ V [ M(·) = 0] = {· ÷ V [ M
¡
= 0].
188
COHERENT SHEAVES 189
Suppose V is affine, and that Mcorresponds to the ·-module M. Let a be the annihilator
of M:
a = {} ÷ · [ }M = 0].
Then M¡mM = 0 ” m ¯ a (for otherwise ·¡m· contains a nonzero element annihi-
lating M¡mM), and so
Supp(M) = V(a).
Thus the support of a coherent module is a closed subset of V .
Note that if Mis locally free of rank n, then M(·) is a vector space of dimension n for
all ·. There is a converse of this.
PROPOSITION 13.1. If Mis a coherent O
V
-module such that M(·) has constant dimen-
sion n for all · ÷ V , then Mis a locally free of rank n.
PROOF. We may assume that V is affine, and that Mcorresponds to the finitely generated
·-module M. Fix a maximal ideal m of ·, and let .
1
. . . . . .
n
be elements of M whose
images in M¡mM form a basis for it over k(·). Consider the map
,: ·
n
÷M. (a
1
. . . . . a
n
) ÷
¸
a
i
.
i
.
Its cokernel is a finitely generated ·-module whose support does not contain ·. Therefore
there is an element } ÷ ·, } … m, such that , defines a surjection ·
n
(
÷ M
(
. After
replacing · with ·
(
we may assume that , itself is surjective. For every maximal ideal
n of ·, the map (·¡n)
n
÷ M¡nM is surjective, and hence (because of the condition on
the dimension of M(·)) bijective. Therefore, the kernel of , is contained in n
n
(meaning
n × × n) for all maximal ideals n in ·, and the next lemma shows that this implies that
the kernel is zero.
2
LEMMA 13.2. Let · be an affine k-algebra. Then
¸
m = 0 (intersection of all maximal ideals in ·).
PROOF. When k is algebraically closed, we showed (4.13) that this follows from the strong
Nullstellensatz. In the general case, consider a maximal ideal m of · ˝
k
k
al
. Then
·¡(m¨ ·) ·÷(· ˝
k
k
al
)¡m = k
al
.
and so ·¡m ¨ · is an integral domain. Since it is finite-dimensional over k, it is a field,
and so m¨· is a maximal ideal in ·. Thus if } ÷ · is in all maximal ideals of ·, then its
image in · ˝k
al
is in all maximal ideals of ·, and so is zero.
2
For two coherent O
V
-modules M and N, there is a unique coherent O
V
-module

O
V
N such that
1(U. M˝
O
V
N) = 1(U. M) ˝
T(U,O
V
)
1(U. N)
for all open affines U c V . The reader should be careful not to assume that this formula
holds for nonaffine open subsets U (see example 13.4 below). For a such a U, one writes
U =

U
i
with the U
i
open affines, and defines 1(U. M˝
O
V
N) to be the kernel of
¸
i
1(U
i
. M˝
O
V
N) ⇒
¸
i,}
1(U
i}
. M˝
O
V
N).
190 CHAPTER 13. COHERENT SHEAVES; INVERTIBLE SHEAVES
Define Hom(M. N) to be the sheaf on V such that
1(U. Hom(M. N)) = Hom
O
U
(M. N)
(homomorphisms of O
U
-modules) for all open U in V . It is easy to see that this is a sheaf.
If the restrictions of Mand N to some open affine U correspond to ·-modules M and N,
then
1(U. Hom(M. N)) = Hom
¹
(M. N).
and so Hom(M. N) is again a coherent O
V
-module.
Invertible sheaves.
An invertible sheaf on V is a locally free O
V
-module L of rank 1. The tensor product of
two invertible sheaves is again an invertible sheaf. In this way, we get a product structure
on the set of isomorphism classes of invertible sheaves:
ŒL| ŒL
t
|
df
= ŒL ˝L
t
|.
The product structure is associative and commutative (because tensor products are associa-
tive and commutative, up to isomorphism), and ŒO
V
| is an identity element. Define
L
·
= Hom(L. O
V
).
Clearly, L
·
is free of rank 1 over any open set where L is free of rank 1, and so L
·
is again
an invertible sheaf. Moreover, the canonical map
L
·
˝L ÷O
V
. (}. .) ÷}(.)
is an isomorphism (because it is an isomorphism over any open subset where L is free).
Thus
ŒL
·
|ŒL| = ŒO
V
|.
For this reason, we often write L
-1
for L
·
.
From these remarks, we see that the set of isomorphism classes of invertible sheaves on
V is a group — it is called the Picard group, Pic(V ), of V .
We say that an invertible sheaf L is trivial if it is isomorphic to O
V
— then L represents
the zero element in Pic(V ).
PROPOSITION 13.3. An invertible sheaf L on a complete variety V is trivial if and only if
both it and its dual have nonzero global sections, i.e.,
1(V. L) = 0 = 1(V. L
·
).
PROOF. We may assume that V is irreducible. Note first that, for any O
V
-module Mon
any variety V , the map
Hom(O
V
. M) ÷1(V. M). ˛ ÷˛(1)
is an isomorphism.
INVERTIBLE SHEAVES AND DIVISORS. 191
Next recall that the only regular functions on a complete variety are the constant func-
tions (see 7.5 in the case that k is algebraically closed), i.e., 1(V. O
V
) = k
t
where k
t
is
the algebraic closure of k in k(V ). Hence Hom(O
V
. O
V
) = k
t
, and so a homomorphism
O
V
÷O
V
is either 0 or an isomorphism.
We now prove the proposition. The sections define nonzero homomorphisms
s
1
: O
V
÷L. s
2
: O
V
÷L
·
.
We can take the dual of the second homomorphism, and so obtain nonzero homomorphisms
O
V
x
1
÷L
x
_
2
÷O
V
.
The composite is nonzero, and hence an isomorphism, which shows that s
·
2
is surjective,
and this implies that it is an isomorphism (for any ring ·, a surjective homomorphism of
·-modules · ÷· is bijective because 1 must map to a unit).
2
Invertible sheaves and divisors.
Now assume that V is nonsingular and irreducible. For a divisor D on V , the vector space
1(D) is defined to be
1(D) = {} ÷ k(V )
×
[ div(} ) ÷D _ 0].
We make this definition local: define L(D) to be the sheaf on V such that, for any open set
U,
1(U. L(D)) = {} ÷ k(V )
×
[ div(} ) ÷D _ 0 on U] L {0].
The condition “div(} )÷D _ 0 on U” means that, if D =
¸
n
7
7, then ord
7
(} )÷n
7
_
0 for all 7 with 7 ¨ U = 0. Thus, 1(U. L(D)) is a 1(U. O
V
)-module, and if U c U
t
,
then 1(U
t
. L(D)) c 1(U. L(D)). We define the restriction map to be this inclusion. In
this way, L(D) becomes a sheaf of O
V
-modules.
Suppose D is principal on an open subset U, say D[U = div(g), g ÷ k(V )
×
. Then
1(U. L(D)) = {} ÷ k(V )
×
[ div(}g) _ 0 on U] L {0].
Therefore,
1(U. L(D)) ÷1(U. O
V
). } ÷}g.
is an isomorphism. These isomorphisms clearly commute with the restriction maps for
U
t
c U, and so we obtain an isomorphism L(D)[U ÷ O
U
. Since every D is locally
principal, this shows that L(D) is locally isomorphic to O
V
, i.e., that it is an invertible
sheaf. If D itself is principal, then L(D) is trivial.
Next we note that the canonical map
L(D) ˝L(D
t
) ÷L(D ÷D
t
). } ˝g ÷}g
is an isomorphism on any open set where D and D
t
are principal, and hence it is an isomor-
phism globally. Therefore, we have a homomorphism
Div(V ) ÷Pic(V ). D ÷ŒL(D)|.
which is zero on the principal divisors.
192 CHAPTER 13. COHERENT SHEAVES; INVERTIBLE SHEAVES
EXAMPLE 13.4. Let V be an elliptic curve, and let 1 be the point at infinity. Let D be the
divisor D = 1. Then 1(V. L(D)) = k, the ring of constant functions, but 1(V. L(2D))
contains a nonconstant function .. Therefore,
1(V. L(2D)) = 1(V. L(D)) ˝1(V. L(D)).
— in other words, 1(V. L(D) ˝L(D)) = 1(V. L(D)) ˝1(V. L(D)).
PROPOSITION 13.5. For an irreducible nonsingular variety, the map D ÷ŒL(D)| defines
an isomorphism
Div(V )¡PrinDiv(V ) ÷Pic(V ).
PROOF. (Injectivity). If s is an isomorphism O
V
÷L(D), then g = s(1) is an element of
k(V )
×
such that
(a) div(g) ÷D _ 0 (on the whole of V );
(b) if div(} ) ÷D _ 0 on U, that is, if } ÷ 1(U. L(D)), then } = h(g[U) for some
h ÷ 1(U. O
V
).
Statement (a) says that D _ div(÷g) (on the whole of V ). Suppose U is such that D[U
admits a local equation } = 0. When we apply (b) to ÷} , then we see that div(÷} ) _
div(g) on U, so that D[U ÷ div(g) _ 0. Since the U’s cover V , together with (a) this
implies that D = div(÷g).
(Surjectivity). Define
1(U. K) =

k(V )
×
if U is open an nonempty
0 if U is empty.
Because V is irreducible, K becomes a sheaf with the obvious restriction maps. On any
open subset U where L[U ~ O
U
, we have L[U ˝ K ~ K. Since these open sets form
a covering of V , V is irreducible, and the restriction maps are all the identity map, this
implies that L ˝K ~ K on the whole of V . Choose such an isomorphism, and identify L
with a subsheaf of K. On any U where L ~ O
U
, L[U = gO
U
as a subsheaf of K, where
g is the image of 1 ÷ 1(U. O
V
). Define D to be the divisor such that, on a U, g
-1
is a
local equation for D.
2
EXAMPLE 13.6. Suppose V is affine, say V = Spm·. We know that coherent O
V
-
modules correspond to finitely generated ·-modules, but what do the locally free sheaves
of rank n correspond to? They correspond to finitely generated projective ·-modules (Bour-
baki, Alg` ebre Commutative, 1961–83, II.5.2). The invertible sheaves correspond to finitely
generated projective ·-modules of rank 1. Suppose for example that V is a curve, so that
· is a Dedekind domain. This gives a new interpretation of the ideal class group: it is the
group of isomorphism classes of finitely generated projective ·-modules of rank one (i.e.,
such that M ˝
¹
1 is a vector space of dimension one).
This can be proved directly. First show that every (fractional) ideal is a projective ·-
module — it is obviously finitely generated of rank one; then show that two ideals are
isomorphic as ·-modules if and only if they differ by a principal divisor; finally, show that
every finitely generated projective ·-module of rank 1 is isomorphic to a fractional ideal
(by assumption M ˝
¹
1 ~ 1; when we choose an identification M ˝
¹
1 = 1, then
M c M ˝
¹
1 becomes identified with a fractional ideal). [Exercise: Prove the statements
in this last paragraph.]
DIRECT IMAGES AND INVERSE IMAGES OF COHERENT SHEAVES. 193
REMARK 13.7. Quite a lot is known about Pic(V ), the group of divisors modulo linear
equivalence, or of invertible sheaves up to isomorphism. For example, for any complete
nonsingular variety V , there is an abelian variety 1 canonically attached to V , called the
Picard variety of V , and an exact sequence
0 ÷1(k) ÷Pic(V ) ÷NS(V ) ÷0
where NS(V ) is a finitely generated group called the N´ eron-Severi group.
Much less is known about algebraic cycles of codimension > 1, and about locally free
sheaves of rank > 1 (and the two don’t correspond exactly, although the Chern classes of
locally free sheaves are algebraic cycles).
Direct images and inverse images of coherent sheaves.
Consider a homomorphism · ÷ T of rings. From an ·-module M, we get an T-module
T ˝
¹
M, which is finitely generated if M is finitely generated. Conversely, an T-module
M can also be considered an ·-module, but it usually won’t be finitely generated (unless
T is finitely generated as an ·-module). Both these operations extend to maps of varieties.
Consider a regular map ˛: W ÷ V , and let F be a coherent sheaf of O
V
-modules.
There is a unique coherent sheaf of O
W
-modules ˛
+
F with the following property: for any
open affine subsets U
t
and U of W and V respectively such that ˛(U
t
) c U, ˛
+
F[U
t
is
the sheaf corresponding to the 1(U
t
. O
W
)-module 1(U
t
. O
W
) ˝
T(U,O
V
)
1(U. F).
Let F be a sheaf of O
V
-modules. For any open subset U of V , we define 1(U. ˛
+
F) =
1(˛
-1
U. F), regarded as a 1(U. O
V
)-module via the map 1(U. O
V
) ÷ 1(˛
-1
U. O
W
).
Then U ÷ 1(U. ˛
+
F) is a sheaf of O
V
-modules. In general, ˛
+
F will not be coherent,
even when F is.
LEMMA 13.8. (a) For any regular maps U
˛
÷V
ˇ
÷W and coherent O
W
-module F on
W, there is a canonical isomorphism
(ˇ˛)
+
F
~
÷˛
+

+
F).
(b) For any regular map ˛: V ÷W, ˛
+
maps locally free sheaves of rank n to locally free
sheaves of rank n (hence also invertible sheaves to invertible sheaves). It preserves
tensor products, and, for an invertible sheaf L, ˛
+
(L
-1
) . (˛
+
L)
-1
.
PROOF. (a) This follows from the fact that, given homomorphisms of rings · ÷ T ÷ T ,
T ˝
B
(T ˝
¹
M) = T ˝
¹
M.
(b) This again follows from well-known facts about tensor products of rings.
2
See Kleiman.
Principal bundles
To be added.
Chapter 14
Differentials (Outline)
In this subsection, we sketch the theory of differentials. We allow k to be an arbitrary field.
Let · be a k-algebra, and let M be an ·-module. Recall (from :5) that a k-derivation
is a k-linear map D: · ÷M satisfying Leibniz’s rule:
D(}g) = } ı Dg ÷g ı D}. all }. g ÷ ·.
A pair (˝
1
¹¡k
. J) comprising an ·-module ˝
1
¹¡k
and a k-derivation J: · ÷ ˝
1
¹¡k
is
called the module of differential one-forms for · over k
al
if it has the following universal
property: for any k-derivation D: · ÷ M, there is a unique k-linear map ˛: ˝
1
¹¡k
÷ M
such that D = ˛ ı J,
·
d

T

A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
˝
1
3Š k-linear

M
EXAMPLE 14.1. Let · = kŒX
1
. .... X
n
|; then ˝
1
¹¡k
is the free ·-module with basis the
symbols JX
1
. .... JX
n
, and
J} =
¸
d}
dX
i
JX
i
.
EXAMPLE 14.2. Let · = kŒX
1
. .... X
n
|¡a; then ˝
1
¹¡k
is the free ·-module with basis the
symbols JX
1
. .... JX
n
modulo the relations:
J} = 0 for all } ÷ a.
PROPOSITION 14.3. Let V be a variety. For each n _ 0, there is a unique sheaf of O
V
-
modules ˝
n
V¡k
on V such that ˝
n
V¡k
(U) =

n
˝
1
¹¡k
whenever U = Spm· is an open
affine of V .
PROOF. Omitted.
2
The sheaf ˝
n
V¡k
is called the sheaf of differential n-forms on V .
EXAMPLE 14.4. Let 1 be the affine curve
Y
2
= X
3
÷aX ÷b.
194
195
and assume X
3
÷ aX ÷ b has no repeated roots (so that 1 is nonsingular). Write . and
. for regular functions on 1 defined by X and Y . On the open set D(.) where . = 0,
let o
1
= J.¡., and on the open set D(3.
2
÷ a), let o
2
= 2J.¡(3.
2
÷ a). Since
.
2
= .
3
÷a. ÷b,
2.J. = (3.
2
÷a)J..
and so o
1
and o
2
agree on D(.) ¨ D(3.
2
÷a). Since 1 = D(.) L D(3.
2
÷a), we see
that there is a differential o on 1 whose restrictions to D(.) and D(3.
2
÷a) are o
1
and
o
2
respectively. It is an easy exercise in working with projective coordinates to show that
o extends to a differential one-form on the whole projective curve
Y
2
7 = X
3
÷aX7
2
÷b7
3
.
In fact, ˝
1
C¡k
(C) is a one-dimensional vector space over k, with o as basis. Note that
o = J.¡. = J.¡(.
3
÷ a. ÷ b)
1
2
, which can’t be integrated in terms of elementary
functions. Its integral is called an elliptic integral (integrals of this form arise when one
tries to find the arc length of an ellipse). The study of elliptic integrals was one of the
starting points for the study of algebraic curves.
In general, if C is a complete nonsingular absolutely irreducible curve of genus g, then
˝
1
C¡k
(C) is a vector space of dimension g over k.
PROPOSITION 14.5. If V is nonsingular, then ˝
1
V¡k
is a locally free sheaf of rank dim(V )
(that is, every point 1 of V has a neighbourhood U such that ˝
1
V¡k
[U ~ (O
V
[U)
dim(V )
).
PROOF. Omitted.
2
Let C be a complete nonsingular absolutely irreducible curve, and let o be a nonzero
element of ˝
1
k(C)¡k
. We define the divisor (o) of o as follows: let 1 ÷ C; if t is a uni-
formizing parameter at 1, then Jt is a basis for ˝
1
k(C)¡k
as a k(C)-vector space, and so we
can write o = }Jt , } ÷ k(V )
×
; define orJ
1
(o) = orJ
1
(} ), and (o) =
¸
orJ
1
(o)1.
Because k(C) has transcendence degree 1 over k, ˝
1
k(C)¡k
is a k(C)-vector space of di-
mension one, and so the divisor (o) is independent of the choice of o up to linear equiv-
alence. By an abuse of language, one calls (o) for any nonzero element of ˝
1
k(C)¡k
a
canonical class 1 on C. For a divisor D on C, let ((D) = dim
k
(1(D)).
THEOREM 14.6 (RIEMANN-ROCH). Let C be a complete nonsingular absolutely irre-
ducible curve over k.
(a) The degree of a canonical divisor is 2g ÷ 2.
(b) For any divisor D on C,
((D) ÷ ((1 ÷ D) = 1 ÷g ÷ deg(D).
More generally, if V is a smooth complete variety of dimension J, it is possible to
associate with the sheaf of differential J-forms on V a canonical linear equivalence class
of divisors 1. This divisor class determines a rational map to projective space, called the
canonical map.
References
Shafarevich, 1994, III.5.
Mumford 1999, III.4.
Chapter 15
Algebraic Varieties over the Complex
Numbers
This is only an outline.
It is not hard to show that there is a unique way to endow all algebraic varieties over C
with a topology such that:
(a) on A
n
= C
n
it is just the usual complex topology;
(b) on closed subsets of A
n
it is the induced topology;
(c) all morphisms of algebraic varieties are continuous;
(d) it is finer than the Zariski topology.
We call this new topology the complex topology on V . Note that (a), (b), and (c) deter-
mine the topology uniquely for affine algebraic varieties ((c) implies that an isomorphism
of algebraic varieties will be a homeomorphism for the complex topology), and (d) then
determines it for all varieties.
Of course, the complex topology is much finer than the Zariski topology — this can be
seen even on A
1
. In view of this, the next two propositions are a little surprising.
PROPOSITION 15.1. If a nonsingular variety is connected for the Zariski topology, then it
is connected for the complex topology.
Consider, for example, A
1
. Then, certainly, it is connected for both the Zariski topology
(that for which the nonempty open subsets are those that omit only finitely many points) and
the complex topology (that for which X is homeomorphic to 1
2
). When we remove a circle
from X, it becomes disconnected for the complex topology, but remains connected for the
Zariski topology. This doesn’t contradict the theorem, because A
1
C
with a circle removed is
not an algebraic variety.
Let X be a connected nonsingular (hence irreducible) curve. We prove that it is con-
nected for the complex topology. Removing or adding a finite number of points to X will
not change whether it is connected for the complex topology, and so we can assume that X
is projective. Suppose X is the disjoint union of two nonempty open (hence closed) sets X
1
and X
2
. According to the Riemann-Roch theorem (14.6), there exists a nonconstant rational
function } on X having poles only in X
1
. Therefore, its restriction to X
2
is holomorphic.
Because X
2
is compact, } is constant on each connected component of X
2
(Cartan 1963
1
,
1
Cartan, H., Elementary Theory of Analytic Functions of One or Several Variables, Addison-Wesley, 1963.
196
197
VI.4.5) say, }(:) = a on some infinite connected component. Then }(:) ÷a has infinitely
many zeros, which contradicts the fact that it is a rational function.
The general case can be proved by induction on the dimension (Shafarevich 1994,
VII.2).
PROPOSITION 15.2. Let V be an algebraic variety over C, and let C be a constructible
subset of V (in the Zariski topology); then the closure of C in the Zariski topology equals
its closure in the complex topology.
PROOF. Mumford 1999, I 10, Corollary 1, p60.
2
For example, if U is an open dense subset of a closed subset 7 of V (for the Zariski
topology), then U is also dense in 7 for the complex topology.
The next result helps explain why completeness is the analogue of compactness for
topological spaces.
PROPOSITION 15.3. Let V be an algebraic variety over C; then V is complete (as an alge-
braic variety) if and only if it is compact for the complex topology.
PROOF. Mumford 1999, I 10, Theorem 2, p60.
2
In general, there are many more holomorphic (complex analytic) functions than there
are polynomial functions on a variety over C. For example, by using the exponential func-
tion it is possible to construct many holomorphic functions on C that are not polynomials
in :, but all these functions have nasty singularities at the point at infinity on the Riemann
sphere. In fact, the only meromorphic functions on the Riemann sphere are the rational
functions. This generalizes.
THEOREM 15.4. Let V be a complete nonsingular variety over C. Then V is, in a natural
way, a complex manifold, and the field of meromorphic functions on V (as a complex
manifold) is equal to the field of rational functions on V .
PROOF. Shafarevich 1994, VIII 3.1, Theorem 1.
2
This provides one way of constructing compact complex manifolds that are not alge-
braic varieties: find such a manifold M of dimension n such that the transcendence degree
of the field of meromorphic functions on M is < n. For a torus C
v
¡¹ of dimension g > 1,
this is typically the case. However, when the transcendence degree of the field of meromor-
phic functions is equal to the dimension of manifold, then M can be given the structure, not
necessarily of an algebraic variety, but of something more general, namely, that of an alge-
braic space in the sense of Artin.
2
Roughly speaking, an algebraic space is an object that is
locally an affine algebraic variety, where locally means for the ´ etale “topology” rather than
the Zariski topology.
3
One way to show that a complex manifold is algebraic is to embed it into projective
space.
2
Perhaps these should be called algebraic orbispaces (in analogy with manifolds and orbifolds).
3
Artin, Michael. Algebraic spaces. Whittemore Lectures given at Yale University, 1969. Yale Mathemati-
cal Monographs, 3. Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn.-London, 1971. vii+39 pp.
Knutson, Donald. Algebraic spaces. Lecture Notes in Mathematics, Vol. 203. Springer-Verlag, Berlin-New
York, 1971. vi+261 pp.
198 CHAPTER 15. ALGEBRAIC VARIETIES OVER THE COMPLEX NUMBERS
THEOREM 15.5. Any closed analytic submanifold of P
n
is algebraic.
PROOF. See Shafarevich 1994, VIII 3.1, in the nonsingular case.
2
COROLLARY 15.6. Any holomorphic map from one projective algebraic variety to a sec-
ond projective algebraic variety is algebraic.
PROOF. Let c: V ÷ W be the map. Then the graph 1
c
of c is a closed subset of V × W,
and hence is algebraic according to the theorem. Since c is the composite of the isomor-
phism V ÷1
c
with the projection 1
c
÷W, and both are algebraic, c itself is algebraic.
2
Since, in general, it is hopeless to write down a set of equations for a variety (it is a
fairly hopeless task even for an abelian variety of dimension 3), the most powerful way we
have for constructing varieties is to first construct a complex manifold and then prove that
it has a natural structure as a algebraic variety. Sometimes one can then show that it has
a canonical model over some number field, and then it is possible to reduce the equations
defining it modulo a prime of the number field, and obtain a variety in characteristic ].
For example, it is known that C
v
¡¹ (¹ a lattice in C
v
) has the structure of an algebraic
variety if and only if there is a skew-symmetric form [ on C
v
having certain simple prop-
erties relative to ¹. The variety is then an abelian variety, and all abelian varieties over C
are of this form.
References
Mumford 1999, I.10.
Shafarevich 1994, Book 3.
Chapter 16
Descent Theory
Consider fields k c ˝. A variety V over k defines a variety V
˝
over ˝ by extension of the
base field (:11). Descent theory attempts to answer the following question: what additional
structure do you need to place on a variety over ˝, or regular map of varieties over ˝, to
ensure that it comes from k?
In this chapter, we shall make free use of Zorn’s lemma.
Models
Let ˝ ¯ k be fields, and let V be a variety over ˝. Recall that a model of V over k (or a
k-structure on V ) is a variety V
0
over k together with an isomorphism c: V ÷V

.
Consider an affine variety. An embedding V ·÷ A
n
˝
defines a model of V over
k if 1(V ) is generated by polynomials in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|, because then 1
0
=
df
1(V ) ¨
kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| is a radical ideal, kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|¡1
0
is an affine k-algebra, and V(1
0
) c A
n
k
is a model of V . Moreover, every model (V
0
. c) arises in this way, because every model of
an affine variety is affine. However, different embeddings in affine space will usually give
rise to different models. Similar remarks apply to projective varieties.
Note that the condition that 1(V ) be generated by polynomials in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| is
stronger than asking that it be the zero set of some polynomials in kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|. For
example, let ˛ be an element of ˝ such that ˛ … k but ˛
;
÷ k, and let V = V(X÷Y ÷˛).
Then V = V(X
;
÷Y
;
÷˛
;
) with X
;
÷Y
;
÷˛
;
÷ kŒX. Y |, but 1(V ) is not generated
by polynomials in kŒX. Y |.
Fixed fields
Let ˝ ¯ k be fields, and let 1 = Aut(˝¡k). Define the fixed field ˝
T
of 1 to be
{a ÷ ˝ [ oa = a for all o ÷ 1 ].
PROPOSITION 16.1. The fixed field of 1 equals k in each of the following two cases:
(a) ˝ is a Galois extension of k (possibly infinite);
(b) ˝ is a separably closed field and k is perfect.
PROOF. (a) See FT 7.8.
(b) See FT 8.23.
2
199
200 CHAPTER 16. DESCENT THEORY
REMARK 16.2. Suppose k has characteristic ] = 0 and that ˝ contains an element ˛ such
that ˛ … k but ˛
;
= a ÷ k. Then ˛ is the only root of X
;
÷a, and so every automorphism
of ˝ fixing k also fixes ˛. Thus, in general ˝
T
= k when k is not perfect.
COROLLARY 16.3. If ˝ is separably closed, then ˝
T
is a purely inseparable algebraic
extension of k.
PROOF. When k has characteristic zero, ˝
T
= k, and there is nothing to prove. Thus, we
may suppose that k has characteristic ] = 0. Choose an algebraic closure ˝
al
of ˝, and
let
k
;
1
= {c ÷ ˝
al
[ c
;
n
÷ k for some n]
— it is the perfect closure of k in ˝
al
. As ˝
al
is purely inseparable over ˝, every element
of 1 extends uniquely to an automorphism of ˝
al
(cf. the above remark), and, according
to the proposition, (˝
al
)
T
= k
;
1
. Therefore,
k c ˝
T
c k
;
1
.
2
Descending subspaces of vector spaces
In this subsection, ˝ ¯ k are fields such that the fixed field of 1 = Aut(˝¡k) is k.
For a vector space V over k, 1 acts on V(˝) =
df
˝ ˝
k
V through its action on ˝:
o(
¸
c
i
˝·
i
) =
¸
oc
i
˝·
i
. o ÷ 1. c
i
÷ ˝. ·
i
÷ V. (25)
This is the unique action of 1 on V(˝) fixing the elements of V and such that o acts
o-linearly:
o(c·) = o(c)o(·) all o ÷ 1 , c ÷ ˝, · ÷ V(C). (26)
LEMMA 16.4. Let V be a k-vector space. The following conditions on a subspace W of
V(˝) are equivalent:
(a) W ¨ V spans W;
(b) W ¨ V contains an ˝-basis for W;
(c) the map ˝ ˝
k
(W ¨ V ) ÷W, c ˝· ÷c·, is an isomorphism.
PROOF. (a) == (b,c) A k-linearly independent subset in V is ˝-linearly independent in
˝ ˝
k
V = V(˝). Therefore, if W ¨V spans W, then any k-basis (e
i
)
i÷J
for W ¨V will
be an ˝-basis for W. Moreover, (1 ˝e
i
)
i÷J
will be an ˝-basis for ˝ ˝
k
(W ¨ V ), and
since the map ˝ ˝
k
(W ¨ V ) ÷W sends 1 ˝e
i
to e
i
, it is an isomorphism.
(c) ==(a), (b) ==(a). Obvious.
2
LEMMA 16.5. For any k-vector space V , V = V(˝)
T
.
PROOF. Let (e
i
)
i÷J
be a k-basis for V . Then (1 ˝e
i
)
i÷J
is an ˝-basis for ˝ ˝
k
V , and
o ÷ 1 acts on · =
¸
c
i
˝e
i
according to (25). Thus, · is fixed by 1 if and only if each
c
i
is fixed by 1 and so lies in k.
2
DESCENDING SUBVARIETIES AND MORPHISMS 201
LEMMA 16.6. Let V be a k-vector space, and let W be a subspace of V(˝) stable under
the action of 1 . If W
T
= 0, then W = 0.
PROOF. Let n be a nonzero element of W. As an element of ˝ ˝
k
V = V(˝), n can be
expressed in the form
n = c
1
e
1
÷ ÷c
n
e
n
. c
i
÷ ˝ {0]. e
i
÷ V .
Choose n to be a nonzero element for which n takes its smallest value. After scaling, we
may suppose that c
1
= 1. For o ÷ 1 ,
on ÷ n = (oc
2
÷ c
2
)e
2
÷ ÷(oc
n
÷ c
n
)e
n
lies in W and has at most n÷1 nonzero coefficients, and so is zero. Thus, n ÷ W
T
= {0],
which is a contradiction.
2
PROPOSITION 16.7. Let V be a k-vector space, and let W be a subspace of V(˝). Then
W = ˝W
0
for some k-subspace W
0
of V if and only if W is stable under the action of 1 .
PROOF. Certainly, if W = ˝W
0
, then it is stable under 1 (and W = ˝(W ¨ V )).
Conversely, assume W is stable under 1 , and let W
t
be a complement to W ¨ V in V , so
that
V = (W ¨ V ) ˚W
t
.
Then
(W ¨ W
t
(˝))
T
= W
T
¨ W
t
(˝)
T
= (W ¨ V ) ¨ W
t
= 0,
and so
W ¨ W
t
(˝) = 0 (by 16.6).
As W ¯ (W ¨ V )(˝) and
V(˝) = (W ¨ V )(˝) ˚W
t
(˝),
this implies that W = (W ¨ V )(˝).
2
Descending subvarieties and morphisms
In this subsection, ˝ ¯ k are fields such that the fixed field of 1 = Aut(˝¡k) is k.
For any variety V over k, 1 acts on the underlying set of V
˝
. For example, if V =
Spm·, then V
˝
= Spm(Ω˝
k
·), and 1 acts on ˝ ˝
k
· and spm(˝ ˝
k
·) through its
action on ˝. When ˝ is algebraically closed, the underlying set of V can be identified
with the set V(˝) of points of V with coordinates in ˝, and the action becomes the natural
action of 1 on V(˝). For example, if V is embedded in A
n
or P
n
over k, then 1 simply
acts on the coordinates of a point.
PROPOSITION 16.8. Let V be a variety over k, and let W be a closed subvariety of V
˝
stable (as a set) under the action of 1 on V . Then there is a closed subvariety W
0
of V such
that W = W

.
202 CHAPTER 16. DESCENT THEORY
PROOF. Suppose first that V is affine, and let 1(W) c ˝ŒV
˝
| be the ideal of regular
functions zero on W. Recall that ˝ŒV
˝
| = ˝ ˝
k
kŒV | (:11). Because W is stable under
1 , so also is 1(W), and so 1(W) is spanned by 1
0
= 1(W) ¨ kŒV | (see 16.7). Therefore,
the zero set of 1
0
is a closed subvariety W
0
of V with the property that W = W

.
To deduce the general case, cover V with open affines V =

V
i
. Then W
i
=
df
V

¨ W is stable under 1 , and so arises from a closed subvariety W
i0
of V
i
; a similar
statement holds for W
i}
=
df
W
i
¨ W
}
. Define W
0
to be variety obtained by patching the
varieties W
i0
along the open subvarieties W
i}0
.
2
PROPOSITION 16.9. Let V and W be varieties over k, and let } : V
˝
÷ W
˝
be a regular
map. If } commutes with the actions of 1 on V and W, then } arises from a (unique)
regular map V ÷W over k.
PROOF. Apply Proposition 16.8 to the graph of } , 1
(
c (V × W)
˝
.
2
COROLLARY 16.10. A variety V over k is uniquely determined (up to a unique isomor-
phism) by V
˝
together with the action of 1 on V .
PROOF. Let V and V
t
be varieties over k such that V
˝
= V
t
˝
and the actions of 1 defined
by V and V
t
agree. Then the identity map V
˝
÷ V
t
˝
arises from a unique isomorphism
V ÷V
t
.
REMARK 16.11. Let ˝ be separably closed. For any variety W over ˝, W(˝) is Zariski
dense in W (see :11.15); hence W c V
˝
is stable under the action of 1 if W(˝) c V(˝)
is. For a variety V over k, 1 acts on V(˝), and we have shown that the functor
V ÷(V
˝
, action of 1 on V(˝))
is fully faithful. In Theorems 16.42, 16.43, we obtain sufficient conditions for a pair to lie
in the essential image of this functor.
Galois descent of vector spaces
Let 1 be a group acting on a field ˝. By an action of 1 on an ˝-vector space V we mean
a homomorphism1 ÷Aut
k
(V ) satisfying (26), i.e., such that each o ÷ 1 acts o-linearly.
LEMMA 16.12. Let S be the standard M
n
(k)-module (i.e., S = k
n
with M
n
(k) acting by
left multiplication). The functor V ÷S ˝
k
V fromk-vector spaces to left M
n
(k)-modules
is an equivalence of categories.
PROOF. Let V and W be k-vector spaces. The choice of bases (e
i
)
i÷J
and (}
}
)
}÷J
for
V and W identifies Hom
k
(V. W) with the set of matrices (a
}i
)
(},i)÷J×J
such that, for
a fixed i , all but finitely many a
}i
are zero. Because S is a simple M
n
(k)-module and
End
Æ
n
(k)
(S) . k, Hom
Æ
n
(k)
(S ˝
k
V. S ˝
k
W) has the same description, and so the
functor V ÷S ˝
k
V is fully faithful.
The functor V ÷S ˝
k
V sends a vector space V with basis (e
i
)
i÷J
to a direct sum of
copies of S indexed by 1. Therefore, to show that the functor is essentially surjective, we
have prove that every left M
n
(k)-module is a direct sum of copies of S.
GALOIS DESCENT OF VECTOR SPACES 203
We first prove this for M
n
(k) regarded as a left M
n
(k)-module. For 1 _ i _ n, let 1(i )
be the set of matrices in M
n
(k) whose entries are zero except for those in the i
th
column.
Then 1(i ) is a left ideal in M
n
(k), and 1(i ) is isomorphic to S as an M
n
(k)-module.
Hence,
M
n
(k) =

i
1(i ) . S
n
(as a left M
n
(k)-module).
We now prove it for left M
n
(k)-module M, which we may suppose to be nonzero. The
choice of a generating set of M realizes it as a quotient of a sum of copies of M
n
(k), and
so M is a sum of copies of S. It remains to show that the sum can be made direct. Let 1
be the set of submodules of M isomorphic to S, and let S be the set of subsets J of 1 such
that the sum N(J) =
df
¸
1÷J
N is direct, i.e., such that for any N
0
÷ J and finite subset
J
0
of J not containing N
0
, N
0
¨
¸
1÷J
0
N = 0. If J
1
c J
2
c . . . is a chain of sets in
S, then

J
i
÷ S, and so Zorn’s lemma implies that S has maximal elements. For any
maximal J, M = N(J).
1
2
ASIDE 16.13. Let · and T be rings (not necessarily commutative), and let S be ·-T-
bimodule (this means that · acts on S on the left, T acts on S on the right, and the actions
commute). When the functor M ÷ S ˝
B
M: Mod
B
÷ Mod
¹
is an equivalence of cat-
egories, · and T are said to be Morita equivalent through S. In this terminology, the
lemma says that M
n
(k) and k are Morita equivalent through S.
2
PROPOSITION 16.14. Let ˝ be a finite Galois extension of k with Galois group 1 . The
functor V ÷˝ ˝
k
V from k-vector spaces to ˝-vector spaces endowed with an action of
1 is an equivalence of categories.
PROOF. Let ˝Œ1 | be the ˝-vector space with basis {o ÷ 1 ], and make ˝Œ1 | into a
k-algebra by defining
¸
c÷T
a
c
o
¸
r÷T
b
r
t

=
¸
c,r
(a
c
ob
r
)ot.
Then ˝Œ1 | acts k-linearly on ˝ by the rule
(
¸
c÷T
a
c
o)c =
¸
c÷T
a
c
(oc).
and Dedekind’s theorem on the independence of characters (FT 5.14) implies that the ho-
momorphism
˝Œ1 | ÷End
k
(˝)
defined by this action is injective. By counting dimensions over k, one sees that it is an iso-
morphism. Therefore, Lemma 16.12 shows that ˝Œ1 | and k are Morita equivalent through
˝, i.e., the functor V ÷ ˝ ˝
k
V from k-vector spaces to left ˝Œ1 |-modules is an equiv-
alence of categories. This is precisely the statement of the lemma.
2
1
If this is not so, then there exists an element S
t
of 1 not contained in N(J) (because M is the sum of
the elements in 1). Because S
t
is simple, S
t
¨ N(J) = 0. It follows that J L {S
t
] ÷ S contradicting the
maximality of J.
2
For more on Morita equivalence, see Chapter 4 of Berrick, A. J., Keating, M. E., Categories and mod-
ules with 1-theory in view. Cambridge Studies in Advanced Mathematics, 67. Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge, 2000.
204 CHAPTER 16. DESCENT THEORY
When ˝ is an infinite Galois extension of k, we endow 1 with the Krull topology, and
we say that an action of 1 on an ˝-vector space V is continuous if every element of V is
fixed by an open subgroup of 1 , i.e., if
V =
¸
z
V
z
(union over open subgroups z of 1 ).
For example, the action of 1 on ˝ is obviously continuous, and it follows that, for any
k-vector space V , the action of 1 on ˝ ˝
k
V is continuous.
PROPOSITION 16.15. Let ˝ be a Galois extension of k (possibly infinite) with Galois
group 1 . For any ˝-vector space V equipped with a continuous action of 1 , the map
¸
c
i
˝·
i
÷
¸
c
i
·
i
: ˝ ˝
k
V
T
÷V
is an isomorphism.
PROOF. Suppose first that 1 is finite. Proposition 16.14 allows us to assume V = ˝˝
k
W
for some k-subspace W of V . Then V
T
= (˝˝
k
W)
T
= W, and so the statement is true.
When 1 is infinite, the finite case shows that ˝ ˝
k
(V
z
)
T¡z
. V
z
for every open
normal subgroup zof 1 . Now pass to the direct limit over z, recalling that tensor products
commute with direct limits (Atiyah and MacDonald 1969, Chapter 2, Exercise 20).
2
Descent data
For a homomorphism of fields o: J ÷1, we sometimes write oV for V
1
(the variety over
1 obtained by base change, i.e., by applying o to the coefficients of the equations defining
V ). A regular map c: V ÷ W defines a regular map c
1
: V
1
÷ W
1
which we also write
oc: oV ÷ oW. Note that 1
cc
= o1
c
and (oc)(o7) = o(c(7)) for any subvariety 7
of V . The map oc is obtained from c by applying o to the coefficients of the polynomials
defining c. When o is an isomorphism, oc = o ı c ı o
-1
.
Let ˝ ¯ k be fields, and let 1 = Aut(˝¡k). An ˝¡k-descent system on a variety V
over ˝ is a family (c
c
)
c÷T
of isomorphisms c
c
: oV ÷V satisfying the following cocycle
condition:
c
c
ı (oc
r
) = c
cr
for all o. t ÷ 1.
A model (V
0
. c) of V over a subfield k of ˝ containing k splits (c
c
)
c÷T
if c
c
= c
-1
ıoc
for all o fixing 1.
An ˝¡k-descent system (c
c
)
c÷T
on V defines an ˝¡1-descent system on V for any
subfield 1 of ˝ containing k, namely, (c
c
)
c÷Aut(˝¡1)
. The descent system (c
c
)
c÷T
is
said to be continuous if there exists a model of V over a subfield 1 of ˝ finitely generated
over k splitting (c
c
)
c÷Aut(˝¡1)
. A descent datum is a continuous descent system. A
descent datum is effective if it is split by some model over k. In a given situation, we say
that descent is effective or that it is possible to descend the base field if every descent datum
is effective.
PROPOSITION 16.16. Assume that k is the fixed field of 1 = Aut(˝¡k), and that (V
0
. c)
and (V
t
0
. c
t
) split descent data (c
c
)
c÷T
and (c
t
c
)
c÷T
on varieties V and V
t
over ˝. To
DESCENT DATA 205
give a regular map [
0
: V
0
÷ V
t
0
amounts to giving a regular map [: V ÷ V
t
such that
[ ı c
c
= c
t
c
ı o[ for all o ÷ 1 :
oV
c

÷÷÷÷÷ V

cv

v
oV
t
c
0

÷÷÷÷÷ V
t
PROOF. Given [
0
, define [ to be [

. Conversely, given [, use c and c
t
to transfer [
to a regular map [
t
: V

÷ V
t

. Then the hypothesis implies that [
t
commutes with the
actions of 1 , and so is defined over k (16.9).
2
COROLLARY 16.17. Assume that k is the fixed field of 1 = Aut(˝¡k), and that (V
0
. c)
splits the descent datum (c
c
)
c÷T
. Let W be a variety over k. Giving a regular map W ÷
V
0
(resp. V
0
÷ W) amounts to giving a regular map [: W
˝
÷ V (resp. [: V ÷ W
˝
)
compatible with the descent datum
oV
c

W
˝
cv

y
y
y
y
y
y
y
y
v

V
(resp. oV
c

cv

E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
V
v

W
˝
)
REMARK 16.18. Proposition 16.16 says that the functor taking a variety V over k to V
˝
over ˝ endowed with its natural descent datum is fully faithful.
For a descent system (c
c
)
c÷T
on V and a subvariety W of V , define
c
W = c
c
(oW),
so that
oV
c

÷÷÷÷÷
:
V
¸

¸

oW
c

|cW
÷÷÷÷÷÷
:
c
W
LEMMA 16.19. The following hold.
(a) For all o. t ÷ 1 and W c V ,
c
(
r
W) =
cr
W.
(b) Suppose the model (V
0
. c) of V over k
0
splits (c
c
)
c÷T
, and let W be a subvariety of
V . If W = c
-1
(W

) for some subvariety W
0
of V
0
, then
c
W = W for all o ÷ 1 ;
the converse is true if ˝
T
= k.
PROOF. (a) By definition
c
(
r
W) = c
c
(o(c
r
(tW)) = (c
c
ı oc
r
)(otW) = c
cr
(otW) =
cr
W.
In the second equality, we used that (oc)(o7) = o(c7).
(b) Let W = c
-1
(W

). By hypothesis c
c
= c
-1
ı oc, and so
c
W = (c
-1
ı oc)(oW) = c
-1
(o(cW)) = c
-1
(oW

) = c
-1
(W

) = W.
206 CHAPTER 16. DESCENT THEORY
Conversely, suppose
c
W = W for all o ÷ 1 . Then
c(W) = c(
c
W) = (oc)(oW) = o(c(W)).
Therefore, c(W) is stable under the action of 1 on V

, and so is defined over k (see
16.8).
2
For a descent system (c
c
)
c÷T
on V and a regular function } on an open subset U of
V , define
c
} to be the function (o} )ıc
-1
c
on
c
U, so that
c
}(
c
1) = }(1) for all 1 ÷ U.
Then
c
(
r
} ) =
cr
} , and so this defines an action of 1 on the regular functions.
We endow 1 with the Krull topology, that for which the subgroups of 1 fixing a sub-
field of ˝ finitely generated over k form a basis of open neighbourhoods of 1 (see FT :8).
An action of 1 on an ˝-vector space V is continuous if
V =
¸
z
V
z
(union over the open subgroups z of 1 ).
For a subfield 1 of ˝ containing k, let z
1
= Aut(˝¡1).
PROPOSITION 16.20. Assume ˝ is separably closed. A descent system (c
c
)
c÷T
on an
affine variety V is continuous if and only if the action of 1 on ˝ŒV | is continuous.
PROOF. If (c
c
)
c÷T
is continuous, (c
c
)
c÷z
k
1
will be split by a model of V over a subfield
k
1
of ˝ finitely generated over k. By definition, z
k
1
is open, and ˝ŒV |
z
k
1
contains a
set {}
1
. . . . . }
n
] of generators for ˝ŒV | as an ˝-algebra. Now ˝ŒV | =

1Œ}
1
. . . . . }
n
|
where 1 runs over the subfields of ˝ containing k
1
and finitely generated over k. As
1Œ}
1
. . . . . }
n
| = ˝ŒV |
z
L
, this shows that ˝ŒV | =

˝ŒV |
z
L
.
Conversely, if the action of 1 on ˝ŒV | is continuous, then for some subfield 1 of ˝
finitely generated over k, ˝ŒV |
z
L
will contain a set of generators }
1
. . . . . }
n
for ˝ŒV | as
an ˝-algebra. According to (16.3), ˝
z
L
is a purely inseparable algebraic extension of 1,
and so, after replacing 1 with a finite extension, the embedding V ·÷ A
n
defined by the
}
i
will determine a model of V over 1. This model splits (c
c
)
c÷z
L
, and so (c
c
)
c÷T
is
continuous.
2
PROPOSITION 16.21. A descent system (c
c
)
c÷T
on a variety V over ˝ is continuous if
there is a finite set S of points in V(˝) such that
(a) any automorphism of V fixing all 1 ÷ S is the identity map, and
(b) there exists a subfield 1 of ˝ finitely generated over k such that
c
1 = 1 for all
o ÷ 1 fixing 1.
PROOF. There exists a model (V
0
. c) of V over a subfield 1 of ˝ finitely generated over
k. After possibly replacing 1 by a larger finitely generated field, we may suppose that
c
1 = 1 for all o ÷ 1 fixing 1 (because of (b)) and that c(1) ÷ V
0
(1) for all 1 ÷ S.
Then, for o fixing 1, (oc)(o1) = 1, and so c
c
and c
-1
ı oc are both isomorphisms
oV ÷ V sending o1 to 1, which implies that they are equal (because of (a)). Hence
(V
0
. c) splits (c
c
)
c÷T
.
2
COROLLARY 16.22. Let V be a variety over ˝ whose only automorphism is the identity
map. A descent datum on V is effective if V has a model over k.
GALOIS DESCENT OF VARIETIES 207
PROOF. This is the special case of the proposition in which S is the empty set.
2
Of course, in Proposition 16.21, S doesn’t have to be a finite set of points. The propo-
sition will hold with S any additional structure on V that rigidifies V (i.e., is such that
Aut(V. S) = 1) and is such that (V. S) has a model over a finitely generated extension of
k.
Galois descent of varieties
In this subsection, ˝ is a Galois extension of k with Galois group 1 .
THEOREM 16.23. A descent datum (c
c
)
c÷T
on a variety V is effective if V is covered by
open affines U with the property that
c
U = U for all o ÷ 1 .
PROOF. Assume first that V is affine, and let · = kŒV |. A descent datum(c
c
)
c÷T
defines
a continuous action of 1 on · (see 16.20). From (16.15), we know that
c ˝a ÷ca: ˝ ˝
k
·
T
÷· (27)
is an isomorphism. Let V
0
= Spm·
T
, and let c be the isomorphism V ÷V

defined by
(27). Then (V
0
. c) splits the descent datum.
In the general case, write V as a finite union of open affines U
i
such that
c
U
i
= U
i
for
all o ÷ 1 . Then V is the variety over ˝ obtained by patching the U
i
by means of the maps
U
i
÷· U
i
¨ U
}
·÷U
}
. (28)
Each intersection U
i
¨U
}
is again affine (4.27), and so the system (28) descends to k. The
variety over k obtained by patching is a model of V over k splitting the descent datum.
2
COROLLARY 16.24. If each finite set of points of V(˝
sep
) is contained in an open affine
of V
˝
sep, then every descent datum on V is effective.
PROOF. An ˝¡k-descent datum for V extends in a natural way to an ˝
sep
¡k-descent
datum for V , and if a model (V
0
. c) over k splits the second descent datum, then it also
splits the first. Thus, we may suppose that ˝ is separably closed.
Let (c
c
)
c÷T
be a descent datum on V , and let U be a subvariety of V . By definition,
(c
c
) is split by a model (V
1
. c) of V over some finite extension k
1
of k. After possibly
replacing k
1
with a larger finite extension, there will exist a subvariety U
1
of V
1
such
that c(U) = U

. Now (16.19b) shows that
c
U depends only on the coset oz where
z = Gal(˝¡k
1
). In particular, {
c
U [ o ÷ 1 ] is finite. The subvariety
¸
c÷T
c
U is stable
under 1 , and so (see 16.8, 16.19)
r
(
¸
c÷T
c
U) = (
¸
c÷T
c
U) for all t ÷ 1 .
Let 1 ÷ V . Because {
c
1 [ o ÷ 1 ] is finite, it is contained in an open affine U of V .
Now U
t
=
¸
c÷T
c
U is an open affine in V containing 1 and such that
c
U
t
= U
t
for all
o ÷ 1 .
2
COROLLARY 16.25. Descent is effective in each of the following two cases:
(a) V is quasiprojective, or
(b) an affine algebraic group G acts transitively on V .
208 CHAPTER 16. DESCENT THEORY
PROOF. (a) Apply (6.25) (whose proof applies unchanged over any infinite base field).
(b) As in the proof of (16.24), we may assume ˝ to be separably closed. Let S be a
finite set of points of V(˝), and let U be an open affine in V . For each 1 ÷ S, there is a
nonempty open subvariety G
1
of G such that G
1
1 c U. Because ˝ is separably closed,
there exists a g ÷ (
¸
1÷S
G
1
1)(˝) (see 11.15). Now g
-1
U is an open affine containing
S.
2
Weil restriction
Let 1¡k be a finite extension of fields, and let V be a variety over 1. Let V
+
be a variety
over k and c: V
+1
÷ V a regular map (of 1-varieties) with the following universal prop-
erty: for any variety T over k and regular map c
t
: T
1
÷ V , there exists a unique regular
map [: T ÷V (of k-varieties) such that c ı [
1
= c
t
, i.e.,
T
v 3Š

T
1
v
K

c
0

F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
V
+
V
+1
c

V.
Then (V
+
. c) is called the 1¡k-Weil restriction of V , and V is called the the k-variety
obtained from V by (Weil) restriction of scalars or by restriction of the base field. Note
that then
Mor
k
(T. V
+
) . Mor
k
(T
1
. V )
(functorially in the k-variety T ); in particular,
V
+
(·) . V(1 ˝
k
·)
(functorially in the affine k-algebra ·). If it exists, the 1¡k-Weil restriction of V is deter-
mined by its universal property uniquely up to a unique isomorphism (and even by the last
isomorphism).
PROPOSITION 16.26. If V satisfies the hypothesis of (16.24) (for example, if V is quasi-
projective) and 1¡k is separable, then the 1¡k-Weil restriction exists.
PROOF. Let ˝ be a Galois extension of k large enough to contain all conjugates of 1,
i.e., such that ˝ ˝
k
1 .
¸
r:1-˝
t1. Let V
t
=
¸
tV . For o ÷ Gal(˝¡k), define
c
c
: oV
t
÷ V
t
so that, on the factor o(tV ), c
c
it is the canonical isomorphism o(tV ) .
(ot)V . Then (c
c
)
c
is a descent datum, and so defines a model (V
+
. c
+
) of V
t
over k.
Choose a t
0
: 1 ÷ ˝. The projection map V
t
÷ t
0
V is invariant under the action of
Gal(˝¡t
0
1), and so defines a regular map (V
+
)
r
0
1
÷ t
0
V (16.9), and hence a regular
map c: V
+1
÷V . It is easy to check that this has the correct universal property.
2
Generic fibres
In this subsection, k is an algebraically closed field.
Let c: V ÷U be a dominating map with U irreducible, and let 1 = k(U). Then there
is a regular map c
1
: V
1
÷Spm1, called the generic fibre of c. For example, if V and U
RIGID DESCENT 209
are affine, so that c corresponds to an injective homomorphism of rings } : · ÷ T, then
c
1
corresponds to · ˝
k
1 ÷ T ˝
k
1. In the general case, we can replace U with any
open affine, and then cover V with open affines.
Let 1 be a field finitely generated over k, and let V be a variety over 1. For any k-
variety U with k(U) = 1, there will exist a dominating map c: V ÷U with generic fibre
V . Let 1 be a point in the image of c. Then the fibre of V over 1 is a variety V(1) over
k, called the specialization of V at 1.
Similar statements are true for morphisms of varieties.
Rigid descent
LEMMA 16.27. Let V and W be varieties over an algebraically closed field k. If V and W
become isomorphic over some field containing k, then they are already isomorphic over k.
PROOF. The hypothesis implies that, for some field 1 finitely generated over k, there exists
an isomorphism c: V
1
÷ W
1
. Let U be an affine k-variety such that k(U) = 1. After
possibly replacing U with an open subset, we can c extend to an isomorphismc
U
: U×V ÷
U × W. The fibre of c
U
at any point of U is an isomorphism V ÷W.
2
Consider fields ˝ ¯ 1
1
. 1
2
¯ k. Recall (11.1) that 1
1
and 1
2
are said to be linearly
disjoint over k if the homomorphism
¸
a
i
˝b
i
÷
¸
a
i
b
i
: 1
1
˝
k
1
2
÷1
1
1
2
is injective.
LEMMA 16.28. Let ˝ ¯ k be algebraically closed fields, and let V be a variety over ˝.
If there exist models of V over subfields 1
1
. 1
2
of ˝ finitely generated over k and linearly
disjoint over k, then there exists a model of V over k.
PROOF. Let U
1
. U
2
be irreducible affine k-varieties such that k(U
1
) = 1
1
, k(U
2
) = 1
2
,
and the models of V over 1
1
and 1
2
extend to varieties V
1
and V
2
over U
1
and U
2
(meaning
V
i
÷U
i
is a surjective smooth map with generic fibre a model of V over k(U
1
)). Because
1
1
and 1
2
are linearly disjoint, 1
1
˝
k
1
2
is an integral domain with field of fractions
k(U
1
× U
2
). For some finite extension 1 of k(U
1
× U
2
), V
11
will be isomorphic to V
21
.
Let
¨
U be the normalization
3
of U
1
×U
2
in 1, and let U be an open dense subset of
¨
U such
that some isomorphism of V
11
with V
21
extends to an isomorphism c: V
1U
÷ V
2U
over
U.
3
Let U
1
× U
2
= SpmC; then
¨
U = Spm
¨
C, where
¨
C is the integral closure of C in 1.
210 CHAPTER 16. DESCENT THEORY
The map
¨
U ÷ U
1
× U
2
is surjective (Going-up theorem 8.8),
and so the image of the map U ÷ U
1
× U
2
contains a nonempty
open (hence dense) subset U
t
of U
1
× U
2
. Let 1 be a point of U
1
in the image of U
t
÷U
1
. The inverse image of 1 in U is a closed
subvariety U
1
of U, and c defines an isomorphism
c
1
: V
1U
P
÷V
2U
P
over U
1
. The source (domain) of c
1
is
V
1
×
U
1
U ×
U
×U
1
. V
1
×
U
1
U
1
. V
1
×
U
1
1 ×
1
U
1
.
and the target of c
1
is the variety obtained from V
2
by pulling
back by U
1
÷{1] × U
2
. U
2
.
1 ÷÷÷÷÷ U
1

U
1
÷÷÷÷÷ U

Spmk ÷÷÷÷÷ U
2
From our choice of 1, c
1
is dominating. Therefore the isomorphism defined by c
1
over
k(U
1
) has source a variety defined over k and target a model of V .
2
EXAMPLE 16.29. Let 1 be an elliptic curve over ˝ with ; -invariant ;(1). There exists
a model of 1 over a subfield 1 of ˝ if and only if ;(1) ÷ 1. If ;(1) is transcendental,
then any two such fields contain k(;(1)), and so can’t be linearly disjoint. Therefore, the
hypothesis in the proposition implies ;(1) ÷ k, and so 1 has a model over k.
LEMMA 16.30. Let ˝ be algebraically closed of infinite transcendence degree over k, and
assume that k is algebraically closed in ˝. For any 1 c ˝ finitely generated over k, there
exists a o ÷ Aut(˝¡k) such that 1 and o1 are linearly disjoint over k.
PROOF. Let a
1
. . . . . a
n
be a transcendence basis for 1¡k, and extend it to a transcen-
dence basis a
1
. . . . . a
n
. b
1
. . . . . b
n
. . . . of ˝¡k. Let o be any permutation of the tran-
scendence basis such that o(a
i
) = b
i
for all i . Then o defines a k-automorphism of
k(a
1
. . . . a
n
. b
1
. . . . . b
n
. . . .), which we extend to an automorphism of ˝.
Let 1
1
= k(a
1
. . . . . a
n
). Then o1
1
= k(b
1
. . . . . b
n
), and certainly 1
1
and o1
1
are
linearly disjoint. In particular, 1
1
˝
k
o1
1
is an integral domain. Because k is algebraically
closed in 1, 1 ˝
k
o1 is an integral domain (cf. 11.5). This implies that 1 and o1 are
linearly disjoint.
2
LEMMA 16.31. Let ˝ ¯ k be algebraically closed fields such that ˝ is of infinite tran-
scendence degree over k, and let V be a variety over ˝. If V is isomorphic to oV for every
o ÷ Aut(˝¡k), then V has a model over k.
PROOF. There will exist a model V
0
of V over a subfield 1 of ˝ finitely generated over k.
According to Lemma 16.30, there exists a o ÷ Aut(˝¡k) such that 1 and o1 are linearly
disjoint. Because V ~ oV , oV
0
is a model of V over o1, and we can apply Lemma
16.28.
2
In the next two theorems, ˝ ¯ k are fields such that the fixed field of 1 = Aut(˝¡k)
is k and ˝ is algebraically closed
THEOREM 16.32. Let V be a quasiprojective variety over ˝, and let (c
c
)
c÷T
be a descent
system for V . If the only automorphism of V is the identity map, then V has a model over
k splitting (c
c
).
WEIL’S DESCENT THEOREMS 211
PROOF. According to Lemma 16.31, V has a model (V
0
. c) over the algebraic closure k
al
of k in ˝, which (see the proof of 16.22) splits (c
c
)
c÷Aut(˝¡k
al
)
.
Now c
t
c
=
df
c
-1
ı c
c
ı oc is stable under Aut(˝¡k
al
), and hence is defined over k
al
(16.9). Moreover, c
t
c
depends only on the restriction of o to k
al
, and (c
t
c
)
c÷Gal(k
al
¡k)
is a
descent system for V
0
. It is continuous by (16.21), and so V
0
has a model (V
00
. c
t
) over k
splitting (c
t
c
)
c÷Gal(k
al
¡k)
. Now (V
00
. c ı c
t
˝
) splits (c
c
)
c÷Aut(˝¡k)
.
2
We now consider pairs (V. S) where V is a variety over ˝ and S is a family of points
S = (1
i
)
1_i_n
of V indexed by Œ1. n|. A morphism (V. (1
i
)
1_i_n
) ÷(W. (O
i
)
1_i_n
) is
a regular map c: V ÷W such that c(1
i
) = O
i
for all i .
THEOREM 16.33. Let V be a quasiprojective variety over ˝, and let (c
c
)
c÷Aut(˝¡k)
be a
descent system for V . Let S = (1
i
)
1_i_n
be a finite set of points of V such that
(a) the only automorphism of V fixing each 1
i
is the identity map, and
(b) there exists a subfield 1 of ˝ finitely generated over k such that
c
1 = 1 for all
o ÷ 1 fixing 1.
Then V has a model over k splitting (c
c
).
PROOF. Lemmas 16.27–16.31 all hold for pairs (V. S) (with the same proofs), and so the
proof of Theorem 16.32 applies.
2
EXAMPLE 16.34. Theorem 16.33 can be used to prove that certain abelian varieties at-
tached to algebraic varieties in characteristic zero, for example, the generalized Jacobian
varieties, are defined over the same field as the variety.
4
We illustrate this with the usual
Jacobian variety J of a complete nonsingular curve C. For such a curve C over C, there is
a principally polarized abelian variety J(C) such that, as a complex manifold,
J(C)(C) = 1(C. ˝
1
)
·
¡H
1
(C. Z).
The association C ÷ J(C) is a functorial, and so a descent datum (c
c
)
c÷Aut(˝¡k)
on C
defines a descent system on J(C). It is known that if we take S to be the set of points
of order 3 on J(C), then condition (a) of the theorem is satisfied (see, for example, Milne
1986
5
, 17.5), and condition (b) can be seen to be satisfied by regarding J(C) as the Picard
variety of C.
Weil’s descent theorems
THEOREM 16.35. Let k be a finite separable extension of a field k
0
, and let 1 be the set of
k-homomorphisms k ÷k
al
0
. Let V be a quasiprojective variety over k; for each pair (o. t)
of elements of 1, let c
r,c
be an isomorphism oV ÷tV (of varieties over k
al
0
). Then there
exists a variety V
0
over k
0
and an isomorphism c: V
0k
÷V such that c
r,c
= tc ı (oc)
-1
for all o. t ÷ 1 if and only if the c
r,c
are defined over k
sep
0
and satisfy the following
conditions:
(a) c
r,µ
= c
r,c
ı c
c,µ
for all j. o. t ÷ 1;
4
This was pointed out to me by Niranjan Ramachandran.
5
Milne, J.S., Abelian varieties, in Arithmetic Geometry, Springer, 1986.
212 CHAPTER 16. DESCENT THEORY
(b) c
ro,co
= oc
r,c
for all o. t ÷ 1 and all k
0
-automorphisms o of k
al
0
over k
0
.
Moreover, when this is so, the pair (V
0
. c) is unique up to isomorphism over k
0
, and V
0
is
quasiprojective or quasi-affine if V is.
PROOF. This is Theorem 3 of Weil 1956,
6
p515. It is essentially a restatement of (a) of
Corollary 16.25 (and (V
0
. c) is unique up to a unique isomorphism over k
0
).
2
An extension 1 of a field k is said to be regular if it is finitely generated, admits a
separating transcendence basis, and k is algebraically closed in 1. These are precisely
the fields that arise as the field of rational functions on geometrically irreducible algebraic
variety over k.
Let k be a field, and let k(t ), t = (t
1
. . . . . t
n
). be a regular extension of k (in Weil’s
terminology, t is a generic point of a variety over k). By k(t
t
) we shall mean a field
isomorphic to k(t ) by t ÷t
t
, and we write k(t. t
t
) for the field of fractions of k(t )˝
k
k(t
t
).
7
When V
t
is a variety over k(t ), we shall write V
t
0 for the variety over k(t
t
) obtained fromV
t
by base change with respect to t ÷t
t
: k(t ) ÷k(t
t
). Similarly, if }
t
denotes a regular map
of varieties over k(t ), then }
t
0 denotes the regular map over k(t
t
) obtained by base change.
Similarly, k(t
tt
) is a second field isomorphic to k(t ) by t ÷ t
tt
and k(t. t
t
. t
tt
) is the field
of fractions of k(t ) ˝
k
k(t
t
) ˝
k
k(t
tt
).
THEOREM 16.36. With the above notations, let V
t
be a quasiprojective variety over k(t );
for each pair (t. t
t
), let c
t
0
,t
be an isomorphism V
t
÷ V
t
0 defined over k(t. t
t
). Then there
exists a variety V defined over k and an isomorphism c
t
: V
k(t)
÷ V
t
(of varieties over
k(t )) such that c
t
0
,t
= c
t
0 ı c
-1
t
if and only if c
t
0
,t
satisfies the following condition:
c
t
00
,t
= c
t
00
,t
0 ı c
t
0
,t
(isomorphism of varieties over k(t. t
t
. t
tt
).
Moreover, when this is so, the pair (V. c
t
) is unique up to an isomorphism over k, and V is
quasiprojective or quasi-affine if V is.
PROOF. This is Theorem 6 and Theorem 7 of Weil 1956, p522.
2
THEOREM 16.37. Let ˝ be an algebraically closed field of infinite transcendence degree
over a perfect field k. Then descent is effective for quasiprojective varieties over ˝.
PROOF. Let (c
c
) be a descent datum on a variety V over ˝. Because (c
c
) is continuous, it
is split by a model of V over some subfield 1 of ˝ finitely generated over k. Let k
t
be the
algebraic closure of k in 1; then k
t
is a finite extension of k and 1 is a regular extension of
k. Write 1 = k(t ), and let (V
t
. c
t
) be a model of V over k(t ) splitting (c
c
). According to
Lemma 16.30, there exists a o ÷ Aut(˝¡k) such that ok(t ) = k(t
t
) and k(t ) are linearly
disjoint over k. The isomorphism
V

c
0
÷÷V
c
1

÷÷oV
(cc
0
)
1
÷÷ V
t
0

6
Weil, Andr´ e, The field of definition of a variety. Amer. J. Math. 78 (1956), 509–524.
7
If k(t ) and k(t
t
) are linearly disjoint subfields of some large field ˝, then k(t. t
t
) is the subfield of ˝
generated over k by t and t
t
.
RESTATEMENT IN TERMS OF GROUP ACTIONS 213
is defined over k(t. t
t
) and satisfies the conditions of Theorem 16.36. Therefore, there exists
a model (W. c) of V over k
t
splitting (c
c
)
c÷Aut(˝¡k(t)
.
For o. t ÷ Aut(˝¡k), let c
r,c
be the composite of the isomorphisms
oW
cc
÷÷oV
c

÷÷V
c
1

÷÷tV
rc
÷÷tW.
Then c
r,c
is defined over the algebraic closure of k in ˝ and satisfies the conditions of
Theorem 16.35, which gives a model of W over k splitting (c
c
)
c÷Aut(˝¡k)
.
2
Restatement in terms of group actions
In this subsection, ˝ ¯ k are fields such that k = ˝
T
and ˝ is algebraically closed. Recall
that for any variety V over k, there is a natural action of 1 on V(˝). In this subsection, we
describe the essential image of the functor
{quasiprojective varieties over k] ÷{quasiprojective varieties over ˝ ÷action of 1 ].
In other words, we determine which pairs (V. +). with V a quasiprojective variety over ˝
and + an action of 1 on V(˝),
(o. 1) ÷o + 1: 1 × V(˝) ÷V(˝).
arise from a variety over k. There are two obvious necessary conditions for this.
Regularity condition
Obviously, the action should recognize that V(˝) is not just a set, but rather the set of
points of an algebraic variety. For o ÷ 1 , let oV be the variety obtained by applying o to
the coefficients of the equations defining V , and for 1 ÷ V(˝) let o1 be the point on oV
obtained by applying o to the coordinates of 1.
DEFINITION 16.38. We say that the action + is regular if the map
o1 ÷o + 1: (oV )(˝) ÷V(˝)
is regular isomorphism for all o.
A priori, this is only a map of sets. The condition requires that it be induced by a regular
map c
c
: oV ÷V . If V = V

for some variety V
0
defined over k, then oV = V , and c
c
is the identity map, and so the condition is clearly necessary.
REMARK 16.39. The maps c
c
satisfy the cocycle condition c
c
ıoc
r
= c
cr
. In particular,
c
c
ı oc
c
1 = id, and so if + is regular, then each c
c
is an isomorphism, and the family
(c
c
)
c÷T
is a descent system. Conversely, if (c
c
)
c÷T
is a descent system, then
o + 1 = c
c
(o1)
defines a regular action of 1 on V(˝). Note that if + -(c
c
), then o + 1 =
c
1.
214 CHAPTER 16. DESCENT THEORY
Continuity condition
DEFINITION 16.40. We say that the action + is continuous if there exists a subfield 1 of
˝ finitely generated over k and a model V
0
of V over 1 such that the action of 1(˝¡1) is
that defined by V
0
.
For an affine variety V , an action of 1 on V gives an action of 1 on ˝ŒV |, and one
action is continuous if and only if the other is.
Continuity is obviously necessary. It is easy to write down regular actions that fail it,
and hence don’t arise from varieties over k.
EXAMPLE 16.41. The following are examples of actions that fail the continuity condition
((b) and (c) are regular).
(a) Let V = A
1
and let + be the trivial action.
(b) Let ˝¡k = ´
al
¡´, and let N be a normal subgroup of finite index in Gal(´
al
¡´)
that is not open,
8
i.e., that fixes no extension of ´ of finite degree. Let V be the
zero-dimensional variety over ´
al
with V(´
al
) = Gal(´
al
¡´)¡N with its natural
action.
(c) Let k be a finite extension of ´
;
, and let V = A
1
. The homomorphism k
×
÷
Gal(k
ab
¡k) can be used to twist the natural action of 1 on V(˝).
Restatement of the main theorems
Let ˝ ¯ k be fields such that k is the fixed field of 1 = Aut(˝¡k) and ˝ is algebraically
closed.
THEOREM 16.42. Let V be a quasiprojective variety over ˝, and let + be a regular action
of 1 on V(˝). Let S = (1
i
)
1_i_n
be a finite set of points of V such that
(a) the only automorphism of V fixing each 1
i
is the identity map, and
(b) there exists a subfield 1 of ˝ finitely generated over k such that o + 1 = 1 for all
o ÷ 1 fixing 1.
Then + arises from a model of V over k.
PROOF. This a restatement of Theorem 16.33.
2
THEOREM 16.43. Let V be a quasiprojective variety over ˝ with an action + of 1 . If +
is regular and continuous, then + arises from a model of V over k in each of the following
cases:
(a) ˝ is algebraic over k, or
(b) ˝ is has infinite transcendence degree over k.
PROOF. Restatements of (16.23, 16.25) and of (16.37).
2
The condition “quasiprojective” is necessary, because otherwise the action may not
stabilize enough open affine subsets to cover V .
8
For a proof that such subgroups exist, see FT 7.25.
FAITHFULLY FLAT DESCENT 215
Faithfully flat descent
Recall that a homomorphism } : · ÷T of rings is flat if the functor “extension of scalars”
M ÷T ˝
¹
M is exact. It is faithfully flat if a sequence
0 ÷M
t
÷M ÷M
tt
÷0
of ·-modules is exact if and only if
0 ÷T ˝
¹
M
t
÷T ˝
¹
M ÷T ˝
¹
M
tt
÷0
is exact. For a field k, a homomorphism k ÷ · is always flat (because exact sequences of
k-vector spaces are split-exact), and it is faithfully flat if · = 0.
The next theorem and its proof are quintessential Grothendieck.
THEOREM 16.44. If } : · ÷T is faithfully flat, then the sequence
0 ÷·
(
÷÷T
d
0
÷÷T
˝2
÷ ÷T
˝i
d
r1
÷÷ T
˝i÷1
÷
is exact, where
T
˝i
= T ˝
¹
T ˝
¹
˝
¹
T (r times)
J
i-1
=
¸
(÷1)
i
e
i
e
i
(b
0
˝ ˝b
i-1
) = b
0
˝ ˝b
i-1
˝1 ˝b
i
˝ ˝b
i-1
.
PROOF. It is easily checked that J
i
ı J
i-1
= 0. We assume first that } admits a section,
i.e., that there is a homomorphism g: T ÷ · such that g ı } = 1, and we construct a
contracting homotopy k
i
: T
˝i÷2
÷T
˝i÷1
. Define
k
i
(b
0
˝ ˝b
i÷1
) = g(b
0
)b
1
˝ ˝b
i÷1
. r _ ÷1.
It is easily checked that
k
i÷1
ı J
i÷1
÷J
i
ı k
i
= 1. r _ ÷1,
and this shows that the sequence is exact.
Now let ·
t
be an ·-algebra. Let T
t
= ·
t
˝
¹
T and let }
t
= 1 ˝} : ·
t
÷ T
t
. The
sequence corresponding to }
t
is obtained from the sequence for } by tensoring with ·
t
(because T
˝i
˝ ·
t
Š T
t˝(
etc.). Thus, if ·
t
is a faithfully flat ·-algebra, it suffices to
prove the theorem for }
t
. Take ·
t
= T, and then b
(
÷b ˝1: T ÷T ˝
¹
T has a section,
namely, g(b ˝b
t
) = bb
t
, and so the sequence is exact.
2
THEOREM 16.45. If } : · ÷T is faithfully flat and M is an ·-module, then the sequence
0 ÷M
1˝(
÷÷ M ˝
¹
T
1˝d
0
÷÷ M ˝
¹
T
˝2
÷ ÷M ˝
B
T
˝i
1˝d
r1
÷÷ T
˝i÷1
÷
is exact.
PROOF. As in the above proof, one may assume that } has a section, and use it to construct
a contracting homotopy.
2
216 CHAPTER 16. DESCENT THEORY
REMARK 16.46. Let } : · ÷ T be a faithfully flat homomorphism, and let M be an ·-
module. Write M
t
for the T-module }
+
M = T ˝
¹
M. The module e
0+
M
t
= (T ˝
¹
T) ˝
B
M
t
may be identified with T ˝
¹
M
t
where T ˝
¹
T acts by (b
1
˝b
2
)(b ˝m) =
b
1
b ˝ b
2
m, and e
1+
M
t
may be identified with M
t
˝
¹
T where T ˝
¹
T acts by (b
1
˝
b
2
)(m˝b) = b
1
m˝b
2
b. There is a canonical isomorphism ç: e
1+
M
t
÷ e
0+
M
t
arising
from
e
1+
M
t
= (e
1
} )
+
M = (e
0
} )
+
M = e
0+
M
t
:
explicitly, it is the map
(b ˝m) ˝b
t
÷b ˝(b
t
˝m): M
t
˝
¹
T ÷T ˝
¹
M.
Moreover, M can be recovered from the pair (M
t
. ç) because
M = {m ÷ M
t
[ 1 ˝m = ç(m˝1)].
Conversely, every pair (M
t
. ç) satisfying certain obvious conditions does arise in this way
from an ·-module. Given ç: M
t
˝
¹
T ÷T ˝
¹
M
t
, define
ç
1
: T ˝
¹
M
t
˝
¹
T ÷T ˝
¹
T ˝
¹
M
t
ç
2
: M
t
˝
¹
T ˝
¹
T ÷T ˝
¹
T ˝
¹
M
t
.
ç
3
: M
t
˝
¹
T ˝
¹
T ÷T ˝
¹
M
t
˝
¹
T
by tensoring ç with id
B
in the first, second, and third positions respectively. Then a pair
(M
t
. ç) arises from an ·-module M as above if and only if ç
2
= ç
1
ı ç
3
. The necessity is
easy to check. For the sufficiency, define
M = {m ÷ M
t
[ 1 ˝m = ç(m˝1)].
There is a canonical map b ˝m ÷ bm: T ˝
¹
M ÷ M
t
, and it suffices to show that this
is an isomorphism (and that the map arising from M is ç). Consider the diagram
M
t
˝
¹
T
˛˝1

ˇ˝1
T ˝
¹
M
t
˝
¹
T
¡ ¢ ¡ ¢
1
T ˝
¹
M
t
e
0
˝1

e
1
˝1
T ˝
¹
T ˝
¹
M
t
in which ˛(m) = 1 ˝m and ˇ(m) = ç(m˝1). As the diagram commutes with either the
upper of the lower horizontal maps (for the lower maps, this uses the relation ç
2
= ç
1
ıç
3
),
ç induces an isomorphism on the kernels. But, by defintion of M, the kernel of the pair
(˛ ˝1. ˇ ˝1) is M ˝
¹
T, and, according to (16.45), the kernel of the pair (e
0
˝1. e
1
˝1)
is M
t
. This essentially completes the proof.
A regular map c: W ÷ V of algebraic spaces is faithfully flat if it is surjective on the
underlying sets and O
c(1)
÷ O
1
is flat for all 1 ÷ W, and it is affine if the inverse
images of open affines in V are open affines in W.
FAITHFULLY FLAT DESCENT 217
THEOREM 16.47. Let c: W ÷ V be a faithfully flat map of algebraic spaces. To give an
algebraic space U affine over V is the same as to give an algebraic space U
t
affine over V
together with an isomorphism ç: ]
+
1
U
t
÷]
+
2
U
t
satisfying
]
+
31
(ç) = ]
+
32
(ç) ı ]
+
21
(ç).
Here ]
}i
denotes the projection W × W × W ÷ W × W such that ]
}i
(n
1
. n
2
. n
3
) =
(n
}
. n
i
).
PROOF. When W and V are affine, (16.46) gives a similar statement for modules, hence
for algebras, and hence for algebraic spaces.
2
EXAMPLE 16.48. Let 1 be a finite group, and regard it as an algebraic group of dimension
0. Let V be an algebraic space over k. An algebraic space Galois over V with Galois group
1 is a finite map W ÷ V to algebraic space together with a regular map W × 1 ÷ W
such that
(a) for all k-algebras 1, W(1) × 1(1) ÷ W(1) is an action of the group 1(1) on
the set W(1) in the usual sense, and the map W(1) ÷ V(1) is compatible with the
action of 1(1) on W(1) and its trivial action on V(1), and
(b) the map (n. o) ÷(n. no): W × 1 ÷W ×
V
W is an isomorphism.
Then there is a commutative diagram
9
V ÷ W ⇔ W × 1
--
--
--
W × 1
2
[[ [[ ¡ : ¡ :
V ÷ W ⇔ W ×
V
W
--
--
--
W ×
V
W ×
V
W
The vertical isomorphisms are
(n. o) ÷(n. no)
(n. o
1
. o
2
) ÷(n. no
1
. no
1
o
2
).
Therefore, in this case, Theorem 16.47 says that to give an algebraic space affine over V
is the same as to give an algebraic space affine over W together with an action of 1 on it
compatible with that on W. When we take W and V to be the spectra of fields, then this
becomes affine case of Theorem 16.23.
EXAMPLE 16.49. In Theorem 16.47, let c be the map corresponding to a regular extension
of fields k ÷ k(t ). This case of Theorem 16.47 coincides with the affine case of Theorem
16.36 except that the field k(t. t
t
) has been replaced by the ring k(t ) ˝
k
k(t
t
).
NOTES. The paper of Weil cited in subsection on Weil’s descent theorems is the first important
paper in descent theory. Its results haven’t been superseded by the many results of Grothendieck
on descent. In Milne 1999
10
, Theorem 16.33 was deduced from Weil’s theorems. The present
more elementary proof was suggested by Wolfart’s elementary proof of the ‘obvious’ part of Belyi’s
theorem (Wolfart 1997
11
; see also Derome 2003
12
).
9
See Milne, J. S., Etale cohomology. Princeton, 1980, p100.
10
Milne, J. S., Descent for Shimura varieties. Michigan Math. J. 46 (1999), no. 1, 203–208.
11
Wolfart, J¨ urgen. The “obvious” part of Belyi’s theorem and Riemann surfaces with many automorphisms.
Geometric Galois actions, 1, 97–112, London Math. Soc. Lecture Note Ser., 242, Cambridge Univ. Press,
Cambridge, 1997.
12
Derome, G., Descente alg´ ebriquement close, J. Algebra, 266 (2003), 418–426.
Chapter 17
Lefschetz Pencils (Outline)
In this chapter, we see how to fibre a variety over P
1
in such a way that the fibres have only
very simple singularities. This result sometimes allows one to prove theorems by induction
on the dimension of the variety. For example, Lefschetz initiated this approach in order to
study the cohomology of varieties over C.
Throughout this chapter, k is an algebraically closed field.
Definition
A linear form H =
¸
n
i=0
a
i
T
i
defines a hyperplane in P
n
, and two linear forms define the
same hyperplane if and only if one is a nonzero multiple of the other. Thus the hyperplanes
in P
n
form a projective space, called the dual projective space
`
P
n
.
A line D in
`
P
n
is called a pencil of hyperplanes in P
n
. If H
0
and H
o
are any two
distinct hyperplanes in D, then the pencil consists of all hyperplanes of the form ˛H
0
÷
ˇH
o
with (˛: ˇ) ÷ P
1
(k). If 1 ÷ H
0
¨H
o
, then it lies on every hyperplane in the pencil
— the axis · of the pencil is defined to be the set of such 1. Thus
· = H
0
¨ H
o
= ¨
t÷T
H
t
.
The axis of the pencil is a linear subvariety of codimension 2 in P
n
, and the hyperplanes of
the pencil are exactly those containing the axis. Through any point in P
n
not on ·, there
passes exactly one hyperplane in the pencil. Thus, one should imagine the hyperplanes in
the pencil as sweeping out P
n
as they rotate about the axis.
Let V be a nonsingular projective variety of dimension J _ 2, and embed V in some
projective space P
n
. By the square of an embedding, we mean the composite of V ·÷P
n
with the Veronese mapping (6.20)
(.
0
: . . . : .
n
) ÷(.
2
0
: . . . : .
i
.
}
: . . . : .
2
n
): P
n
÷P
.mC2/.mC1/
2
.
DEFINITION 17.1. A line D in
`
P
n
is said to be a Lefschetz pencil for V c P
n
if
(a) the axis · of the pencil (H
t
)
t÷T
cuts V transversally;
(b) the hyperplane sections V
t
df
= V ¨ H
t
of V are nonsingular for all t in some open
dense subset U of D:
(c) for t … U, V
t
has only a single singularity, and the singularity is an ordinary double
point.
218
DEFINITION 219
Condition (a) means that, for every point 1 ÷ · ¨ V , Tgt
1
(·) ¨ Tgt
1
(V ) has codi-
mension 2 in Tgt
1
(V ).
Condition (b) means that, except for a finite number of t , H
t
cuts V transversally, i.e.,
for every point 1 ÷ H
t
¨ V , Tgt
1
(H
t
) ¨ Tgt
1
(V ) has codimension 1 in Tgt
1
(V ).
A point 1 on a variety V of dimension J is an ordinary double point if the tangent
cone at 1 is isomorphic to the subvariety of A
d÷1
defined by a nondegenerate quadratic
form O(T
1
. . . . . T
d÷1
), or, equivalently, if
´
O
V,1
~ kŒŒT
1
. . . . . T
d÷1
||¡(O(T
1
. . . . . T
d÷1
)).
THEOREM 17.2. There exists a Lefschetz pencil for V (after possibly replacing the pro-
jective embedding of V by its square).
PROOF. (Sketch). Let W c V ×
`
P
n
be the closed variety whose points are the pairs (.. H)
such that H contains the tangent space to V at .. For example, if V has codimension 1 in
P
n
, then (.. H) ÷ Y if and only if H is the tangent space at .. In general,
(.. H) ÷ W ” . ÷ H and H does not cut V transversally at ..
The image of W in
`
P
n
under the projection V ×
`
P
n
÷
`
P
n
is called the dual variety
`
V of V .
The fibre of W ÷ V over . consists of the hyperplanes containing the tangent space at .,
and these hyperplanes form an irreducible subvariety of
`
P
n
of dimension m÷(dimV ÷1);
it follows that W is irreducible, complete, and of dimension m ÷ 1 (see 10.11) and that V
is irreducible, complete, and of codimension _ 1 in
`
P
n
(unless V = P
n
, in which case
it is empty). The map c: W ÷
`
V is unramified at (.. H) if and only if . is an ordinary
double point on V ¨ H (see SGA 7, XVII 3.7
1
). Either c is generically unramified, or it
becomes so when the embedding is replaced by its square (so, instead of hyperplanes, we
are working with quadric hypersurfaces) (ibid. 3.7). We may assume this, and then (ibid.
3.5), one can show that for H ÷
`
V
`
V
sing
, V ¨ H has only a single singularity and the
singularity is an ordinary double point. Here
`
V
sing
is the singular locus of
`
V .
By Bertini’s theorem (Hartshorne 1977, II 8.18) there exists a hyperplane H
0
such that
H
0
¨V is irreducible and nonsingular. Since there is an (m÷1)-dimensional space of lines
through H
0
, and at most an (m÷2)-dimensional family will meet V
sing
, we can choose H
o
so that the line D joining H
0
and H
o
does not meet
`
V
sing
. Then D is a Lefschetz pencil
for V.
2
THEOREM 17.3. Let D = (H
t
) be a Lefschetz pencil for V with axis · = ¨H
t
. Then
there exists a variety V
+
and maps
V ÷V
+
t
÷÷D.
such that:
(a) the map V
+
÷V is the blowing up of V along · ¨ V :
1
Groupes de monodromie en g´ eom´ etrie alg´ ebrique. S´ eminaire de G´ eom´ etrie Alg´ ebrique du Bois-Marie
1967–1969 (SGA 7). Dirig´ e par A. Grothendieck. Lecture Notes in Mathematics, Vol. 288, 340. Springer-
Verlag, Berlin-New York, 1972, 1973.
220 CHAPTER 17. LEFSCHETZ PENCILS (OUTLINE)
(b) the fibre of V
+
÷D over t is V
t
= V ¨ H
t
.
Moreover, ¬ is proper, flat, and has a section.
PROOF. (Sketch) Through each point . of V ·¨V , there will be exactly one H
x
in D.
The map
c: V · ¨ V ÷D, . ÷H
x
.
is regular. Take the closure of its graph 1
c
in V × D; this will be the graph of ¬.
2
REMARK 17.4. The singular V
t
may be reducible. For example, if V is a quadric surface
in P
3
, then V
t
is curve of degree 2 in P
2
for all t , and such a curve is singular if and only if
it is reducible (look at the formula for the genus). However, if the embedding V ·÷ P
n
is
replaced by its cube, this problem will never occur.
References
The only modern reference I know of is SGA 7, Expos´ e XVII.
Chapter 18
Algebraic Schemes and Algebraic
Spaces
In this course, we have attached an affine algebraic variety to any algebra finitely generated
over a field k. For many reasons, for example, in order to be able to study the reduction
of varieties to characteristic ] = 0, Grothendieck realized that it is important to attach a
geometric object to every commutative ring. Unfortunately, · ÷ spm· is not functorial
in this generality: if c: · ÷ T is a homomorphism of rings, then c
-1
(m) for m maximal
need not be maximal — consider for example the inclusion Z ·÷´. Thus he was forced to
replace spm(·) with spec(·), the set of all prime ideals in ·. He then attaches an affine
scheme Spec(·) to each ring ·, and defines a scheme to be a locally ringed space that
admits an open covering by affine schemes.
There is a natural functor V ÷ V
+
from the category of algebraic spaces over k to
the category of schemes of finite-type over k, which is an equivalence of categories. The
algebraic varieties correspond to geometrically reduced schemes. To construct V
+
from V ,
one only has to add one point ]
7
for each irreducible closed subvariety 7 of V . For any
open subset U of V , let U
+
be the subset of V
+
containing the points of U together with
the points ]
7
such that U ¨ 7 is nonempty. Thus, U ÷ U
+
is a bijection from the set of
open subsets of V to the set of open subsets of V
+
. Moreover, 1(U
+
. O
V
) = 1(U. O
V
)
for each open subset U of V . Therefore the topologies and sheaves on V and V
+
are the
same — only the underlying sets differ. For a closed irreducible subset 7 of V , the local
ring O
V

,;
Z
= lim
÷÷Uí7=0
1(U. O
U
). The reverse functor is even easier: simply omit the
nonclosed points from the base space.
1
Every aspiring algebraic and (especially) arithmetic geometer needs to learn the basic
theory of schemes, and for this I recommend reading Chapters II and III of Hartshorne
1997.
1
Some authors call a geometrically reduced scheme of finite-type over a field a variety. Despite their simi-
larity, it is important to distinguish such schemes from varieties (in the sense of these notes). For example, if W
and W
t
are subvarieties of a variety, their intersection in the sense of schemes need not be reduced, and so may
differ from their intersection in the sense of varieties. For example, if W = V(a) c A
n
and W
t
= V(a
t
) c A
n
0
with a and a
t
radical, then the intersection W and W
t
in the sense of schemes is Spec kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n÷n
0 |¡(a. a
t
)
while their intersection in the sense of varieties is Spec kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n÷n
0 |¡rad(a. a
t
) (and their intersection in
the sense of algebraic spaces is SpmkŒX
1
. . . . . X
n÷n
0 |¡(a. a
t
).
221
Appendix A
Solutions to the exercises
1-1 Use induction on n. For n = 1, use that a nonzero polynomial in one variable has only
finitely many roots (which follows from unique factorization, for example). Now suppose
n > 1 and write } =
¸
g
i
X
i
n
with each g
i
÷ kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n-1
|. If } is not the zero
polynomial, then some g
i
is not the zero polynomial. Therefore, by induction, there exist
(a
1
. . . . . a
n-1
) ÷ k
n-1
such that }(a
1
. . . . . a
n-1
. X
n
) is not the zero polynomial. Now, by
the degree-one case, there exists a b such that }(a
1
. . . . . a
n-1
. b) = 0.
1-2 (X ÷2Y. 7); Gaussian elimination (to reduce the matrix of coefficients to row echelon
form); (1), unless the characteristic of k is 2, in which case the ideal is (X ÷1. 7 ÷1).
2-1 W = Y -axis, and so 1(W) = (X). Clearly,
(X
2
. XY
2
) c (X) c rad(X
2
. XY
2
)
and rad((X)) = (X). On taking radicals, we find that (X) = rad(X
2
. XY
2
).
2-2 The J × J minors of a matrix are polynomials in the entries of the matrix, and the set
of matrices with rank _ r is the set where all (r ÷1) × (r ÷1) minors are zero.
2-3 Clearly V = V(X
n
÷ X
n
1
. . . . . X
2
÷ X
2
1
). The map
X
i
÷T
i
: kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
| ÷kŒT |
induces an isomorphism kŒV | ÷ A
1
. [Hence t ÷ (t. . . . . t
n
) is an isomorphism of affine
varieties A
1
÷V .]
2-4 We use that the prime ideals are in one-to-one correspondence with the closed irre-
ducible subsets 7 of A
2
. For such a set, 0 _ dim7 _ 2.
Case dim7 = 2. Then 7 = A
2
, and the corresponding ideal is (0).
Case dim7 = 1. Then 7 = A
2
, and so 1(7) contains a nonzero polynomial }(X. Y ).
If 1(7) = (} ), then dim7 = 0 by (2.25, 2.26). Hence 1(7) = (} ).
Case dim7 = 0. Then 7 is a point (a. b) (see 2.24c), and so 1(7) = (X ÷a. Y ÷b).
2-5 The statement Hom
k-algebras
(· ˝
Q
k. T ˝
Q
k) = 0 can be interpreted as saying that
a certain set of polynomials has a zero in k. If the polynomials have a common zero in
C, then the ideal they generate in CŒX
1
. . . .| does not contain 1. A fortiori the ideal they
generate in kŒX
1
. . . .| does not contain 1, and so the Nullstellensatz (2.6) implies that the
polynomials have a common zero in k.
222
223
3-1 A map ˛: A
1
÷A
1
is continuous for the Zariski topology if the inverse images of finite
sets are finite, whereas it is regular only if it is given by a polynomial 1 ÷ kŒT |, so it is
easy to give examples, e.g., any map ˛ such that ˛
-1
(point) is finite but arbitrarily large.
3-2 The argument in the text shows that, for any } ÷ S,
}(a
1
. . . . . a
n
) = 0 == }(a
q
1
. . . . . a
q
n
) = 0.
This implies that c maps V into itself, and it is obviously regular because it is defined by
polynomials.
3-3 The image omits the points on the Y -axis except for the origin. The complement of the
image is not dense, and so it is not open, but any polynomial zero on it is also zero at (0. 0),
and so it not closed.
3-5 No, because both ÷1 and ÷1 map to (0. 0). The map on rings is
kŒ.. .| ÷kŒT |. . ÷T
2
÷ 1. . ÷T(T
2
÷ 1).
which is not surjective (T is not in the image).
4-1 Let } be regular on P
1
. Then } [U
0
= 1(X) ÷ kŒX|, where X is the regular function
(a
0
: a
1
) ÷ a
1
¡a
0
: U
0
÷ k, and } [U
1
= O(Y ) ÷ kŒY |, where Y is (a
0
: a
1
) ÷ a
0
¡a
1
.
On U
0
¨ U
1
, X and Y are reciprocal functions. Thus 1(X) and O(1¡X) define the same
function on U
0
¨ U
1
= A
1
{0]. This implies that they are equal in k(X), and must both
be constant.
4-2 Note that 1(V. O
V
) =
¸
1(V
i
. O
V
i
) — to give a regular function on
¸
V
i
is the
same as to give a regular function on each V
i
(this is the “obvious” ringed space structure).
Thus, if V is affine, it must equal Specm(
¸
·
i
), where ·
i
= 1(V
i
. O
V
i
), and so V =
¸
Specm(·
i
) (use the description of the ideals in · × T on p6). Etc..
4-3 Let H be an algebraic subgroup of G. By definition, H is locally closed, i.e., open in
its Zariski closure
¨
H. Assume first that H is connected. Then
¨
H is a connected algebraic
group, and it is a disjoint union of the cosets of H. It follows that H =
¨
H. In the general
case, H is a finite disjoint union of its connected components; as one component is closed,
they all are.
5-1 (b) The singular points are the common solutions to

¸
¸
4X
3
÷ 2XY
2
= 0 == X = 0 or Y
2
= 2X
2
4Y
3
÷ 2X
2
Y = 0 == Y = 0 or X
2
= 2Y
2
X
4
÷Y
4
÷ X
2
Y
2
= 0.
Thus, only (0. 0) is singular, and the variety is its own tangent cone.
5-2 Directly from the definition of the tangent space, we have that
T
a
(V ¨ H) c T
a
(V ) ¨ T
a
(H).
As
dimT
a
(V ¨ H) _ dimV ¨ H = dimV ÷ 1 = dimT
a
(V ) ¨ T
a
(H).
we must have equalities everywhere, which proves that a is nonsingular on V ¨ H. (In
particular, it can’t lie on more than one irreducible component.)
224 APPENDIX A. SOLUTIONS TO THE EXERCISES
The surface Y
2
= X
2
÷7 is smooth, but its intersection with the X-Y plane is singular.
No, 1 needn’t be singular on V ¨ H if H ¯ T
1
(V ) — for example, we could have
H ¯ V or H could be the tangent line to a curve.
5-3 We can assume V and W to affine, say
1(V ) = a c kŒX
1
. . . . . X
n
|
1(W) = b c kŒX
n÷1
. . . . . X
n÷n
|.
If a = (}
1
. . . . . }
i
) and b = (g
1
. . . . . g
x
), then 1(V × W) = (}
1
. . . . . }
i
. g
1
. . . . . g
x
).
Thus, T
(a,b)
(V × W) is defined by the equations
(J}
1
)
a
= 0. . . . . (J}
i
)
a
= 0. (Jg
1
)
b
= 0. . . . . (Jg
x
)
b
= 0.
which can obviously be identified with T
a
(V ) × T
b
(W).
5-4 Take C to be the union of the coordinate axes in A
n
. (Of course, if you want C to be
irreducible, then this is more difficult. . . )
5-5 A matrix · satisfies the equations
(1 ÷c·)
tr
J (1 ÷c·) = 1
if and only if
·
tr
J ÷J · = 0.
Such an · is of the form

M N
1 O

with M. N. 1. O n × n-matrices satisfying
N
tr
= N. 1
tr
= 1. M
tr
= ÷O.
The dimension of the space of ·’s is therefore
n(n ÷1)
2
(for N) ÷
n(n ÷1)
2
(for 1) ÷n
2
(for M. O) = 2n
2
÷n.
5-6 Let C be the curve Y
2
= X
3
, and consider the map A
1
÷ C, t ÷ (t
2
. t
3
). The
corresponding map on rings kŒX. Y |¡(Y
2
) ÷ kŒT | is not an isomorphism, but the map on
the geometric tangent cones is an isomorphism.
5-7 The singular locus V
sing
has codimension _ 2 in V , and this implies that V is normal.
[Idea of the proof: let } ÷ k(V ) be integral over kŒV |, } … kŒV |, } = g¡h, g. h ÷ kŒV |;
for any 1 ÷ V(h) V(g), O
1
is not integrally closed, and so 1 is singular.]
5-8 No! Let a = (X
2
Y ). Then V(a) is the union of the X and Y axes, and 1V(a) = (XY ).
For a = (a. b),
(JX
2
Y )
a
= 2ab(X ÷ a) ÷a
2
(Y ÷ b)
(JXY )
a
= b(X ÷ a) ÷a(Y ÷ b).
If a = 0 and b = 0, then the equations
(JX
2
Y )
a
= a
2
Y = 0
(JXY )
a
= aY = 0
225
have the same solutions.
6-1 Let 1 = (a : b : c), and assume c = 0. Then the tangent line at 1 = (
o
c
:
b
c
: 1) is

dJ
dX

1
X ÷

dJ
dY

1
Y ÷

dJ
dX

1

a
c

÷

dJ
dY

1

b
c

7 = 0.
Now use that, because J is homogeneous,
J(a. b. c) = 0 ==

dJ
dX

1
a ÷

dJ
dY

1
÷

dJ
d7

1
c = 0.
(This just says that the tangent plane at (a. b. c) to the affine cone J(X. Y. 7) = 0 passes
through the origin.) The point at ois (0 : 1 : 0), and the tangent line is 7 = 0, the line at
o. [The line at omeets the cubic curve at only one point instead of the expected 3, and
so the line at o“touches” the curve, and the point at ois a point of inflexion.]
6-2 The equation defining the conic must be irreducible (otherwise the conic is singular).
After a linear change of variables, the equation will be of the form X
2
÷ Y
2
= 7
2
(this
is proved in calculus courses). The equation of the line in aX ÷bY = c7, and the rest is
easy. [Note that this is a special case of Bezout’s theorem (6.34) because the multiplicity is
2 in case (b).]
6-3 (a) The ring
kŒX. Y. 7|¡(Y ÷ X
2
. 7 ÷ X
3
) = kŒ.. .. :| = kŒ.| . kŒX|.
which is an integral domain. Therefore, (Y ÷ X
2
. 7 ÷ X
3
) is a radical ideal.
(b) The polynomial J = 7 ÷ XY = (7 ÷ X
3
) ÷ X(Y ÷ X
2
) ÷ 1(V ) and J
+
=
7W ÷ XY . If
7W ÷ XY = (Y W ÷ X
2
)} ÷(7W
2
÷ X
3
)g.
then, on equating terms of degree 2, we would find
7W ÷ XY = a(Y W ÷ X
2
).
which is false.
6-4 Let 1 = (a
0
: . . . : a
n
) and O = (b
0
: . . . : b
n
) be two points of P
n
, n _ 2. The condition
that the hyperplane 1
c
:
¸
c
i
X
i
= 0 pass through 1 and not through O is that
¸
a
i
c
i
= 0.
¸
b
i
c
i
= 0.
The (n ÷ 1)-tuples (c
0
. . . . . c
n
) satisfying these conditions form a nonempty open subset
of the hyperplane H:
¸
a
i
X
i
= 0 in A
n÷1
. On applying this remark to the pairs (1
0
. 1
i
),
we find that the (n ÷1)-tuples c = (c
0
. . . . . c
n
) such that 1
0
lies on the hyperplane 1
c
but
not 1
1
. . . . . 1
i
form a nonempty open subset of H.
6-5 The subset
C = {(a : b : c) [ a = 0. b = 0] L {(1 : 0 : 0)]
of P
2
is not locally closed. Let 1 = (1 : 0 : 0). If the set C were locally closed, then 1
would have an open neighbourhood U in P
2
such that U ¨ C is closed. When we look in
U
0
, 1 becomes the origin, and
C ¨ U
0
= (A
2
{X-axis]) L {origin].
226 APPENDIX A. SOLUTIONS TO THE EXERCISES
The open neighbourhoods U of 1 are obtained by removing from A
2
a finite number of
curves not passing through 1. It is not possible to do this in such a way that U ¨C is closed
in U (U ¨C has dimension 2, and so it can’t be a proper closed subset of U; we can’t have
U ¨ C = U because any curve containing all nonzero points on X-axis also contains the
origin).
7-2 Define }(·) = h(·. O) and g(n) = h(1. n), and let c = h ÷ (} ı ] ÷g ı q). Then
c(·. O) = 0 = c(1. n), and so the rigidity theorem (7.13) implies that c is identically
zero.
6-6 Let
¸
c
i}
X
i}
= 0 be a hyperplane containing the image of the Segre map. We then
have
¸
c
i}
a
i
b
}
= 0
for all a = (a
0
. . . . . a
n
) ÷ k
n÷1
and b = (b
0
. . . . . b
n
) ÷ k
n÷1
. In other words,
aCb
t
= 0
for all a ÷ k
n÷1
and b ÷ k
n÷1
, where C is the matrix (c
i}
). This equation shows that
aC = 0 for all a, and this implies that C = 0.
8-2 For example, consider
(A
1
{1]) ÷A
1
x|-x
n
÷ A
1
for n > 1 an integer prime to the characteristic. The map is obviously quasi-finite, but it is
not finite because it corresponds to the map of k-algebras
X ÷X
n
: kŒX| ÷kŒX. (X ÷ 1)
-1
|
which is not finite (the elements 1¡(X ÷1)
i
, i _ 1, are linearly independent over kŒX|, and
so also over kŒX
n
|).
8-3 Assume that V is separated, and consider two regular maps }. g: 7 ⇒ W. We have to
show that the set on which } and g agree is closed in 7. The set where cı} and cıg agree
is closed in 7, and it contains the set where } and g agree. Replace 7 with the set where
c ı } and c ı g agree. Let U be an open affine subset of V , and let 7
t
= (c ı } )
-1
(U) =
(c ı g)
-1
(U). Then }(7
t
) and g(7
t
) are contained in c
-1
(U), which is an open affine
subset of W, and is therefore separated. Hence, the subset of 7
t
on which } and g agree is
closed. This proves the result.
[Note that the problem implies the following statement: if c: W ÷V is a finite regular
map and V is separated, then W is separated.]
8-4 Let V = A
n
, and let W be the subvariety of A
n
× A
1
defined by the polynomial
¸
n
i=1
(X ÷ T
i
) = 0.
The fibre over (t
1
. . . . . t
n
) ÷ A
n
is the set of roots of
¸
(X ÷ t
i
). Thus, V
n
= A
n
; V
n-1
is
the union of the linear subspaces defined by the equations
T
i
= T
}
. 1 _ i. ; _ n. i = ; :
V
n-2
is the union of the linear subspaces defined by the equations
T
i
= T
}
= T
k
. 1 _ i. ;. k _ n. i. ;. k distinct,
227
and so on.
10-1 Consider an orbit O = G·. The map g ÷ g·: G ÷ O is regular, and so O contains
an open subset U of
¨
O (10.2). If u ÷ U, then gu ÷ gU, and gU is also a subset of O
which is open in
¨
O (because 1 ÷ g1: V ÷ V is an isomorphism). Thus O, regarded as
a topological subspace of
¨
O, contains an open neighbourhood of each of its points, and so
must be open in
¨
O.
We have shown that O is locally closed in V , and so has the structure of a subvariety.
From (5.18), we know that it contains at least one nonsingular point 1. But then g1 is
nonsingular, and every point of O is of this form.
From set theory, it is clear that
¨
O O is a union of orbits. Since
¨
O O is a proper
closed subset of
¨
O, all of its subvarieties must have dimension < dim
¨
O = dimO.
Let O be an orbit of lowest dimension. The last statement implies that O =
¨
O.
10-2 An orbit of type (a) is closed, because it is defined by the equations
Tr(·) = ÷a. det(·) = b.
(as a subvariety of V ). It is of dimension 2, because the centralizer of

˛ 0
0 ˇ

, ˛ = ˇ, is

+ 0
0 +
¸
, which has dimension 2.
An orbit of type (b) is of dimension 2, but is not closed: it is defined by the equations
Tr(·) = ÷a. det(·) = b. · =

˛ 0
0 ˛

. ˛ = root of X
2
÷aX ÷b.
An orbit of type (c) is closed of dimension 0: it is defined by the equation · =

˛ 0
0 ˛

.
An orbit of type (b) contains an orbit of type (c) in its closure.
10-3 Let ¯ be a primitive J
th
root of 1. Then, for each i. ; , 1 _ i. ; _ J, the following
equations define lines on the surface

X
0
÷¯
i
X
1
= 0
X
2
÷¯
}
X
3
= 0

X
0
÷¯
i
X
2
= 0
X
1
÷¯
}
X
3
= 0

X
0
÷¯
i
X
3
= 0
X
1
÷¯
}
X
2
= 0.
There are three sets of lines, each with J
2
lines, for a total of 3J
2
lines.
10-4 (a) Compare the proof of Theorem 10.9.
(b) Use the transitivity, and apply Proposition 8.24.
12-1 Let H be a hyperplane in P
n
intersecting V transversally. Then H ~ P
n-1
and V ¨H
is again defined by a polynomial of degree ı. Continuing in this fashion, we find that
V ¨ H
1
¨ . . . ¨ H
d
is isomorphic to a subset of P
1
defined by a polynomial of degree ı.
12-2 We may suppose that X is not a factor of J
n
, and then look only at the affine piece of
the blow-up, o: A
2
÷A
2
, (.. .) ÷(.. ..). Then o
-1
(C (0. 0))is given by equations
X = 0. J(X. XY ) = 0.
228 APPENDIX A. SOLUTIONS TO THE EXERCISES
But
J(X. XY ) = X
n
(
¸
(a
i
÷ b
i
Y )
i
i
) ÷X
n÷1
J
n÷1
(X. Y ) ÷ .
and so o
-1
(C (0. 0)) is also given by equations
X = 0.
¸
(a
i
÷ b
i
Y )
i
i
÷XJ
n÷1
(X. Y ) ÷ = 0.
To find its closure, drop the condition X = 0. It is now clear that the closure intersects
o
-1
(0. 0) (the Y -axis) at the s points Y = a
i
¡b
i
.
12-3 We have to find the dimension of kŒX. Y |
(A,Y )
¡(Y
2
÷ X
i
. Y
2
÷ X
x
). In this ring,
X
i
= X
x
, and so X
x
(X
i-x
÷ 1) = 0. As X
i-x
÷ 1 is a unit in the ring, this implies that
X
x
= 0, and it follows that Y
2
= 0. Thus (Y
2
÷ X
i
. Y
2
÷ X
x
) ¯ (Y
2
. X
x
), and in fact
the two ideals are equal in kŒX. Y |
(A,Y )
. It is now clear that the dimension is 2s.
12-4 Note that
kŒV | = kŒT
2
. T
3
| =

¸
a
i
T
i
[ a
i
= 0
¸
.
For each a ÷ k, define an effective divisor D
o
on V as follows:
D
o
has local equation 1 ÷ a
2
T
2
on the set where 1 ÷aT = 0;
D
o
has local equation 1 ÷ a
3
T
3
on the set where 1 ÷aT ÷aT
2
= 0.
The equations
(1 ÷ aT )(1 ÷aT ) = 1 ÷ a
2
T
2
. (1 ÷ aT )(1 ÷aT ÷a
2
T
2
) = 1 ÷ a
3
T
3
show that the two divisors agree on the overlap where
(1 ÷aT )(1 ÷aT ÷aT
2
) = 0.
For a = 0, D
o
is not principal, essentially because
gcd(1 ÷ a
2
T
2
. 1 ÷ a
3
T
3
) = (1 ÷ aT ) … kŒT
2
. T
3
|
— if D
o
were principal, it would be a divisor of a regular function on V , and that regular
function would have to be 1 ÷ aT , but this is not allowed.
In fact, one can show that Pic(V ) ~ k. Let V
t
= V {(0. 0)], and write 1(+) for the
principal divisors on +. Then Div(V
t
) ÷1(V ) = Div(V ), and so
Div(V )¡1(V ) . Div(V
t
)¡Div(V
t
) ¨ 1(V ) . 1(V
t
)¡1(V
t
) ¨ 1(V ) . k.
Appendix B
Annotated Bibliography
Apart from Hartshorne 1977, among the books listed below, I especially recommend Sha-
farevich 1994 — it is very easy to read, and is generally more elementary than these notes,
but covers more ground (being much longer).
Commutative Algebra
Atiyah, M.F and MacDonald, I.G., Introduction to Commutative Algebra, Addison-Wesley
1969. This is the most useful short text. It extracts the essence of a good part of Bourbaki
1961–83.
Bourbaki, N., Alg` ebre Commutative, Chap. 1–7, Hermann, 1961–65; Chap 8–9, Masson,
1983. Very clearly written, but it is a reference book, not a text book.
Eisenbud, D., Commutative Algebra, Springer, 1995. The emphasis is on motivation.
Matsumura, H., Commutative Ring Theory, Cambridge 1986. This is the most useful medium-
length text (but read Atiyah and MacDonald or Reid first).
Nagata, M., Local Rings, Wiley, 1962. Contains much important material, but it is concise to
the point of being almost unreadable.
Reid, M., Undergraduate Commutative Algebra, Cambridge 1995. According to the author, it
covers roughly the same material as Chapters 1–8 of Atiyah and MacDonald 1969, but is
cheaper, has more pictures, and is considerably more opinionated. (However, Chapters 10
and 11 of Atiyah and MacDonald 1969 contain crucial material.)
Serre: Alg` ebre Locale, Multiplicit´ es, Lecture Notes in Math. 11, Springer, 1957/58 (third
edition 1975).
Zariski, O., and Samuel, P., Commutative Algebra, Vol. I 1958, Vol II 1960, van Nostrand.
Very detailed and well organized.
Elementary Algebraic Geometry
Abhyankar, S., Algebraic Geometry for Scientists and Engineers, AMS, 1990. Mainly curves,
from a very explicit and down-to-earth point of view.
Reid, M., Undergraduate Algebraic Geometry. A brief, elementary introduction. The fi-
nal chapter contains an interesting, but idiosyncratic, account of algebraic geometry in the
twentieth century.
Smith, Karen E.; Kahanp¨ a¨ a, Lauri; Kek¨ al¨ ainen, Pekka; Traves, William. An invitation to alge-
braic geometry. Universitext. Springer-Verlag, New York, 2000. An introductory overview
with few proofs but many pictures.
Computational Algebraic Geometry
Cox, D., Little, J., O’Shea, D., Ideals, Varieties, and Algorithms, Springer, 1992. This gives
an algorithmic approach to algebraic geometry, which makes everything very down-to-earth
229
230 APPENDIX B. ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
and computational, but the cost is that the book doesn’t get very far in 500pp.
Subvarieties of Projective Space
Harris, Joe: Algebraic Geometry: A first course, Springer, 1992. The emphasis is on exam-
ples.
Musili, C. Algebraic geometry for beginners. Texts and Readings in Mathematics, 20. Hin-
dustan Book Agency, New Delhi, 2001.
Shafarevich, I., Basic Algebraic Geometry, Book 1, Springer, 1994. Very easy to read.
Algebraic Geometry over the Complex Numbers
Griffiths, P., and Harris, J., Principles of Algebraic Geometry, Wiley, 1978. A comprehensive
study of subvarieties of complex projective space using heavily analytic methods.
Mumford, D., Algebraic Geometry I: Complex Projective Varieties. The approach is mainly
algebraic, but the complex topology is exploited at crucial points.
Shafarevich, I., Basic Algebraic Geometry, Book 3, Springer, 1994.
Abstract Algebraic Varieties
Dieudonn´ e, J., Cours de G´ eometrie Alg´ ebrique, 2, PUF, 1974. A brief introduction to abstract
algebraic varieties over algebraically closed fields.
Kempf, G., Algebraic Varieties, Cambridge, 1993. Similar approach to these notes, but is
more concisely written, and includes two sections on the cohomology of coherent sheaves.
Kunz, E., Introduction to Commutative Algebra and Algebraic Geometry, Birkha¨ user, 1985.
Similar approach to these notes, but includes more commutative algebra and has a long
chapter discussing how many equations it takes to describe an algebraic variety.
Mumford, D. Introduction to Algebraic Geometry, Harvard notes, 1966. Notes of a course.
Apart from the original treatise (Grothendieck and Dieudonn´ e 1960–67), this was the first
place one could learn the new approach to algebraic geometry. The first chapter is on
varieties, and last two on schemes.
Mumford, David: The Red Book of Varieties and Schemes, Lecture Notes in Math. 1358,
Springer, 1999. Reprint of Mumford 1966.
Schemes
Eisenbud, D., and Harris, J., Schemes: the language of modern algebraic geometry, Wadsworth,
1992. A brief elementary introduction to scheme theory.
Grothendieck, A., and Dieudonn´ e, J., El´ ements de G´ eom´ etrie Alg´ ebrique. Publ. Math. IHES
1960–1967. This was intended to cover everything in algebraic geometry in 13 massive
books, that is, it was supposed to do for algebraic geometry what Euclid’s “Elements” did
for geometry. Unlike the earlier Elements, it was abandoned after 4 books. It is an extremely
useful reference.
Hartshorne, R., Algebraic Geometry, Springer 1977. Chapters II and III give an excellent
account of scheme theory and cohomology, so good in fact, that no one seems willing to
write a competitor. The first chapter on varieties is very sketchy.
Iitaka, S. Algebraic Geometry: an introduction to birational geometry of algebraic varieties,
Springer, 1982. Not as well-written as Hartshorne 1977, but it is more elementary, and it
covers some topics that Hartshorne doesn’t.
Shafarevich, I., Basic Algebraic Geometry, Book 2, Springer, 1994. A brief introduction to
schemes and abstract varieties.
History
Dieudonn´ e, J., History of Algebraic Geometry, Wadsworth, 1985.
Of Historical Interest
Hodge, W., and Pedoe, D., Methods of Algebraic Geometry, Cambridge, 1947–54.
231
Lang, S., Introduction to Algebraic Geometry, Interscience, 1958. An introduction to Weil
1946.
Weil, A., Foundations of Algebraic Geometry, AMS, 1946; Revised edition 1962. This is
where Weil laid the foundations for his work on abelian varieties and jacobian varieties
over arbitrary fields, and his proof of the analogue of the Riemann hypothesis for curves
and abelian varieties. Unfortunately, not only does its language differ from the current
language of algebraic geometry, but it is incompatible with it.
Index
action
continuous, 204, 214
of a group on a vector space, 202
regular, 213
affine algebra, 171
algebra
finite, 4
finitely generated, 4
of finite-type, 4
algebraic group, 69
algebraic space, 172
in the sense of Artin, 197
axiom
separation, 61
axis
of a pencil, 218
basic open subset, 39
Bezout’s Theorem, 186
birationally equivalent, 74
category, 21
Chow group, 186
codimension, 141
complete intersection
ideal-theoretic, 146
local, 146
set-theoretic, 146
complex topology, 196
cone
affine over a set, 103
content of a polynomial, 9
continuous
descent system, 204
curve
elliptic, 30, 102, 106, 174, 192, 194
cusp, 80
cycle
algebraic, 185
degree
of a hypersurface, 120
of a map, 157, 184
of a point, 177
of a projective variety, 121
total, 11
derivation, 95
descent datum, 204
effective, 204
descent system, 204
Dickson’s Lemma, 27
differential, 82
dimension, 73
Krull, 43
of a reducible set, 42
of an irreducible set, 41
pure, 42, 74
division algorithm, 25
divisor, 181
effective, 181
local equation for, 182
locally principal, 182
positive, 181
prime, 181
principal, 182
restriction of, 182
support of, 181
domain
unique factorization, 9
dual projective space, 218
dual variety, 219
element
integral over a ring, 11
irreducible, 8
equivalence of categories, 22
extension
of base field, 172
of scalars, 172, 173
of the base field, 173
fibre
generic, 208
of a map, 133
field
fixed, 199
field of rational functions, 41, 73
232
233
form
leading, 80
Frobenius map, 54
function
rational, 49
regular, 38, 47, 60
functor, 21
contravariant, 22
essentially surjective, 22
fully faithful, 22
generate, 4
germ
of a function, 46
graph
of a regular map, 70
Groebner basis, see standard basis
group
symplectic, 100
homogeneous, 108
homomorphism
finite, 4
of algebras, 4
of presheaves, 167
of sheaves, 168
hypersurface, 42, 113
hypersurface section, 113
ideal, 4
generated by a subset, 4
homogeneous, 102
maximal, 5
monomial, 26
prime, 5
radical, 35
immersion, 63
closed, 63
open, 63
integral closure, 12
intersect properly, 182, 183, 185
irreducible components, 41
isomorphic
locally, 98
leading coefficient, 24
leading monomial, 24
leading term, 24
Lemma
Gauss’s, 9
lemma
Nakayama’s, 7
prime avoidance, 146
Yoneda, 23
Zariski’s, 33
linearly equivalent, 182
local equation
for a divisor, 182
local ring
regular, 8
local system of parameters, 92
manifold
complex, 59
differentiable, 59
topological, 59
map
birational, 137
dominant, 56
dominating, 56, 75
´ etale, 84, 99
finite, 131
flat, 184
quasi-finite, 133
Segre, 114
separable, 158
Veronese, 112
model, 174
module
of differential one-forms, 194
monomial, 11
Morita equivalent, 203
morphism
of affine algebraic varieties, 50
of functors, 22
of locally ringed spaces, 168
of ringed spaces, 50, 168
multidegree, 24
multiplicity
of a point, 80
neighbourhood
´ etale, 93
nilpotent, 35
node, 80
nondegenerate quadric, 163
nonsingular, 177
ordering
grevlex, 24
lex, 24
ordinary double point, 219
pencil, 218
Lefschetz, 218
pencil of lines, 163
perfect closure, 200
Picard group, 182, 190
Picard variety, 193
point
234 INDEX
multiple, 82
nonsingular, 78, 82
ordinary multiple, 80
rational over a field, 176
singular, 82
smooth, 78, 82
with coordinates in a field, 176
with coordinates in a ring, 75
polynomial
Hilbert, 121
homogeneous, 101
primitive, 9
presheaf, 167
prevariety, 173
algebraic, 59
separated, 61
principal open subset, 39
product
fibred, 72
of algebraic varieties, 68
of objects, 65
tensor, 19
projection with centre, 115
projectively normal, 181
quasi-inverse, 22
radical
of an ideal, 34
rationally equivalent, 186
regular field extension, 169
regular map, 60
regulus, 163
resultant, 127
Riemann-Roch Theorem, 195
ring
coordinate, 38
integrally closed, 13
noetherian, 6
normal, 91
of dual numbers, 95
reduced, 35
ringed space, 46, 168
locally, 168
section of a sheaf, 46
semisimple
group, 97
Lie algebra, 98
set
(projective) algebraic, 102
constructible, 150
sheaf, 167
coherent, 188
invertible, 190
locally free, 188
of abelian groups, 168
of algebras, 45
of k-algebras, 168
of rings, 168
support of, 188
singular locus, 79, 177
specialization, 209
splits
a descent system, 204
stalk, 168
standard basis, 27
minimal, 28
reduced, 28
subring, 4
subset
algebraic, 30
multiplicative, 15
subspace
locally closed, 63
subvariety, 63
closed, 55
open affine, 59
tangent cone, 80, 98
geometric, 80, 98, 99
tangent space, 78, 82, 88
theorem
Bezout’s , 120
Chinese Remainder, 5
going-up, 133
Hilbert basis, 27, 31
Hilbert Nullstellensatz, 33
Krull’s principal ideal, 144
Lefschetz pencils, 219
Lefschetz pencils exist, 219
Noether normalization, 135
Stein factorization, 165
strong Hilbert Nullstellensatz, 35
Zariski’s main, 137
topological space
irreducible , 39
noetherian, 38
quasicompact, 38
topology
´ etale, 93
Krull, 206
Zariski, 32
variety, 173
abelian, 69, 129
affine algebraic, 50
algebraic, 61
complete, 123
235
flag, 119
Grassmann, 116
normal, 92, 181
projective, 101
quasi-projective, 101
rational, 74
unirational, 74

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