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Published by the Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge

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10 Stamford Road, Oakleigh, Melbourne 3166, Australia

O Cambridge University Press 1992 I Contents


First published 1992
Reprinted 1993, 1995
Introduction a n d background 1
Printed in Great Britain by Athenaeum Press Ltd, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear . ..
1.1 A brief history of algebraic curves. . . . ..
...... .. 2
..
1.2 Relationship with other parts of mathematics . . . . . .. 9
Libraty of Congress cataloguing in publication data available 1.2.1 Number theory . . ..... .. .. . ..
. . .., . . , 9
. ..
1.2.2 Singularities and the theory of knots . . . . . . . 10
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library 1.2.3 Complex analysis .... ..... . . .... ...
. . , 15
. ....
1.2.4 Abelian integrals. . . . . ...
. . . . . . .. . 17
. . . . . . . .. .
1.3 Real Algebraic Curves . . . . . .. .., . . 20
ISBN 0 521 41251 X hardback .. . ....... ......
1.3.1 Hilbert's Nullstellensatz . 21
ISBN 0 521 42353 8 paperback . .. .
1.3.2 Techniques for drawing real algebraic curves . , 22
.
1.3.3 Real algebraic curves inside complex algebraic curves 24
Transferred to .....
1.3.4 Important examples of real algebraic curves . 24
Digital Reprinting 1999
2 Foundations 29
Printed in the
. ...............
2.1 Complex algebraic curves in 'C2 . 29
2.2 Complex projective spaces . .. . . . . ............
. 34
United States of America . . ...........,.
2.3 Complex projective curves in P2 . .. 40
. .. ... .... ..
2.4 Affine and projective curves . . . . . . . 42
. . .
2.5 Exercises . . . . . . , .. . . .... ... ......
. . . 46
I
/ 3 Algebraic properties 51
i 3.1 BBzout's theorem ....... ..... . . ., ,, . . , .. . . 51
.. .... . ......
3.2 Points of inflection and cubic curves. . 70
[ 3.3 Exercises. . . .. . .. . . ...., ... ......
.. . . . . 78
I
/ 4 Topological properties 85
I
4.1 The degree-genus formula .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
. ...
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
4.1.1 The first method of proof .
. . . . . . . . . , . . . . 90
4.1.2 The second method of proof .
1 . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . 94
4.2 Branched covers of PI . . . ,
I . . . . . . . . . . . . , . 98
4.3 Proof of the degree-genus formula . .
4.4 Exercises . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . 110
. . .. .
111
5 Riemann surfaces
5.1 The Weierstrass p-function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1 1
Preface
5.2 Riemann surfaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
5.3 Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
This book on complex algebraic curves is intended to be accessible to any
thi'rd year mathematics undergraduate who has attended courses on algebra,
6 Differentials on Riemann surfaces 143 topology and complex analysis. It is an expanded version of notes written
6.1 Holomorphic differentials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 to accompany a lecture course given to third year undergraduates at Oxford.
6.2 Abel's theorem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .152 It has usually been the case that a number of graduate students have also
6.3 The Riemann-Roch theorem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I39 attended the course, and the lecture notes have been extended somewhat for
6.4 Exercises. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .177 the sake of others in their position. However this new material is not intended
to daunt undergraduates, who can safely ignore it. The original lecture course
7 Singular curves 185 consisted of Chapters 1 to 5 (except for some of $3.1 including the definition
7.1 Resolution of singularities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18.5 of intersection multiplicities) and part of Chapter 6, although some of the
7.2 Newton polygons and Puiseux expansions . . . . . . . . . . . 203 contents of these chapters (particularly the introductory material in Chapter
7.3 The topology of singular curves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 13 1) was covered rather briefly.
7.4 Exercises. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222 Each section of each chapter has been arranged as far as possible so that
the important ideas and results appear near the start and the more difficult
A Algebra and technical proofs are left to the end. Thus there is no need to finish each
B Complex analysis 229 section before beginning the next; when the going gets tough the reader can
afford to skip to the start of the next section.'

235
C Topology The main aim of the course was to show undergraduates in their final
C.1 Covering projections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .233 year how the basic ideas of pure mathematics they had studied in previous
C.2 The genus is a topological invariant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 240 years could be brought together in one of the showpieces of mathematics. In
. C.3 Spheres with handles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249
-

particular it was intended to provide those students not intending to continue


mathematics beyond a first degree with a final year course which could be
regarded as a culmination of their studies, rather than one consisting of the
development of more machinery which they would never have the opportu-
nity to use. As well as being one of the most beautiful areas of mathematics, .
the study of complex algebraic curves is one in which it is not necessary to
develop new machinery before starting - the tools are already available from
basic algebra, topology and complex analysis. It was also hoped that the
course would give those students who might be tempted to continue math-
ematics an idea of the flavour, or rather the very varied and exciting array
of flavours, of algebraic geometry, illustrating the way it draws on all parts
of mathematics while avoiding as much as possible the elaborate and highly
developed technical foundations of the subject.
The contents of the book are as follows. Chapter 1 "can be omitted for
examination purposes" as the original lecture notes said. This chapter is sim-
ply intended to provide some motivation and historical background for the
study of complex algebraic curves, and to indicate a few of the numerous
reasons why they are of interest to mathematicians working in very different
areas. Chapter 2 lays the foundations with the technical definitions and basic
viii PREFACE

results needed to start the subject. Chapter 3 studies algebraic questions


about complex algebraic curves, in particular the question of how two curves
meet each other. Chapter 4 investigates what complex algebraic curves look
like topologically. In Chapters 5 and 6 complex analysis is used to investi- Chapter 1
gate complex algebraic curves from a third point of view. Finally Chapter 7
looks at singular complex algebraic curves which are much more complicated
objects than nonsingular ones and are mostly ignored in the first six chap-
ters. The three appendices contain results from algebra, complex analysis
Introduction and background
and topology which are included to make the book as self- contained as pos-
sible: they are not intended to be easily readable but simply to be available
for those who feel the need to consult them. A complex algebraic curve in C2 is a subset C of C2 = C x C of the form
There are many excellent books available for those who wish to study
the subject further: see for example the books by Arbarello & al, Beardon,
Brieskorn and Knijrrer, Chern, Clemens, Coolidge, Farkas and Kra, Fulton, where P(x, y) is a polynomial in two variables with complex coefficients. (See
Griffiths, Griffiths and Harris, Gunning, Hartshorne, Jones, Kendig, Morrow $2.1 for the precise definition). Such objects are called curves by analogy with
and Kodaira, Mumford, Reid, Semple and Roth, Shafarevich, Springer, and real algebraic curves or @curvedlinesn which are subsets of R2of the form
Walker listed in the bibliography. Many of these references I have used to
prepare the lecture course and accompanying notes on which this book was
based, as well as the book itself. Indeed, the only reason I had for writing where P(x, y) is now a polynomial with real coefficients.
lecture notes and then this book was that each of the books listed either Of course to each real algebraic curve there is associated a complex al-
assumes a good deal more background knowledge than undergraduates are gebraic curve defined by the same polynomial. Real algebraic curves were
likely to have or else takes a very different approach to the subject. studied long before complex numbers were recognised as acceptable math-
Finally I would like to record my grateful thanks to Graeme Segal, for ematical objects, but once complex algebraic curves appeared on the scene
first suggesting that an undergraduate lecture course on this subject would it quickly became clear that they have at once simpler and more interesting
be worthwhile, to all those students who attended the lecture course and the properties than real algebraic curves. To get some idea why this should be,
graduate students who helped run the accompanying classes for their useful consider the study of polynomial equations in one variable with real coeffi-
comments, to David Tranah of the Cambridge University Press and Elmer cients: it is easier to work with complex numbers, so that the polynomial
Rees for their encouragement and advice on turning the lecture notes into a factorises completely, and then decide which roots are real than not to allow
book, and to Mark Lenssen and Arnit Badiani for their great help in producing the use of complex numbers at all.
the final version.
In this book we shall study complex algebraic curves from three different
Frances Kirwan points of view: algebra, topology and complex analysis. An example of the
Balliol College, Oxford kind of algebraic question we shall ask is
August 1991
@Dothe polynomial equations
P(.,Y) = 0
and
Q(., Y)= 0
defining two complex algebraic curves have any common solutions
(x, y) E C2, and if so, how many are there?"
2 CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 1.1. A BRIEF HlSTORY OF ALGEBRAIC CURVES.

An answer to this question will be given in Chapter 3.


The relationship of the study of complex algebraic curves with complex Equation Real algebraic curve Complex algebraic curve
analysis arises when one attempts to make sense of "multi-valued holomorphic (with points "at infinity")
functions" such as
% H Z +

and
Z H (Z3 + Z2 + I)+.
One ends up looking at the corresponding complex algebraic curves, in these
cases
y2 = x3
and
y2 = x3 x2+ + 1.
Complex analysis will be important in Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 of this book.

We shall also investigate the topology (that is, roughly speaking, the
shape) of complex algebraic curves in Chapter 4 and $7.3. It is of course
not possible to sketch a complex algebraic curve in C 2 in the same way that
we can sketch real algebraic curves in R2, because C2 has four real dimen-
sions. None the less, we can draw sketches of complex algebraic curves (with
some extra points added "at infinity"), which are accurate topological pictures
of the curves but which do not reflect the way they sit inside C2. For some
examples, see figure 3.1. It is important to stress the fact that these pictures
can only represent the complex curves as topological spaces, and not the way
they lie in C2. For example, the complex curve defined by xy = 0 is the
union of the two "complex lines" defined by x = 0 and y = 0 in C2, which
meet at the origin (0,O). Topologically when we add a point at infinity to
each complex line it becomes a sphere, and the complex curve becomes the
union of two spheres meeting at a point as in figure 1.2. This picture, though
topologically correct, represents the two complex lines as tangential to each
other at the point of intersection, and this is not the case in C2. We cannot
avoid this problem without making the complex lines look "singular" at the
origin as in figure 1.3, which again is not really the case.

1.1 A brief history of algebraic curves.


Real algebraic curves have been studied for more than two thousand years,
although it was not until the introduction of the systematic use of coordinates
into geometry in the seventeenth century that they could be described in the Figure 1.1: Some algebraic curves
form (1.2).
I. 1. A BRIEF HISTORY OF ALGEBRAIC CURVES. 5
CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
The story starts with the Greeks, who had very sophisticated geometrical
methods but a relatively primitive understanding of algebra. To them a circle
was not defined by an equation

but was instead the locus of all points having equal distance r from a fixed
point P = (a, b). Similarly a parabola to the Greeks was the locus of all points
having equal distance from a given point P and a given line L, while an ellipse
(hyperbola) was the locus of all points for which the sum (difference) of the
distances from two given points P and Q had a fixed value.
Lines and circles can of course be drawn with a ruler and compasses, and
the Greeks devised more complicated mechanisms to construct parabolas,
ellipses and hyperbolas. With these they were able to solve some famous
problems such as 'duplicating the cuben; in other words constructing a cube
whose volume is twice the volume of a given cube (this was called the Delian
Figure 1.2: The complex curve xy = 0 problem. This comes down to constructing a line segment of length times
the length of a given unit segment. The Greeks realised that this could be
done by constructing the points of intersection of the parabolas

and
22 = Y.
They tried very hard to do this and other constructions (such as trisecting
an arbitrary angle and drawing regular polygons) using ruler and compasses
alone. They failed, and in fact it can be shown using Galois theory (see for
example [Stewart 731 pp.57-67) that these constructions are impossible with
ruler and compasses.
Besides lines and circles, ellipses, parabolas and hyperbolas the Greeks
knew constructions for many other curves, for example the epicyclic curves
used to describe the paths of planets before the discovery of Kepler's laws.
(An epicyclic curve is the path of a point on a circle which rolls without
slipping on the exterior of a fixed circle: see figure 1.4). Greek mathematics
was almost forgotten in Western Europe for many centuries after the end of
the Roman Empire, but in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance period it
was gradually rediscovered through contact with Arab mathematicians. It
was during the Renaissance that new algebraic curves were discovered by
Figure 1;3:,.Another view of the complex curve x y = 0 artists such as Leonardo da Vinci who were interested in drawing outlines of
threedimensional shapes in perspective.
As well as reintroducing Greek mathematics the Arabs introduced to Eu-
rope a much more sophisticatedunderstanding of algebra and a good algebraic
6 CHAPTER 1 . INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
I 1.1. A BRIEF HISTORY OF ALGEBRAIC CURVES.

the real solutions. For example, if we allow complex projective changes a


coordinates
ax+by+c dx+ey+f
hx+jy+k'hx+jy+k
where

is a nonsingular matrix (see Chapter 2 for more details), then many of New
ton's seventy two-different cubics become equivalent to one another. In fac
Figure 1.4: An epicyclic curve any complex curve defined by an irreducible cubic polynomial can be put int,
one of the forms
notation. It can be difficult for us to realise how important good notation is y2 = x(x - l)(x - A) with A # 0 , l (nonsingular cubic)
in the solution of a mathematical problem. For example the simple argument y2 = x 2 ( x + l ) (nodal cubic)
Y 2 = x3 (cuspidal cubic)

becomes much harder to express and to follow using words alone. I (see corollary 3.34 and exercise 3.9).

II
Another example of the "bettern behaviour of complex curves than rea
By the end of the seventeenth century mathematicians were familiar with ones is the fact that a real algebraic curve can be so degenerate it doesn'
the idea pioneered by Descartes and Fermat of describing a locus of points in look like a curve at all. For example, the subset
the plane by one or more equations in two variables x and y. The methods
of the differential calculus were gradually being understood and applied to +
{(x, y) E R2: x2 y2 = 0)
curves. It was known that many real algebraic curves turned up in problems
in applied mathematics (one example being the nephroid or kidney curve I of R 2 is the single point (0,O) and
+
which is seen when light is reflected from a mirror whose cross-section is part
of a circle). I {(x, y) E R2 : x2 y2 = -1)
is the empty set. But if P(x, y) is any nonconstant polynomial with comple:
Around 1700 Newton made a detailed study of cubic curves (that is, curves coefficients then the subset of the complex space C2 given by
defined by polynomials of degree three) and described seventy two different
cases. He investigated the singularities of a curve C defined by a polynomial
P(x, y), i.e. the points ( x , y) E C satisfying
I is nonempty and "has complex dimension one" in a reasonable sense.

In the nineteenth century it was realised that if suitable "points at infin


ityn are added to a complex algebraic curve it becomes a compact topologica
These are points where the curve does not look "smoothn, such as the origin space, just as the Riemann sphere is made by adding an extra point oo to C
+
in the cubic curves defined by y2 = x3 x2 and y2 = x3 (cf. figure 1.1). We Moreover one can make sense of the concepts of holomorphic and meromol
phic functions on this topological space, and much of the theory of comple
shall investigate the singularities of curves in greater detail in Chapter 7.
analysis on C can be applied. This leads to the theory of Riemann surfaced
Once the use of complex numbers was understood in the nineteenth cen-
-
'There is an unfortunate inconsistency of terminology in the theory of complex algebrai
tury it was realised that very often it is easier and more profitable to study curves and Riemann surfaces. A complex algebraic curve is called a curve because il
the complex solutions to a polynomial equation P(x, y) = 0 instead of just complez dimension is one, but its real dimension is two so it can also be called a surface.
8 CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND I 1.2. RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER PARTS OF MATHEMATICS

research right up to the present day. Just one example of its importance in
9

called after Bernhard Riemann (1826-1866). Riemann was extremely influen- modern research is a theory of the structure of elementary physical parti-
tial in developing the idea that geometry should deal not only with ordinary cles which received much attention in the 1980s. In this theory particles are
Euclidean space but also with much more general and abstract spaces. represented by 'stringsn or loops, and the surfaces in space-time swept out
At the same time as Riemann and his followers were investigating complex by these strings as they develop from creation to annihilation are Riemann
algebraic curves using complex analysis and topology, other mathematicians surfaces which are closely related to complex algebraic curves in the complex
began to use purely algebraic methods to obtain the same results. In 1882 plane C2 with some points added at infinity.
Dedekind and Weber showed that much of the theory of algebraic curves
remained valid when the field of complex numbers was replaced by another
(preferably algebraically closed) field K. Instead of studying the curve C
1.2 Relationship with other parts of mathe
defined by an irreducible polynomial P(x, y) directly, they studied the 'field mat ics
of rational functions on C" which consists of all functions f : C + K U {ao)
of the form Nowadays complex algebraic curves turn up and are useful in all sorts of
f (x,Y)= Q ( X , Y ) I R ( ~ , Y ) areas of mathematics ranging from theoretical physics to number theory. This
section gives a brief explanation of their importance in a few of these areas.
where Q(x, y) and R(x, y) are polynomials with coefficients in I< such that
R(x, y) is not divisible by P(x, y) (i.e. such that R(x, y) does not vanish
identically on C). 1 1.2.1 Numbertheory
It is often useful to study curves defined over fields other than the fields
of real and complex numbers. For example number theorists interested in the t In the rest of this book the links between the study of complex algebraic
curves and number theory will not be stressed, but they are important.
integer solutions to a diophantine equation
I Number theorists are interested in the integer solutions to equations such

where P(x, y) is a polynomial with integer coefficients, often first regard the
equation as a congruence modulo a prime number p. Such a congruence can
be thought of as defining an algebraic curve over the finite field For example, does this equation have any solutions with x, y, and z nonzero
integers when n > 2? This comes down to the question of whether there exist
nonzero rational solutions
consisting of the integers modulo p, or over its algebraic closure.
By the end of the nineteenth century mathematicians had begun to make
progress in studying the solutions of systems of more than one polynomial
equation in more than two variables. During the twentieth century many more
ideas and results have been developed in this area of mathematics (known as
I to the equation
+
sn tn = 1, (1.4)
which defines a complex algebraic curve called the Fermat curve of degree
algebraic geometry). Algebraic curves and surfaces are now reasonably well n. This curve is called after the French mathematician Pierre Fermat (1601-
understood, but the theory of algebraic varieties of dimension greater than 1665) because Fermat wrote in the margin of one of his books that he had
two remains very incomplete. (An algebraic variety is, roughly speaking, found a "truly marvellous proof" (demonstrutionem mirabilem sane) that the
the set of solutions to finitely many polynomial equations in finitely many equation (1.3) has no nonzero integer solutions when n > 2. For more than
variables over a field I(). three hundred years mathematicians have been trying to prove or disprove
this statement, without success although it has been proved that there are
The study of algebraic curves and Riemann surfaces, involving as it does a no nonzero integer solutions for many particular values of n. In 1983 the
rich interplay between algebra, analysis, topology and geometry, with appli- German mathematician Faltings proved that a complex algebraic curve of
cations in many different areas of mathematics, has been the subject of active
10 CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 1.2. RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER PARTS OF MATHEMATICS 11

genus at least two has only finitely many points with rational coefficients (see in C2 = R4with centre at (a, b). This intersection will be a "knot" or "linkn in
Chapter 4 for the definition of genus). The Fermat curve of degree n has the three-dimensional sphere. We can identify this three-dimensional sphere
genus
1 topologically with Euclidean space R3 together with an extra point at infinity
-(n - l)(n - 2)
2 by using stereographic projection. Let us assume for simplicity that the centre
(see $4.3) so when n 2 4 it follows that there are only a finite number of ra- (a, b) of the sphere is the origin (0,O) in C2. Then stereographic projection
tional solutions to (1-4). Whether that finite number is ever nonzero, nobody of the sphere from the point (0, e) maps each point ( x , y) of the sphere other
knows. than (0,e) to the point of intersection of the (real) line joining (x,y) and
(0, E ) with the three-dimensional real space
1.2.2 Singularities and the theory of knots
Another important area which will just be touched on in this book is the
study of singularities (see Chapter 7). For more details and lots of pictures where Re(q) and Im(q) are the real and imaginary parts of q. The point
(0, c) is mapped to CQ. Explicitly
see [Brieskorn & Kncrrer 86).

A singularity of an algebraic curve C defined by a polynomial equation

with inverse
is a point (a, b) E C satisfying

Example 1.1 Let C be the complex algebraic curve defined by


For example the curve
Y2 = x3 + x2 +1
has no singularities, whereas the curves which is the .union of the complex lines defined by y = 0 and x = y. Under
stereographic projection, as above, the intersections of these complex lines
with the sphere
and

are mapped to the circle


have singularities at the origin. Figure 1.1 showed the real points on these
--curves. c
We have already observed that drawing the real points on a complex and the ellipse
, -algebraic curve is not always helpful in studying the complex curve (e.g. for
'the curve x2 + y2 + 1 = O! ) though it can give some idea of what is going
on near a singularity with real coordinates. A better way to study what the
curve looks like near a singularity (a, b) is to look at its intersection with a in R3u{oo). This circle and ellipse are linked in the sense that neither can be
small three-dimensional sphere continuously shrunk to a point without passing through the other (see figure
1.5).
{(x, y) E c2: ( x - a l2 + 1 y - b 12= e2)
12 CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 1.2. RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER PARTS OF MATHEMATICS 13

Figure 1.5: A link


7 ; <,',:< ',
A ( (

r 7

Example 1.2 Now let C be the cubic curve defined by ', , 3" Figure 1.6: A torus

This is the surface T in R3 swept out by rotating the circle with equation
Any point ( x , y) E C can be written as (v -~ ~ 6 +' w2
~ =) e2a2
~ . (1.5)
about the w-axis. Topologically T is a torus- that is, the surface of a ring
(see figure 1.6). The image of C nS under stereographic projection is a knot
in R3 which lies on the torus T. As we travel along the points
for a unique s E C, and then (x, y ) belongs to the sphere
(&2it, 63 s t
e l
s = {(x,y) E C2 : 1 x I2 + I y 12= 82)
of C n S with the parameter t varying from 0 to 2a, the angle of rotation
if and only if about the w-axis of the corresponding points in T is given by
IsI=6 tane1 (:) = tan-' ($$) = arg(x) = 2t (mod 27r)
where 6 is the unique positive solution to the equation
which varies from 0 to 27r twice. Thus the knot on T winds twice around
the w-axis. On the other hand the standard angular coordinate on the circle
defined by equation (1.5) rotated through some fixed angle about the w-axis
Therefore
C n S = {(6'e2", 63e3it) : t c [O, 2n))
which is contained in the subset = tan-'(-)
1+6acoa(3t)-6 '
{(x,y) E C2 : 1 x I= ti2, ( y (=63) and it is not difficult to see that when 6 is small enough this varies from 0 to
2.n three times as t varies from 0 to 21. This means that the image of C n S
of S. Under stereographic projection this subset is mapped onto the subset under stereographic projection is a trefoil knot on the torus T (see figure 1.7).
of R3 consisting of all those (u, v , w ) E R3 satisfying Only two points on this knot can be seen in the real picture (figure 1.8).
Algebraic singularities are important in many parts of mathematics be-
sides knot theory (e.g. catastrophe theory, which has been applied to areas
or equivalently as diverse as physics, ecology and economics. For a layman's introduction see
( d m- ~ ' 6 +~to2~= )c2fi2.
~ V. Arnol'd's book [Arnol'd 861 or [Brieskorn & Kniirrer 861 p.52).
14 CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 1.2. RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER PARTS OF MATHEMATICS 15

Figure 1.9: Two copies of the cut plane glued along (0, oo)

1.2.3 Complex analysis


There is no holomorphic single-valued function fi defined on the whole com-
plex plane C. However if we cut C along the non-negative real axis (0, oo)
-
we can define two holomorphic functions ff i on C [0, oo) by

Figure 1.7: A trefoil knot in the plane and a trefoil knot on a torus
Here f i means the positive square root of r. Note that if r E [O, oo) then
+& tends to f i and -& tends to -JF as z tends to r through values in
the upper half plane, whereas +& tends to -JF and -& tends to fi as
z tends to r through values in the lower half plane. 7'

We can take two copies of C cut along [0, m ) and "gluen the upper side of
the cut in the first copy to the lower side of the cut in the second copy, and the
lower side of the cut in the first copy to the upper side of the cut in the second
copy. The picture in figure 1.9 can help to give an intuitive idea of what the
space X obtained in this way looks like. However this picture is misleading in
that it gives the impression that the space intersects itself along the positive
real axis, which is not supposed to happen. A better topological picture of X
with an extra point added at infinity is given as follows. Think of two copies
of the complex sphere C U {oo) cut along the positive real axis from 0 to 00.
Open up the cuts and glue the two copies together to get X U { m ) which is
again a sphere, topologically (see figure 1.10). On this space X it makes sense
to say that there is a single-valued holomorphic function fi defined by fi +
on the first copy of the cut plane and by -4on the second (see Chapter 5 ) .
If we add in a point oo and set = 00 then we get a holomorphic function
Figure 1.8: The real points on the curve y2 = x3 and a small sphere about
from X U {oo) to C U { o o ) which takes every value except 0 and oo exactly
the origin
twice.
We can either construct this space X U {oo) abstractly, or we can think
of it as being the complex algebraic curve
{ ( t , w ) E C2 : w2 = t )
CHAPTER I . INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 1.2. RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER PARTS OF MATHEMATICS 17

Figure 1.10: Two copies of the complex sphere glued .along [0, oo)

Figure 1.12: A sphere with two handles

We can play the same game for any multi-valued holomorphic function
w(z) satisfying a relation
P(., w(z)) = 0
where P(x,y) is an irreducible polynomial. The space we construct is just
Figure 1.11: Two copies of the complex sphere glued along three cuts the complex algebraic curve

where one copy of C - [0, oo) corresponds to


minus the points where g ( z , w ) vanishes (sometimes called Ubranchpoints"
or "ramification points"). We can then add in points to fill the gaps left by
and the other to the branch points and suitable Upointsat infinity" to get a compact space on
((2, W ) E C2 : w = -&). which it makes s'ense to say that w(z) is a single-valued holomorphic function
with values in C U {oo) (see $7.1).

Similarly to make a space on which the function


t, 1.2.4 Abelian integrals.
For our last example of how complex algebraic curves appear in other parts
of mathematics we begin by considering the integral
is single-valued (where crl, . . . a k are distinct complex numbers) one cuts the
complex sphere from al to a2 , from CQ to a4 and so on (including oo if k
is odd) and glues two copies of the result together as before, to get a space
Y which is topologically a sphere with [$(k - I)] handles. (Figures 1.11 and
1.12 are both topological representations of the case k = 6). This space can where r(x) is a rational function of x, i.e.
also be thought of as the curve
{(Z, W)E C* : w 2 = (% - ~ 1 )... (Z- ak))
together with one or two "points at infinity" (depending on whether k is odd
or even).
I where p(x) and q(x) are polynomials in x and q(x) is not identically zero.
Assume that q ( x ) # 0 if x E (a,b] so the integral exists. We can expand r(x)
CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 1.2. RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER PARTS OF MATHEMATICS 19

in partial fractions where a, b, c, d, e, f E C. We may assume that a is nonzero. Then


f
( x - A ) ( x 0 (Case 1)
+
( ~ ( x ) (bx + ~ ) / 2 a =) ~ a(x - A), a # 0 (Case 2)
where ro(x) is a polynomial, ki is a positive number and ai,Pi are complex (Case 3)
<
numbers for 1 i 5 m. This means that r(x) has an indefinite integral which for some a, X,p E C . On substituting
is the sum of a rational function and terms
+ ;(A + c ) ( C u e 1,A # P)
ai log(% - Pi) . (Case 2)
otherwise
for each i such that ki = 1.
the integral
Next consider the standard integral
1) ~ ( xw(x))
, dx
becomes the integral of a rational function of t. However more care is nec-
essary now because these substitutions take us into the complex plane. It is
important to remember that the integral of a function along a path 7 in C
One is taught how to work out this integral by substituting either
usually depends on the path y as well as its endpoints a and b. For example
x = tan0
I log y =

is a multi-valued function of y E C - (0).


J Y

1
x-I dx

Definition 1.3 An abelian integral is an integral of the form


(These two substitutions are related by t = tani0). The latter substitution
I where y : [0, I] --+ C is a continuous path in C, R(x, y) is a rational function
of two variables and w(z) is a continuous function o j z defined on the image
turns any integral of the form of the path y such that w(z) and z satisfy a polynomial relation

Integrals of this form were extensively studied in the last century, in particular
by the Norwegian mathematician Niels Hendrik Abel, after whom they are
where R(x, y) = @$ is a rational function of two variables, into the integral named. They occur in many problems in applied mathematics.
of a rational function of t.

Similarly we can deal with any integral of the form Example 1.4 If w(z) satisfies
~ - al)
~ ( 2 =) (Z ..(Z - a k )
f R(x, w(x)) dx where al, . . . ,ak are distinct complex numbers then
where R(x, y) is rational and w(x) is a continuous function of x in [a, b] such
that w(x) and x satisfy a polynomial relation of degree two:
is called an elliptic integral if k is 3 or 4 and a hyperelliptic integral if k is at
+ + C)W(X)+ dx2 + ex + f = 0,
a ~ ( x ) (bx
~ (1.6) least 5.
D
20 CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 1.3. REAL ALGEBRAIC CURVES

Example 1.6 The arc-length of an ellipse 1.3.1 Hilbert 's Nullstellensatz


One of the most important differences arises when we consider the question:
'When do two polynomials define the same curve?"
between points with x-coordinates c and d is Example 1.7 The polynomials

which is an elliptic integral (hence the name). and


Example 1.6 Elliptic integrals also occur in solving the differential equation
+
Q ( X , ~=) x s + 2 x 4 ~ 2+Y ~= x2(x2 y)?
for a simple pendulum: define the same real and complex algebraic curves in the sense that
e = -k sine.
{(z,y) E C2 : P(x, y) = 0) = {(x,y) E c2: Q(x, Y)= 0)
When multiplied by 28 this equation can be integrated to give
and
{(x, y) E R2 : P(x, y) = 0) = ((z, y) E R2 : Q(3, Y)= 0).
and on substituting x = cosd we get
J dt = /[(I - x2)(2kx + c)]-4 dz Example 1.8 The polynomials

which is an elliptic integral.


We have seen that when the total degree of the polynomial relation P(x, y) and
between z and w(z) is at most two then by a suitable rational substitution + +
R(x,Y) - x3 xy +
$ xY3= x(x2 y)(y2 1) +
the abelian integral +
define the same real algebraic curves (since y2 1 # 0 for all y E R)but not
the same complex algebraic curves.
can be turned into the integral of a rational function and hence can be eval-
uated. However when the degree of P(x, y) is strictly greater than two this For complex algebraic curves we have a simple answer to the question
is no longer the case. We shall discuss why this is so, and why the degrees 0, when two polynomials define the same curve.
1 and 2 are special, by studying properties of the complex algebraic curve
Theorem 1.9 (Hilbert's Nullstellensatz) If P(x, y) and Q(x, y) are poly-
( ( % , w )E c2 : P(z,w) = 0 ) nomials with complex coeficients then
defined by P (see 56.1).
{(x, y) E C2 : P(x, y) = 0) = {(x, y) E c2 : Q(x, y) = 0)

1.3 Real Algebraic Curves if and only if there exist positive integers n and rn such that P divides Qn
and Q divides Pm;or equivalently if and only if P and Q have the same
The main object of this book is to study complex algebraic curyes. However irreducible factors, possibly occuring with diflerent multiplicities.
this short section is included on real algebraic curves. This is partly because
real algebraic curves are very important in the history of mathematics, and Proof. A proof can be found in, for example [Atiyah & Macdonald 691 p.85.
there are many important classical examples. It is also partly because it 0

I
can sometimes be useful 'to look at real curves when studying complex ones.
However it is vital to stress that it is often dangerous to do this. There are The analagous result does not hold for real algebraic curves, as example
many important differences between the theories of real and complex curves. 1.8 shows.
22 CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 1.3. REAL ALGEBRAIC CURVES 23

1.3.2 Techniques for drawing real algebraic curves


It is important to keep stressing the fact that it can be dangerous to think
about real algebraic curves when investigating the corresponding complex al-
gebraic curves. Nonetheless it can sometimes be useful to sketch the real
curves, and so in this section we shall review very briefly some basic tech-
niques.
Figure 1.13: The eight curve
Let
C = {(x,y) E R 2 : P(x, y) = 0) Since the polynomial
be a real algebraic curve. We can get some preliminary information about C C aijxiyj
by working out where it meets the axes; that is the points (x,O) and (0, y)
such that is homogeneous of degree m in x and y it factorises over C as a product of m
linear polynomials
P(x, 0) = 0 = P(0, y).
+
. a i ~Piy
We can work out that the tangent lines to C at these points, and any other
<
for 1 i 5 m (see lemma 2.8). Let us suppose that the ratios ai : Pi are real
points we happen to know lie on the curve. The tangent line to C at (a, b) is
defined by
<
for 1 5 i 5 k and not real for k < i m where 0 5 k m. Then neat the
origin it is reasonable to hope that C looks "to a first approximation" like
the union of the lines defined by

We can find the points (a, b) where the tangent line is parallel to an axis, i.e.
where $$(a, b) = 0 or %(a, b ) = 0. We can also work out the singular points These are called the tangent lines to C at the origin. For example the "eight
of C, i.e. the points (a, b ) where curven or "lemniscate of Geronon defined by

has a singularity at the origin of multiplicity m = 2 with tangent lines defined


sothat there is no well-defined tangent direction. by x = y and x = -y (see figure 1.13). However things are not always quite
as simple as this. Consider the curve defined by
We can also investigate what the curve C looks like near a singular point
(a, b) as follows. Let us assume for simplicity that (a, b) is the origin (0,O); in
general we can substitute x -a for x and y - b for y. Let m be the multiplicity
which has a singular point at the origin of multiplicity m = 2. The lowest
+
of C at (0,O); that is, the smallest value of i j such that xiyj occurs with
order term in the equation is y2, so the tangent lines at the origin are both
nonzero coefficient aij in the polynomial $,<;'
. : I",
the x-axis y = 0. But the origin is actually an isolated point of the curve,
since
+ >
zzY2= x4 y2 =+ x2y2 y 2 =+ y = 0 or x2 1 >
and the only point of the curve satisfying y = 0 is the origin.
' Of course, (0,O) is a singular point if and only if m > 1. Near the origin
terms of lowest order in x and y dominate so we can hope that C looks For another example consider the cubic curve defined by y2 = x3 (see
approximately like the curve defined by figure 1.1). Again the curve has a singular point at the origin and the lowest
order term is y2. In this case
1.3. REAL ALGEBRAIC CURVES 25
24 CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
a
through p and q meets C at point of distance a from p is called a conchoid of
C with respect to q and with parameter a . There are many classical examples
of conchoids.

The conchoid of Nicomedes (c. 225 B.C.) is the conchoid of a line with
respect to a point not on the line. If the line is defined by

and the point is the origin (0,O) then the conchoid has equation
Figure 1.14: The curves y2 = x3 + x and y2 = x3 - x + -
(x2 y2)(x b)2 = a2x2.
and near the origin the curve only looks like 'half" the tangent lines which One can see from their definition that conchoids of Nicomedes can be drawn
are both defined by y = 0. with the aid of a simple apparatus. This apparatus was used by the Greeks
to trisect angles (this was a famous problem: cf. $1.1). They showed that
These two examples show that care must be taken with the interpretation it is possible to trisect an arbitrary angle a,given as the angle between two
of the tangent lines to a real algebraic curve at a singular point. lines meeting at a point q, as follows. First one draws the perpendicular L to
one line from a point r on the other line; Then one draws the conchoid of L
1.3.3 Real algebraic curves inside complex algebraic with respect to q and with parameter
curves
It is also important to note that rather different real algebraic curves can sit
inside equivalent complex algebraic curves. For example the real cubic curve where 1 is the distance of r from q. The parallel to the first line through r
defined by meets the conchoid on the side away from q at a point p, and the line through
y2 = x3 + x p and q trisects the angle a (see figure 1.15).
has two connected components whereas the real cubic curve defined by
The limacon of Pascal (named after the seventeenth century French math-
ematician Pascal) is the conchoid of a circle of radius b with respect to a point
q on its circumference which we may take to be the origin. If we take the
has only one (see figure 1.14).Howeverthe corresponding complex curves are centre of the circle to lie on the x-axis, then the equation is
equivalent under the complex change of coordinates

(x, y) H (ix, e y y).


The limacon is the path traced by a point rigidly attached to a circle rolling
on an equal fixed circle. More generally if the circles are allowed to have
1.3.4 Important examples of real algebraic curves different radii b and c one obtains a curve called a epitmchoid or hypotm-
Now let us consider some examples of real algebraic curves which were im- choid, depending on whether the rolling circle is outside or inside the fixed
portant in antiquity. circle. When the attached point actually lies on the rolling circle one has an
epicycloid or hypocycloid. Epicycloids and hypocycloids were used (probably
Let as early as the seventeenth century) to design the so-called cycloidal gear.

I
C = {(x,y) E R 2 : P(x, y) = 0)
be any real algebraic curve in R2, let q be a fixed point in R2and let a > 0 be Important special cases of epicycloids and hypocycloids are the cardioid
- . , -. . . 1 I - m2 -.. .l &l.
- A ,L- I:-- :- -2 (an epicycloid with b = c), so called because of its heartlike shape, the
. . ---

CHAPTER I . INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND REAL ALGEBRAIC CURVES

Figure 1.17: Nephroid

. -
Q

Figure 1.15: Trisecting an angle

I-;
Figure 1.18: Deltoid

Figure 1.16: Cardioid I


nephroid or kidney curve (an epicycloid with c = 2b), the deltoid (a I - - 1

cloid with 36 = c) and the astroid (a hypocycloid with 4b = c). ~ h i r


equations in suitable coordinate systems are
(22 + y2 - 2 b ~ )=~ +
4b2(x2 y2) Cardioid
I Figure 1.19: Astroid

( x 2 + y2 - 4b2)3 = 108b4y2 Nephroid


( x 2+ +
- 8bx(s2 - 3 y 2 ) 18b2(x2 y 2 ) + = 27b4 Deltoid
( x 2 + y 2 - b2)3+ 27b2x2y2 = 0. Astroid
Examples are sketched in figures 1.16-1.19. The degenerate case of an
epicycloid which occurs when the fixed circle is replaced by a line is called a
cycloid (see figure 1.20). It was discovered by Bernoulli and others (around
1700) that given two points in a vertical plane, the curve along which a particle
takes the least time to slide from one point to the other under gravity is a Figure .1.20: Cycloid
cycloid. This discovery led to the development . of the theory of variations.
~
CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

Another curve discovered by the Greeks is the cissoid of Diocles. A cissoid


is associated to the choice of two curves C and D and a fixed point q. The
cissoid of C and D with respect to q is the locus of all points p such that the
line through p and q meets C and D in two points whose distance apart is the Chapter 2
same as the distance between p and q. The cissoid of Diocles is the cissoid
of a circle and a tangent line with respect to the point on the circumference
of the circle opposite the point of tangency. If we take this point to be the
origin and the tangent line to be defined by x = a then the equation of the
Foundations
cissoid is
y2(a-x) = x3.
This cissoid can be drawn using, for example, an apparatus due to Newton. This chapter contains the basic definitions and material we shall need to study
A right angle with two arms of length a is moved in the plane in such a way complex algebraic curves; We shall first define complex algebraic curves in
that the endpoint of one arm moves on the line defined by x = $a and the Ca and then add "points at infinity" to obtain complex projective curves.
other arm always passes through the point (-ia,O). Then the midpoint of
the first arm describes the cissoid.
2.1 Complex algebraic curves in c2
Diocles was able to use his cissoid to solve the Delian roblem of doubling
P
the cube (that is, constructing a line segment of length 2 times a given unit
Let P(x, y) be a non-constant polynomial in two variables with complex co-
efficients. We say that P(x, y) has no repeated factorsoifwe cannot write
length). The intersection of the cissoid

where Q(x, y ) and R(x, y) are polynomials and Q(x, y) is nonmnstant.


with the line defined by

I
x+2y=1 Definition 2.1 Let P(x, y) be a nonconstant polynomial in two variables with
is the point (ahy, y) where y = (2 + 2jl-l. Using this and standard ruler complex coefficients and no repeated factors. Then the complez algebraic curve
and compass constructions a line segment of length 25 units can be drawn. in C2 defined by P(x, y ) is

Real algebraic curves important in mechanics are the caustic curves inves-
tigated by Tschirnhausen and Huygens at the end of the seventeenth century.
A catacaustic (respectively diacaustic) of a given curve C is a curve which is The reason for the assumption in this definition that P(x, y) has no re-
tangent to all the light rays from a given source after reflection (respectively peated factors is the theorem called Hilbert's Nullstellensatz already quoted
refraction) in C. If the light source is at infinity the incoming rays are par- in $1.3.

II
allel. For example the catacaustic of a circle C with source q i s a cardioid if
q E C, a nephroid if q = cm and a limacon of Pascal otherwise. Theorem (Hilbert's Nullstellensatz) If P(x, y) and Q(x, y) are polyno-
mials with complex coefficients then

{(x, y ) E C2 : P(x, Y) = 0) = ((2, Y ) E C2 : Q(x, Y ) = 0)

I
if and only if there ezist positive integers m and n such that P divides Qn
and Q divides Pm; or equivalently if and only if P and Q have the same
irreducible factors, possibly occuring with difiemnt multiplicities.
30 CHAPTER 2. FOUNDATIONS 2.1. COMPLEX ALGEBRAIC CURVES IN C2 31
Corollary 2.2 If P(x, y) and Q(x, y) have no repeated factors then they de- Definition 2.7 A nonzero polynomial P(xl, ...,x,) in n variables is homo-
fine the same complez algebraic curve in C2 if and only if they are scalar geneous of degree d if
multiples of each other, i.e.
P(Xxl,. . . ,Ax,) = Xdp(xl,. . ,x,).
for all X E C. Equivalently P has the form
for some X E C - (0).
Proof. This is an immediate consequence of Hilbert's Nullstellensatz. 0
for some complez numbers a,,..,, .
Remark 2.3 A more general way of defining a complex algebraic curve in C2
is as an equivalence class of nonconstant polynomials in two variables, where .
. Note that every polynomial factor Q(xl, . . ,x,) of a homogeneous poly-

two polynomials are equivalent if and only if they are scalar multiples of each nomial P(xl, ... ,x,) is also homogeneous (see Appendix A).
other. A polynomial with repeated factors is then thought of as defining a Lemma 2.8 If P(x, y) is a nonzero homogeneous polynomial of degree d in
curve with multiplicities attached; for example (y - x2)3 defines the same two variables with complez coeficients then it factors as a product of linear
curve as y - x2 but with multiplicity three. Through most of this book the polynomials
definition 2.1 will be sufficient; occasionally however (e.g. in $3.1) we shall d
need to allow the use of curves defined by polynomials with repeated factors. P(x, Y) = n ( a i x
i=l
+ Pip)
Definition 2.4 The degree d of the curve C defined by P(x,y) is the degree for some ai,Pi E C. r i o
of the polynomial P, i.e. Proof. We can write
d = max {r +s : G,, # 0)

where
.
where ao, .. ,ad E C are not all zero. Let e be the largest element of (0,. ..,d)
such that a, # 0. Then
A point (a, b) E C is called a singular point (or singularity) of C if
aP
dx
-(a,
dP
b) = 0 = -(a,
8~
b). is a polynomial with complex coefficients of degree e in one variable z and so
can be factorised as
The set of singular points of C is denoted Sing(C). C is called nonsingular
if Sing(C) = 4.

+
Examples 2.5 The curve defined by x2 y2 = 1 is nonsingular. The curve for some 71,. . .,reE C. Then
defined by y2 = x3 has one singular point (0,O).
P(X, y) = aeyd n ~(zi
- 7i)
Definition 2.6 A curve defined by a linear equation = aeyd-enLl (2 - 7iy).
The result follows. 0
Note that since P(x, y) is a polynomial it has a finite Taylor expansion
where a,p, 7 are complez numbers and a and /3 are not both zero, is called a
line.

At this point we must recall an important definition and lemma.


I about any point (a, b) (see exercise 2.3).
CHAPTER 2. FOUNDATIONS 2.1. COMPLEX ALGEBRAIC CURVES IN C2

Definition 2.9 The multiplicity of the curve C defined by P ( x , y ) at a point


( a ,b) E C is the smallest positive integer m such that

for some i 2 0 , j > 0 such that i + j = m. The polynomial

is then homogeneous of degree m and so by lemma 2.8 can then be factored


as the product of m linear polynomials of the form

where (a,P)E C2 - ( ( 0 , O ) ) . The lines defined by these linear polynomials


are called the tangent lines to C at ( a ,b). The point ( a ,b) is nonsingular if
and only if its multiplicity m is 1; in this case C has just one tangent line at
( a ,b) defined by
Figure 2.1: The curves y2 = x3 + x2 and y2 = x3
'ap ap
-(a,
ax b) ( x - a ) + -(a,
a~ b) ( y - b) = 0.

A point ( a , b) E C is called a double point (respectively triple point, etc.)


if its multiplicity is two (respectively three, etc.). A singular point (a,b) is
called ordinary if the polynomial (2.1) has no repeated factors, i.e. if C has
m distinct tangent lines at ( a ,b).

Example 2.10 The cubic curves defined by


i
y2 = x3 + x2
and
Y2 = 23
have double points at the origin; the first is an ordinary double point but the
second is not (see figure 2.1). The curve defined by

(24 + y4)2 = x2y2


has a singular point of multiplicity four at the origin which is not ordinary;
the curve-defined by
+ +
Figure 2.2: The curves ( x 4 y4)2 = x2y2 and ( x 4 y4 - x2 - y2)' = 9 2 y 2
( x 4 + Y 4 - x2 - y2)2 = 9 ~ 2 ~ 2

has an ordinary singular point of multiplicity four (see figure 2.2).


I
34 CHAPTER 2. FOUNDATIONS 2.2. COMPLEX PROJECTWE SPACES 35

Definition 2.11 A curve C defined by a polynomial P(x, y ) is called irre-


ducible if the polynomial is irreducible; that is, ifP(x, y ) has no factors other
than constants and scalar multiples of itself.
If the irreducible factors of P ( x , y ) are

then the curues defined by

are called the (irreducible) components of C.

2.2 Complex projective spaces


A complex algebraic curve C in C2is never compact (see exercise 2.7). Recall
some of the important properties of the topological condition of compactness
(cf. e.g. Chapter 5 of [Sutherland 751).
Properties 2.12
(i) A subset of Rn or Cn is compact if and only if it is closed and bounded
(Heine-Bore1 theorem).
(ii) I f f : X -+ Y is a continuous map between topological spaces and X is
, compact, then f ( X ) is compact.
(iii) It follows from (i) and (ii) that i f X is a compact topological space and
f : X -+ R is a continuous function then f is bounded and attains its bounds.
(iv) A closed subset of a compact space is compact.
(v) A compact subset of a Hausdorff space is closed.
(vi) A finite union of compact spaces is compact.

For many purposes it is useful to compactiiy complex algebraic curves in


C2 by adding "points at infinity*. For example, suppose we wish to study
the intersection points of two curves, such as
Figure 2.3: The curve y2 = x2 - 1 and the lines y = f x

where c is a complex number. If c # f1 these curves meet in two points.


When c = f 1 they do not intersect, but they are asymptotic as x and y tend
to infinity (cf. figure 2.3). We want to add points at infinity to C2 in such
+
a way that the curves y2 = x2 1 and y = cx intersect "at infinityn when
c = f 1. Similarly parallel lines should "meet at infinity". More generally we
would like any curves which are asymptotic to "meet at infinityn.
To make this precise we use the concept of a projective space. The idea is
to identify each (x, y ) E C2 with the one-dimensional complex linear subspace
2.2. COMPLEX PROJECTIVE SPACES 37
5 CHAPTER 2. FOUNDATIONS
Remark 2.16 Note that
IC3 spanned by (x, y, 1). Every one-dimensional linear subspace of C3 which (i) a subset B of P, is closed if and only if II-'(B) is a closed subset of
oes not lie in the plane {(x, y, z) E C3 : z = 0) contains a unique point of Cntl- (0);
le form (x, y, 1). The one-dimensional subspaces of {(x, y, z) E C3 : z = 0) (ii) II : Cn+'- (0) 4 P, is continuous;
an be thought of as 'points at infinityn. (iii) if X is any topological space a function f : P, -B X is continuous if and
only if
Iefinition 2.13 Complex projective space P, of dimension n is the set of
j~II:c~+~-{o)-+x
omplex one-dimensional subspaces of the complex vector space Cnt'. When
1 = 1 we have the complex projective line P1 and when n = 2 we have the
is continuous; more generally if A is any subset of P, then a function f : A +
:ompIex projective plane P2. X is continuous if and only if

%emark 2.14 If V is any vector space over any field K then the associated
f o n : II--l(A) -+ x
xojective space P(V) is the set of one-dimensional subspaces of V. We shall is continuous.
~ o r konly with the case Ii = C and V = Cn+l so to simplify the notation
Me write P, for P(Cnt').
We define subsets Uo, . ..,Un of Pn by
A one-dimensional linear subspace U of Cn+' is spanned by any nonzero Notice that the condition x j # 0 is independent of the choice of homogeneous

X E C - (0) such that a = Xb.


-
u E U. Therefore we can identify P, with the set of equivalence classes for
the equivalence relation on Cntl - (0) such that a N b if there is some
coordinates, and that
..
rr-'(u,) = {(xo, . ,x,) € cn+': xj # 0)
is an open subset of Cntl - {0), so Uj is an open subset of P, .
Definition 2.15 Any nonzero vector .
Define do : Uo 4 C, by

in Cn+l represents an element x of P,: we call (XO,..,tn) homogeneous. This is a well-defined map with inverse
coordinates for x and write
( Y I , . . . , Y ~ ) H[ l , ~ l , . . . , ~ n ]
..
by definition 2.15. The coordinates (yl,. ,yn) are called inhomogeneow
Then coordinates on UO.
P, = { [ x ~ , ... , t n ] : (20, .. yxn) E Cn+' - (01 I It is easy to check using remark 2.16 that &, : Uo i Cn is continuous (we
and just have to show that its composition with II : II-'(Uo) Uo is continuous)
[x~7.. .,tn] = [YO,.
. ,yn] . and its inverse is the composition of ll with the continuous map from Cn to
if and only if there is some X E C - (0) such that x j = Ayj for all j. Cn+' (0) given by
,-

Now we can make P, into a topological space (we shall show that unlike
Cn it is compact). We define II : Cntl - (0) 4 P, by Thus is a homeomorphism.
Similarly there are homeomorphisms rjj : Uj -t Cn for each j between 1
and n given by
and give P, the quotient topology induced from the usual topology on Cn+'-
(0) (cf. [Sutherland 751 p.68). That is, a subset A of P, is open if and only
if II"(A) is an open subset of Cn+' - (0).
38 CHAPTER 2, FOUNDATIONS 2.2. COMPLEX PROJECTIVE SPACES 39
Remark 2.17 The complement of U, in P, is the hyperplane But
I ~ ' ~ xi2 o+ ...+ ( A - # ~ , 12= 1
SO
This can be identified with P,-1 in the obvious way. Thus we can build up [xo,...,x,] E II(S2n+1).
the projective spaces P, inductively. POis a single point. P1 can be thought
Thus II : S2"+'+ Pn is surjective, and the result follows. 0
of as C together with a single point oo (i.e. a copy of Po) and thus can be
identified with the Riemann sphere
Definition 2.19 A projective transformation of P, is a bijection

P2 is C 2 together with a "line at infinityn (i.e. a copy of PI),and in general


P, is C n with a copy of Pn-1 at infinity. such that for some linear isomorphism a : Cn+' + Cn+' we have

Since {Uj : 0 5 j < n ) is an open cover of P, and


where
(YO,. * Yn) = &(to,. ..,t n ) ,
is a homeomorphism for each j, a function f from P, to a topological space
X is continuous if and only if
where II : Cn+' - (0) -t P, is defined as before by
is continuous for each j. Similarly a function f : X + P, is continuous if II(x0,. ..,x,) = [xo, ...,x,].
and only if f-'(Uj) is open in X and
Lemma 2.20 A projective transformation f : P, 4 P, is continuous.
Proof. We have
is continuous for each j. f oII=IIoa '

Proposition 2.18 P, is compact. for some linear isomorphism a : Cn+' -+ Cn+'.Since II is continuous (by
2.16(ii)) and a is continuous it follows that f o lI is continuous, and therefore
Proof. Let by 2.16(iii) that f is continuous. 0

Definition 2.21 A hyperplane in P, is the image under lI : Cn+l - (0) -+


P, of V - (0) where V is a subspace ojCn+' of dimension n.
+
Then SZn+' is a sphere of dimension 2n 1. In particular it is a closed,
bounded subset of Cn+', so by the Heine-Bore1 theorem 2.12(i) it is compact. +
Lemma 2.22 Given n 2 distinct points po, ...,pn and q of P,, no n+ 1 of
The restriction II : SZn+'+ P, of the map ll defined above is continuous, so which lie on a hyperplane, there is a unique projective transformation taking
its image is the image of a compact space under a continuous mapping, and pi to 10,. ..,0,1,0,. . .,0] where 1 is in the ith place, and taking q to [I,. . ,I]. .
hence is compact by 2.12(ii).
..
Now if [xo,. ,x,] E P, then Proof. Let UO, . . . ,u, and v be elements of Cn+' - (0) whose images under
.
II are PO,.. .,pn and q. Then uo,. . ,u, form a basis of Cn+' so there is
A = ) xo l2 + * . a + I x 12>~ O a unique linear transformation a of Cntl taking uo, . . .,u, to the standard
basis (1,0,. . .,0),. . .,(0,. ..,0,1). Moreover the condition on po,.. . ,pn and q
SO implies that
...
[to,. . . ,xn] = [A--+XO, ,A-zx,].
1
a(.) = (A1 - . An)
40 CHAPTER 2. FOUNDATIONS 2.3. COMPLEX PROJECTIVE CURVES IN P2 41

.
where XI,. .,A, are all nonzero complex numbers. Thus the composition of if and only if there exists some X E C - ( 0 ) such that
a with the linear transformation defined by the diagonal matrix x =Xu, y = Xu, z = Xw.

Recall also that a polynomial P(x,y , z ) is called homogeneous of degree


d if
P(Xx, Xy, Xz) = Xdp(x,y, z )
for all X E C. Note that the first partial derivatives of P are homogeneous
defines a projective transformation taking pi to
polynomials of degree d - 1.
1

[O ,...,o o O]= [O ,...,0,1,0,...,01


, ~ ,,..., Definition 2.24 Let P ( x ,y, z ) be a nonconstant homogeneous polynomial in
Xi
three variables x , y , z with complex coefficients. Assume that P(x,y, z ) has
.
and q to [1,1,. . ,I]. Uniqueness is easy to check. 0 no repeated factors. Then the projective curve C defined by P(x, y , z ) is

Proposition 2.23 The projective space P, is Hawdorff.


Note that the condition P ( x , y , z ) = 0 is independent of the choice of ho-
Proof. We need to show that if p and q are distinct points of P, then they mogeneous coordinates ( x ,y, z ) because P is a homogeneous polynomial and
have disjoint open neighbourhoods in P,. hence
We have shown that there is a homeomorphism do : Uo -+ Cnwhere Uo
is an open set of P, . If p and q lie in Uo then &(p) and 4 4 9 ) have disjoint
P(Ax, Xy, Xz) = 0 * P(x,y , z ) = 0
open neighbourhoods V and W in Cn (since Cnis Hausdorff) and &'(V) when A E C - (0).
and 4 i 1 ( W )are disjoint open neighbourhoods of p and q in P,. In particular
this applies when p = [1,0,... , 0) and q = [I$1,. .., I ] . Remark 2.26 Just as for curves in C2it is in fact the case that two homo-
In general we can find points po, . . . , p , of P, such that po = p and no geneous polynomials P(x, y, z ) and Q(x,y, z)with no repeated factors define
+
n 1 of the n + 2 points po, . . . ,p, and q lie in a hyperplane. Then by lemma the same projective curves in P2 if and only if they are scalar multiples of each
2.22 there is a projective transformation f : P, --I .
P, taking p to [1,0,. .,0] other, and a homogeneous polynomial with repeated factors can be thought
. ..
and q to [1,1,. .,I]. We have already shown that [1,0,. ,0] and [1,1,.. , I ] . of as defining a curve with multiplicities attached to its components.
have disjoint open neighbourhoods 4,"(V) and &'(w)in P,. Since f is
continuous (by lemma 2.20) and a bijection, the subsets f-'(&'(V)) and Definition 2.26 The degree of a projective curve C in P2defined by a ho-
f-'(&'(w)) are disjoint open neighbourhoods of p and q in P,, as required. mogeneous polynomial P ( x ,y , z ) is the degree d of P(x,y, z ) . The curve C
0 is called irreducible if P(x, y, z ) is imducible, i.e. P(x, y, z ) has no noncon-
stant polynomial factors other than scalar multiples of itself. An irreducible
projective curve D defined b y a homogeneous polynomial Q(x,y, z ) is called a
2.3 Complex projective curves in P2 component of C if Q ( x ,y , z ) divides P(x,y , z ) .

Recall from 52.2 that the complex projective plane P2is the set of one-
dimensional complex subspaces of C3.We denote by [ x , y , z] the subspace
spanned by (x,y, z ) E C 3 - { O ) , and thus
I Definition 2.27 A point [a,b, c] of a projective curve C in P2defined by a
homogeneous polynomial P ( x ,y, z ) is called singular if

Pz = {[x, Y, a ] : ( 2 ,Y , 2 ) E c3- (0) )


The set of singular points of C is denoted by Sing(C). The curve C is called
and
nonsingular if Sing(C) = 0 .
42 CHAPTER 2. FOUNDATIONS 2.4. AFFINE AND PROJECTWE CURVES 43

+
Examples 2.28 The projective curve in P2defined by x2 y2 = z1 is non- Although different, affine and projective curves are closely related. From
singular. an affine curve C one can obtain a projective curve 6 by adding Upoints at
The curve defined by y2z = x3 has one singular point [0,0,1]. infinityn.

Definition 2.29 A projective curve defined by a linear equation Recall from 52.2 that we can identify C 2 with the open subset

II
of P2 via the homeomorphism 4 : U -+ C2 defined by
where cr, P, 7 are not all zero, is called a (~rojective)line.
The tangent line to a projective curve C in Pz defined by a homogeneow
polynomial P(s, y, z) at a nonsingular point [a, b, c] E C is the line ~[x,Y=
,~I (I,t)
with inverse

We give a projective curve C in P2the topology it inherits as a subset of


P2 (cf. [Sutherland 751 p.51).
I The complement of U in P2 is the projective line defined by z = 0 which we
can identify with PI via the map

Lemma 2.30 A projective curve In other words Pz is the disjoint union of a copy of C 2 and a copy of PI
which we think of as "at infinityn.
C = { [ x , Y, z] E P2 : P(x, y, z) = 0)

in Pl is compact and Hausdorf. I Let P(x, y, z) be a nonwnstant homogeneous polynomial of degree d. Un-
der the identification of U with C2 just described, the intersection with U of
the projective curve 6 defined by P is the affine curve in C 2 defined by the
Proof. In order to show that C is compact, by 2.12(iv) and proposition 2.18
it suffices to show that C is a closed subset of Pl. By 2.16(i) this happens if
and only if
II inhomogeneous polynomial in two variables

P(x, Y, 1).
II"(C) = {(x, y, z) E C3 - (0) : P(x, Y, Z) = 0) This polynomial has degree d provided that z is not a factor of P(x, y, z) (i.e.
provided that & does not contain the line z = 0).
is a closed subset of Cn+l- (0). This is true since polynomials are continuous.
Any subset of a Hausdorff space is Hausdorff so the result follows from --
.Conversely if Q(x, y) is an inhomogeneous polynomial of degree d in two
variables x and y, say
I &(x, Y) = ar,8xr~8

then the affine curve C defined by Q(?,y) is the intersection of U (identified


2.4 AfRne and projective curves with C2) with the projective curve C in P2 defined by the homogeneous
polynomial
Complex algebraic curves

C = {(x,y) E C2 : Q(x, y) = 0)
in C2 are often called afine curves to distinguish them from projective curves 1 The intersection of this projective curve with the line at infinity z = 0 is the
set of points
r d-r ,
t [x, Y, 01 E P2 : ar,d-tX Y - 0).
O<r<d
2.4. AFFINE AND PROJECTWE CURVES 45
44 CHAPTER 2 FOUNDATIONS
Given this lemma we can complete the proof of lemma 2.31. The point
By lemma 2.8 the homogeneous polynomial (:, t)is a singular point of C if and only if
r d-r
ar,d-rx y
O<r_<d

can be factorised as a product of linear factors


Since P(x, y, z) and its partial derivatives are homogeneous and c # 0 this
happens if and only if t

ap ap
P(4, b, c) = 0 = -(a, b, c) = -(a, b, c),
The lines defined by ax ay
crix +piy = 0 and Euler's relation tells us that this happens if and only if
are by definition the asymptotes to the curve in C2 defined by Q. These lines
correspond to points [-pi, a;] in P I ; when PI is identified with the line z = 0
in P2 these points are precisely the points of C - C.
i.e. if and only if [a, b, c] is a singular point of 6.
In this way we get a bijective correspondence between affine curves C in The intersection of C2 identified with U and the projective tangent line
C2 and projective curves 6 in P2not containing the line at infinity z = 0.
If 6 is nonsingular then so is C but the converse is not necessarily true:
6 may have singular points at infinity even when C is nonsingular. More is the line in C 2 defined by
precisely we have the following result.

Lemma 2.31 Let [a, b, c] be a point of the projective curve


6 = {[x,y, z] E P2 : P(x, y, z) = 0). By the homogeneity of the partial derivatives and Euler's relation again this
is precisely the tangent line
If c # 0 then [a, b, c] is a nonsingular point of 6 if and only if (q, !) ba
nonsingular point of the afine curve
c = {(x,y) E c2: P(x, y, 1) = 0).
Moreover the intersection of C 2 identified with
I
It remains to prove Euler's relation.
1

i
Proof of lemma 2.32. Euler's relation is obtained by differentiating the
and the projective tangent line at [a, b,c] to 6 in P2 is the tangent line at identity
t)
(i, to c in c'. R(Xx, Xy, Xz) = Am R(x, y, z)
with respect to X and then setting X = 1. 0
Proof. For the proof we need
Remark 2.33 In a similar way definitions such as those given in $2.1 of
Lemma 2.32 (Euler's Relation) If R(x, y, z) is a homogeneous polyno- the multiplicity and tangent lines of singular points on a f i e curves can be
mial of degree m then modified to apply to projective curves so that the definitions respect the iden-
tification of projective curves with affine curves together with extra "points
at infinityn (cf. exercise 2.8).
46 CHAPTER 2. FOUNDATIONS 2.5. EXERCISES 47

2.5 Exercises + +
for some i, j, k such that i j k = m. Find the singular points and the
multiplicities of the singular points of the following projective curves.
2.1. Show that the subset of C2 consisting of points of the form (a). + +
xy4 yz4 xz4 = 0.
(b). + +
x2y3 x2z3 y2z3 = 0.
(c). y2z = z(x - z)(x - Xz), X E C.
is a complex algebraic curve. (d). +
xn yn.+ zn = 0, n > 0.
2.9. For which values of X E C are the following projective curves in P2
2.2. Find the singular points, and the tangent lines at the singular points, of
each of the following curves in C2: nonsingular? Describe the singularities when they exist.
+ + +
(a). y3 - y2 x3 - x2 3y2x 3x2y 2xy = 0.+ + + +
(a). x3 y3 z3 3Xxyz = 0.
(b). x 4 + y 4 -x2y2 = 0. + + +
(b). ~3 y3 z3 X(X y + + = 0.
(c). y2 = x3 - x. 2.10. Suppose nine distinct points in P2 are given, and that they do not all
2.3. If P(x, y) is a polynomial of degree d and a and b are complex numbers, lie on any line in P2. Suppose that any straight line which passes through two
show that P(x, y) is given by of these points also passes through a third. Show that there is a projective
transformation taking these points to the points

2.4. Let (a, b) be a singular point of an affine curve C in C 2 defined by a


polynomial P(x, y). Show that (a, b) is an ordinary double point if and only +
for some a E C. Show that a2- a 1 - 0. Show also that a projective curve
of degree 3 passes through these nine points if and only if it is defined by a
polynomial of the form
+ + +
x3 y3 z3 ~ X X Y Z
at the point (a, b). for some X E C U (oo), and it is singular precisely when
2.5. Let C be an affine curve defined by a polynomial P(x, y) of degree d.'
.Show that if (a, b) is a point of multiplicity d in C then P(x, y) is a product
of d linear factors, so C is the union of d lines through (a, b). in which case it is the union of three lines in P2.
2.6. (a). Show that the union of finitely many affine curves in C2 is an a f h e 2.11. Show that the complex line in P2through the points [O,1,1] and [t, O,1]
curve. meets the projective curve C defined by
(b). Show that the union of finitely many projective curves in the projective
plane is a projective curve.
2.7. Show that a complex algebraic curve in C2 is never compact. [Hint: +
in the two points [O,1,1] and [2t, t2 - 1, t2 11. Show that there is a bijection
recall that a subset of C2 is compact if and only if it is closed and bounded. from the complex line defined by y = 0 to C given by
Show that if P(x, y) is any nonconstant polynomial with complex coefficients
then for all but at most finitely many values of a E C there exists b E C such
that P(a, b) = 01.
and
2.8. The multiplicity at a point [a,b,c] of a projective curve C defined by !l,O,OI !O,l, 11.
P(x, y, z) = 0 is the smallest integer m such that
Deduce that the complex solutions to Pythagoras' equation
!
, 2.5. EXERCISES
48 CHAPTER 2. FOUNDATIONS
Deduce that C has a rational point if and only if the same is true of the curve
are
defined by
x = 2Ap, y = A2 - p2, z = X2 + p2
+
alx2 by2 = z2.
with A,p E C. Show that the real solutions are
(e). Show that if ) a )> 1 then a1 )<I a 1, and thus the problem is reduced
+
to one of the same form in which 1 a I I b I is smaller. Deduce that the
argument can be repeated until either b fails to be a square modulo a or we
with A,p E R, and the integer solutions are reach the situation
l a )=I b ) = 1,
in which case the curve has a rational point if and only if at least one of a
where A and p are coprime integers, not both odd, and v E Z, or and b is positive.
2.13. Suppose that C is a nonsingular projective curve of degree two in P2
defined by a polynomial with rational coefficients and that C has a rational
point p (cf. exercise 2.12). Show that there is a bijection from the set of
where X and p are coprime odd integers and v E Z. rational points of C to the set of rational points of a projective line given by
2.12. Let C be a nonsingular projective curve of degree two in P2defined by stereographic projection (cf. exercise 2.11). [If L is any line in P2defined by
a polynomial with rational coefficients. Use the following steps to obtain an a linear polynomial with rational coefficients and which does not contain p,
algorithm which decides whether or not C has any rationalpoints, i.e. whether then stereographic projection from p onto L associates to any point q E C
there is a point of C which can be represented by rational homogeneous the unique point of intersection of L with the line through p and q if p # q,
coordinates (or equivalently by integral homogeneous coordinates). or the tangent line to C at p if p = q].

(a). Use the theory of the diagonalisation of quadratic forms to show that 2.14. Let p be any odd prime. If A E Z we can reduce X modulo p and define
there is a projective transformation defined by a matrix with rational coeffi- the reduction modulo p of the projective curve C of degree three defined by
cients taking C to the curve defined by

to be the subset of the projective plane P((Fp)3) over the finite field F, =
for some a, b E Q - (0). ZlpZ defined by the corresponding equation. Show that for given x E F, the
equation
(b). Show that by making an additional diagonal transformation we can y2 = x(x - 1)(x - A)
assume that a and b are integers with no square factors, i.e. each is a product
of distinct primes. Show that we may also assume that I a 121b I. has one solution if x = 0 , l or A, two solutions if
(c). Show that if C has a rational point then b is a square modulo p for every (X(X- I)(%- A))(p-')I2 E 1 (mod p)
prime p dividing a. Deduce from the Chinese remainder theorem that b is a
square modulo a, so there are integers m, a1 such that I m 121a 1 /2 and and no solutions otherwise, in which case
m2 = b + aal. =
(x(x - 1)(x - x ) ) ( ~ - ' ) / ~ -1 (mod p).
(d). Show that if m2 = b + aal and [Hint: recall that the multiplicative group of any finite field is cyclic]. Deduce
ax2 + by2 = z2 that the number of points in the reduction of C modulo p is

then 1 + C (1 + (z(x - l)(x - A))(p-')I2.


al(z2 - by2)2+ b(my - = (mz - by)2x2.
50 CHAPTER 2. FOUNDATIONS

By expanding (x(x - l)(x - x))(P-')/~ as a polynomial in x and using the


formulas
0 (modp) ifp-1,fI
-1 (modp) if p - 1 1 1
show that the nilmber of points in the reduction of C modulo p is

1 + p + (-l)('--')b C
(p-1)/2

r=O
( 7) Y.
Algebraic properties
In this chapter we shall study some of the algebraic properties of complex
algebraic curves. In $3.1 we shall investigate the way in which two com-
plex projective curves in P2 can meet each other. In $3.2 we shall study
the 'inflection points" of a complex projective curve and show that every
nonsingular projective curve of degree three is equivalent under a projective
transformation to one defined by

for some A E C - ( 0 , l ) .

3.1 B6aout's theorem


In this section we shall study the way in which two projective curves C and D
in P2can intersect. We shall see that C and D always intersect in at least one
point, and that if C and D have no common component then they intersect
in at most nm points where n is the degree of C and m is the degree of D.
We shall also see that C and D meet in exactly nm points if every point of
C n D is a nonsingular point of both C and D and the tangent lines .to C and
D at such points are distinct. These results are different cases of the theorem
usually known by the name of an eighteenth century French mathematician
BCzoutl.

We shall be able to prove a more general result about the number of points
of intersection of C and D once we have defined the intersection multiplicity
Ip(C,D)of C and D at a point p. This is defined to be infinity if p lies on
a common component of C and D,and otherwise it is a nonnegative integer
'The reasons for giving BCzout's name to this theorem are not entirely clear, since
although BCzout gave a proof of the theorem it was neither correct nor the first proof to
be given.
52 CHAPTER 3. ALGEBRAIC PROPERTIES

which is zero precisely when p does not belong to C n D. We shall show that of P and Q with respect to x is defined as a determinant in exactly the same
I,(C, D) is one if and only if p is a nonsingular point of both C and D and the way as Rp,g was defined above but with ai(y,z) and bj(y,z) replacing ai and
tangent lines to C and D at p are distinct. The strongest form of BQzout's bj for 0 5 i 2 n and 0 <_ j 5 m. Note that 7Zpto(y,z) is a polynomial in y
theorem can then be expressed as follows. and z whose value when y = b and z = c is the resultant of the polynomials
P(x, b, c ) and Q(z, b, c ) in x, provided that a,(b, c) and b,(b, c) are nonzerot.
Theorem 3.1 (BBzout's theorem) If C and D are two projective curves The following lemmas, whose proofs will be postponed to the end of the
of degrees n and m in P2which have no common component then they have section, indicate why resultants are useful in the study of the intersection of
precisely nm points of intersection counting multiplicities; i.e. projective curves in P2.

I,(C, D ) = nm. Lemma 3.3 Let P(x) and Q(x) be polynomiaki in x. Then P(x) and Q(x)
pECnD have a nonconstant common factor if and only i f

The crucial ingredient in our proof of B6zout's theorem is the concept of


a resultant (sometimes called an eliminant).
Lemma 3.4 Let P(x, y , z ) and Q(x, y, 9 ) be nonconstant homogeneous poly-
Definition 3.2 Let nomials in x, y , z such that

Then P(x, y, z ) and Q(x, y, z) have a nonconstant homogeneous common fac-


where ao, ...,a, E C , a, # 0 , and tor if and only if the polynomial R ~ , ~ ( y , in
z )y and z is identically zero.

Remark 3.5 The reason for the requirement that


where bo, ...,bm € El b,,, # 0, be polynomials of degrees n and m in x. The
+ +
resultant R p , ~of P and Q is the determinant of the m n by m n matrix
in this lemma is to ensure that the polynomials P(x, y, z) and Q(x, y, z) have
the same degree when regarded as polynomials in x with coefficients in the
ring C [ y ,z] of polynomials in y and z as they do when regarded as polynomials
in x, y and z together.

Lemma 3.6 I f
P(x) = (X- A l ) ...(x - An)
and
Q(x) = (X- PI).,.(X- ~ m )
where X I , ...
A,, pl,...,pm are comptez numbers, then

and In particular
Q(x, y , z ) = bo(y, t.) i-
bi(y,2)s + ...+ b m ( ~ , ~ ) ~ ~
RP,QR= RP,QRP,R
are polynomials in three variables x, y, z then. the resultant when P, Q and R are polynomials in x. The corresponding result is also true
when P, Q and R are polynomials in x, y and z.
54 CHAPTER 3. ALGEBRAIC PROPERTIES 3.1. B,?~%oUT'S THEOREM 55

Lemma 3.7 Let P(x, y, z) and Q(x, y, z) be homogeneow polynomials of de- But if [a, b, c] E S then P(a, b, c) = 0 = Q(a, b, c) and b and c are not both
grees n and m in x, y, z. Then the resultant 'Rp,g(y, a) is a homogeneous zero (because [I, 0,O] does not belong to S) so bz- y is a factor of Rp,g(y, z).
polynomial of degree nm in y and z. -
Moreover if [cr, P, y] E S is distinct from (a, b, c] E S then pz r y is not a
Assuming these lemmas, we can prove scalar multiple of bz- y, because otherwise [a, b, c], [a,P,7] and [I, 0, O] would
all lie on the line in P2 defined by
Theorem 3.8 Any two projective curves C and D in P2 intersect in at least
one point. bz = y
which contradicts the assumption on [I, 0,0]. This shows that Rp,g(g, a) has
Proof. Let C and D be defined by homogeneous polynomials P(x, y, z ) and
Q(x, y,z) of degrees n and m. By lemma 3.7 the resultant Rp,g(y,z) is a
+
at least n m 1 distinct linear factors, so it must be identically zero. By
lemma 3.4 this implies that C and D have a common component. 0
homogeneous polynomial of degree nm in y and a. Therefore by lemma 2.8
R p , g ( y , ~ )is either identically zero or it is the product of nm linear factors The next results are all applications of these two theorems.
bz - y with b, c complex numbers, not both zero. In either case there exists Corollary 3.10 (i) A nonsingular projective curve C in P2 is irreducible.
(b, c) E C 2 - (0) such that R ~ , Q ( z) Y ,vanishes when y = b and z = c. This (ii) An irreducible projective curve C in P2has at most finitely many singular
means that the resultant of the polynomials P(x, b, c) and Q(x, b, c) in x is points.
zero, so by lemma 3.3 these polynomials have a common root a E C . Then
Proof. (i) Let

so [a, b , ~ ]E C n D. o
be a reducible projective curve in P2. Then by theorem 3.8 there is at least
We can also prove one point [a, b, c] E Pz such that
Theorem 3.9 (Weak form of B6zout's theorem). If two projective P(a, b, c) = 0 = &(a, b, c).
curves C and D in P2 of degrees n and m have no common component then
they intersect in at most nm points. It is easy to check that [a, b, c] is a singular point of C.
(ii) Let C be defined by a homogeneous polynomial P(x, y, z) of degree n.
+
Proof. Suppose that C and D have at least nm 1 points of intersection. Without loss of generality we may assume that [I, 0,0] does not belong to
We shall show that C and D have a common component. Choose any set S
+
of nm 1 distinct points in C n D. Then we can choose a point in P2which
C so the coefficient P ( l , 0,O) of xn in P(x, y, z) is not equal to zero. This
ensures that
does not lie on C or on D or on any of the finitely many lines in P2passing
through two distinct points of S. By applying a projective transformation we Q(x, Y, 2) = (aP/ax)(z, Y, 2)
may assume that this point is [I, 0,0]. Then the curves C and D are defined is a homogeneous polynomial of degree n - 1 which is not identically zero
by homogeneous polynomials P ( x , y, z) and Q(x, y, z) of degrees n and m .
and hence defines a curve D in Pz Since C is irreducible and the degree
such that of D is strictly less than the degree of C the curves C and D can have no
P(l,O,O) # 0 # Q(l,O,O) common component. Hence by Bkzout's theorem C and D intersect in at
most n(n - 1) points. As every singular point of C lies in C n D the result
because [1,0,0] does not belong to C U D. By lemma 3.7 the resultant follows. a
Rp,g(y,~)of P and Q with respect to x is a homogeneous polynomial of
degree n m in y and z, so if R p , ~ ( y , z is
) not identically zero then it is the
product of nm linear factors of the form bz - cy where (b,c) E C2 - (0). 1 Definition 3.11 A conic is a curve of degree two in C2 or P2.

Moreover if (b, c) E C 2 - (0) then bz - cy is a factor of RqQ(y, z) if and only


if the resultant of the polynomials P(x, b, c) and Q(x, b, c) in x vanishes, and
hence by lemma 3.3 if and only if there is some a E C such that
I Corollary 3.12 Any irreducible projective conic C in P2 is equivalent under
a projective transformation to the conic
x2 = yz.

I and in particular is nonsingular.


CHAPTER 3. ALGEBRAIC PROPERTIES 3.1. B ~ Z O
UT'S THEOREM

Proof. By corollary 3.10, C has at most finitely many singular points. Thus respectively. Choose a point [a, b,c] on E which does not lie on C n D. Then
by applying a suitable projective transformation we may assume that [O, 1,0] the curve of degree n defined by
is a nonsingular point of C and that the tangent line to C at [O, 1,0] is the
line z = 0. Then C must be defined by a polynomial of the form +
A P ( x , Y , ~ ) PQ(x,Y,2)

ayz + bx2 + cxz + dz2 where


A = Q(a, b, c), p = -P(a, b, c),
for some complex numbers a, b, c, d. Since C is irreducible, a and b are both +
meets E in at least nm 1 points, namely [a, b,c] and the nm points of
nonzero. The projective transformation C n D which lie on E by hypothesis. Then by theorem 3.9 (the weak form of
Bkzout7stheorem) this curve and E must have a common component, which
[x, Y, z] I-' [Jbx,ay + ca: + dt, -z] must be E itself because E is irreducible. Thus
takes C to the conic x2 = yz. Since this conic is nonsingular it follows that
C is nonsingular as well. 0
for some nonconstant homogeneous polynomial S(x, y, z) of degree n - m.
Remark 3.13 Let C be the nonsingular conic defined by Hence if [u,v,w] E C n D then either R(u,v,w) = 0 or S(u,v,w) = 0.
Therefore the n(n - m) points of C n D which do not lie on E must all lie on
the curve defined by S(x, y, z). 0

in P2 . There is a homeomorphism f : PI -+ C given by Corollary 3.15 (Pascal's mystic hexagon). The pairs of opposite sides
of a hezagon inscribed in an irreducible conic in P2 meet in three collinear
f[x,yl = [xy,y2,x21 points.
with inverse g : C -+ PI given by
Remark 3.16 This result is to be interpreted as follows. A .hexagon in Pz
is simply determined by six distinct points pl, ...,p6 in P2 (its vertices) and
its sides are the lines in P2joining pl to p2, pz to p3, pa to p4, p4 to ps, p~
to p6 and p6 and pl. The side opposite the line joining pl to pz is the line
(Note that if [x, y, z] E C then x2 = yz so if y # 0 # z then x # 0 and joining pl to p ~ and, so on. The hexagon is said to be inscribed in a conic
if its vertices lie on the conic. Three points of P2 are said to be collinear if
[x, YI = [x21XYI = [YZ,XYI = [z, 21). they all lie on some line in P2.
Thus by corollary 3.12 any irreducible projective conic in Pzis homeomorphic Proof of corollary 3.15. Let the successive sides of the hexagon be the lines
to PI. ..
defined by linear polynomials L1,. ,L6 in x , y, z. The two projective curves
of degree three defined by L1L3L5 and L2L4L6intersect in the six vertices of
The next result is another application of B6mut's theorem. the hexagon and the three points of intersection of the opposite sides of the
hexagon. The result now follows immediately from proposition 3.14. 0
Proposition 3.14 If two projective curves C and D of degrees n in Pz inter-
sect in exactly n2 points and if exactly nm of these points lie on an irreducible Remark 3.17 If we assume that the conic is defined by a polynomial with
curve E of degree m < n then the remaining n(n - m) points lie on a curve real coefficients and the vertices of the hexagon lie in the subset R 2 of C 2 C Pz
of degree at most n - m. then we obtain a theorem about real Euclidean geometry (figure 3.1).

I
Proof. Let C, D and E be defined by the homogeneous polynomials
In order to prove the stronger form 3.1 of Bkzout's theorem, we must first
P(x, Y 21, &(x,Y,~ ) , R ( X , Y
2), define the intersection multiplicity I,(C, D) at a point p = [a, b,c] of two
[
58 CHAPTER 3. ALGEBRAIC PROPERTIES 3.1. BEZOUT'S THEOREM

curves C and D in P2. We shall define the intersection multiplicity by using


the resultant of the polynomials f ( x , y,z) and g(x,y, z ) defining C and D in
a suitable coordinate system. In order to show that the definition is indepen-
dent of the choice of coordinates we show that it is uniquely determined by
the properties listed in the following theorem.

Theorem 3.18 There is a unique intersection multiplicity Ip(C,D ) defined


for all projective curves C and D in P2 satisfying the following properties
(i)-(vi) .
(i). Ip(ClD ) = I p ( D I C ) .
(ii). I,(C, D ) = oo if p lies on a common component of C and D , and
otherwise Ip(C,D ) is a nonnegative integer.
(iii). Ip(C,D ) = 0 if and only if p 4 C n D.
(iv). Two distinct lines meet with intersection multiplicity one at their unique
point of intersection.
*
(v). If Cl and C2 are defined by homogeneous polynomials Pl(x, y, z ) and
Pz(x,y, z ) and C is defined by

then
Ip(C,D ) = Ip(Ci,D ) + Ip(c2, D).

I (vi). If C and D are defined by homogeneous polynomials P ( x , y , z ) and


Q ( x ,y,z) of degrees n and m and E is defined by P R + Q where R ( x , y , z ) is
homogeneous of degree m - n then

Figure 3.1 : Pascal's mystic hexagon


I Moreover if C and D have no common component and we choose projective
coordinates so that the conditions
(a). [1,0,0] does not belong to C U D;
(b). [ I , 0,0] does not lie on any line containing two distinct points of C fI D;
(c). [1,0,0] does not lie on the tangent line to C or D at any point of C nD;

I are satisfied then the intersection multiplicity &(C,D ) o j C and D at any

I is the largest integer k such that (bz - cy)' divides the resultant RPtQ(y,2 ) .
60 CHAPTER 3. ALGEBRAIC PROPERTIES
0 THEOREM
3.1. ~ $ 2 UT'S 61

Remark 3.19 A careful study of the uniqueness proof in this theorem will and by repeated use of (v) and (ii)
reveal that for the proof to be valid we need to allow curves to have multiple
components; i.e. the polynomials defining them may have repeated factors
Ip(Y, xPT(x,z)) = qIp(tl, 5) + IP(Y, T(x, 2)) = q.
(see remarks 2.3 and 2.25). In fact all the arguments of this chapter apply Hence
without alteration to curyes with multiple components. Ip(P, Q) = I,(& Q) q, +
Proof of theorem 3.18. To simplify notation in this proof we shall write and since q > 0 our inductive hypothesis tells us that Ip(R,Q) can be calcu-
Ip(P,Q) instead of Ip(C,D) when P(x, y,z) and Q(x, y, z) are homogeneous lated using only the conditions (i)-(vi).
polynomials defining the curves C and D. Case 2: r > 0. In this case we can multiply P(x, y, z) and Q(z, y, z) by
First we shall show that the intersection multiplicity Ip(P, Q) can be cal- constants to make the polynomials P(s, 0 , l ) and Q(x, 0,l) in s monic. If n
culated using only the conditions (i)-(vi), so that these conditions determine and m are the degrees of P(x, y, z) and Q(z, y, z) consider the polynomial
Ip(P,Q) completely. Since the conditions are independent of the choice of
coordinates we may assume that p = [O, 0,1]. Moreover we may assume that S(x, y, z) = ant'-'Q(x, y, z) - xa"zmP(x, y, z).
P and Q are irreducible by (i) and (v), that I,(P, Q) is finite by (ii), and
that Ip(P,Q) = k > 0 by (iii). Finally by induction on k we may assume that This is constructed to be a homogeneous polynomial in s,y, z such that the
any intersection multiplicity strictly less than k can be calculated using only polynomial
the conditions (i)-(vi). S(x, 0, 1) = Q(x, 0 , l ) - 5'-'P(x, 0 , l )
Consider the polynomials P(x,O,l) and Q(x,O,l) in x; let them have in x has degree t strictly less than s. Note that S(x, y, z) is not identically
degrees r and s respectively. By (i) we may assume that r 5 s. There are zero since by assumption P(x, y, z) and Q(x, y, z) are irreducible and distinct.
two cases to consider. Moreover by (i), (v) and (vi)
Case 1: r = 0. In this case P(x, 0 , l ) is constant and hence zero because Ip(P,S ) = Ip(P,znta-'Q) = Ip(P,Q).
P(O,O, 1) = 0. Since P(x, y, z) is a homogeneous polynomial it follows that
P(x, 0, z) is identically zero, and hence that Now replace P and Q by P and S (or by S and P if t < r). After repeating
this process a finite number of times we reach the situation of Case 1.
P(x,Y,2) = YR(x,y,z)
This completes the uniqueness part of the proof. To prove existence, let
for some homogeneous polynomial R(x, y, z). Moreover we can write us define the intersection multiplicity Ip(C, D) as follows.
Q ( x , Y , ~ ) = Q ( x , O , ~+.Y
) S(X,Y,~)=X~T(X,~)+YS(X,Y,~) r ~f p lies on a common component of C and D then Ip(C, D) =
for some homogeneous polynomials T(x, z) and S(x, y, z) such that T(0,l) is l D then I,,(C, D) = 0.
r If p does not belong to C t
not equal to zero, and some integer q which is positive since Q(0,0,1) = 0.
Note that the condition T(0,l) # 0 means that the point p = [O, 0,1] does r If p belongs to C nD but does not lie on a common component of
not lie on the curve defined by T(x, z) = 0, and hence by (iii) that C and D, first remove any common components from C and D and
then choose coordinates such that the conditions (a)-(c) are satisfied.
If p = [a, b, c] in these coordinates then I,(C, D) is the largest integer k
such that (bz - divides the resultant 'Q,Q(Y,z ) of P and Q with
whereas from (iv) we have
respect to x.
IP(Y,x)= 1.
Putting this information together, from (v) we obtain It remains to show that the conditions (i)-(vi) are now satisfied.
(i) is a direct consequence of the fact that interchanging two rows of a deter-
Ip(P, Q) = Ip(R, Q) + Ip(y, Q), minant changes its sign and hence
from (vi) we get
Ip(y9 Q) = &(Y,xqT(x,2))
62 CHAPTER 3. ALGEBRAIC PROPERTIES 3.1. BEZOUT~STHEOREM 63

We may choose coordinates so that the conditions (a)-(c) of theorem 3.18 are
'
(ii) follows from the definition and lemma 3.4. satisfied. Let C and D be defined by the homogeneous polynomials P(z, y, z)
and Q(x, y, z) in this coordinate system. By lemmas 3.4 and 3.7 the resultant
(iii) is easy. If p = [a, b, c] E C n D then the polynomials P(x, b, c) and R p , ~ ( yz)
, is a homogeneous polynomial of degree nm in the two variables y
Q(x, b, c) have a common root a, so by lemma 3.4 the homogeneous poly- and z, not identically zero, so by lemma 2.8 it can be expressed as a product
, vanishes when y = b and z = c. Hence it is divisible by
nomial R p , ~ ( yz) of nm linear factors,
bz - cy, so Ip(C, D) > 0.
(iv) is a straightforward calculation with two-by-two determinants.
\
(v) follows immediately from lemma 3.6.
(vi) is true because a determinant is unchanged by the addition of a scalar say, where each ei is a positive integer,
+
multiple of one row to another. The resultant of P and P R Q is the detei-
minant of a matrix (sij) obtained from the matrix (rij) defining R p , ~ ( yz),
by the addition of suitable scalar multiples of the first n rows to the last m
rows. More precisely, if and (bi, ci) is not a scalar multiple of (bj, c,) when i # j. By the argument
used to prove theorems 3.8 and 3.9 there exist unique complex numbers ai
such that
CnD={pi: 1 5 i I k )
then
where pi = [ai, bi ,ci],and
Ipi(C, D) = ei.
so that The result follows.
RP,PR+Q(Y, 2) = det(sij) = det(rij) = RP,Q(Y,~).
We can now describe exactly when the intersection multiplicity Ip(C, D)
This completes the proof of the theorem and the definition of the inter-
is one.
section multiplicity Ip(C,D). 0
Proposition 3.22 Let C and D be projective curves in P2 and let p be any
Remark 3.20 The uniqueness part of this proof shows that the calculation point in Pz.Then Ip(C, D) = 1 if and only if p is a nonsingular point of C
of intersection multiplicities is not difficult. It only involves some simple and of D and the tangent lines to C and D at p are distinct.
arithmetic manipulation of polynomials.
Remark 3.23 The proof of this proposition can be extended to show that
Remark 3.21 It is a consequence of (iii) and (v) that the intersection multi- in general
plicity Ip(C, D) depends only on those components of C and D which contain
IP(C, D)2 mp(C)mp(D)
P.
where mp(C) and mp(D) are the multiplicities of C and D at p as defined in
We can now prove theorem 3.1, the strong form of Bkzout's theorem. exercise 2.8, and that equality holds if and only if C and D have no tangent
lines in common.
Proof of theorem 3.1. Let C and D be projective curves of degrees n and
m in P2 with no common component. w e must prove that the-number of
points of intersection counting multiplicities is nm, i.e. that
I In order to prove proposition 3.22 we first need to prove the following
lemma.

p€CnD
Ip(C,D) = nm.
I Lemma 3.24 If p E C n D is a singular point of C then Ip(C, D) > 1.
3.1. B ~ Z O U T ' STHEOREM 65
64 CHAPTER 3. ALGEBRAIC PROPERTIES

Proof. We may assume that C and D have no common component, and


hence we may choose coordinates such that p = [0,0,1] and the conditions
(a)-(c) of theorem 3.18 hold. We wish to show that y2 divides the resultant
RpVQ(y, z ) of the polynomials P(x, y, z ) and Q(x,y, z ) defining C and D. Therefore by the implicit function theorem for complex polynomials (see Ap-
Since p E Sing(C) we have pendix B) applied to the polynomial P ( x , y , 1 ) in x and y, there is a holo-
morphic function A1 : U -+ V where U and V are open neighbourhoods of 0
in C such that
A1(0)= 0
Hence P ( x , y, z ) is a sum of monomials all of degree at least two in x and y; and if x E V and y E U then

where y2 divides ao(y,z ) and y divides al(y,z). Also Q(O,0 , l ) = 0 so if and only if
x = AI(Y).
Q ( z , y ,2) = ~ o ( Y2), + bl(y,z)x + ...+ bm(y,z)zm Moreover
where y divides k ( y , z). Thus we can write P ( x , Y , ~= ) ( X - Al(Y))l(z,Y)
where l(x,y) is a polynomial in x whose coefficients are holomorphic functions
of y. If we assume as we may that the coefficient P(l,O,O) of xn in P ( x , y, a )
and is one then n
-
Z ( X , Y ) = n ( z Ai(y))
ir2
for some homogeneous polynomials co( y, z ) and q ( y,2). If k1= 0 then the
where Al(y),..., A,(y) are the roots of P ( x ,y , l ) regarded as a pol~nomial
first column of the determinant defining Rp,Q(y,z) is divisible by y2 and in s with y fixed. Similarly if U and V are chosen small enough there is a
hence y2 divides R P , ~ (2 Y , required. If b1# 0 then the first column is
) as
holomorphic function ,ul :U -,V such that
divisible by y; if we take out this factor y and subtract blo/bol times the first
column from the second column then the second column becomes divisible by ,u1(0)= 0
y. Hence again y2 divides RpVq(y, z).
and we can write
Proof of proposition 3.22. We may assume that p belongs to C n D and Q(x,Y, 1 ) = ( X - P I ( Y ) ) ~ ( xY, )
that C and D have no common component. Thus we may choose coordinates
such that the conditions (a)-(c) of theorem 3.18 are satisfied and p = [0,0,1]. where
By corollary 3.10 we may also assume that p is a nonsingular point of C and
of 13. Let P ( x , Y , z ) and Q ( x , y , z) be the polynomials defining C and D. We
~ ( x , Y=) n(s-
m

ie2
P~(Y))

wish to show that the tangent lines to C and D at p coincide if and only if is a polynomial in z whose coefficients are holomorphic functions of y. Then
y2 divides the resultant R p t Q ( y ,z ) , or equivalently if and only if the tangent lines to C and D at p = [O, 0,1] are defined by the equations

and
since RP,*( y,z ) is homogeneous and divisible by y. x =P:(~)Y.
By (c) of theorem 3.18, the point [ I , 0,0] does not lie on the tangent line
If y E U then by lemma 3.6
CHAPTER 3. ALGEBRAIC PROPERTIES 3.1. B ~ Z O U T 'THEOREM
S

where Remark 3.26 Even if we allow curves to be defined by polynomials with


S(Y) = n
(i$)#(1,1)
MY) -A~(Y)). repeated factors, the conditions of this corollary are never satisfied if either
of the polynomials P(x,y , t ) and Q(x,y, z ) defining C and D have repeated
Note that S(y) is the product of the resultants of the pairs of polynomials factors. For suppose P(x, y , z ) = A(x, y, z ) ~ B ( xy,,z ) where A(x,y , z ) is a
-
l(x,y) and m(x,y), l(x,y ) and x - pl(y), and m(x,y) and x Al(y). Hence nonconstant irreducible polynomial. Then the curve defined by A(x, y , t )
meets D in at least one point p. It is easy to check that p E C n D and all
S(y) is a holomorphic function of y E U.
Since Al(0) = 0 = p l ( 0 ) we obtain on differentiating equation 3.2 that the partial derivatives of P vanish at p.

We shall finish this section by proving lemmas 3.3-3.7.

Proof of lemma 3.3. Let


It follows from the inequality 3.1 that the polynomial P(x, 0 , l ) does not have
repeated roots at 0 so if i > 1 then P(x) = a. + alx + ...+ anxn
xi(())# 0 = pl(0) and
Q ( x ) = bo + bit + ...+ bmxm
and similarly
be polynomials of degrees n and m in x. Then P(x) and Q(x) have a non-
/li(o) # 0 = Al(0). constant common factor R(x) if and only if there exist polynomials 4(x) and
Moreover if Ai(0) = pj(0) for some i, j > 1 then [O,0,1]and $(x) such that
p(x) = R ( X ) + ( XQ(4
) , = R(x)+(x).
[Xi(O),O,ll = [ ~ j ( o ) , o , l I This happens if and only if there exist nonzero polynomials
are distinct points of C f l D both lying on the line y = 0, which contradicts
condition (b) of theorem 3.18. Hence
and

Thus of degrees at most n - 1 and rn - 1, such that

P(.)+(x) = Q(x)#(x).
if and only if Equating the coefficients of xj in this equation for 0 < j 5 mn - 1, we find
X(0) = ~ : ( o ) ,
aoPo = boa0
i.e. I,(C, D) > 1 if and only if the tangents to C and D at p coincide. 0 aoPl + ad30 = blao + boa1
. . .
Corollary 3.25 Let C and D be projective curves in P2of degrees n and m. ~ ~ P m - 1= bman-1.
Suppose that every p E C f l D is a'nonsingular point o f C and of D, and that The existence of a nonzero solution
the tangent lines to C and D at p are distinct. Then the intersection C n D
consists of ezactly nm points. (a09...,~n-l,Po, --a, Pm-1)

Proof. This follows directly from theorem 3.1 and proposition 3.22. 0 to these equations is equivalent to the vanishing of the determinant which
defines R p , ~a.
3.1. BEZOUT'S THEOREM 69
68 CHAPTER 3. ALGEBRAIC PROPERTIES
so that Q ( x ) = xm then
Proof of lemma 3.4. Let P ( x , y , z ) and Q(x,y, z ) be nonconstant homoge- n
neous polynomials in x , y , z of degrees n and m such that RP,Q = I ' I ( - x i ) m e
i=l
P(l,O,O) # 0 # Q(1,0,0). % Hence we must have
RP,Q = n ( p i - xi).
We may assume that P ( l ,0,O) = 1 = Q(1,0,0). Then we can regard P and i3
Q as monic polynomials of degrees n and m in x with coefficients in the ring It follows immediately that
C[y,z] of polynomials in y and z with complex coefficients. This ring C [ y ,z]

I
is contained in the field C ( y ,z ) of rational functions of y and z , i.e. functions RP,QR
= RP,QRP,R
of the form
- f(y,z) whenever P, Q, R are polynomials in x . Therefore if P, Q, R are polynomials
in x, y, z we have
g(~,z)
where f ( y , z ) and g ( y ,z ) are polynomials and g ( y , z ) is not identically zero.
~ ,= R P , Q ( c~ ), ~ P , RC() ~ ,
R P , Q R (c)
Since C ( y , z ) is a field the proof of lemma 3.3 shows that the resultant
R~=,Q(Y, z ) vanishes identically if and only if P ( x ,y, z ) and Q(x,y , z ) have for all b, c E C , and so
a nonconstant common factor when regarded as polynomials in x with coef-
ficients in C ( y ,a). It follows from the Gauss lemma (see Appendix A) that
this happens if and only if P ( x ,y, z ) and Q(x,y, z ) have a nonconstant com-
as required. 0
mon factor when regarded as polynomials in x with coefficients in C [ y,z], or
equivalently as polynomials in x , y,z with coefficients in C. Since any poly- Proof of lemma 3.7. By definition the resultant RP,Q(Y, z ) of homogeneous
nomial factor of a homogeneous polynomial is homogeneous (see Appendix polynomials P ( x , y, z ) and Q(x,y , z ) of degrees n and m is the determinant
A) the result follows. 0 + +
of an n m by n m matrix whose ijth entry rij(y,z) is a homogeneous
polynomial in y and z of degree dij given by
Proof of lemma 3.6. If we regard
dij = n+i-j ifl<i<m
i-j ifm+l <i_<n+m.
and

as homogeneous polynomials in x, A1, ..., An and pi, ..., pm then the proof
I Then R p , ~ ( yz,) is a sum of terms of the form

of lemma 3.7 shows that the resultant R p , is


~ a homogeneous polynomial of
degree nm in the variables
where a is a permutation of (1, ...,n + m). Each such term is a homogeneous
Xl,...,xn,Pl,..*,C(m.
polynomial of degree

Moreover by lemma 3.3 this polynomial vanishes if Ai = pj for any 1 5 i 5 n


and 1 5 j 5 m, so by A4 and A6 it is divisible by

- nm.
Since this is also a homogeneous polynomial of degree nm in X I , A,, and ...,
pl, ...,pm it must be a scalar multiple of 7Ep,~.It is easy to check that if Therefore RptQ(y,z ) is a homogeneous polynomial of degree n m in y and z.
0
I
70 CHAPTER 3. ALGEBRAIC PROPERTIES 3.2. POINTS OF INFLECTION AND CUBIC CURVES. 71
3.2 Points of inflection and cubic curves. Proof. Euler's relation (lemma 2.32) tells us that
The concept of a point of inflection on a curve C is a generalisation of the
usual definition of a point of inflection on the graph of a function (that is,
a point at which the second derivative vanishes). We shall see that every Since the first partial derivatives of P are homogeneous of degree d - 1 we
nonsingular projective curve of degree greater than two has at least one and can apply Euler's relation to them to get
at most finitely many points of inflection. As a corollary we shall show that
every nonsingular projective cubic curve can be put into the form ( d - 1)Pz = xPzs + yPY, + zpz,,
(d - 1)P, = xP,, + yP,, + zP,,,
( d - l ) P z = xP,, + yP,, + zPz2.
-
for some A E C (0,l). We shall also begin our investigation of the natural Thus multiplying the first row of the determinant defining 7 i p by x and the
abelian group structure on a nonsingular cubic curve, and its relationship second row by y and adding to the third row multiplied by z we get
with the points of inflection on the curve.
Definition 3.27 Let P(x, y, z) be a homogeneous polynomial of degree d.
The Hessian lip of P is the polynomial defined by zXp(x, y, z) = (d - 1) det

where I Applying the same procedure to the columns of this new determinant and
using the fact that the second partial derivatives of P are symmetric we get
the required result. 0

Remark 3.31 Where the partial derivative is nonzero, the equation

a2P
Pzv= -
axay etc.
locally defines y as a holomorphic function of E (by the. implicit function
theorem in Appendix B). Differentiating this equation twice with respect to
Remark 3.28 Note that the second partial derivatives of P are homogeneous 1 zweobtainfirst
of degree d -2 in ,x, y, z so W pis a homogeneous polynomial of degree 3(d - 2)
in x, y, z.

I
i.e.

-z1%'
Definition 3.29 A nonsingular point [a, b, c] of the pmjective curve C in P2 dy- dP aP
-
defined by P(2, y,z) is called a point of inflection (or flex) of C if dx -
and then

In order to see how this definition. relates to the usual definition of an


inflection point on a graph, we need the next lemma.
Lemma 3.30 If P(x, y, z ) is a homogeneous polynomial of degnze d > 1 then
72 CHAPTER 3. ALGEBRAIC PROPERTIES 3.2. POINTS OF INFLECTION AND CUBIC CURVES. 73

It therefore follows immediately from lemma 3.30 that if d > 1 then Proposition 3.33 Let C be a nonsingular projective curve in P2of degree
d.
-
(i) If d 2 2 then C has at most 3d(d 2) points of inflection.
(ii) If d 1 3 then C has at least one point of inpection.
In particular if P(a, b, 1) = 0 # P,(a, b, 1) then [a, b, 1) is a point of inflection
of C if and only if $$vanishes at a when y is regarded as a function of x -
Proof. By remark 3.28 7ip is homogeneous of degree 3(d 2), so provided
implicitly defined by the equation P(x, y, 1) = 0. Thus the definition of a that it is not constant (when d > 2 this means not identically zero) it defines a
point of inflection on a curve does correspond in a reasonable way to the projective curve in P2in the generalised sense of remarks 2.3 and 2.25. Since
definition of a point of inflection on a graph. the whole of $3.1 applies to curves in this generalised sense the result follows
from the forms 3.8 and 3.9 of BQzout'stheorem once we have shown that P and
Lemma 3.32 Let 'Hp have no nonconstant common factor if d > 1. Since a nonsingular curve
is irreducible (by corollary 3.10(i)) if P and 'Hp have a nonconstant common
factor then P divides 'Hp, so every point of C is a point of inflection. The
be an irreducible projective curve of degree d. Then every point of C is a point result is now a consequence of lemma 3.32.
of inflection if and only if d = 1.
Proof. Suppose that every point of C is a point of inflection. By applying a Corollary 3.34 Let C be a nonsingular cubic curve in P2. Then C is equiv-
suitable projective transformation we may assume that alent under a projective transformation to the curve defined by

y2z = x(x - z)(x - Az)

Then the implicit function theorem (see Appendix A) applied to the poly- for some A E C - (0,l).
nomial P(x, y, 1) in x and y tells us that there is a holomorphic function
g : U -+ V, where U and V are open neighbourhoods of 0 in C, such that Proof. By proposition 3.33 C has a point of inflection. By applying a suitable
g(0) = 0 and if x E U and y E V then projective transformation we may assume that [O,1,0] is a point of inflection
of C and the tangent line to C at [O, 1,0] is the line z = 0. Then C is defined
P ( x , Y , ~=) 0 by a homogeneous polynomial P(x, y, z ) of degree three such that
if and only if
Y = g(x).
We may assume that U is connected and that P,(x, y, 1) # 0 when x E U
and y E V. Since every point of C is an inflection point, by remark 3.31 we Also
have
gt'(x) = 0
because C is nonsingular. Applying lemma 3.30 with the roles of y and z
for every x E U. Because g(0) = 0 this means that there is some A E C such reversed, we get
that
g(z) = Ax pzz pz pxz
for all x E U, and hence that the polynomial P(x, Ax, 1) in x vanishes iden- y2Xp(x,y, Z) = 4 det
tically. Since P(x, y, z ) is homogeneous we find by equating the coefficients PIX pz PZI

of xi in P(x, Ax, 1) to zero that P(x, y, z) is divisible by y - Ax. But C is

( )
SO
irreducible so P(x, y, z ) must be a scalar multiple of y - Ax. Thus P(x, y, z) 0 PSI
has degree d = 1 as required. 0 = Nr(O, 1.0) = 4 det P~ 0 PI = -I(P.)~ PI,
The converse is trivial, so the proof is complete. 0 PIX PI Pz*
CHAPTER 3. ALGEBRAIC PROPERTIES 3.2. POINTS OF INFLECTION AND CUBIC CURVES. 75

where the partial derivatives are evaluated a t (O,1,0). Thus Example 3.36 As an application of this last result and the corollary 3.25
to Bdzout's theorem we can show that a nonsingular cubic curve C in P2
PZZ(O,l, 0) = 0 has ezactly nine points of inflection. (Thus the bound given in proposition
and hence 3.33(i) is always attained in the case of a nonsingular cubic.) To prove this
+ + +
P(x, Y, z ) = Y Z ( ~ XPY 7 4 $(x, 2) we suppose that C is defined by P(x, y,z) and we let D be the projective
curve in P2defined by the Hessian Zp(x, y, 2). We know from remark 3.28
where 4(x, z) is homogeneous of degree three in x and z and
that Np(x, y, z ) is homogeneous of degree 3; however it may have repeated
factors so as in the proof of proposition 3.33 D must be regarded as a curve in
the generalised sense of remarks 2.3 and 2.25. Since the whole of $3.1 applies
After the projective transformation given by to curves in this generalised sense, it suffices to show that the conditions of
corollary 3.25 are satisfied. That is, we have to show that if p E C n D, or
equivalently if p is a point of inflection of C, then p is a nonsingular point of
C and of D and the tangent lines to C and D at p are distinct.
the curve C is defined by the equation We know from the last remark that by applying a suitable projective
transformation we can assume that
By2t. + 4(z, z) = 0
where $(x,z) is homogeneous of degree three in x and z, and hence is a
product of three linear factors. Since C is nonsingular it is irreducible (by and
corollary 3.10(i)), and hence $(x, z) is not divisible by x so the coefficient P(5, y, z ) = y2z - x(x - z)(x - Xz)
of x3 in $(x,z) is not zero. Therefore after a suitable diagonal projective
transformation C is defined by the equation for some X E C - ( 0 , l ) . We find that

for some a, b, c E C. Since a, b, c are distinct (otherwise C would be singular)


we can apply the projective transformation

where q E C satisfies
92 = (b - 4 - 3
to put C into the form
and
y2z = x(x - z)(x - Xz)
for some A E C - (0,l). 0
Thus the conditions of corollary 3.25 are satisfied.
Remark 3.35 Note that the proof of corollary 3.34 actually shows that if
p is any point of inflection on a nonsingular cubic curve C then there is a As another useful result about points of inflection on cubics we prove
projective transformation taking p to [O,l, O] and taking C to a curve defined
by Lemma 3.37 A line L in P2meets a nonsingular cubic C either
y2z = x(x - z)(x - Az) (a) in three distinct points p, q,r each "ith intersection multiplicity one (i.e.
for some X E C - (0,l). L is not the tangent line to C at p,q or r); or
I

76 CHAPTER 3. ALGEBRAIC PROPERTIES 3.2. POINTS O F INFLECTION AND CUBIC CURVES. 77

(b) in two points, p with intersection multiplicity one and q with intersection evaluated at (0,1, O), and
multiplicity two (i.e. L is the tangent line to C at q but not at p and q is not dP
a point of inflection on C); or
%(Ai,O,l) #0
(c) in one point p with intersection multiplicity three (i.e. L is the tangent since C is nonsingular; so [Xi, O,1] is a point of inflection if and only if
line to C at p and p is a point of inflection on C ) .
Proof. This can be deduced from the strong form 3.1 of B&out's theo- a2p
w ( A i , O , 1) = 0,
rem by checking that the definition of intersection multiplicities given in the
statement of the lemma coincides with the definition given in theorem 3.18. or equivalently if and only if Ai is a root of multiplicity three in the polynomial
However it is hardly longer and perhaps more illuminating to give a direct P(x, 0, I). The result follows. 0
proof, so that is what will be done here.
Since C is irreducible (by corollary 3.10(i)) it does not contain L, so we We end this chapter with a very pretty result which says that nonsingular
may assume that L is the line defined by projective curves in P2have natural abelian group stmctures. We will not
quite be able to complete the proof here (though see exercises 3.13 and 3.14)
but this will be done later (see 6.21 and 6.39).
and the point [I, 0,O] does not belong to C. Let
Theorem 3.38 Given any nonsingular projective cubic C in P2and a point
of inflection po on C there is a unique additive group structum on C such
Then by lemma 2.8 we can factorise P(x, 0, z) as that po is the Zen, element and three points of C add up to zero if and only if
they are the three points of intersection of C with some line in P2 (allowing
for multiplicities).
for some A1,X2,A3 E C and p E C - {0), so
Proof. To check uniqueness, note first that additive inverses are uniquely
determined since -po = po and if p # po then -p is the third point of
intersection of C with the line in P2through p and po. Also if p, q are any
The tangent line to C ,at [Xi.O,11 is defined by +
points of C then p q = -r where r is the third point of intersection of C
with the line in P2 through p and q (if p # q ) or the tangent line to C at p
(if p = q). Thus the additive group structure is uniquely determined.
It remains to show there is an additive group structure with po as zero
By Euler's relation (lemma 2.32) this line is L if and only if defined in this way. Commutativity comes straight from the definition of
+ +
p q. For any p E C such that p # po we have p po = -r where r is the
third point of intersection of C with the line in P2through p and po. This
point r is not po since po is a point of inflection, so -r is the third point of
or equivalently if and only if Xi is a repeated root of the polynomial intersection of C with the line in P2through r and po, which is of course p.
+ +
Thus p po = p if p # po, and po po = po since pa is a point of inflection
(so that its tangent line meets C with multiplicity three at po). The proof
If so then by lemma 3.30 +
that p ( - p ) = po for every p E C comes equally easily from the definitions
of addition and inverses, so it only remains to prove associativity.
We cannot prove associativity at this point. There are many different
methods of proof, two of which will be given later in this book (see remark
6.21 and theorem 6.39). One more is left to the exercises (see exercises 3.13
and 3.14). 0
78 CHAPTER 3. ALGEBRAIC PROPERTIES 3.3. EXERCISES 79
3.3 Exercises 3.6. Prove Pappus' theorem: if L and M are two projective lines in P2 and
pl,pz,p3 lie on L - L n M and ql,qzjq3 lie on M - L n M then if Lij is the
3.1. Let C and D be projective curves in P2 with no common component.
line joining pi and qj the three points of intersection of the pairs of lines Lij
Show that and Lji are collinear. (This is almost the same as Pascal's theorem and can
be proved in almost the same way. The only difference is that the conic is
Sing(C U D) = Sing(C) U Sirig(D) U (C fl D). now the union of the lines L and M and hence is reducible).
3.7. If in Pascal's theorem we let some vertices of the hexagon coincide (the
Use corollary 3.10 to deduce that any projective curve in Pz defined by a
corresponding side of the hexagon becoming a tangent to the wnic) we get
polynomial with no repeated factors has at most finitely many singular points.
new theorems. State (and sketch in R2) what happens if

3.2. Use Bbout's theorem (theorem 3.1 and lemma 3.25) to show that if (a). pi = p2, p3 = p4, p5 = pe, where pl, . . . , p s are the vertices of the
a projective curve C in P2 of degree d has strictly more than dl2 singular hexagon;
points all lying on a line L then L is a component of C. (b). pl = p* and all the four other vertices are distinct.
3.3. Show that given any five points in Pz there is at least one conic contain- From (b) deduce a rule for constructing a tangent to a given conic in R2 at
ing them. Deduce that a projective curve C of degree four in P2 with lour a given point using only a straight edge.
singular points is reducible. [Hint: show that any wnic containing the four
3.8. Let C be a projective curve in P2 defined by a homogeneous polyno-
singular points and another point of C must have a component in common
mial P(x, y,z) and let a be a linear transformation of C3. Let Q be the
with C].
homogeneous polynomial Q = P o a-' which defines the image of C under
3.4. Show that a polynomial P(x) in one variable with complex coefficients the projective transformation given by a. Show that the matrix of second
has a repeated factor if and only if the resultant derivatives of Q at a point of P2 represented by v E C3 - (0) is given by
pre- and post-multiplying the matrix of second derivatives of P at the point
represented by a-'(v) by the matrix of the linear transformation a-I and its
is zero. Show also that if transpose, and hence that
7ip o a" = (det a)27iq.

then Deduce that the definition of an inflection point is invariant under projective
transformations.
3.9. Let C be a projective cubic curve with a singularity at the point [O,O, 11.
Show that the equation of C is of the form

I (quadratic in t and y)z = cubic in z and y.

Show that by a suitable change of coordinates the equation can be put into
3.5. Prove the following converse to Pascal's theorem: if the intersections of
one of the forms
the opposite sides of a hexagon lie on a straight line then the vertices lie on
..
a wnic. [This is to be interpreted as follows. Let pl,. ,p6 be six distinct
y2z = cubic in x and y
points of P2,no three of which lie on a line. If i # j let Lij be the line through or
pi and pj. It is required to show that if the three points of intersection of the xyz = cubic in x and y
pairs of lines L12 and L45, L23 and Lm, L34 and L61 all lie on a line then the
..
points pl,. ,ps lie on a conic. You may wish to consider cubic curves which
and hence by a suitable substitution z ++Ax + py + vz into one of the forms
are unions of lines in Pz].
I

80 CHAPTER 3. ALGEBRAIC PROPERTIES 3.3. EXERClSES 81

or If p, lies in the line L through pa and p7 choose q E L and r 4 L U Q


xyz = ( x +Y ) ~
and obtain a contradiction by showing that C(X,p, v ) = L U Q. Deduce
..
by symmetry that no three of pl,. ,Pa lie on a line. If pa $! Q obtain a
for some complex number b. By making one more substitution in each case contradiction by choosing q and r in L. Deduce by symmetry that pe, PI,pa E
deduce that any irreducible cubic curve in P2 is equivalent under a projective Q. Conclude that the original hypotheses on E were inconsistent.
transformation to one of the following: Deduce that if E is any projective cubic curve containing pl, . .,p, then .
y2z = 2 3 ,
yZz = x2(x z ) + 3.14. Let C be a nonsingular projective cubic curve in P2 and let po be a
point of inflection on C. Carry out the following argument to complete the
or proof of theorem 3.38 that there is an additive group structure on C with po
as zero such that three points of C add up to zero if and only if they are the
y 2 ~= x(x - z ) ( x - Xz) points of intersection of C with some line in P2.
for some X E C - (0) (the last case occurring if the curve is nonsingular). Let p, q, r be any points of C. Let L1 be the line in P 2 which meets C in
the points p, q, -(p+ q) counted with multiplicity. Similarly let L2, Lg, M I , M2
3.10. What are the singular points of the cubic curves listed in exercise 3.9? and M3 be the lines in P2 which meet C in the points
What are their points of inflection? Deduce that every irreducible projective
cubic curve has a nonsingular point of inflection. Po, P + 9, -(P+ 91,
3.11. Show that if p is a point of inflection on a nonsingular cubic curve C r, +
P 9, -((P +
9) + r ) ,
in the projective plane then there is a projective transformation taking p to Q, r, -(Q + r ) ,
the point [0,1,0]and taking C to a curve of the form Po, +
9 ' 9 -(q r ) , +
P, +
9 r, -(P + ( 9 + r ) )

where ( 9 ~-)27(g3)'
~ # 0.
y 2 Z = 423 - g2xz2- g3Z3
1 respectively (see figure 3.2). Let D and E be the reducible cubic curves

N.B. This form of the equation is of historical importance and will appear
again later in the book, but it is not usually any more convenient than the and
one in corollary 3.34.
3.12. By comparing the formula for 'lip in remark 3.31 with the correspond- Show that D meets C in the points
ing formula for 7iPQ,or otherwise, show that if C and D are projective curves
in P2 and p E C - D then p is a point of inflection for the curve C if and Po, P, 9, r, P + 9,q + ' 9 -(P + 91,-(9 + r ) , -UP + 9) + r )
only if p is a point of inflection for the curve C U D. whereas E meets C in the points
3.13. Let C, D, E be projective cubic curves in P2 defined by homogeneous
polynomials P(x, y, z), Q ( x ,y ,z ) , R ( x ,y, 2). Suppose that C and D meet in Po, P, Q, r, P + 999 + r, -(P + 91, -(q + r ) ,-(P + (9 + r ) ) .
..
exactly nine points pl, . ,p,. Show that no line in P 2 contains four of these Now use exercise 3.13 to deduce that
points and no conic contains seven of them. Show that there is a unique conic
Q containing pl ,...,p ~ . (P + 9) + r = P + (9 + r).
Now suppose that E contains P I , . .. ,pa and that R(x, y, z ) is not a linear
combination of P ( x , y, z ) and Q(x,y, 2 ) . Show that given distinct points q [Strictly speaking this argument only works when the points
and r in P 2 there is a curve C(X, p, v ) , defined by
Po, P, 9, r, P + 999 + r, -(P + 91,-(9 + r ) ,-UP + 9) + r )
+ pQ(x, Y , + vR(x,Y , z ) = 0
XP(2, Y , 2 ) 2) are distinct. It can be extended to the general case either by tightening up the
with A, p , v E C , which passes through pl, ...,pa, q and r. argument of exercise 3.13 to allow for intersection multiplicities greater than
CHAPTER 3. ALGEBRAIC PROPERTIES 3.3. EXERCISES

where e = e2"'I3. Hence or otherwise show that C has exactly nine points of
inflection (which are independent of A) and that the line through any two of
them meets C again at a third point of inflection.
(N.B. In fact every nonsingular cubic curve in the projective plane is
equivalent under a projective transformation to one of the form

3.16. Use remark 3.35 to show that if p is a point of inflection of a nonsingular


cubic curve C in P2then there are exactly four tangent lines to C which pass
through P.
3.17. Let C be a singular irreducible projective cubic curve in P2 and let po
be a nonsingular point of C which is a point of inflection (cf. exercise 3.10).
Modify the proof of theorem 3.38 and exercise 3.14 to show that there is a
unique additive group structure on the set of nonsingular points of C with po
as the zero element such that three points add up to zero if and only if they
are the points of intersection of C with some line in P2. [Note that a tangent
line to C at a nonsingular point or a line through two distinct nonsingular
points of C cannot meet C at a singular point by Bkzout's theorem (theorem
3.1) and lemma 3.251.

Figure 3.2: Associativity of the group law on a cubic


I \'
1 3.18. Let C be the nonsingular cubic defined by
y2z = x(x - z)(x - Xz)
for some A E {0,1) and let po = [O, 1,0]. Show that the additive group
one, or by a continuity argument using the fact that we can find sequences
structure on C defined.as in theorem 3.38 is given by
pn + p, qn + q, rn + r such that the points
PO,Pn, Qn, fn,Pn + Qnr Qn + rnc - ( ~ n+ qn), -(qn + rn), - ( ( ~ n+ qn) + rn)
are distinct for all n 1 11.
3.15. Let C be the nonsingular cubic curve defined by I where if xl # x, then

+
they satisfy
x3 + Y3 + z3 + Axyz = 0
where X3 27 # 0. Show that the points of inflection of C are the points of
intersection of C with a different curve of the same form, and deduce that
I and
Y3 = -
(Yl - Y 2 ) x3 + (Z1Y: - YlX2)
21 - 2 2 x -22
x3+Y3+z3=~=xyz
Find formulas for x3 and y3 in the case XI = 5 2 , yt = y2.
and thus
3.19. Suppose that the polynomial P(x, y, z) defining a nonsingular projec-
0 = (X + y + z)(x +ey +e2z)(x +e2y +EZ) tive cubic C in P2 has rational coefficients. Suppose also that po is a point of
- -

84 CHAPTER 3. ALGEBRAIC PROPERTIES

inflection on C with rational coefficients. Show that if p, q E C have rational


+
coefficients then SO do - p and p q where addition is defined as in the proof
of theorem 3.38. Deduce that

C(Q) = {[a,b, c] E C : a,b,c E Q )


is an abelian group.
Topological properties

As a subset of the projective plane P2a complex projective curve

C = {[x, y, z] E P2 : P(x, y, z) = 0)
has a natural topology, which means that it makes sense to talk about con-
cepts such as continuous functions on C (see $52.2 and 2.3). In this chapter we
shall investigate nonsingular complex projective curves from the topological

I
In fact a nonsingular projective curve in P2is topologically a sphere with
g handles (see figure 4.1 for a picture when g = 3).This number g is called
the genus of the curve. We shall see that it is related to the degree d of the
curve by the degree-genus formula:

I
It is also possible to describe the topology of singular projective curves
in P2,although as might be expected the description is more complicated.
It is enough to consider irreducible curves since any projective curve in P2
is the union of finitely many irreducible curves (see 2.26) meeting at finitely

I Figure 4.1: A sphere with three handles


86 ~ H A ~ T E4. R TOPOLOGICAL PROPERTIES 4.1. THE DEGREE-GENUS FORMULA 87

appealing but it lies beyond the scope of this book to carry it through in
detail. The second is essentially the method we shall use in 34.2 and 34.3 to
give a detailed proof of the degree-genus formula, In $4.1 the rough idea of
this proof is explained and illustrated with an example.

4.1 The degree-genus formula


Figure 4.2: A singular curve Our aim is to prove that a nonsingular complex projective curve of degree d
in P2is topologically a sphere with g handles where the genus g satisfies the
degree-genus formula
many points (by theorem 3.9). It turns out that an irreducible projective 1
curve is the result of making a finite number of identifications of points on a -
g = -(d l)(d 2).
2
-
sphere with g handles (see figure 4.2). More precisely, if C is an irreducible ~n this section we shall describe two methods of proof without details.
..
projective curve of degree d in P2with singular points pl,. ,p, then there 0
is a sphere with g handles 6 and a continuous surjection
4.1.1 The first method of proof
s:C-t~ This method is made up of three steps.
which restricts to a homeomorphism
The first step is to consider a (singular) complex projective curve Cowhich
is a union of d projective lines in P2,in "general positionn in the sense that no
point of P2lies on more than two of the lines. Thus there are exactly f d(d- 1)
.
and s-'(pi) is a finite set of points for each i E { I , . . ,r}. The number g is points of intersection of these lines, and these are the singular points of Co.
again called the genus of C. The number of points in n"(pi) depends on the
type of singularity of C at pi. For example if pi is an ordinary double point Lemma 4.1 A complex pmjective line L in P2 is homeomorphic to the two-
then &(pi) consists of two points; more generally if pi is an ordinary singular dimensional unit sphere
>
point of any multiplicity m 2 then s-'(pi) consists of precisely m points. S2= {(u,v, w) E R3 : u2 + v2 w2 = 1).+
On the other hand if C is the cuspidal cubic curve defined by y2z = x3 and
p is its only singular point (0,O)then s"(p) consists of just one point and Proof. We use stereographic projection (cf. $1.2.2). By applying a projective
s : 6 + C is in fact a homeomorphism. The degree-genus formula can be transformation (which is a homeomorphism by lemma 2.20) we may assume
generalised to apply to C; to each singular point pi there can be assigned a that L is the line defined by z = 0. Now define
positive integer &(pi)such that the following formula

(called Noether's formula) is true. It is not difficult to check using the definition of homogeneous coordinates
(definition 2.15) that q5 is bijection with inverse given by
The roof of these facts about singular curves will be left to Chapter 7.
The aim of this chapter is to prove the degree-genus formula for nonsingular 2Re(xg) 2Im(xg) Ix l2 - 1 Y l2
projective curves.

There are several different ways to prove the degree-genus formula. In 4 is continuous since it is the composition of the continuous map
$4.1 we shall give a brief description of two methods. The first is intuitively (u,v,w) H ( u + i v , l -w,O).
88 4.1. THE DEGREEGENUS FORMULA 89

join the d spheres together to form one sphere (topologically). Thus the non-
singular perturbation C1 of Co is topologically equivalent to a sphere with

handles. Thus we have at least one nonsingular curve with the right topology.

The second step in this method of proof is to show that if the coefficients
of the polynomial defining a nonsingular curve are perturbed by a sufficiently
small amount then the topology of the curve remains unchanged. This is
perhaps plausible on an intuitive level but we shall not attempt to prove it.
The third step is to show that the space ~ ~ ~ z ] of
y, ~ homogeneous
~ ~ [ x ,
polynomials of degree d in x , y , z M n i n g nonsingular projective curves is
path-connected. That is, given any two nonsingular projective curves of de-
Figure 4.3: A deformation of a singular curve gree d in P z defined by homogeneous polynomials P ( x , y , z ) and Q ( + , Y , z ) ,
there are nonsingular curves Ct defined by polynomials Pt(x, y, z ) for each
t E [0, I] depending continuously on t such that P O ( x , y ,Z ) = P ( x , y, Z ) and
from S2 to C 3 - {O} with the map II : C 3 - ( 0 ) --,P 2 defined by
P l ( x , y, z ) = Q ( s , y, z ) . The continuous map from [o, 11 to c y M i n " x , Y, Z ]
defined by
n(5,Y, z ) = [ x ,y, z ] ,
while 4-' is continuous since its composition with the restriction of n to is called a path in c?"“"~[x, y , ~ from ] P ( x , Y , 2 ) to Q ( x , Y , ~ ) -It is not
n"(L) C 3 - {O} is continuous (cf. remark 2.16). 0 difficult to Show that such paths exist. If it were not for the requirement that
each p t ( x , y , z ) should define a nonsingular curve we could just take
This lemma shows that topologically our singular curve Co is homeomor-
phic to a union of d spheres meeting in $d(d - 1) points. P*(x,y , z ) = ( 1 - t ) P ( x , y , z ) +~ Q ( x , Y , ~ )
to get a path from P ( x , y, 2 ) to Q ( x , Y , z ) in the space C d t x , ~ , ~ lSine
.
Now it seems intuitively reasonable that it is in fact always possible to such a path has real dimension one and the complement of Cy""'ng[~, Y , z l in
perturb the coefficients of the polynomial defining Coby an arbitrarily small
c d [ x ,y , z ] has real codimension two we can always shift the path very slightly
amount to get a nonsingular projective curve Cl. An equivalent statement is to ensure that it misses the complement of C d
nonning [ x , Y,zl and hence defines
that if c ~ [ x y,, z] denotes the space of homogeneous polynomials of degree din
x , y, z with complex coefficients then the subset c y M i n 8 [ xy,, z] of C d [ z , y , z ]
a path in C ~ ~ ~y, Z [] asXrequired.
,
consisting of polynomials which define nonsingular curves is dense, This N~~ we can put these three steps together to obtain the result we want.
follows from the fact that the subset of C d [ x ,y, Z] consisting of polynomials Let c be any nonsingular projective curve of degree d in P2. BY the first
which define singular curves has complex dimension one less than that of step there exists a nonsingular projective curve Ci of degree d in P2 which is
C d [ x ,Y ,21. Note that C d [ x ,y, z ] can be identified with ~ # ( ~ + l ) ( d +by~ )simply topologically a sphere with
considering coefficients of x i y i z k where i + j + k = d . . - l ) ( d - 2)
It turns out that what happens on a topological level when such a pertur- I 1
g = -(d
2
bation takes place is that the singular points of intersection of the projective handles. By the third step there is a path
lines making up 4 become very thin smooth "necks' or handles joining the
projective lines (ci. figure 4.3).Precisely d - 1 of these handles are used to t w c t , t€[0,11
90 CHAPTER 4. TOPOLOGICAL PROPERTIES 4.1. THE DEGREE~GENUSFORMULA 91

from C to CIin the space of nonsingular projective curves of degree d in P2.


By the second step, given t E (O,l] there exists e(t) > 0 such that if s E [O, 1)
and I t - s I< ~ ( t then
) C,is homeomorphic to Ct. It is now easy to deduce
that C, and Ct are topologically equivalent for all s,t E [O, 11. In particular
C is homeomorphic to CIand hence is topologically a sphere with
1
g = -(d - l)(d - 2)
2
handles.

4.1.2 The second method of proof


This method is related to the study of multivalued holomorphic functions.
These have already been discussed briefly in 1.2.3 and they will make another
appearance later: see $7.1.
Let Figure 4.4: The cut plane D
c = {[x, y, Z] E Pz = 0)
: P(x, y, z)
be a nonsingular curve in Pz. We may assume that C does not contain the there exactly three values of y, and locally these define three
point [O, 1,0], so that the coefficient of yd in P(x, y, z) is nonzero. We then holomorphic functions of x called "branchesn of the multivalued function
put z = 1 to find the corresponding affine curve defined by the equation ~ ( 2 ) When
. x travels around any of the points

We shall regard this equation as defining y as a multivalued function of x.


the value of y changes from one branch of the multivalued function to another.
Example 4.2 Let US consider the nonsingular curve defined by If we cut the complex plane C along the straight line segment [1, -wfl] from
1 to -w* and along the straight line segments [-wfi, G],[G,-fi],[- fi,w]
x3 + y3 + z3 = 3yz2. and [w,-Q@] (see figure 4.4)then we find that there are three (single-valued)
Putting z = 1 we obtain the equation holomorphic functions fi,j2, f3 defined on the cut plane D satisfying

~ ~ + ~ ~ + 1 = 3 ~ + + 1 = 3jj(x)
j > ( ~ ) x3
~

which we can regard as defining y as a multivalued function of x; in fact for j = 1,2,3, and all x E D. Therefore the subset

+ 1) + d2x 6 + 2x3 - 3 3
Y = ( -(x3
)'+ 2
(-(x3+1)-dx6+2x3-3

for appropriate choices of the cube roots (see [Stewart 731 pp. 161-163). Note
{ [ x , y , l ] € C : X € D ) = j=1
U{[s,y,lJEPz : XED,Y=fi(s))

of C is the disjoint union of three copies of the cut plane D. If we add in the
that three points at infinity this means that we can construct C topologically by
+ 2 ~ -3 3 = o taking three copies of D U {oo} and glueing the edges of the cuts together
if and only if x3 equals 1 or -3; i.e. x equals 1,w, Q, -fi,- w f i or -ijB appropriately, corresponding to the way the multivalued function jumps from
where w = e 9 . To any value of x in one branch f j to another as y crosses the cuts.
Note that each copy of D U {oo} is topologically a disc, and its boundary
C - { l , w , ~-E,
, -wB,
-QB} is made up of ten line segments. One can check that the boundaries should
4.1. THE DEGREEGENUS FORMULA 93
92 CHAPTER 4. TOPOLOGICAL PROPERTIES

Figure 4.5: Three discs to be glued together

Figure 4.7: Annulus formed from first and third discs

Figure 4.6: Annulus formed from second disc

be identified according to figure 4.5, in which aj,bj,cj,dj,e. refer to cuts


along [1,- u s ] ,[ - w s , 4, [G,- f i ] [-fl,
, Y ] and [w, -641 respectively.
The two copies of c2 in the second disc can be identified to give an annulus
whose boundary is given by figure 4.6. The two pairs blcl and c3d3 occuring in
the first and third discs in figure 4.5 can be identified to give another annulus
whose boundary is given by figure 4.7. Note that the adjacent copies of as
and el on this figure can be glued together and thus eliminated. Hence the
two annuli given in figures 4.6 and 4.7 can be glued together to give a sphere
with one handle, or torus (figure 4.8). Figure 4.8: Torus
This agrees with the degree-genus formula
A . .A

94 GX4I'TER 4. TOPOLOGICAL PROPERTIES 4.2. BRANCHED COVERS OF P I 95

when d = 3 weget g = 1. called nrmification points of 4. We can use 4 to visualise C as two copies of
PI cut and glued together as in $1.2.3 (cf. also example 4.2).
After studying this example in some detail let us consider the general case We shall see in this section that any nonsingular projective curve C of
again. So let
degree d > 1 in P2can be viewed as a branched cover of P I in a similar way-
c=
{[x,Y,z]E P2 : P ( x , y , z ) = 0 ) We shall that if we choose coordinates on P2 appropriately then the
be a nonsingular curve of degree d in P2 not containing the point [o,1,0], number of ramification points is precisely d(d - 1). We shall use this in the
Then the equation next section to prove the degree-genus formula.
P ( x ,Y , 1) = 0
Let C be a nonsingular projective curve in P2 defined by a homogeneous
defines Y as a multivalued function of x such that there correspond exactly d polynomial P ( x , y, z ) of degree d > 1. By applying a suitable projective
values of Y to each value of x E C other than the 'branch points", that is, transformation we may assume that [0,1,0] $ C. Then we have a well-defined
the values of x for which there is a value of y satisfying map 4 : C -+ P I given by
dP
P ( x , Y , 1) = 0 = -(x, y, 1).
dti, Y , 4 = [x,21.
dy Definition 4.3 The ramification index vd[a,b, C] of 4 at a point [a,b, c] E C
'I'he point 00 is regarded as a branch point if there is a value of y satisfying is the order of the zero of the polynomial P(a, Y , C ) in y at Y = The point
[a,b, cl is called a ramification point of 4 if v4[a,b, cl > 1.
ap
P(l,y,O) = 0 = -(l,y,O).
(i) vd[a,b, c] > 0 if and only if [a,b, c] E C.
If PI,.. , p ~are the branch points, suitably ordered, then we can cut the (ii) v&, b, c] > 1 if and only if
complex plane C along the straight line segments dP
P(a, b, c) = 0 = -(a, b, c),
bl,~21,
(P2,~31,. . ,[&-1,prI a?/
iae. if and only if [a,b, c] E C and the tangent line to C at [a,b,c] contains
and define holomorphic functions f l , . ..,fd on the cut plane such that if y
lies in the cut plane then
P ( x ,Y , 1) = 0 ap a2p
P(a, b, c) = 0 = -(a, b, c) = ?(a, b,c).
if and only if Y = f j ( ~ )for some j E { I , . ..,d). Then just as in example OY a~
4.2 we can construct the curve C topologically by glueing together d copies This happens if and only if [a,b, c] is a point of inflection on C and the
of the cut complex plane along the cuts. This always gives a sphere with a tangent line to C at [a,b, c] contains the point [O, 1,0]. To prove this, note
certain number of handles (see Appendix C). However the computation of that [a,b, c] # [O, 1,0] so a # 0 or c # 0. Let Us assume that c # 0; the case
this number g requites some more information about branch points. For this
a # 0 is similar. Suppose
reason we shall study branch points more carefully in the next section.
dP
P(a, b, c) = 0 = -(a, b, c);
ay
4.2 Branched covers of P1 then by lemma 3.30 we have
The nonsingular projective curve C in P z defined by the equation y2 = x z
admits a surjection 4 : C -+ PI defined by 4[x,y,z] = [x,z] such that if
[x,z ] E PIthen qP1([x,21) consists of exactly two points unless x = 0 or
z = 0. Such a map 4 : C -, P I is called a double cover of P I branched over
the points [O,l] and [1,0]. The points in C mapping to [O,l] and [1,0] are
96 CHAPTER 4. TOPOLOGICAL PROP 4.2. BRANCHED COVERS OF Pi 97

where the partial derivatives are evaluated at (a,b , ~ ) .B~ ~ ~relatiol ~ Lemma
* ~ (i) q3 has at most d(d - 1) mmification points.
4.7
(lemma 2.32) if <
(ij) ~f v&, b, C] 2 for all [a,b, c] E C then C h m ezactIy d(d-1) ram$cation
ap
-(a, b, c) = 0
8s
Proof. Since C is nonsingular it is irreducible (see corollary 3.10). By as-
then as C # 0 and %(a, b, c) = 0 the point [a,b, c] E C would be s i n e - sumption [0,1,0] @ C so the coefficient P(0, 1,0) of yd in P ( z , y, z ) is nonzero.
lar, which contradicts the assumption that C is a nonsingular curve. Hence Thus the homogeneous polynomial
'Hp(a,b, c) = 0 if and only if
aP
a2p
-(a, b, c) = 0 a!/
-(x,Y, 2)

dp2 is not identically zero and has degree d - 1, so it cannot be divisible by


as required. p ( z , y, r ) . Hence the projective curve D of degree d - 1 defined by this ~ 0 1 ~ -
nomial has no component in common with C. Thus (i) follows from the weak
Lemma 4.5 The inverse image 4-'([a, c]) of any [a,c] in P1 under ,$ con- form (theorem 3.9) of BQout9s theorem, because the set R of ramification
tains exactly points of C is the intersection of C and D.
" x (%(~)-l)
~Eb-~([a,cl)
Now suppose that
v4[a,b, C] 1 2
points. In particular 4 - ' ( [ a , ~ ]contains
) d points if and only if for [a, b , ~ ]
E C. By the corollary 3.25 to the strong form of BQzout's
contains no ramification points of 4. theorem, in order to prove (ii) it suffices to show that if [a,b, c] lies in R =
Proof'. A point of lies in 4-'([a, c])if and only if it is of the form [a,b, c]
c nD then [a,b, c] is a nonsingular point of D and the tangent lines to and
where b E C satisfies D at [a,b, c] are distinct. If not then [a,b, c] satisfies
P(a, b, c) = 0. P(a, b, c) = 0 = P,(a, b, c)
BY assumption [0,1,0] $ C so P(0,1,0) # 0. Hence we may assume that because it lies in C and D, and the vector
P(O, 1,o) = 1. Then P(a, y ,c) is a monic polynomial of degree d in y so
(P,,(a, b, c), P,,(a, b, 4,P=,(a, btc))
p(a, Y,c) = n ( y - bi)mi
lli<r is either zero or a scalar multiple of the vector
where bl, .. . ,b, are distinct complex numbers and m l , . ..,m , are positive
integers such that
m l + ...+ m,=d. This implies that
Thus
P(a, b, c) = 0 = P,(a, b, c) = Pw(a, b, c),
<
,$-'([a, c]) = {[a,bi,cl : 1 i 5 r )
and the ramification index of 4 at [a,bi, c] is
v&a, b, c] > 2.
v6[a,bi, c] = mi. This contradiction completes the proof. 13
The result follows. o
Lemma 4.8 By applying a suitable ptvjective transformation to C we may
Definition 4.6 Let R be the set of ramijication poinb of,$. ~h~ image d ( ~ ) +[a, b, cl <2
of R under ,$ is called the branch locus of 4, and ,$ : C 4 P1 is called a
branched cover of P1. for all [a,b, c] E C .
98 CHAPTER 4. TOPOLOGICAL PROPERTIES
F
2
4.3. PROOF O F THE DEGREE-GENUS FORMULA 99

Proof. By proposition 3.33 C has only a finite number (at most 3d(d 2)) - 1
! is the union of the images of the edges, and if r : [O, 11 4 [O, 11 and Ui :
of points of inflection. Thus by applying a suitable projective transformation
we may assume that [O, 1,0] does not lie on C nor on any of the tangent lines 1't [0,1]4 A for 1 < i 5 3 are defined by
to C at its points of inflection. The result now follows from remark 4.4(iii). i r ( t ) = l - t , ul(t)=(t,O), u 2 ( t ) = ( l - t , t ) , u 3 ( t ) = ( 0 , 1 - t )
0 i,

: then either f o ai or f o ui o r is an edge e) E E for 1 5 i 1 3;


i (iv) the mapping f I-+ K f from F to the set of connected components of C - r
is a bijection;
4.3 Proof of the degree-genus formula : (v) for every e E E then is exactly one face f: E F such that e = f: o uj for
We can now use the results on branched covers in the last section to prove
: some i E {1,2,3) and exactly one face f; E F such that e = /; o ui o r for
some i E {1,2,3).
the degree-genus formula
Remark 4.10 This is not quite the standard definition of a triangulation
but it is convenient for our purposes. In particular we can only assume that
V,E and F are finite since we are dealing with a compact space. In addition
, condition 4.9(v) tells us that the triangulation is "coherently orientedn (d
relating the degree d and the genus g of a nonsingular complex projective [Springer 571 $5.3).
I

curve in P2.The first task is to give a precise definition of the term genus.
For this purpose we introduce the concept of a triangulation of a curve C - Remark 4.11 It is common to confuse edges and faces with their images in
the rough idea is that we divide C up into triangles. Let C.
Definition 4.12 The Euler number x of a triangulation is defined by

be the standard triangle in R2 with vertices (0,O ) , (1,O) and (0,l). Let where the symbol #S denotes the number of elements of a finite set S.
A 0 = { ( z , y ) ~ R :2 x > o , Y > o , z + Y < ~ ) The Euler number is important because of the following theorem.
be its interior. Theorem 4.13 (i) Every nbnsingular projective curve C in P2 has a trian-
gulation.
Definition 4.9 Let C be a nonsingular complez pmjective curve in Pz.A (ii) The Euler number x of a triangulation of C depends only on C, not on
triangulation of C is given b y the following data: the triangulation.
(a) a finite nonempty set V of points called vertices, Because of this theorem we can define the Euler number x(C) of C to be
(b) a finite nonempty set E of continuous maps e : [ O , l ] + C called edges, the Euler number of any triangulation of C.
(c) a jkite nonempty set F of continuous maps f :A + C called faces,
satisfying Examples 4.14 (i) By lemma 4.1 a complex projective line in Pzis home-
(1;) V = {e(O): e E E ) U { e ( l ): e E E ) , i.e. the vertices are the endpoints of omorphic to a sphere. Thus it bas a triangulation with three vertices, t h r e
the edges; edges and two faces (see figure 4.9). Therefore
(ii) if e E E then the restriction of e to the open interval ( 0 , l ) is a homeo-
morphism onto its image in C , and this image contains no points in V or in
the image of any other edge e' E E; (ii) The nonsingular cubic curve C defined by
(iii) i f f E F then the restriction o f f to AOis a homeomorphism onto a
connected component K f of C - I? where
with A # O,1 is topologically a torus (see 31.22.) so it has .c? triangulation
with one vertex, three edges, and two faces (see figure 4.10). Thus
100 CHM'TER 4. TOPOLOGICAL PROPERTIES 4.3. PROOF OF THE DEGREEGENUS FORMULA 101

Figure 4.11: A sphere with three handles

Figure 4.9: A triangulation of a sphere

Figure 4.12: Piece of a sphere with handles

Definition 4.15 The genus of a nonsingular projective curve C is

Figure 4.10: A triangulation of the torus


I when x is the Eulcr number JC.

Example 4.16 Suppose that C is homeomorphic to a sphere with g handles


(see figure 4.1 1 for a picture when g = 3).. Then C can be cut into g-2 pieces
of the form illustrated in figure 4.12 together with two endpieces of the form
illustrated in figure 4.13. These pieces can be subdivided into triangles, for
example as in figures 4.14 and 4.15.
and the genus of C is
1
-(2
2
- x) = g.
This shows that definition 4.15 of the genus of C fits with our original
description of the genus as the "number of handlesn.

I Remark 4.17 If h : C -4D is a homeomorphism between two nonsingular


projective curves C and D, and if C has a triangulation with V,E, F as the
sets of vertices, edges and faces, then D has a triangulation with vertices
{h(v) : v E V ) ,

I edges
{hoe : e€ E),

I and faces
{hof : f EF).

I
Thus C and D have the same Euler number and genus. In other words
the Euler number and genus of a nonsingular projective curve are topological
Figure 4.14: A subdivision of figure 4.12 invariants: they only depend on the topology of the curve, not its algebraic
structure.

A proof of theorem 4.13(ii) is given in Appendix C. As for theorem 4.13(i),


we have the following more detailed result.
104 4.3. PROOF OF THE DEGREEGENUS FORMULA 105
CIIAI'TER 4. TOPOLOGICAL PROPERTIES

Theorem 4.18 Let C be a nonsingular projective curve of degree d in Pz, If f i = { < : [ ~ , l ] + C : e' w n t i n u o u s , 9 o d ~ E )
r is a positive integer and r 2 d(d - 1) and r 2 3 then C has a triangulation
and
with rd - d(d - 1) vertices, 3(r - 2)d edges and 2(r - 2)d faces. j3= { ~ : A - + C: j continuous,)of EF).

This theorem has the following immediate corollary. Momover if v+(p) is the ramification indez of 4 at P and d is the degree *f
then
Corollary 4.19 ( T h e degree-genus formula) The Euler number x and #v - PER
= d#V Z ( ~ + ( P-) 1)s
genw g of a nonsingular projective curve of degree d in Pz are given by
#E = d#E
x = d(3 - d)
and
and 1
#P = d#F.
Remark 4.23 It follows from this proposition that the Euler number x(C)
Examples 4.20 (1) When d = 1 then x = 2 and g = 0. A projective curve , of C is given by
of degree 1 in Pois a line so this tallies with example 4.14(i).
(2) When d = 2 then x = 2 and g = 0 again. A projective curve of degree
2 in Pz is a conic, and by remark 3.13 any nonsingular projective conic is
homeomorphic to PI, or equivalently to a complex projective line in P2,so This is called the Riemann-Humitz formula for the branched cover 9 : C 4
this tallies with example 4.14(i). P1.
(3) When d = 3 then x = 0 and g = 1. By corollary 3.34 a nonsingular
projective cubic curve in Pz is equivalent under a projective transformation Proof of theorem 4.18 given 4.21 and 4.22. Let P(x, y,z) be a homo-
to the curve defined by geneous polynomial of degree d defining the curve C. By lemma 4.8, after
applying a suitable projective transformation to C we may assume that the
map 4 :C 4 P1given by .
for some A E C - (0, I), so this tallies with example 4.14(ii).
For the proof of theorem 4.18 we need two preliminary results. is well-defined (i.e. [O, 1,0\ $$ C) and the ramification index v4[a, b, c] of 4 at
every [a, b, c] E C satisfies
Lemma 4.21 Let {pl,. . . ,p,} be any set of least three pdnts in PI. Then v4[a,b,c) 5 2.
.
there is a triangulation of PI with pl, . .,p, as its vertices and with 3r 6 -
edges and 2r - 4 faces. Then by lemma 4.7 9 has exactly d(d - 1) ramification points, i.e. #R =
d(d - 1).
Proposition 4.22 Let By lemma 4.21 if r 2 3 and r 2 d(d- 1) then we can choose a triangulation
(V, E, F ) of P1such that
v 2 4(R)
be a nonsingular prvjective curve not containing [O, 1,0] and let 9 : C + P1 -
and #V = r, # E = 3r - 6 and #F = 2r 4. Therefore by proposition 4.22
be the brunched cover defined by )[x, y, z] = [x, r]. Suppose that (V, E, F ) is a there is a triangulation ( v , &, P ) of C with
triangulation of PI such that the set of vertices V contains the bmnch locw
d(R) of 9. Then there is a triangulation (v,
k ,P ) of C such that
#t=rd-d(d-1) Figure 4.17: A subdivision of a triangle
as required. 0 k
Proof of lemma 4.21. We can prove this for example by induction on r 2 3.
When r = 3 lemma 2.22 tells us that there is a projective transformation
taking pl to 1, pz to e% and p3 to e*. (Here as usual we identify P I with
C U {m).) We can join these three points by segments of the unit circle in
C (see figure 4.16).

The exterior of the unit circle together with the point at infinity is mapped by
the projective transformation z I-, !to the interior of the unit circle. Since
there is a homeomorphism

which takes the vertices of the triangle A to l , e y and e q and takes the
edges of A to the appropriate segments of the unit circle, we get a triangula-
tion of PI with three edges and two faces when r = 3.
.
Now suppose r > 3 and we have a triangulation with vertices pl, . . ,p,-1
and 3r - 9 edges and 2r - 6 faces. If p, lies in the interior of a face f (more
precisely, if p, € f (Ao)) we can add three edges joining p, to the vertices of
the face f (see figure 4.17) and obtain a new triangulation with one extra
vertex, p,, three extra edges and one old face subdivided into three new ones. Figure 4.18: A subdivision of two adjacent triangles
If p, does not lie in the interior of a face then it lies on an edge e (more
precisely p, = e(t) for some t E (0, I)). We can then replace e by two edges
joining p, to e(0) and e(l), and add two edges joining p, to the remaining
vertices of the faces f$ and f; (see figure 4.18). This gives a triangulation
with one new vertex, p,, two extra edges and one old edge replaced by two new
108 CHAPTER 4. TOPOLOGICAL PROPERTIES 4.3. PROOF OF THE DEGREEGENUS FORMULA 109

ones, and two old faces each replaced by two new ones. The result follows. 0 i.e. that condition (i) of 4.9 is satisfied.
It follows from lemma C.7 and remark C.9 of Appendix C that if e E E
Proof of proposition 4.22. We must show that p,k and P satisfy the
d ( ~=
) 4 )
conditions (ir-(v) in the definition 4.9 of a triangulation, and that the for-
~ - ~ ~for
u l#V,#fi
a and #P are correct. This uses some topological results for some t E (0,l) then there is a unique continuous map
proved in Appendix C.
By C.8 and C.9 of Appendix C, if f E F and p E C and e': [0,1] -,C

such that 4 o e' = e and e'(t) = p; and moreover by lemma C.6 the restriction
d(p) = f (t) of 8 to (0,l) is a homeomorphism onto its image in C. Condition (ii) of
for some 1 E A not equal to any of the vertices (0,0), (1,O) or (0, I), then definition 4.9 follows using the uniqueness of I. It also follows that
there is a unique continuous map
4-'{e(t) : e E E,t E (0,l)) = {I(t) : E fi, t E (0,l))-
~:A-+c
such that ) o f = f and j = p. By lemma 4.5 6'{f (t)) consists of exactly
d points of C (because f (t) does not belong to the branch locus d(R)) so we r = U e([O, 11) = V U (e(t) : e E E, t E (0,l))
eEE
can deduce that there are exactly d continuous maps f : A -, C such that
4 o ,f = f. This means that then
#P = d # ~ . p ( r ) = p ( v ) u { ~ ( t ): z E k , t E (0,l)) = f
We can also deduce that where
i; = U a([o,i]).
a&
Furthermore by lemma 4.5 if t E (0,l) and e E E then &'{e(t)) consists of
In particular t exactly d points of C (because e(t) does not belong to the branch locus #(R))
G = ujefiJ(A) so there are exactly d continuous maps d : [0,1] C such that 4 o 2 = e.
contains C - 4-'(V) and is therefore dense in C because $-'(V) is finite by Thus
lemma 4.5. (The complement of a finite set of points in C is always dense: see
#E = d#E.
e.g. remark 5.29 in $5.2.) But A is compact (by 2.12(i)) so !(A) is compact By lemma C.6 of Appendix C if f E P then the restriction of f to
if f E P (by 2.12(ii)) so G is compact (by 2.12(vi)) so G is closed in C (by A0 is a homeomorphism onto its image which is a connected component
2.12(v) and 2.30). Thus G = C, which implies that of 95-'( j(AO)) where f = 4 o f. Since f (Ao) is s connected component of
P1 - I' it follows that ](A') is a connected component of

If j E E then 4 o f E F so either C o f ' o a i E E or 4 0 f o q o E~ E for


<
1 _< i 3 where ai, a?, 0 3 and r are defined as in 4.9(iii). Thus if J E fi then This shows that the first half of condition (iii) is satisfied; we have already
either f o ~E jk o r f O U ~ O T€ E s o noted that the second half is true. Conditions (iv) and (v) follow easily from
f(t) E (((0) : E E E } u (41): g E E) I what we have already done. Thus it remains to show that

if t E ((0, O), (1,O), (0,l)). This tells us that

4-'(V) = {E(O) : I E 8 ) u ( ~ ( 1 ): I E fi);


I This follows immediately from lemma 4.5 since V contains Q(R). 0
4.4 Exercises
4.1. LetC and D be nonsingular projective curves of degrees n and m in P2.
Show that if C is homeomorphic to D then either n = rn or {n,rn) = {1,2). Chapter 5
4.2. Let I$ :C -,PI be defined by R!
biz, Y, %I = [x, ZI f Riemann surfaces
where C is a nonsingular projective curve in the projective plane not contain-
ing the point [O,1,0]. Show that if C has degree d > 1 then d has at least
one ramification point. Show that if d = 1 then I$ has no ramification points
The results of Chapter 4 imply that a nonsingular complex projective curve C
and is a homeomorphism.
in P2is topologically a surface; that is, every point on C has a neighbourhood
4.3. Show that the projective curve D defined by y2z = x3 has a unique which is homeomorphic to an open subset of the Euclidean plane Ra. However
singular point. Show that the map f : PI -r D defined by a nonsingular complex curve C is a very special sort of surface: it has much
f[s,t] = [s2t,s3,t3] a
more structure than is given by its topology alone. In particular it makes
sense to talk about holomorphic functions and do complex analysis on C,
is a homeomorphism. Deduce that the degreegenus formula cannot be ap- which means that C is what is called a Riemann surface.
plied to singular curves in P2.
4.4. Show that there is a homeomorphism given by We shall give a proper definition of a Riemann surface in 85.2. Before that
[s, t , 01 ,+ [st3, (s + q4,t4] we shall recall in $5.1 some of the important results and definitions we shall
need from complex analysis, and we shall illustrate them using a function
from the line in P2 defined by z = 0 onto a quartic curve in P2. Why does which will be important later: the Weierstrass pfunction.
this not contradict exercise 4.1?
4.5. Let C be an irreducible projective cubic curve in P2 with a singular
point p. Using exercise 3.9 or otherwise, show that there is a continuous
surjection f : PI 4 C defined as follows. Identify PI with the set of lines in ' 5.1 The Weierstrass pfunction
P2 which pass through p; then map a line L through p to p if it is a tangent
line to C at p, and otherwise to the unique other point of intersection of L Let W be an open subset of the complex plane C. Recall that a function
with C. f : W -r C is called holomorphic if its derivative
Show that if C is a cuspidal cubic, that is, equivalent under a projective
transformation to the curve defined by
y2z = x3,
then f is a homeomorphism (cf. exercise 4.3), whereas if C is a nodal cubic, exists at every a E W. A function f is holomorphic on an open disc
that is, equivalent to the curve defined by

then f maps two distinct points of PI to p but is a homeomorphism away from centred at a E C if and only if it can be expressed as a convergent power
p. [Hint: recall that the image of a closed subset of a compact space under series
a continuous map to a Hausdorff space is always closed, and in particular f(z)=~c,,(z-a)", It-al<r
n>O
any continuous bijection from a compact space to a Hausdorff space is a
homeomorphism].
111
CHAPTER 5. RIEMANN SURFACES 5.1. THE WEIERSTRASS p-FUNCTION 113
112
Residues of meromorphic functions at poles are closely related to integrals
called the Taylor series of f about a (see e.g. [Priestley 851 5.9). The coeffi- of the functions along paths in C. Recall that a piecewise-smooth path in an
cient c, is found by differentiating the power series n times at a: we have open subset W of C is a continuous map 7 : [c, d] + W, defined on a closed
1 interval [c, d] of the real line, which is the join of finitely many smooth paths
c, = -f(")(a).
n! .
71,. ,7t in W . BY this we mean that there exist real numbers
A memmorphic function on W is a function c=co<cl < . . . < q = d
f :W-+CU{oo)
and maps 7i : [ci-I, ci] + W for 1 5 i 5 t such that
such that f : W - f-l{m) -t C is holomorphic and J' has a pole at each
a E f-l(m): that is, near a we can write 7(t) = 7i(t) if t E [ci-1,q]
and the real and imaginary parts of the restriction of 7;to the open interval
g(z) (Q-~,ci) have derivatives which are continuous and extend continuously to
f (2) =
(z - the closed interval [ci-l, cj]. The path 7 is closed if 7(c) = 7(d) and simple if
for some m > 0 where g(z) is holomorphic in an open nei&bourhood of a 7(t) # 7(s) unless s = t or {s, t) = {c, d).
111

and g(a) # 0. Equivalently we can express f (2) as a Laurent series


If f : W -, C is a continuous function then the integral of f along a I

f (2) = C
n>-m
4 2 - a)" piecewisesmooth path 7 : [c,dj 4 W is by definition III I

where
g(z) = C ~ - m ( z- a)"
n>_o where 7'(t) is interpreted as yi(t) for t E (Q,~,Q).
is the Taylor expansion of g ( z ) and
The fundamental theorem concerning the integrals of holomorphic func-
c-,,, = g(a) # 0. tions along paths in C is
~h~~ is called the order or multiplicity of the pole. The coefficient c-1 is Theorem 5.2 (Cauchy's theorem). Let 7 be a contour in C and let f be
called the ~ s i d u of
e f (2) at a and is denoted by a function which is holomorphic inside and on 7. Then
r e 4 f (2); a)
Remark 5.1 It is easy to check that in this situation
Remark 5.3 We shall follow [Priestley 851 and define a contour in C to be a
-
f '(2) simple closed path in C which is the join of paths 71, ,..,7,,each of which is a
f (2) straight line segment or circular arc in C. By the Jordan curve theorem (see
has a simple pole (that is, a Pole of order one) at a with re&iue -me Similarly [Priestley 851 3.24) the complement in C of the image 7' of such a contour
if f has a zero of multiplicity (or order) m at a, that is1 if near a we can write 7 has two connected components, one bounded (the inside I(?) of 7) and
one unbounded (the outside of 7). The requirement that f be a holomorphic
f (2) = (2 - a)mg(z) function inside and on 7 means that f is holomorphic on some open subset of
# 0, then C containing I ( 7 ) U 7'. For a proof of this form of Cauchy's theorem we can
where g(z) is holomorphic in an open neighbourhood of a and then refer to [Priestley 851 4.6. However Cauchy's theorem is true for much
-
f '(2) more general contours (d.e.g. exercise 6.2).
f (2)
A consequence of Cauchy's theorem is
has a simple pole at a with residue m.
114 CHAPTER 5. RIEMANN SURFACES 5.1. THE WEIERSTRASS p-FUNCTION 115

Theorem 5.4 (Cauchy's residue theorem). Let 7 be a contour in C and Then the series
let f be a meromorphic function inside and on 7 with no poles on 7 and poles
at al, ...,at inside 7. Then
C fn(z)
nll

t converges unifomly on W lo a holomorphic function f (2) such that


f (z)dz = f2ni C r e s { f ;aj).
j=1 C
f t ( 4 = n l l fL(z).
Proof. [Priestley 851 7.4. Proof. A standard argument shows that the series converges uniformly. The
result is then an immediate consequence of theorem 5.7. 0.
Remark 5.5 The sign f depends on whether y is a positively or negatively
oriented contour (see [Priestley 851 4.7). We shall not need the precise defi- Remark 5.9 Of course the corresponding result is true if we&ave a double
nition. sequence
(fn,m : W + C)nll,m21
There is a partial converse to Cauchy's theorem. of holomorphic functions on W.
Theorem 5.6 (Morera's theorem). I f f : W -+ C is a continuom func-
The most important application of this for our purposes is to define the
tion on an open subset W of C and i f Weierstrass p-function. Let wt and w2 be nonzero complex numbers which
are linearly independent over R (i.e. their quotient wl/w2 is not real). Let
f (z)dz = 0

for all closed piecewise-smooth paths y in convez open subsets of W then f is Then A is a lattice in C. That is, A is an additive subgroup of C which is
holomorphic in W . isomorphic to Z x Z.
Proof. [Priestley 851 5.6. f Proposition 5.10 There is a memrnorphic function p(z) on C debed by
Using these theorems it is possible to prove the following result which is
very useful for constructing holomorphic and meromorphic functions.
Theorem 5.7 Let (fn : W + C)nll be a sequence of holomorphic functions
I with derivative given b y
on an open subset W of C converging uniformly to a function f : W -t C .
Then f is holomorphic on W , and the derivatives fi converge uniformly to
f t on W . Proof. Note that the sum of a holomorphic function and a meromorphic
Proof. [Priestley 851 p.78. function on an open subset of C is a meromorphic function. Hence, by the
Weierstrass M-test (theorem 5.8), to show that p(z) is a well-defined mero-
A direct application of this result is the Weierstrass M-test. morphic function on C and that its derivative can be obtained by differenti-
ating the series term by term, it suffices to show that for any R > 0 there is
Theorem 5.8 (Weierstrass' M-test). Let (f,, :W -+ C)nll be a sequence a finite subset AR of A such that the series
of holomorphic functions on an open subset W of C. Suppose there ezist
positive real numbers Mn for n 2 1 such that the series C
wEA-AR
( ( t - w)-2 - w-2)
converges absolutely uniformly on the disc
{t E C : 1211 R ) .
converges and
I fn(2) I< Mn Vz E W . For this we need
5.1. THE WEIERSTRASS p-FUNCTION 117
116 CHAPTER 5. RIEMANN SURFACES
Definition 5.12 p(z) is called the Weierstrass p-function associated to the
Lemma 5.11 There is some 6 > 0 such that lattice A.
IZUI + yw2 I> 6JG Lemma 5.13 p(-z) = p(z) = p(z + 6 ) for all z in C and C in A.
for all real numbers x and y . Proof. First note that if C E A then
Given this lemma, let
A,= {WE A :IwI<2R}. Since the tail end of this series converges absolutely and since w - ( runs over
Then A as w runs over A, we can rearrange the series and substitute w for w - to
AR C {nw, + mw2 : n,m E 2,n2 + m2 5 4R26-2} get
and hence AR is finite. Moreover if
+
d ( z 0 = d(.)
for all z E C. This implies that

and J z J 5R, then l z l s f I w ~and hence where c(C) depends on C but not on r. Substituting z = -iC we get
((2 - w)-2 - w - (~ - -
= (z(2W z)(z w ) - ~ w -( ~
5 (5R Iu I / 2 ) l ( l ~ I ' 14)
= I O R 1~ 4 3
5 10R6'~(n~+ m2)-3/2. Now observe that

The result now follows by comparing with the series

and we can rearrange this series, r e ~ l a b n gw by -w, to get

It remains to prove lemma 5.11. In particular c(C) = p(jC) - p(-!C) = 0, and thus

Proof of lemma 5.11. The function f : [0,2n] R defined by

f(e) =I (COS
9)wl + (sin 4)w~I
is continuous. Since the interval [O,2?r] is compact, f is bounded and attains
I This completes the proof. 0

Definition 5.14 Functions f on C with the property that


its bounds. Moreover f (9) > 0 for all 9 E (0,213 since w~ and w2 are linearly
independent over R. Therefore there is some 6 > 0 such that
or equivalently
f (9) > 6
for all 8 E [O, 211. It follows that
are called doubly periodic with period lattice A (or with periods w~ and wz)
)xul + y 2 I
t6 J G Thus the Weierstrass p-function is a doubfy periodic meromorphic function
on C .
for all (x,y) E R x R. 0
. . . . . ---- .--. -- - -. - . -. - . - .-

118 CHAPTER 5. RIEMANN SURFACES 5,1. THE WEIERSTRASS p-FUNCTION 119

Lemma 5.15 A doubly periodic holomorphic function f on C is constant. where g2 = 20A and g3 = 28p. Using the above formulas for g(z) and pt(z) we
can easily check that k(z) restricts to a holomorphic function of z in an open
Proof. Since f is holomorphic it is continuous, and hence by proposition neighbourhood of 0 which vanishes at 0. But p and p' are both meromorphic
2.12 is bounded on any closed bounded subset of C such as the parallelogram functions on C which are holomorphic on C - A and satisfy

~~t given z E C we can find ( E A such that z + C E P,and since f is doubly for all z E C and C E A. This periodicity shows that k(z) is holomorphic in a
periodic, neighbourhood of each (' E A, and hence k(z)is a doubly periodic holomorphic
f ( 2 + 0 = f (4. function on C . Therefore by lemma 5.15, k(z) must be a constant function,
SO
Thus f is bounded on C,so the result follows from
k(z) = k(0) = 0
Theorem 5.16 (Liouville's theorem). Any bounded holomorphic function for all z E C. Finally to obtain the required series expressions for 92 = 20A
on C is constant. and g3 = 28p note that 2X and 24p are the second and fourth derivatives at
0 of the function
Proof. [Priestley 851 5.2. 0
Using lemma 5.15 we can prove an extremely important identity concern-
C ((2 - w ) - ~- w - ~ )
WEA-10)
ing the Weierstrass pfunction. which can be differentiated term by term at z = 0. 0
Lemma 5.17
Proposition 5.18 The Weierstntss p-function
-
~ ' ( z ) '= ~ P ( z ) !.?2~(z)
~ 93, -
p:C-A+C
where is surjective. Also
=
~ ( 2 ) P(W)

and
if and only if w E A f z .
Proof. Take any c E C and let f ( z ) = p(z) - c. Then by remark 5.1 the
function f'(z)/f ( z ) is meromorphic on C with simple poles of residue -m
Proof. where f has poles of multiplicity m and simple poles of residue m where f has
g(.) C ( ( 2 - w)-2 - w - ~ )
- 2.-' = zeros of multiplicity m, and no other poles. Therefore by Cauchy's residue
WEA-(01 theorem (theorem 5.4) if $ is a contour in C not passing through any zero or
vanishes at 0 and restricts to a holomorphic function in an open neighbour- pole of f then
hood of O in C . Moreover it is an even function of z (i.e. it takes the same
values at z and - 2 ) so its odd derivatives vanish at 0 and hence its Taylor
series expansion about 0 involves only even powers of z. Thus near 0 we can where Z and P are the numbers of zeros and poles of f inside r counted
write according to mu1t iplid ty. Take 7 to be the boundKy of the pardehgmm
P(;) =: -2 .
+ x z ~ + ~ z ~ + z ~ ~ ( z )
where h(z) is a holomorphic i u n c t ion of z defined near z = 0. Then
where a is chosen so that the boundary of P(a) does not pass througb any
pt(z) = + 2X: + 4 p 3 + 6z5h(z)+ t6h'(z). zeros or poles of f . In particular this means that there is precisely one lattice
point C E A inside 7 . By the double periodicity off we have
Consider the function

k(z) = ~ ' ( 2 - ~ 2 ~ ( 2+) 93


) ~4 6 4 ~ f) 9
5.1. THE WEIERSTRASS p-FUNCTION 121
120 CHAPTER 5. RIEMANN SURFACES
Proof. Let
since the integrals along opposite sides of the paraielograrn c a n d Therefore

To show that CA is nonsingular it is enough to show that a,P,7 are distinct


But f , like p, has poles of multiplicity two at all the lattice points < E A and complex numbers and that
no others, so
P = 2.
Thus Z = 2, and hence there exists some wo €'P(a) such that That a,P, 7 are distinct follows immediately from proposition 5.18. Since p
is an even doubly periodic function its derivative is an odd doubly periodic
function with the same periods wl and w2. Thus as in the proof of (5.18)
that is,
~ ( " 0 ) = c.

Since c was arbitrary this shows that p : C - A C is surjective. and so


Since p(z) is even and doubly periodic we have
By lemma 5.17 we have

There exists some wl E A - wo belonging to the parallelogram P(a), and


then both wo and wl are zeros of f inside 7. So if wo # wl these account for
the two zeros of f inside 7 and hence the only zeros of f are given by a i d so a, and similarly P and 7, are roots of the polynomial 4x3 - g2x - g3.
It follows that

Thus it remains to show that if wl = wo then f has a zero of multiplicity at


least two at wo; i.e. that with a,/?, distinct, and hence the curve CA defined by Q g ( x ,y, Z) is nonsin-
ft(wo)= 0. gular.

For then as before all the zeros of f inside 7 will be accounted for. But if Remark 5.21 If we regard the lattice A as an additive subgroup of C, then
wo = wl then A + wo = A - w0 and so as pt(z) is an odd doubly periodic we can form the quotient group
function
gt(wo)= -pt(-wo) = -pt(wo).
Hence pt(wo) = 0 and thus fl(wo)= 0 as required. O + +
where as usual two cosets A a and A b are equal if and only if a - b E A.
This quotient group has a natural topology (the quotient topology) induced
Definition 5.19 Let CA be the projective curve in P2 defined by the polyno- from the standard topology on C as follows. Let
mial
n : C -,C/A
QA(x,y, z) = y2z - 4x3 g 2 t ~g3z3+2 +
where g2 = g2(A) and g3 = g3(A) are defined as in lemma 5.17.
+
be the surjective map defined by ~ ( a=) A a. Then a subset U of CIA ie
open in the quotient topology on C/A if and only if its inverse image n'l(U)
is open in C.
Lemma 5.20 The cubic curve CA is nonsingular.
122 CHAPTER 5. RIEMANN SURFACES 5.1. THE WElERSTRASS p-FUNCTION 123

Proof. We need to show that u is a bijection, and that u and u-I are

First let us check that u is injective. So suppose that z, w E C - A and


u(z) = u(w).

Then p(z) = p(w) so by proposition 5.18 we know that

ZEA~W.
+
We want to show that z E A w. Suppose z E A - w. Then since p' is an
odd doubly periodic function we have
0
pt(z) = -@('w).
Figure 5.1: C/A is a torus
) U(W)SO pt(z) = pt(w). Hence
But ~ ( z =
Note that n : C 4 CIA is an open map in the sense that if V is open in pt(z) = pt(w) = 0.
C then n(V) is open in CIA. This is because
But the proof of lemma 5.20 shows that if pt(w) = 0 then p(w) equals a,p
.-'(.(V)) = U(V + C)
CEA

is a union of translates = P ( 1~ W I )p, = B (1~ W ~1)=, P(?(WI


1 +~ 2 ) ) ~
V+C={v+C: V E V )
and then (5.18) implies that
of V in C, all of which are open subsets of C.
Note also that CIA is compact by 2.12(i) and (ii), since the restriction of
n to the parallelogram + +
that is, A w = A - w. So z E A w and we have shown that u is injective.
Now let us show that u is surjective. So suppose that [a, b,c] E CA. If
P = {swl+tw2 : s , t E [O,l]) c = 0 then the equation defining CA forces a = 0 so [a, b, c] = [0,1,0] which
is in the image of u. Otherwise we may assume c = 1. Then by (5.18) there
is surjective. is some z E C such that
Topologically C/A is a torus (see figure 5.1).This is because we can identify p(z) = a.
CIA topologically with the parallelogram P with its two pairs of opposite
sides glued together. Glueing one pair of sides together gives a cylinder and By lemma 5.17 and the assumption that [a, b, 11 f CAwe have
glueing the ends of the cylinder together gives a torus.
We shall refer to CIA as a "complex torus." ) ~4 p ( ~ -) q2p(z)
~'(2= ~ - 93 = 4a3 - g2a - g3 = b2
Definition 5.22 The lemmas 5.13 and 5.17 imply that there is a well-defined
mapping u : C/A C,,defined by
-i
u(A + z) = [a, b, 11
u(h - 2) = (a, b, 11.
Proposition 5.23 The mappzng u: CA-+ C,is a homeomorphism. Thus u is surjective.
5.2. RIEMA NN SURFACES 125
124 CHAPTER 5. RIEMANN SURFACES

Since p and p' are holomorphic and hence continuous functions on C A -


+
it is clear that u is continuous except possibly at A 0. Since p and p' have
poles of multiplicity two and three at 0, near 0 we can write

where g and h are holomorphic near 0 and g(0) and h(0) are nonzero. So if
z is near 0 but not equal to 0 then

+
which tends to [O, 1,0] as z tends to 0. Thus u is continuous at A 0.
We have shown that u : C/A -, CAis a continuous bijection. Since CIA
is compact (by remark 5.21) and CAis Hausdorff (lemma 2.30) it follows that Figure 5.2: A chart
u is a homeom~rphism([Sutherland 751). 0
Riemann surface in a natural way and say what it means for a map between
Remark 6.24 We shall show later (proposition 5.43) that u and its inverse Riemann surfaces to be holomorphic.
are not continuous but indeed holomorphic. However before proving this
we must say what it means! This will be done in the next section. First we need the definition of a (topological) surface.
Definition 5*25 A surface is a Hausdorff topological space S which locally
Note also that proposition 5.23 tallies with the degree-genus formula, homeomorphic to C (or equivalently R
'
).
which tells us that topologically CAis a sphere with one handle, i.e. a torus.
Here, "locally homeomorphic to Cn means that any x E S has an open
neighbourhood U in S which is homeomorphic to an open subset V of C.
5.2 Riemann surfaces
A homeomorphism 4 : U -, V between an open subset U of S and an
We saw in the last section that if open subset V of C is called a chart (or local coordinate mapping ) on S (see
figure 5.2).An atlas @ for the surface S is a collection of charts on S
A = {nult mu2 : n,m E 2)

is a lattice in C then there is a nonsingular cubic curve CA in Pzand a


homeomorphism indexed by a set A, such that
u : c / h + CA
defined by
u(A + z) = If da : U, 4 Va and 4; : Up -+ V, are charts then
if Z E A
where g(z) is the Weierstrass p-function associated to A. In fact this homeo-
morphism u and its inverse u-I are holomorphic. The main aim of this section is an open subset of Va, which is an open subset of C. If cP = {da : Ua 3

is to make sense of this statement (which will be proved at the end of it: see V, : ar E A) is an atlas for S then the homeomorphisms
proposition 5.43). We need to define Riemann surfaces, show that the com-
plex torus CIA and the nonsingular curve CA can each be regarded as a
CHAPTER 5. RIEMANN SURFACES 5.2. RIEMA NN SURFACES 127

V -+ W such that if x E V and y E W then

P(", y ) = 0 +=+ y = g(x).

Since c - Sing(C) is an open subset of C (this follows immediately from


the definition of the quotient topology on P2;see after definition 2.15), by
choosing V and W small enough we may assume that

~ = { ( ~ , Y ) E C : X EW
V ), ~ E

~ ( x , Y=) x
is a continuous function with continuous inverse

I-, (x,g(x)).
Similarly if (aP/ax)(a,b) # 0 there is an open neighbourhood U of (a, b) in
C - Sing(C) such that the map y5 :U + C defined by

Figure 5.3: A transition function


y5(x, Y ) = Y
is a homeomorphism onto an open subset V of C with inverse
betwen open of C are called the transition functions of the atlas (see
figure5.3). The atlas is called holomorphic if all its transition functions are Y" (h(~),y)
holomorphic in the usual sense as functions from open subsets of C to open
where h(y) is a holomorphic function of y. Thus there is an atlas on - c
subsets of C.
Sin9(C) such that every chart is of one of t h e e two forms or @ The .
Examples 5.26 If U is an open subset of C then the identity map ( 1 :~
U +
transition functions are then either the identity or compositions of the form
U) is a holomorphic atlas on U. So is the set of all holomorphic functions
with holomorphic inverses from open subsets of U to open subsets of C. x t-+ (x,g(x))I-, g ( 2 )

Nonsingular complex curves are the most important examples of surfaces


(h(y1, Y ) I-, h(Y)
with holomorphic atlases from the point of view of this book.
where g and h are holomorphic. Therefore this atlas is holomorphic. o
Proposition 5.27 If C is a complex algebraic curve in C2 defined by a ~019-
nomial ~ ( 3y) , then C - Sing(C) has a holomorphic atlas. The argument for projective curves is very similar, *
Proof. Suppose that (a, b) € C , i.e. P(a, b) = 0, and that Proposition 5.28 IfC is a projective curve in P2defined by a homogeneous
~ol~nomialP ( x , Y, z ) then C - Sing(C) has a holomorphic atlas.
(aPlay)(a,b) # 0.
Proof- Suppose that [a,b, c] E C , i.e. P(a, b, c) = 0, and that
The implicit function theorem (see Appendix B) tells us that there are open
neidhbour~oodsV and W of a and b in C and a holomorphic function 9 : (aP/ay)(a, b, c) # 0.
5.2. RIEMANN SURFACES 129
128 CHAPTER 5. RIEMANN SURFACES
Remark 5-29 It is easy to show that the complement of a finite set of points
By Euler's relation (see lemma 2-32) in a surface is dense. Thus the claim in the proof of proposition 4.22 that the
ap
a-(a,
ax
b, c)
ap
+ )-(a,
8~
b,c) + cZ(%b,c)
ap
=0 of a finite set of points in a nonsingular projective curve is dense
is substantiated by proposition 5.28.
so
a=c=O*a=b=~=O The point of having a holomorphic atlas on a surface is that it makes it
possible to talk about holomorphic functions on the surface.
which is impossible by the definition of P2. Hence a # 0 or c # 0. Assume
that c # 0. Then by the homogeneity of P Definition 5.30 Let = { 4 :~(1. 4 vu:a E A) be a hoI0mo~hicatlu on
aP dP S. A continuous map f : S 3 C ia called holomorphic with ~ s p e c t
a ~~fa.foee
-(a/., b/c, 1) = c-(*-"--(a, b, c) # 0 to @ at E S if there is a chart 4, : U, 3 V, in @ such that E ua and
ay aar
where d is the degree of P. The implicit function theorem (see Appendix f04~':V,-+~
B) applied to the polynomial P ( x , y, 1) in X and now us that there
are open neighbourhood~V and W of a / c and b/c in C and a h o l o m o r ~ ~ ~ ~ is holomor~hicat A ( X ) in the W U U ~sense as a function f m m the open
function g : V -+ W such that if x E V and Y E W then Va of c to C. The map f is called holomorphic with nspect to @ i f it
holomorphic at every a: E S.
P ( z ,y , 1) = 0 * Y =9 ( 4 . Remark 5.31 Because @ is a holomorphic atla. the choice of chart 4, :
~f V and W are chosen small enough then uo Va such that 3 E U, in this definition makes no difference. 1f x E
+

u = {[X,~,Z]EC:Z#O,X/~EV,Y/~EW)
= {[x,~,I]EC:XEV,YEW) 40 :UO 3 b , d P :up-+ Vp
is an open neighbourh~~dof [a,b, C] in C - Sing(C). The Q: -t

defined by
4 [ ~Y , ,21 = X / Z f O C' 14a~uan~p)= ( f 0 4;') 0 (h0 bl) Iccuanup) .
is a homeomorphism with inverse Since k 4:' and its inverse 4, 0 4;' are both holomorphic and the compo.
sition of holomorphic functions is always holomorphic, it fo]lows that f 4;'
W w [W,S(W),
11. is holomorphic at & ( I ) if and only if f o 4;' is holomorphic a t 4P(x).
similarly if [a,b, c] E C and (aP/By)(a,b, c) # 0 # a, or if(8PIBx)(a, #O
or (a~/a~)(~,b, c) # 0, then we can find a homeomorphism 4 : u V This remark proves
-
+

an open neighbourho~dU of [a,b, C] in C Sing(C) anto an Open


of c such that 4[x,y, z] is one of the following: Lemma 5-32 A C O ~ ~ ~ ~ Ufunction
O U S f :S 3 C ia holomovhic =spect
to a holomorphic atlas cP on S if and only i f
~/x,Y/~,~/Y,~~Y,Y/~
f0#;':Vo+C
and the inverse of 4 has the form
is holomorphic for every chart 40 : U, -,V, in a.
w I-, [l,g(w),w ] ,[g(w),w, 11,[9(w),l,wI, [w,l,g(w)l Or [l,w,g(w)J
where : V -+ C is holomorphic. Thus We get an atlas on C - SindC) each
Definition 5-33 Let S and T be surfaces with holomorphk atlases @ and Q .

-
A continuow map f : S T is called holomorphic with respect to @ and Q
of whose transition functions is of One of the following forms
w H W , l / w , g ( w ) , l / g ( w )w
, / ~ ( wor) ~ ( w ) / w $0 Of O 4': p ) ) : n f-'(wP))
I b a ( ~ a n f - l ( ~ du(U, ~g
such that, g is holomorphic and the denominator does not vanish on the set holomo*ic for chart bo : Ua -t Va in ib and evey d a r t +@wp
: +
where the transition function is defined. Thus this atlas is holomorphic. 0 5in Q.
- .-- . -
. . ,
-
--
A- .-_.-. - .-- .
._. _ _. . ----- - - ---
- - -.
. ru -Y

130 CHAPTER 5. RIEMANN SURFACES 5-2. RIEMA NN SURFACES


131
Note that f-?(Wp) is an open subset of S because f is continuous, and
thus 4,(Ua n fel(Wp))is an open subset of C. We can replace the condition
that f should be continuous by the weaker condition that f-'(Wp) should be
an open subset of S for all p, or equivalently that 4,(Ua n f"(Wp)) should
be an open subset of C for all cr and p.

Lemma 5.34 I f f : S 4 T and g : T -+ R are holomorphic with respect to


given holomorphic atlases a, q ,O on the surfaces S,T, R then g o f : S 4 R
is holomorphic with respect to the holomorphic atlases @,O on S and R.

Proof. Suppose x E S; we need to show that g o f is holomorphic at x. Let


us choose holomorphic charts

on T and
0, : Y, -+ 2, E C
on R such that
x E Ua, f ( x ) E Wp, g ( f ( x ) )E Yv.
It is enough to show that 0, og o f o 4;' is holomorphic at &(x) E Va. But
in the open neighbourhood

of #,,(x) we can write

(see figure 5.4) and this is the composition of two holomorphic functions in Figure 5.4: Composition of holomorphic functions
the usual sense of complex analysis, so it is holomorphic. 0

Definition 5.35 Two holomorphic atlases @ and Q on a surface S are called


compatible if the identity map 1s : S -+ S is holomorphic both as a map from
S with atlas $ to S with atlas \Ir and as a map from S with atlas \I! to S with
atlas @.

It is easy to check that compatibility is an equivalence relation on the set


of holomorphic atlases on a surface S.
- * " *

132 CHAPTER 5. RIEMANN SURFACES 5.2. RIEMANN SURFACES 133

Example 5.36 The holomorphic atlases


(a). Any open subset U of C with the holomorphic atlas (Iv :U -,U) is a
{Is : S -,S) Riemann surface.
(b). If S is a Riemann surface with holomorphic
and
@={(ba:Ua+Va a E A )
{ h : U -+ V : U, V open in C, h holomorphic with holomorphic inverse )
and if W is an open subset of S then the holomorphic atlas
on C are compatible. These atlases are not compatible with the holomorphic
atlas on C consisting of the single chart 4 :C --+ C defined by @ Iw= w
{(be Iv,nw: uan + &(Ua n W ): a E A)
- makes W into a Riemann surface.
4(z) = Z . Note in particular that it is easy to prove from definition 5.25 that every
~onnectedcomponent of a Riemann surface S is an open subset of S and
Remark 5.37 It follows from lemma 5.43 by considering the composition hence is a Riemann surface. lilll
II
lTo f ols with appropriate atlases that if @ and Jlr are compatible holomorphic (c). Proposition 5.27 tells US that every nonsingular complex curve c in ~2 1 awl 1
atlases on a surface S and 6 and are compatible holomorphic atlases on a can be regarded as a Riemann surface in a natural way. The restrictions to C $,
surface T then a continuous function of the X and Y-coordinateson C2are then holomorphic functions on C,as are 11111,
~IIIII
all ~ o l ~ n o m ifunctions
al of x and 9. Similarly it follows from propositions 5.27
j:S+T
and 5-28that if C is an affine or projective complex curve then C - Sing(C)
is a Riemann surface.
is holomorphic with respect to and 6 if and only if it is holomorphic with
respect to \Y and*.
Definition 5.38 A Riemann surface is a surface S together with an equiva-
lence class 'H of holomorphic atlases on S . In other words a Riemann surface Let 17= Pi - {w) and let V = PI - (0). Define t$ : U -, C and
i s given by a surface S with a holomorphic atlas on S, and two h~lomor- 1":

Y ] = X/Y, $ti, Y]= y/z.


I I

phic atlases on S define the same Riemann surface if and only if the3 are d.9
I
compatible with each other. Then 4 : U -t C and $ : V 4 C form a holomorphic atlas on PIwith
transition functions
If (S, 31) and (T, 7 )are Riemann surfaces and f : S -+ is continuous 9 0 $-' = $ 0 $4-I :C - (0) -,C - (0)
then by remark 5.37 we can say that f is a holomorphic map between the
Riemann surfaces (S, R)and (T,3)if it is holomorphic with respect to any
(or equivalently all) of the holomorphic atlases @ E 'H on S and Q' E 0x1 z l/z.
T. Recall that if U is an open subset of C then a memmorphic function on u is
a function f : U + C U (00) such that if a E U there exists E > 0 such that
We often denote a Riemann surface (S,'H) by the same symbol S as the in the punctured disc
underlying surface, unless confusion is likely to arise.
(z€C:O<Iz-a1<&)
Definition 5.39 Two Riemann surfaces S and T are called biholomorphic if the function f takes only finite values and has a Lauren+, series expansion
there is a holomorphic bijection f : S -+ T whose inverse is holomorphic. (In
fact the requiwment that the inverse o f f should be holomorphic is redundant:
see exercise 5.6).
f (2) = x
k2-m
ck(z - a)k
134 CHAPTER 5. RIEMANN SURFACES 5.2. RIEMANN SURFACES 135

for some integer rn. If this power series is identically zero then f ( a ) = 0. Lemma 5.41 Any nonconstant holomorphic map f : PI-+ PIis mtiond
Otherwise we may assume that c-, # 0, and then (and hence takes the value m at least once).

flu, = { oo if m > 0,
c, i f m = O ,
0 ifm<O.
Proof. The restriction of f to C is a meromorphic function on C, as is the
function

When f ( a ) = a, we say that f has a pole of order m at a. where we interpret f as m. If a meromorphic function has a pole at a point
a E C then it is holomorphic on some punctured disc
Equivalently we can write
f ( z ) = (z - U ) - ~ ~ ( Z )
with E > 0 (this follows straight from the definition). Since PIis compact
where .
it follows that f can have only finitely many poles in C , at a ~. ,.,or say.
Suppose that I
k20
f (z) =
n>
C-m,
c t ) ( z - aj),
is holomorphic and h(a) # 0. Thus f (z) is meromorphic in a neighbourhood
of a with a pole at a if and only if is the Laurent expansion of f about aj, and let 1-
I,

is holomorphic near a with value 0 at a. This means that a meromorphic


function on U is holomorphic in the sense.of Riemann surfaces as a mapping Then g is a rational, and hence meromorphic function on C which extends
from U to PI= C U {oo}. Conversely any holomorphic function f : U + PI to a holomorphic function j : P1 -, P1such that g ( w ) = 0. Moreover f - g
which does not take the constant value oo on any connected component of U has no poles in C, so it has a Taylor expansion
defines a merornorphic function on U.

valid for all z E C. Therefore the Laurent expansion of f - g about a, with


and respect to the local chart given by w = is 5
q(z) = bo + biz + ...+ bmzm
are polynomials of degrees n and m with no common factor then there is a
holomorphic map f : P1-+ P1whose restriction to C is the rational function
This expression only defines a meromorphic function if c,, = 0 for all suffi-
ciently large n (otherwise there is an essential singularity: see e.g. [Priestley 851
6.6). Thus f - g is a polynomial on C. Hence f is the sum of two rational
and whose value at oo is functions and so it is itself rational.
We have one last important example of Riemann surfaces.
Example 5..42 Complex tori. As in 85.1 let wl and wz be complex numbers
which are linearly independent over R. Then the lattice
Note that unless f is constant it must take the value a, at some point. In
fact every nonconstant holomorphic function f :PI-+ P1is of this form.
. - . - - --

5.2. RIEMANN SURFACES


136 CHAPTER 5. RIEMANN SURFACES 137

in c is an additive subgroup of C, We have already noted in remark 5.21 Proposition 6-43 The homeomorphism u :C/A + cAdefined by
that the quotient group C/A has a natural topology, the quotient t o ~ o l o g ~
induced by the map a : C -t C/A which maps
%HA+Z.
~t follows i-diately from lemma 5.11 that there exists 6 > 0 such that
I nwl + mwz I>_
6
for all pairs of integers n,m not both zero. Hence if a E C the restriction of
+D 0 u0 R1: do(Uo.nu-~(w,))
+6
is holomor~hicin the usual sense of complex .nalysiS for Some holomorphic
x to the open disc
U, = { z E C : ( 2 - a1
1
< -6)
charts do : + va on C/A and $p : Wp + 6 on CAsuch that A + E ,yo
4 and + w) E Wp- As in example 5.42 we may take 4o to be the inverse of
in c is a homeomorphism onto the open subset ~ ( u a of'
) CIA. If ~ ( u afl) a: -t U, = r(V,) !llll I!$
n(Ub) # 0 then there is a unique 1111~,I,t
I~~~~Ill,
4alr llli
nwl + mwz E A where Vo is a sufficiently small open disc in C and a : C + CIA maps to
+
its coset A z. Thus 4;' = : V, 4 u,.
dl,,, ,888

If then u(A + W ) = I P ( ~ )d(z),


such that 1 5.28 we canA take II,D to be either
, l] 80 by the proof of proposition
I nwr + m w ? + a - b l < i4 u',;lllC
"li!;;$!
2
and then [x,Y,z] -t, ; ,,,,,,,,d
;;:$
I~~~~

( a I&)-' x IU~~~-~(~(U~)): -' Ub ;;;;I ;It;a


I,mtw,,

.+
is given by translation by nwl m ~ z Therefore the charts
1/,.,.

= (n (u,)-' : n(Ua) -+ Ua
'I'hus h 0 u 0 4;' is the restriction of either p or pd, both of whi& an , ,.%.

for a E C form a holomorphic atlas on CIA. holomorphic near w.


T~ show that this a t l a makes C/A into a Riemann surface it remains +
If E A So that u(A w) = [o, 1,0] the proof of proposition 5.28 shows ,, . .,
....
: h

to show that CIA is Hausdorff. This can be checked directly using ~ ~ - a that we can take +D to be the map .. .
I .,,(
,,, ,
5-11 but it also follows immediately from the existence of a homeomorphism
: CIA 4 CAwhere CAis a nonsingular projective curve (proposition 5.23) / x , Y , ~H
] -xY
and the fact that CAis Hausdorff (lemma 2.30).
1f S is another Fiemann surface then a function f from CIA to S is bolo-
rnorphic if and only if the composition f O T from C to s is holomor~hic.Thus
holomorphic functions f froni CIA to S correspond exactly to holomor~hic (see definition 5.19). Thus
functions g from C to S with the property that
g(z +~ l =>g(z) = g(z +wz)
This function is holomorphic near O (and hence near every point of A by
periods wl and w2. double periodicity) since near 0 we can write
Finally we can prove as promised that the homeomorphism u : CIA + CA
and its inverse are holomorphic.
138 CHAPTER 5. RIEMANN SURFACE 5.3. EXERCISES 139

and [Hint: Use exercise 5.31


5.5. Use the theorem of isolated zeros from complex analysis (see [Priestley 85)
5.14) to show that if f : R -+ ,Sis a nonconstant holomorphic map between
where g and h are holomorphic near 0 and g(0) and h(O) are mnzero (cL the
~omectedRiemann surfaces then every x E R has an open neighbourhood
proof of proposition 5.23). in R such that f (y) # f(x) for all y E U - {XI.
This the proof that u is holomorphic. TO show that u-' is
holomorphic we must check that 5-60 The inverse function theorem of complex analisis (see [Priestley 851
10.25) says that if f : U V is a holomorphic bijection between open subsets
$ P ~ -1~ )-~1 4 a
4 u o u - 1 ~ $ p 1= ( of C then I'(z) # 0 for all E U and f-' : V -r U is holomorphic. Deduoe
that if f : R -t S is a holomorphic bijection between Riemann surfaces then
is holomorphic for every holomorphic chart 4, : Ua -t Va on C/A and $0 : f" : S + R is holomorphic.
wp-+ yp on C,,. This can be proved directly as was done for u, but it also 5.7- (a). Show that the union of two compatible holomorphic atlases on a
follows immediately from the inverse function theorem of complex analysis
surface S is a holomorphic atlas.
([Priestley 851 10.25) which tells us that if f : U 4 V is a holomor~hic
bijection between open subsets of C then f" : V U is also holomor~hic. (b). A holomorphic a t l a on a surface S is called complete if it mntains every lit,

I111,
11

0
holomorphic atlas which is compatible with it. Show that in every equivalence "it
1 II

class 71 of compatible holomorphic atlases on S there is a unique complete I


f l I,
l,

holomorphic atlas. 1 jt;


111,

5.3 Exercises 5.8. Let be a surface with open subsets V and W such that s = v u W. I!:
,,I)

Suppose that V and W have holomorphic atlases iP and \Ir such that the I I!:

5.1. The identity theorem (or principle of analytic continuation) of complex holomorphic atlases lvnw and 8 lvnw on V n W are compatible. Show 111

analysis tells us that if f : U -+ C and g : U + C are holomorphic fu~~ctions that U 8 is a holomorphic atlas on S.
from a connected open subset U of C to C , and if f(z) = g(z) for all z in 5.9- Use exercise 5.4 and example 5.42 to show that there are no nonconstant
some nonempty open subset W of U then f (2) = g(z) for all E U (cf. holomorphic doubly periodic functions f : C -,C.
[Priestley 851 5.16). Use this to show that if f : R -+ S and 9 : R + S
are holomorphic functions between Riemann surfaces R and S and if R is 5-10. Let ~ ( z be
) the Weierstrass pfunction &sociated with the lattice in
connected and f (z) = CJ(Z) for all z in some nonempty open subset W of R C. Explain why the function
then f(z) = g(z) for all z E R. [Hint: show that the union of all the open
subsets of R on which f and g agree is nonempty and is both 0pen.and closed @:C/A+P1=Cu{m)
in R, so it must be R itself]. +
defined by @(A z) = B(Z) is holomorphic in the sense of Riemann surfaces.
5.2. The open mapping theorem of complex analysis (see [Priestley 851 10.24) Given that ~ ' ( 2 h) a a simple zero at each point in $A - A and no other
says that if f : u -, C is a nonconstant holomorphic function from a coil- zeros in C,show that if A is generated by wl and w2 then
netted open subset U of C to C then f (U) is open in C . Use this to show that
if f : R -, s is a nonconstant holomorphic map between Riemann surfaces
and R is connected then f (R) is an open subset of S.
is a holomorphic doubly periodic function on C. Deduce using exercise 5.9
5.3. Show that a nonconstant holomorphic function f :R -+ S between .that there is a cubic polynomial Q ( x ) such that
connected Riemann surfaces R and S such that R is compact is surjective.
[Hint: use exercise 5.2 and the fact that the image of a compact space under
d(zI2 = Q(P(z))
a continuous map to a Hausdorff space is compact and hence closed]. Deduce
that S is compact.
5.4. show that if R is a compact connected Riemann surface then there are 5.11. Let f be a nonconstant meromorphic function on C which is even (i.e.
no nonconstant holomorphic functions f : R 4 C. /(-I) = f ( z ) for all E C ) and doubly periodic with period lattice A (i.e.
5.3. EXERCISES 141
140 CHAPTER 5. RIEMANN SURFACES
f(z + A) = f(z) for all a E C and A E A). Let p(z) be the IVeierstrass Show that there is a projective transformation of P2 given by a diagonal
@function associated to A. Using Cauchy's residue theorem applied to the matrix taking C to 6 if and only if J(C) = ~ ( 6 where
)
boundary of a suitable parallelogram (as in the proof of proposition 5-18) or
+
otherwise, show that the number n(f) of cosets A a consisting of zeros of J(C) = id
d - 27932'
f(z) is even and positive and is the same as the number of cosets consisting
of poles (allowing for multiplicities of zeros and poles). Show that if a is a 5-15. Let A and be lattices in C. Use exercises 5.13 and 5.14 to show that
zero and b is a pole then the following statements are equivalent.
(i). CIA is biholomorphic to CIA.
(ii). A = aA for some a E c - (0).
-
(iii). J(A) = J(A) where J(A) = g2(A)3/(g2(A)3 27g3(A)2).
is an even doubly periodic meromorphic function and either g(z) is constant [Hint: show (i)=+(ii)=+(iii)+(i)].
or n(g) = n(f) - 2. Deduce that there is a rational function R(%)such that 5-18. Let f : R S be a holomorphic map between Riemann surfaces
-+

with P E R and f (P) =: 9 E S. Show that there are holomorphic charts


f (2) = R(p(z)). 4~ :UU-+ VUon R near p and $P : WP XPon S near q such that
show that pt(z)2 is an even doubly periodic meromorphic function and #*(P) = 0 =
deduce that
and $P0 f 0 4;' is either identically zero or is given by
) ~~ ( P ( z -
~'(2= ) p(a))(dz) - P(~))(P(z)- P(c)) Z H 2"
forsomea,b,cEC-A.
for some positive integer v. Show also that v is independent of the choice of
5.12. Let A be a lattice in C. Show that charts 4, and it is called the ramification indez of f at p. Show that this
definition agrees with the definition given in $4.2. We also say that f takes
g 2 ( ~ )-3 27g3(N2# 0. the value q at p with multiplicity v .
5.13. Let A and be lattices in C and let 50170 Let f : R -+ S be a nonconstant holomorphic map between connected
compact Riernann surfaces. Show that f takes each value in S the same
F : C / h -t c/A mmber of times, counting multiplicities. [Hint: use e.g. [Priestley 851 10.22
be a holomorphic map. Show that there exist a, b E C such that A and ..
to show that if 9 E S and f -'{q} = {PI,. , P I ) where the multiplicity of f
.. ...
at Pi is vi then there are disjoint open neighbourhoods Ill,. ,Ul of n, ,PI
F ( A + z) = + az + b in R and V of 9 in S such that the restriction of f to Ui takes each value in
V exactly Ui times, counting multiplicities. Since
z E C. [Hint: define maps r and ifrom C to C/A a d CIA by
for
*
r(z) A + z, ji(z) = A + Z. If 4 is a holomorphic local inverse for show
R-(UIU ...UU,)
that the composition 4 o F o n is holomorphic and depends on the choice of is compact, deduce that
4 only up to the addition of a constant. Deduce that its derivative extends
to a doubly periodic holomorphic function on C, and hence is constant]. w = v n (S- f ( -~( u ~u ...u u,)))
5.14. Let C and 6 be nonsingular projective cubic curves in P2 &fined by
is an open neighbourhood of q in S such that f takes each value in W exactly
the equations
142 CHAPTER 5. RIEMANN SURFACES

times. NOW use the connectedness of S to obtain the required result].


5.18, Let
C = { [ x , y , z ]E Pz : P ( x , Y , ~=)0)
be a nonsingular projective curve. The mapping
a p a p ap
[x,Y,~] &(&I Differentials on Riemann
from p2 to p2 is called the polar mapping associated with C, and the image
of C is called the dud curve & of C.
(i). Use Eule& relation (lemma 2.32) and the fact that C is nonsingular to
show that the polar mapping is ~el~-defined.
(ii). Show that if C is a conic then the polar mapping is a projective trans-
formation ad hence the dual curve 6 is also a nonsingular conic. 6.1 Holomorphic differentials
(iii). show that the polar mapping from C to 6 is holomorphic, but t h d it
We have associated to a lattice A in C a nonsingular cubic curve CA in P2
does not have a holomorphic inverse if the degree of C is at least three. [Hint:
you may wish to consider the inflection points of c].
y2r = 4s3 - 92(A)5Z2 - g3(h)~3.
Conversely given the curve CAcan we recover the lattice A? For this we need
the concept of the integral of a holomorphic differential along a piecewise-
smooth path in a Riemann surface.
The definition of a piecewise-smooth path in a Riemann surface is the
obvious generalisation of the definition of a piecewise-smooth path in C.
Definition 6.1 A piecewise-smooth path in a Riernann surface S is a con-
tinuous map y from a closed interual [a,b] in R to S such that if 4 : U -+ V
is a holomorphic chart on an open subset U of S and [c,d j C y-'(U) then

do'Y:[cldj-tV
is a piecewise-smooth path in the open subset V of C . (See the definition afler
e m a r k 5.1). The path 7 is closed if y ( a ) = ~ ( b ) ,
The definitions of holomorphic and meromorphic differentials on a Rie-
mann surface are not quite so immediate and need some motivation. First we
need to say what we mean by meromorphic functions on a Riemann surface.
Recall from example 5.40(d) that a meromorphic function on an open
subset W of C can be interpreted as a function W -+ PI which is holomorphic
in the sense of Riemann surfaces (and is not identically cx, on any connected
component of W). Here as usual we identify PIwith C IJ {oo). Thus it is
reasonable to make the following definition.

143
6.1. HOL OMORPHIC DIFFERENTIALS 145
144
Remarks 6.5 (i) Formally a meromorphic differential on S is an equivalence
Definition 6.2 A meromorphic function on a Riemann surface S is a func- class of pairs (j,
g) of meromorphic functions on S such that two pain (f,g)
tion f : S + P1 which is holomorphic in the sense of Riemann surfaces and and (f,3) are equivalent if and only if for every holomorphic chart 4 : U -t V
is not identically m on any connected component of S. on S and for every z E V we have
Remark 6.3 If we are considering compact Riemann surfaces S (such as non-
singular projective curves) then meromorphic functions on S are much more
r o d-lc)(g o rl)'(z) = jo d - l ( ~ ) ( io c l ) ( ( ~ ) .
interesting than holomorphic functions f : S + C. This is because every (ii) To get some idea of why this definition might be useful, consider the
holomorphic function j : S -+ C on a compact Riemann surface is constant following question.
(see exercise 5.4 and lemma 6.26) but there are lots of meromorphic func-
'Does it make sense to differentiate a meromorphic function on a Riemann
tions f : S 4PI.This is very hard to prove in general (see e.g. [Jones 711,
surface S?n
Chapter VI or [Springer 571) but we can give examples such as the Weier-
strass @function on a complex torus, and rational functions on nonsingular Note that if
projective curves. By a rational function on C - Sing(C) where = (4, :U, -,VQ : a E A)
@
is a holomorphic atlaa on S then a meromorphic function g : S -P C U {m)
is determined by the collection of meromorphic functions
is an irreducible projective curve in Pa we mean a meromorphic function on
C - Sing(C) of the form
and conversely a collection of meromorphic functions

where S(x, y, z) and T(x, y, r ) are homogeneous polynomials of the same de- defines a meromorphic function g on S such that G, = g o 4;' for each a E A
gree and T(x, y,z) does not vanish identically on C (i.e. T(x,y,z) is not if and only if
divisible by P(x, y, 2 ) ) . Note that if S(s,y,z) and T(x, y, z) have degree k
then
S(Xx, Xy, Az) - AkS(x,y,z) whenever cr,p E A.
T(As,Ay, Az) - AkT(x,y, z) We can of course differentiate the meromorphic functions g o 4;' : V, -,
so the function is independent of the choice of homogeneous coordinates. C U {m) to get meromorphic functions (g 0 4:')' : V, -t C U {m). However
in general these do not define a meromorphic function on S since the compo-
Definition 6.4 Let j and g be rneromorphic functions on a Riemann surface sitions (g o 4;')' o ma and (go 4;')' o 4~ do not necessarily agree on Ua n Up.
S . Then we say that Instead the chain rule tells us that if u E Uan Up then
f ds
is a meromorphic differential on S, and if .f and 3 are also meromorphic
functions on S, we say that
fdg=jdi
Therefore (g o 4;')' o 4, and (g o 4;')' 0 h differ by a factor of (ko 4;')'o 4,
if and only if for every holomorphic chart 4 : U + V on an open subset U of where 4o o 4;' are the transition functions of the atlas.
S we have This means that if we 'differentiaten the meromorphic function g on S
(f 0 0 +-*)I = (f 0 4-l)(j 0 4-I)'. by differentiatingall the meromorphic functions g 0 4;' : V, -+ C which are
defined on open subsets of C and then transferring back to get meromorphic
Note that the compositions of f , g , j and with 4-' are memmorphic func- functions (g o 4;')' o bUon the open subsets Ua which mver S, we do not get
tions on the open subset V of C , so we can diferentiate them and multiply a function on S. Instead, we get an abstract object called a (meromorphic)
them together pointwise in the usual way.
146 CHAPTER 6. DIFFERENTIALS ON RIEMANN SURFACES 6.1. HOLOMORPHIC DIFFERENTIALS 147

differential, written dg. We multiply differentials by rneroInorphic functions Flunark 6.9 The most important thing to remember about a meromorphic
f on s to 6et new differentials written f dg. Two rneromorphic differentials differential f dg is that it is represented on the range of a holomorphic chart
f dg and f d j on S will then be the same if the meromorphic functions v0
do : Uu + by the meromorphic function ( f o o 4:l)l.
( f dz1)(g o 4,")' and ( j o 4i1)(ijo 4;')' which represent them on U, via the
&art 4, -+ V, are equal for all a E A. Definition 6.10 We say that the memmorphic differential f dg baa a pole
at a point P in S if the memmorphic function ( f o q$-l)(g o 4-1)' ha a
These ideas lead to the following alternative definition of a meromor~hic at d ( ~when
) 4 : U + V is a holomorphic chart on an open neighbou&o& U
differential. of p in S. We call f dg a holomorphic differential 2f it has no

Definition 6.6 Let ( 4 , : U, 4 V, : a E A ) be a holomorphic atlas on a Our reason for introducing holomorphic differentials is that they are the
Riem<mn surface S. Then a meromorphic differential rl 0% S is given by a natural objects to integrate on a Riemann surface S.
collection
{v, : V, -+ cu (00) : (YEA ) Definition 8-11Iff dg is a holomo~hicdiflerential on S then the integral
of memmorphic functions o n the open subsets Vo of C such that if Cf, P E A
o f f dg along a piecewise-smooth path 7 :[a,b] -,S is I,I
111
/I

and u E U, fl Up then I!!


f dg = f 0 7(t)(g0 r)'(t)dt. I!!
qa(4,(u)) = v ~ ( ~ o ( u )0)4b1)'(40(4)-
(~P I,,
I
Remark 6.12 To know that this definition makes sense we must check that
Given two meromorphic functions f and g on S we can define a meromorphic if f dg = f d j then
differential f dg on S in this sense by f dg = q where
lbf 7(t)(g y)l(t)dt = lbj 7 ( t ) ( i ~ ) l ( t ) d t .
0 0 0 0

Remark 6.7 If q and C are meromorphic differentials according to this def- We know that
inition and C. is not identically zero on any connected component of S then
the ratios q,/Q define meromorphic functions on the open subsets V, of C (f 0 4a1)(g0 4;')) = (f 0 4a1)(i0 42)'
satisfying for every holomorphic chart 4, : U, 4 V,. Since the open subsets U, cover
~u(4o(u>>/Ca(4a(u)) =w ( ~ ~ ( ~ ) ) / C P ( ~ O ( U ) ) S we can find
for all u E U,; or equivalently q = f6. Therefore to show that every meromor- a=ao<al< ... < a , = b
phic differential 7 in the sense of definition 6.6 is a meromorphic differential
of the form f dg it is enough to show that the& is at least one noncon-
and . . ,q,E A such that
(~1,.

stant meromorphic function g on every Riemann surface. We have already 7([ai-l9ail) G Uui
remarked at 6.3 that it is beyond the scope of this book to prove that this is
true for any Riemann surface but we have already seen examples of noncon- if 1 _< i _< p. Then by the chain rule
stant meromorphic functions on the Riemann surfaces we are interested in,
namely nonsingular curves and complex tori.

Remark 6.8 Note that when S is the complex plane C any meromorphic
differential f dg on S can be expressed uniquely in the form hdz where h s f g'
is meromorphic and z denotes the identity function on C. Thus meromorphic
differentials on C can be identified naturally with meromorphic functions on
C. and this last expression is unaltered if we replace f by j and g by ij.
---

6.1. HOLOMORPHIC DIFFERENTIALS 149


148 CHAPTER 6. DIFFERENTIALS ON RIEMANN SURFACES
We usually assume that C is not the line at infinity defined by t=0 and
Remark 6.13 If II, : [c, d] --+ [a,b] is a piecewise-smooth map between the take the rational function g to be
intervals [c, dl and [a, b] then y o 1(, : [c, d] -t S is a piecewise-smooth path in
S and on substituting t = $(s) we find

We often then work in affine coordinates (x,y, l] and'write dx for dg. In


affine coordinates f becomes a rational function R(x,y) of x and y in the
usual sense, and our integral is written
This tells us that the integral of a differential along a path is independent of
the parametrisation of the path.
J7f ~ = & x , y ) d z
Examples 6.14 (1). If the Riemann surface S is C then where y is regarded as a multivalued function of x via the equation P ( z ,y, 1)
which defines C in affine coordinates.
/
f dg = 7 f (.)g'(z)dz
The integral is called an elliptic integml if C is an elliptic curve, i.e. it is II
I,,

is the integral of f (z)~'(z)along y in the usual sense of complex analysis- defined in appropriate affine coordinates by 111:
(2). If g : S + C is a complex-valued holomorphic mapping on any Riemann
surface S then ..
where a ~ ,.,ah are distinct complex numbers and k = 3 or 4. If k 2 5 then
Cis called a hyperelliptic curve and the integral Sr f dg is called a hypenlliptic
integml.
Definition 6.15 If $ : S 4 R is a holomorphic mapping between Riernann
surfaces S and R, and i f f dg is a holomorphic difirentiat on R then we If the curve y avoids the points of C where y = 0 or z = 0 then the
define a holomorphic diflerential $*(f dg) on S by integral becomes

Then if y : [a,b] 4 S is a piecewise-smooth path in S we have in the usual sense of complex analysis, where 7 is the composition of 7 with
the local chart [x,y, I] w x and an appropriate choice of the square root is
made at j ( t ) for each t E [a, b]. As was mentioned in $1.2.4 integrals of this
form were greatly studied in the nineteenth century. It was found that when
k is one or two they can be expressed in terms of rational functions and log-
arithms (see 51.2.4). However when k 2 3 this is no longer the case and the
integrals were used to define new functions (called elliptic and hyperelliptic
Digression on elliptic, hyperelliptic a n d abelian integrals 6.16 functions). The difference between the two cases arises essentially because an
Let irreducible projective curve of degree one or two in Pz is isomorphic to the
c = { [ x , y, z ] E Pz : P(x,y,z) = 0) complex projective line PI (see corollary 3.12) whereas elliptic and hyperel-
liptic curves have genus at least one and hence cannot be homeomorphic, let
be an irreducible projective curve in P2. An abelian integral is an integral of
alone isomorphic, to PI.
the form
Now we return to the study of complex tori and nonsingular cubic curves.
where f and g are rational functions on C - Sing(C) (see remark 6.3) and 7 Given a lattice A in C we have defined a biholomorphism
is a piecewise-smooth path in C - Sing(C) not passing through any poles of u : C/A + CA
the meromorphic differential f dg.
150 CHAPTER 6. DIFFERENTIALS ON RIEMANN SURFACES 6.1. HOLOMORPHlC DIFFERENTlALS 151

(see definition 5.22) where CAis the nonsingular cubic curve in P2 defined by
1~=/1a*q=/1dz=4(b)-4(a)~~.
ylz = 4z3- g 2 ( ~ ) ~-zg3(A)Q.
3
Thus we have proved
As in digression 6.16. there is a meromorphic differential on CAgiven in inho-
mogeneous coordinates [ x , y, 1) by y-'dx. Let Proposition 6.17

71 = ~ * ( y - ~ d x ) A= {J, : 7 is a dosed
7
piecewise - smooth path in C I A ) .

(see definition 6.15). Then 7 is a meromorphic differential on C I A . Moreover


if
?r : C --) C I A
Since u : -+ CAis a bijection with a holomorphic inverse and
is defined by a(%)= A + z then
**q = ~ * u * ( ~ - ~ d x )
= ( u o n)*(y"dx) we can use definition 6.15 to deduce immediately
= (pt)-Idp
= (k7t)-1ptdz
= dz
;:Ill;.
where z : C 4 C denotes the identity function. Since a is locally a holomor- ~III
. :
,,,$It
phic bijection with holomorphic inverse and dz is a holomorphic differential
'6
on C it follows that has no poles, i.e. 7 is a holomorphic differential on This means that we can recover the lattice A from the curve C,,in pz.
C I A . Since u is a holomorphic bijection with holomorphic inverse it also We can also describe u-' : CA-* C I A in terms of integrals of the differential
follows that y-'dx is a holomorphic differential on CA. ,,,,I

C h o o s e a n y X ~ h a n d d e f i n e j . : [ ~ , l ] - + C b j . ~ ( t ) = t IXf. r = n o j : Proposition 6.19 The inverse of the holomorphic bijection ,,it,

.;I.
[O, 11 4 C I A then
?(t) = A + ~ A

and hence

so 7 is a piecewise-smooth closed path in C I A . By definition 6.15 and example


6.14(2) we have

lr 4 4 = ?rnq = dz = j(I) - ?(O) = A.


Remark 6.20 This makes sense because if 71 and 7, are both piecewise-
smooth paths in CAfrom [O, 1,0] to p then
On the other hand if 7 : [a, b] + C / A is any piecewise-smooth closed path
in C I A then by lemma C.3 of Appendix C we can find a continuous path
j. : [a, b] -+ C such that a o j. = 7 . This path 7 is piecewise-smooth because
a is locally a holomorphic bijection with a holomorphic inverse. Since
is the integral of y-'dz along a closed piecewise-smooth path in CAand hence
?r 0 y ( b ) = 7 ( b ) = ?(a) = a 0 ?(a) belongs to A by corollary 6.18.
. - - -A4

6.2. ABEL'S THEOREM


152 CHAPTER 6. DIFFERENTIALS ON RlEMANN SuIZFACES 153

+
Proof of proposition 6.19. Suppose that u(A Z ) = P and that 7 : [a, b] + required properties exists on C;the law of associativity was left unproved,
Abel's theorem gives an alternative indirect proof of the existence of an
cAis any piecewise-smo~thpath from [O, 1,0] to p. Then u-' 0 7 is a path in
+
CIA from A 0 to A t and hence+ tive group structure with required properties on cubic curves of the form CA;
we can simply use the bijection u to transfer the additive group structure on
CIA to one on CAand Abel's theorem tells us it has the properties we want.
In fact (see exercises 6.13 and 6.14) every nonsingular projective cubic cuwe
in P2 is equivalent under a projective transformation to one of the form cA
for some lattice A in C.

Remark 6e22 Recall from lemma 3.37 that a line in P2meets a nonsingular
projective cubic curve C in P2 either

where : [=,b] C (a) in three distinct points p, q, r each with multiplicity one (i.e. L is not the
u-l~y. Then A+?(b) tangent line to C at p, q or r), or
SO
A+ l y-ldr = A + 4(b) - ?(a) = +
(b) in two distinct points p with multiplicity one and q with multiplicity two
(i.e. L is the tangent line to C at q but not at p, and q is not an inflection !

as required.
(c) in one point P with multiplicity three (i.e. L is the tangent line to c at p
and p is an inflection point of C). IIO
Ill11
6.2 Abel's theorem 'I~u
This means that the group structure on CA is such that if p, q, r are distinct 11
In 55.2 we saw that any complex torus CIA is biholomorphic to a nonsingula points on CAthen /I

cubic curve cAin p2.Since C/A is an abelian group under addition the cubic p+q+r=O
curve CAhas an induced abelian group structure. We can describe this group
if and only if p, q, r all lie on a line in P2,
structure in terms of the geometry of the curve CA in Pz. It is determined
completely by two properties: firstly that the zero (identity) element is the p+p+q=O
inflection point [O, 1,0] and secondly that three points p, 9, r add UP to zero if l

and only if they are the three points of intersection (allowing for multiplicities) if and only if the tangent to CA at p passes through q, and
of the cubic CA with a line in P2.This last fact (which gives an addition
formula for elliptic integrals) is called Abel's theorem for the cubic (theorem p+p+p=O
6.23 below) and the aim of this section is to give a proof of it.
if and only if p is a point of inflection on CA. In particular we see that the
Remark 6.21 We have already observed (theorem 3.38) that if po is a point points of inflection on CA are precisely the points of order 1 or 3. Under the
of inflection on a Donsingular projective cubic curve C then there is a unique group isomorphism u : + CA these correspond to the points of order
additive group structure on C such that the zero element is POand three points 1 or 3 in CIA. There are precisely nine such points in C/A; they can be
add up to zero if and only if they are the points of intersection (allowing for written in the form
multiplicities) of C with a line in P2.Given this, Abel's theorem can be j k
regarded as the statement that the holomorphic bijection A + p +p z
where j, k E {0,1,2). Thus these points form a subgroup of CIA isomorphic
u : C/h -+ CA
to the product of two copies of the cyclic group of order three. Moreover they
defined at 5.22 is a group isomorphism with respect to this group structure can be arranged in a 3 x 3 array (see figure 6.l)such that the three entries in
(with po = [O, 1,0]) on C,, and the quotient group structure on CIA. I b ~ e v e r +
any row, column or diagonal add up to A 0. It follows that C, has exactly
we did not give a complete proof that an additive group structure with the nine points of inflection pjk for j,k € {0,1,2) (cf. example 3.36), which a n
- - - - . - . -&.Ad-. .

154 CHAPTER 6. DIFFERENTIALS ON RIEMANN SURFACES ' THEOREM


6.2. ABEL S 155

Figure 6.1: The points of order 1 or 3 in CIA

Po0 Po1 Po2


Pl0 P11 Pl2
Pzo P21 P22 Figure 6.3: The lines joining the points of inflection on cA
I,,

!I!
Figure 6.2: The points of inflection on CA If t , V, w E C then 1111
ll!,.
t+v+w€A I!,:

be arranged in a 3 x 3 array (see figure 6.2) such that the three ~ o i n t sin if and only if there is a line L in P2 whose intersection with CA consists
iJ/J

any row, column or diagonal all lie on a line in P2. Here the term "diagonaln
includes for example pol, plz, p20. Pictorially this can be expressed as in figure
+ + +
of the points u(A t ) , u(A V) and u(A w) (allowing for multiplicities).
Equivalently ifp, q, r E C A then
6.3. Moreover the nine points of inflection of CAform a subgroup isomorphic
9
to the product of two copies of the cyclic group of order three.
A + ~ o ~ l , yO- ll d x + /o,l,ol y-ldx + O,Jl:l 9 - 1 =~ ~+
In order to state Abel's theorem, let us recall from proposition 6.19 that if and only if p, q, r are the points of intersection ,of C,,with a line in P 2 .
if A is a lattice in C and C A is the curve in P2 defined by the polynomial
Q A ( x ,y, z) = p2z - 4x3 + g2(A)xz2 + g3(A)z3 Remark 6.24 We can interpret Abel's theorem as an addition formula mod-
ulo A for elliptic integrals of the form
and u : CIA --t CAis defined as at (5.22) by

then u is a holomorphic bijection and its inverse is given by Proof of Abel's theorem. First let us show that if L is a line in P2which
u-' ( P ) =A + /l
(0,lPI
f'd~
intersects CAin the points p, q, r (allowing for multiplicities) then

where the integral is over any piecewise-smooth path in CAfrom [o, 1,0] to p.
Theorem 6.23 Abel's theorem for tori. We consider three cases, each more &neral than .the last.
156 CHAPTER 6. DIFFERENTIALS ON RIEMANN SURFACES 6.2. ABELS THEOREM 157

Case 1 . Suppose that L is the tangent line z = 0 to CA at the' point of where qi ($9 t), 92 (3, t ) and q3(4 t) are the points of intersection of CAwith the
line
inflection [O, 1,0]. Then
. sx + t ( ~ -bz) = 0.
p = q = r = [O, L O ]
so the equality we want to prove is trivial. As in Case 2 this map u is holomorphic and hence constant. Moreover we
Case 2. Suppose that L is a line of the form cy = bz. Then L meets CA in
+
know from Case 2 that v[O, 11 A 0 SO that U[S,t] = A + O for all [s, t] E PI.
This completes the proof that
the three points

when p, q, r are the points of intersection of CAwith a line in P2 (given lemmaa


6.25 and 6.26).
where al, az, a3 are the roots of the polynomial It now foilows immediately from the form of the inverse of the map u
+ + (see proposition 6.19) that if t, v, w are complex numbers and u( A t), u(A+ +
Q A ( t ,b, C ) = b2c - 4x3 g 2 ( A ) ~ ~ 93(h)c3
2 +
v), u(A w) are the points of intersection of CAwith a line in P2 then
in x. Define a map
p : PI + CIA
t+v+wEA.
Conversely suppose .that t,u, w E C and that t + v + w E A. Let
p = u(h + t), q = u(A + v), r = u(A + w).
where the integrals are over any paths in C from [O, 1,0] to pl(b, c),p2(b, c) If p # q let L be the line in P2 through p and q, and if p = q let L be the
and p3(b, c). This map p is well-defined by remark 6.20. We need two lemmas. tangent line to CAat p. In both cases L m&ts CAin p, q and another point
Lemma 6.25 p : Pl -t C/A is holomorphic. r'. Then by what we have just proved

Lemma 6.26 Any holomorphic map from PI to C is constant. u-'(P) + ~ " ( q )+ u"(?) = A +0
Given these lemmas (whose proofs are at the end of this section) we deduce
from lemma C.3 of Appendix C that there is a continuous map ji : P1 4 C
such that p = r o ji, where as before n from C to CIA is defined by n(z) =
so that u-'(r') = u-'(r) and hence i; = r.
A+%.Since the inverse of the restriction of n to a suitable open neighborhood
of any a E C defines a holomorphic chart on a neighbourhood of A+a in CIA This completes the proof of Abel's theorem, given lemmas 6.25 and 6.26.
and p is holomorphic it follows that ji is holomorphic, and hence by lemma 0
+
6.26 ji is constant. Thus p is a constant map. Since p[l,O] = A 0 by Case
+
1 it follows that p[b, c] = A 0 for all [b,c] E PI, i.e. that the equality we Proof of lemma 6.25. We have to show that the mapping p : P1
defined by
CIA
want to prove holds when L is of the form cy = bz.
Case 3, Suppose now that L is any line in P2. Then the equation for L can
be written in the form ~ [ bc], = A + jPlor)
iO*l,OI
y-ldx +
s t +t(cy- bz) = 0
for some s, t not both zero and b, c not both zero. Fix b, c and define v :P1 4
CIA by I is holomorphic.
For all but finitely many b E C the partial derivative
158 CHAPTER 6. DIFFERENTIALS ON RlEMANN SURFACES 6.3. THE RIEMANN-ROCH THEOREM 159

of the polynomial QA defining CA is nonzero at (a, b, 1) when a is a root of 6.3 The Riemann-Roch theorem
the polynomial Qa(x, b, 1) in x. For such a, b the polynomial QA(x,b, 1) has
three distinct roots al, as, a3 say, and In this section we shall see that the genus g of a nonsingular projective curve
C in P2,which we defined in Chapter 4 using the topological properties of
pi(b, 1) = [ai,b, 11 for i = 1,2,3. C, can also be characterised in terms of the holomorphic structure of C. In
fact, g is the dimension of the vector space of holomorphic differentials on C.
By the implicit function theorem (see Appendix B) applied to the polynomial This is a special case of the famous Riemann-Roch theorem (theorem 6.37
QA(x,y, 1) there are open neighbourhoods U and Vl, &, V3 of b and al,al,as below) which relates dimensions of vector spaces of meromorphic functions
in C and holomorphic functions gi : U -+ Vi for i = 1,2,3 such that if x E Vi with prescribed poles and zeros on C. The Riemann-Roch theorem has many
and y E U then very useful consequences, including an easy proof of the law of associativity
Q A ( X , Y , ~ ) = ~ x=s~(Y). for the additive group structure on a nonsingular cubic (see theorem 3.38 and
theorem 6.39) and a proof that every meromorphic function on a nonsingu-
Hence there are holomorphic maps $i : U -+ CA given by lar projective curve is rational (theorem 6.41). On the way to proving the
Riemann-Roch theorem we shall also find yet another characterisation of the
genus g of C, which is that the number of zeros minus the number of poles
(counted with multiplicities) of any nonzero meromorphic differential on C is
We may choose Vl,V2,V3 to be disjoint. This means that if w E U then
2g - 2.
gl(w),g2(w) and g3(w) are distinct roots of the polynomial QA(x,W, 1) and
SO In order to state the Riemann-Roch theorem it is convenient to introduce
pi(w, 1) = [gi(w),w,l] = $i(w)- some new terminology.
Thus if 7 is a path in U from b to w then $; o 7 is a path in CAfrom pi(b, 1) Definition 6.27 A divisor D on C is a formal sum
to pi(w, 1) and
9:Odw,
W
such that n,,E Z for every p E C and n, = 0 for all but finitely many p e C.
Thus The degree of D is then
deg(D) = n,.
PCC
where the integrals are over any path in U from b to W. Since g:(y) = 0 when If n, = 0 for p 6 {PI,.. .,pk} then we also write
y = 0 the functions gi(y)/y are holomorphic on U so their integrals from
b to w are holomorphic functions of w near b. Thus p is holomorphic in a
neighbourhood of [b, I].
where mj = npj. By convention we may omit every mj equal to 1 and write
Thus we have shown that p is holomorphic except possibly at finitely p instead of 1p. If n, = 0 for all p E C we write
many points of PI. To show that p is holomorphic everywhere it suffices by
theorem B.6 of Appendix B to show that p is continuous. This is left as an
exercise (see exercise 6.4). 0
We add and subtract divisors and multiply them by integers in the obvious
Proof of lemma 6.26. We need to show that a holomorphic map f : way. The set of all divisors on C then becomes an abelian group, denoted
P1+ C is constant. This follows immediately from exercise 5.4 since PI is Div(C), and the degree defines a homomorphism from Div(C) to 2.
compact. Alternatively we can regard f as a holomorphic map f : PI -+ PI If n, 2 0 for all p E C we write D 2 0 and say that D is efectiue (or
which never takes the value co. Then the result follows from lemma 5.41 I positive). We write D 2 D' if D - Dt 2 0. Note that if D 2 Dt then
which savs that if f were nonconstant then it would have to be rational and
hence would take the value co somewhere on PI. 0 deg D 2 deg D'.
6.3, THE RIEMANN-ROCH THEOREM 161
160 CHAPTER 6. DIFFERENTIALS ON RIEMANN SURFACES
If w is a meromorphic differential on C which is not identically zero then we
Let f be a meromorphic function 6n C which is not identically zero. If can define the divisor (w)of w using the multiplicities of the poles and zeros of
p E C we can choose a holomorphic chart 4, : Uo -+ V, on C such that w in exactly the same way as we defined the divisor of ameromorphic function.
p E Uo. Then f o 4;' is a meromorphic function on the open subset V, of C. The divisor of a meromorphic differential is called a canonical divisor and is
If m is a positive integer we say that f has a pole or a zero of multiplicity m often written rc. We have already noted in remark 6.7 that if p is another
at p if f o 4;' has a pole or a zero of multiplicity m a t cb,(p),i.e. near 4 4 p ) meromorphic differential on C which is not identically zero then there is a
we can write meromorphic function f on C such that q = i w , and hence
f 0 4 i 1 ( z )= (. - 4 o ( ~ ) ) - ~ g ( z ) *

Thus any two canonical divisors are linearly equivalent.


where g(z) is holomorphic and does not vanish at tjo(p). This is independent
of the choice of chart 4, : U, -+ V,, since if 4 p : Up 4 Vp is another At this point we need a result whose proof will be left to the end of the
holomorphic chart on C such that p E Uo,then the transition function 4, 04;' section.
satisfies
Proposition 6.29 A principal divisor on C has degree zero; that is, a mew-
4*o 4,'(z) = &(P) +
( a - 4p(p))h(z) morphic function on C which is not identically tero has the same number of
where h ( z ) is holomorphic and does not vanish at 4p(p). zeros and poles, counted with multiplicities.
Similarly if w = f dg is a meromorphic differential on C which is not This has an immediate corollary. I

identically zero we say that o has a pole or a zero of multiplicity m at p if


the meromorphic function Corollary 6.30 Two linearly equivalent divisors on C have the same degree. \
In particular canonical divisors on C all have the same degree.
Proof. This is a direct consequence of proposition 6.29. O
which represents w on V, has a pole or zero of multiplicity m at 4,(p). Again The proof of the next result will also be postponed to the end of the
this is independent of the choice of chart 4, : U, -+ V,. section.
Definition 6.28 The divisor of a meromorphic function f which is not iden- Proposition 6.31 If rc is a canonical divisor on C then
tically Z e n , on C is
( f )= C~PP deg rc = 29 - 2.
PEG
where n, is -m i f f has a pole of multiplicity m at p, is m i f f has a zero of Remark 6.32 Of course this proposition gives us an alternative characteri-
rnultiplicity m at p and is tero otherwise. Note that sation of the genus of C;it is one more than half the number of zeros minus the
number of poles counted with multiplicities of any meromorphic differential
on C which is not identically zero.
and Remark 6.33 The proof we shall give of proposition 6.31 depends on the
fact that C is a nonsingular projective curve in P2and uses the degree-genus
formula. However it is possible to prove this result (and indeed the Riemann-
A divisor which is the divisor of some memmorphic function is called a princi- Roch theorem) for an arbitrary compact connected Riemann surface (see e.g.
pal divisor. Two divisors D and D' are said to be linearly equivalent, written [Griffiths & Harris 781)

The vector spaces of meromorphic functions on C which appear in the


statement of the Riemann-Roch theorem are defined as follows.
if D - D' is a principal divisor.
162 CHAPTER 6. DIFFERENTIALS ON RlEMANN SURFACES 6.3. THE RIEMANN-ROCHTHEOREM

Definition 6.34 Let D = CPEC npp be a divisor on C; then L ( D ) is the set Theorem 6.37 (Riemann-Roch) If D is any divisor on a nonsingular pro-
of meromorphic junctions on C satisfying jective curve C of genus g in Pz and u is a canonicaI divisor on C; then

(f)+ D 2 0
together with the zero function. In other words a memmorphic function f on We can immediately deduce the second promised alternative definition of
C belongs to C ( D ) i f firstly f is holomorphic ezcept at those p E C for which the genus g of C.
n, > 0 and there the order of the pole is at most Itp, and secondly f has a
Zen, of order at least -ni at every p E C such that n, < 0. Corollary 6.38 The genus of a nonsingular projective curve C in P2equals
the dimension I ( & ) of the vector space of all holomorphic differentials on C.
It is easy to check that L ( D ) is a complex vector space. We define
Proof. The Riemann-Roch theorem with D = 0 tells us that
l ( D ) = dim L ( D ) .

Note that I ( K ) is the dimension of the space of all holomorphic differentials


But l(0) is the dimension of the vector space L ( 0 ) of holomorphic functions
on C for any canonical divisor n, since if f is a meromorphic function and
on C, and every holomorphic function on C is constant by exercise 5.4 and
w is a meromorphic differential then ( f ) + ( w ) 2 0 if and only if jw is a
holomorphic differential on C. theorem 7.12 below, so l(0) = 1. Hence

We have another corollary to proposition 6.29.


Corollary 6.35 If deg D < 0 then l ( D ) = 0. as required. 0
This corollary tells us in particular that there is a nonzero holomorphic
Proof. I f f is a meromorphic function on C, not identically zero, such that differential on any nonsingular projective curve C of genus g > 0.

Another application of the Riemann-Roch theorem is the proof of the law


of associativity for the additive group structure on a nonsingular cubic.
then
+
deg D = deg ( ( j ) D ) 2 0. Theorem 6.39 Let C be a nonsingular projective curve of degree 3 in Po
0 and let po be a point of inflection on C. There is a unique additive group
structure on C such that po is the zero element and such that if p, q, r E C
then
Lemma 6.36 If D w D' then l ( D ) = l(D').
p+q+r=O
Proof. We simply note that if if and only i f p , q and r are the three points of intersection (counting multi-
plicities) of C with a line in Pz.
Proof. We have already proved this theorem except for the law of associa-
where g is a meromorphic function on C, then tivity on C (see theorem 3.38).
Let p, q, r be points of C, let

defines an isomorphism between C ( D ) and L(Dt). 0


We can now state the Riemann-Roch theorem for nonsingular projective
curves in P3.
I
1
6.3. THE RIEMANN-ROCH THEOREM
CHAPTER 6. DIFFERENTIALS ON RIEMANN SURFACES
Now if Q(x, y, z) is any homogeneous polynomial of degree m then
and
d=p+c=p+(q+r).
We wish to show that b = d. Since p, q and -a are collinear there is a linear
homogeneous polynomial in r,y, z which vanishes at p,q and -a. Similarly defines a meromorphic function f on C such that
there is a linear homogeneous polynomial in x, y, z which vanishes at a, -a
and po. The ratio of these polynomials defines a meromorphic function 4 on
C with zeros at p and q and poles at a and po (counting multiplicities). By i.e. an element of L(mH). Moreover two such polynomials define the same
the same argument there is a meromorphic function J, on C with zeros at a function on C if and only if their difference is divisible by the homogeneous
and r and poles at b and pa. Then 411,is a meromorphic function on C with polynomial P(x, y, z) of degree d which defines C. Hence if
zeros at p,q and r and poles at po (with multiplicity two) and b. Similarly
there is a meromorphic function on C with zeros a t p, q and r and poles at
po (with multiplicity two) and d. If b # d the ratio of these functions is a denotes the space of homogeneous polynomials of degree k in x, y, z then
meromorphic function on C with a simple zero at d and a simple pole at b
2 dimCm(~,~,z]/P(~,~,z)Cm-d[~,~,z]
and no other zeros or poles. = dim C,[x, y, z] - dim Cm-d[x,y, Z]
By the degreegenus formula (54.1) the genus of C is one, so if we regard + + - +
= i ( m l)(m 2) i ( m - d l)(m - d + 2 )
the point b of C as a divisor and if n is a canonical divisor it follows from
proposition 6.31 and corollary 6.35 that
+
= md id(3 d) -
= md+l-g
by the degree-genus formula (54.1). Thus we have shown that

so by the Riemann-Roch theorem


I when m is large enough. The Riemann-Roch theorem says that we have
equality here, or equivalently that eve y meromorphic function f on C satis-
This means that the only meromorphic functions on C with at most simple 1I fying
poles at b are the constant functions. Therefore b = d as required. 0 (f)+mH 2 0
I is of the form
Example 6.40 Let Q(x, Y, 2)
H = C Ip(C, L)P R(x, u, zIrn
PEC for some Q(x, y,z) E C,[x, y,zJ, and in particular it is rational. The same
where Ip(C,L) is the intersection multiplicity at p of C with a line L in Pz ...
argument shows that if L I , ,L, are lines in P2and
defined by a linear homogeneous polynomial R(x, y, z). Let us consider what
the Riemann-Roch theorem means for a divisor of the form mH for some
positive integer m.
for 1 5 j 5 m, then if m is large enough every meromorphic function f on C
By Bbmut's theorem (3.1) H is a divisor of degree d on C where d is the satisfying
degree of C. Thus (f)+ H I H, 3 O
+ . a * +

d e g ( ~- mH) = deg s - md is rational. But it is easy to see that every meromorphic function f on C

I
satisfies
which is strictly negative if m is large enough. Hence if m is large enough
then
I ( K - mH) = 0 for some such HI,. ..,H,. Thus we have proved that the following special
case of Chow's theorem is a consequence of the Riemann-Roch theorem.
by corollary 6.35.
166 CHAPTER 6. DIFFERENTIALS ON RIEMANIV SURFACES 6.3. THE RIEMANN-ROCH THEOREM 167

Theorem 6.41 All rneromorphic functions on a nonsingular projective curve Combining these inequalities and equalities we obtain
in P2 are rational.

In order to prove the Riemann-Roch theorem we need two lemmas whose


proofs will be left to the end of this section.

Lemma 6.42 Given any divisor D on C and any positive integer mo there as required. 0
exists m 2 mo and points pl, . . . ,pk of C (not necessarily distinct) such that
From this we can prove the Riemann-Roch theorem, which says that in
fact equality holds in 6.44.

where H is defined as in example 6.40. Proof of theorem 6.37 (Riemann-Roch). Let I) be any divisor on C
and let K be a canonical divisor. By proposition 6.31
Lemma 6.43 If D is any divisor on C, K is a canonical divisor and p is any
point of C then
By corollary 6.44 applied first to D and then to K - D we have

From these two lemmas we obtain half the Riemann-Roch theorem. and
Corollary 6.44 (Riemann's theorem.) If D is any divisor on C then
I(K- D) - l(D) I deg(lc - D) - g 1 +
= 29-2-degD-g+l
= -degD+g-1.
l(D)-l(~.-D)2degD-g+1.
We deduce that equality holds, i.e. that the Riemann-Roch theorem is true.
Proof. We saw in example 6.40 that there exists a positive integer mo such 0
that if m 2 mo then
It remains to prove propositions 6.29 and 6.31 and lemmas 6.42 and 6.43.
l(mH) - l(n - mH) 2 deg(mH) - g + 1. The proof of lemma 6.42 is straightforward.

..
By lemma 6.42 we can choose m 2 noand points pl, . ,pk of C such that
Proof of lemma 6.42. Let

D-kpl+...+pk~mH. D + C~PP
P€C

Hence by corollary 6.30 be any divisor on C and let mo be any positive integer. We wish to show that
there exist points p,, . . .,pk E C and m 2 mo such that
deg(mH) = deg(D + pl + ..+ pk) = deg(D) + k,
D+pl+...+pk~mH .
and by lemma 6.36
By adding points p to D we may assume without loss of generality that n, 2 0
l(mH)-I(%-mH) = l ( D + p l + . ~ ~ + p k ) - I ( ~ - D - p l - ~ o~ . k- )
for all p E C and that deg D 2 mo.
For each of the finitely many p E C such that np > 0 we can choose a line in
Also by lemma 6.43 and induction on k we have P2through p whose points of intersection with C (allowing for multiplicities)
are
qp' = p, q2(PI - 9 qd(PI .
6.3. THE RIEMANN-ROCH THEOREM
CHAPTER 6. DIFFERENTIALS ON RIEMANN SURFACES
by our choice of coordinates, so
Note that the ratio of two linear homogeneous polynomials in x, y, a defines
..
a meromorphic function on C so if 91,. ,q d are the points of intersection of
any line in Pzwith C (allowing for multiplicities) then
is a local holomorphic chart on C and

Thus setting m = deg D we have m 2 mo and


has a pole of multiplicity two. Moreover the assumption that

for suitable pl, . ..,pk where k = m(d - 1).


The proof of proposition 6.31 is also fairly straightforward, given propo- whenever [a, b, c] E C and c = 0 tells us that the line
sition 6.29.
Proof of proposition 6.31. By proposition 6.29 it is enough to show that
there is some meromorphic differential w on C, not identically zero, such that is nowhere tangent to C, so by the corollary 3.25 to B6zout's theorem it
meets C in precisely d points. These points contribute -2d to the degree of

Let P(x, y,z) be a homogeneous polynomial of degree d defining C. We


may assume that coordinates have been chosen so that [O, 1,0] gl C, i.e. the
~ the divisor (w).
Finally consider the points [a, b, c] E C such that

coefficient of yd in P(x, y, z ) is nonzero. Then since P(x, y, z) is irreducible


and is not identically zero, by the weak form of BBezout's theorem (3.9)
there are only finitely many points in C where % vanishes. As [0,1,0] # C These points are precisely the ramification points of the mapping ) :C 4 PI
defined by )[x, y, I] = [x, z] (see $4.2). At these points c is nonzero by our
either x or a is nonzero at each of these points. Therefore by making a
projective transformation of the form choice of coordinates, and hence so is %(a, b,c), for otherwise by Euler's
relation (lemma 2.32) % ( a , b, c) would also be zero, and this can't happen
X H X , Y H Y , %W(YZ+z since C is nonsingular. Therefore
we can assume that if [a, b, c) E C and

is a holomorphic chart on C near such points, and locally z/a is a holomorphic


function f(u) of u satisfying
then c # 0.
Now let w be the differential d(x/a) of the meromorphic function x/z on
C. Near points [a, b, c] E C with c # 0 and Differentiating this identity m times shows that if f (k)(uo)= 0 for 1 5 k <m
then

we can take x/z as a local holomorphic chart on C (see the proof of proposition It follows that the smallest positive integer m such that f(m)(uo)# 0 is eqwl
5.28) and hence w has no zeros or poles at such points. to the smallest positive integer m such that
At any point [a, b, c] E C such that c = 0 we have a if 0 and
' 170 CHAPTER 6. DIFFERENTIALS ON RIEMANN SURFACES 6.3. THE RIEMANN-ROCH THEOREM 171

Since Proof of lemma 6.43 given lemma 6.45. Let D be any divisor on the
w = d( f ( u ) )= ft(u)du nonsingular projective curve C in Pz,let rc = ( w ) be a canonical divisor and
let p be any point of C. We need to show that
this tells us that the multiplicity of the zero of w at a ramification point of
4 : C -+ P1is precisely one less than the ramification index of 4 at the point
(see definition 4.3). By lemma 4.7 and lemma 4.8 we can assume that our
where l ( D ) is defined as the dimension of the space L ( D ) of meromorphic
coordinates have been chosen such that there are exactly d(d- 1) ramification
functions j on C satisfying
points and w has a zero of multiplicity one at each one. Hence these points
contribute d(d - 1) to the degree of the divisor (w). ( f )+ D 2 0
This shows that together with the zero function.
Suppose that
D = n, q.
PEC
It now follows from the degree-genus formula ($4.1) that Then t ( D ) = t ( D + p ) if there is no meromorphic function f on C such that

as required. 0 with the inequality an equality at the point p, in the sense that f has a pole
+ >
at p of multiplicity ezactly np 1 (if n, ,O) or a zero at p of multiplicity
In order to prove lemma 6.43 we need +
exactly -n, - 1 (if n, < 0 ) . 0therwise L ( D ) is a linear subspace of L ( D p)
Lemma 6.45 Let w be a meromorphic differential on C with precisely one of codimension 1 . In particular
pole. Then this pole is not a simple pole (i.e. its multiplicity is at least two).
Remark 6.46 This lemma and proposition 6.29 can both be regarded as and similarly
special cases of the residue theorem which says that if w is a meromorphic 0 I(K- D ) - I ( K - D - p ) < 1.
differential on C (in fact more generally on any compact Riernann surface) Therefore it remains to show that we cannot have
.
with poles at pl,. .,pt then

and
I ( K - D ) - I ( K - D - p) = 1
) a meromorphic differential w = f dg at a point
Here the residue r e s { w , ~ of simultaneously. If so there exist meromorphic functions f and g on C satis-
p is defined to be the ordinary residue fying
(f)+D+p20
and
where 4 : U, + V, is a holomorphic chart on C such that p E U,. It can be
checked that this definition is independent of the choice of holomorphic chart with both inequalities being equalities at the point p. Then fgw is a mero-
. ~:U,+V,. morphic differential on C such that
The proofs given below of proposition 6.29 and lemma 6.45 can be modi- ( f w =) ( f ) + ( 9 ) + 2 -P
fied without much difficulty to ~rovidea proof of the residue theorem. Lemma with a pole of order exactly one at p. That is, fgw is holomorphic except for
6.45 follows immediately lrom the residue theorem since the residue of a mero- a simple pole at p, which contradicts lemma 6.45. o
morphic differential at a simple pole is always nonzero. Proposition 6.29 fol-
lows by considering the meromorphic differential f where g is a mmomorphic Finally we must prove proposition 6.29 and lemma 6.45. oJ'jr this we need
function on C which is not identically zero. a modification of lemma 4.21. Recall the definition of a triangulation (4.9).
172 CHAPTER 6. DIFFERENTIALS ON RIEMANN SURFACES 6.3. THE RIEMANN-ROCH THEOREM

>
Lemma 6.47 Let { p l , .. . ,p,, q,, . :. ,q d ) be a set of r+s points in C with r
..
3. Then there is a triangulation (V, E, F ) of P1 such that V = ( p l , . ,p,)
.
and the set (91,. . ,q,) is contained in the interior of a face, i.e, there is
some f : A 4 P 1 in F such that

for 1 < j < s. W e may also assume that oo is in the interior of a diferent
face.
Proof. The proof is by induction on r , like that of lemma 4.21. First suppose
r = 3.
We can assume by making a linear transformation that 0 does not belong
..
to the set {pl, . ,p3,q1,. . . ,q 3 ) , and that the arguments (taken in the range
.. ..
[0,2n]) of the complex numbers pl, . ,ps, ql,. ,qr are distinct. We can Figure 6.4: A triangulation of P 1
choose a real number R such that

and we can reorder pl, p ~p3, if necessary so that

Then if e > 0 is sufficiently small we can find a piecewise-smooth path el in


C from pl to p2 consisting of the straight line segment from pl to the point
+
Rexp(&+.arg(pl)), the arc of the circle radius R from Rexp(e arg(pl)) to
+
Rexp(-e arg(p2))and the straight line segment from Rexp(-e + arg(p2))
to p2. Similarly we can find piecewise-smooth paths e2 and e3 from ps to pa
and ps to pl (see figure 6.4). If e > 0 is sufficiently small it is straightforward .
to check that this gives us a triangulation of P I with the set of vertices
V = {pl,p2,p3), the set of edges E = {el,e2, e3) and with two faces, one of Figure 6.5: A subdivision of a triangle
which contains {ql,. ..,q,) in its interior.
Now assume the inductive hypothesis that r > 3 and that we have a A. Then we choose points sl and 82 of A0 close to (1,O) and lying above
..
triangulation of P 1 with vertices pl,. ..,p,,l such that the set {ql,. ,q,) is and below the straight line segment 70. Let yl be the join of the straight
contained in the interior of a face f E F. We modify the proof of lemma 4.21 line segments from s to sl and from sl to ( 0 , l ) and let 7 2 be the join of the
to complete the induction step. First assume that p, also lies in the interior straight line segments from s to 3 2 and from 3 2 to (0,O) (see figure 6.5). If sl
of the face f , i.e. that p, = f ( s ) for some s E A". By composing f with a and s2 are sufficiently close to (1,O) then it is straightforward to check that
homeomorphism of ..
there is a triangulation of P I with vertices pi,. , p , and edgea those of the
original triangulation together with f o 70,f o 71 and f o 7 2 , such that the
.
points ql, ..,q, all lie in the interior of some face.
of the form ..
If p, lies in the interior of a different face from 91,. ,q, then we can
+
( x ,Y) ( 5 Y ) " ( X , Y ) complete the induction step exactly as in the proof of lemma 4.21. Finally if
.
for some a > 0 we can assume that none of the points ql,. .,q, lie on the p, lies on an edge then we can complete the induction step by modifying the
proof of lemma 4.21 along the lines described above (see figure 6.6). 0
image under f : A 4 P 1 of the straight line segment 70 from s to (1,O) in
174 CHAPTER 6. DIFFERENTIALS ON RIEMANN SURFACES 6.3. THE RIEMANN-ROCH THEOREM 175

a ~ ~ o s epiecewise-smooth
d path in PI whose image is the boundary of f (A),
and by definition 6.15

= i(9 4 Ij&))(h 4 ~ ~ ~ A ) ) t ( r ) d r o
) f = fo and
If q E ~ ( A othen

(g o 4 )(h 0 4 17(Al)'
has a simple pole at $(q) inside y and no other poles. Since the residue of a
meromorphic function at a simple pole in C is always nonzero it follows from
Figure 6.6: Another subdivision of a triangle Cauchy's residue theorem that

Proof of lemma 8.45. Let us suppose, to obtain a contradiction, that


w = g dh is a meromorphic differential on C with precisely one ole which
is a simple pole, at q, say. As in 54.2 we choose coordinates in P2 such that
[O, 1,0] 4 C and define 4 : C -+PI by b[z,Y, Z] = [x,21. We may also assume if q E f ( a 0 ) . On the other hand if q $ f(A") then
that the coordinates are chosen so that 0, b(q) and oo are distinct and are not (g O 4 Ij(l*,)(h 0 4 lj;*))'
branch points of 4. By lemma 6.47 we may choose a triangulation (V, E, F )
of P1 such that every branch point of 4 belongs to V , and d(q) and 0 are in has no poles inside y and so
the interior of a face fo E F while oo is in the interior of a different face f,.
By the proof of proposition 4.22 there is a triangulation (p, F)
k, of C given
by Since q belongs to j(AO) for precisely one j E k, if we sum over all j E P
P = 4-'(V),
E = {E : [O,l] -t C continuous : r$ o d E E)
and
k = {f : A 3 C continuous : 4 0 f E F). On the other hand each integral & w can be expressed as the sum of the
integrals of w along the three edges e:, e;, e: with signs f depending on
By subdividing the triangulation if necessary we can assume that each face whether e) = f 0 0, or e j = f 0 Ui 0 r for 1 5 i 3 (see definition 4.9(iii)).
has at most one branch point among its vertices. This means that if f E k
IvIoreover by 4.9(v) for every e E E there is exactly one face j,+ E F such
and f = 4 o f E F then by c.6, c.7, c.8 and c.9 of appendix C
that e = f,+ 0 a, and exactly one face f; E F such that e = f; o q o r . Thus
the integrals of w along edges occurring in the sum
4 : J(A) + f(A)

-
is a homeomorphism whose restriction to j ( ~((0, O), (1,0), ((41))) of (2
is the restriction of a holomorphic chart on C if f # f, (see the roof of
proposition 5.28); if f = f, we must compose 4 with the mapping z 5. cancel in pairs and so we get
The boundary of j ( ~ in ) C is the image of the join 9 of the paths j o ui
for 1 5 i < 3 where ol,a2,u3 : [O, 11 -t A are defined as in 4.9(iii). The
composition y = r$ o 3. of this closed piecewise-smooth path in C with 4 is
176 CHAPTER 6. DIFFERENTIALS ON RlEMANN SURFACES 6.4. EXERCISES
poles of g lie in I$-'(f0(Ao)) and the sign is consistent for those .f € fi such
This contradiction proves lemma 6.45. 0 that q5 o j = fo, summing over all such f gives,
Proof of proposition 6.29. Let g be a meromorphic function on C which is
not identically zero. We need to show that g has the same number of zeros as
poles, counting multiplicities. We consider the meromorphic differentialdg/g
..
on C, which has poles precisely at the points ql, .,qt where g has zeros or where Z and P are the total numbers of zeros and poles counted with multi-
poles. plicities d g in C, while summing over the other f E P givea
As in the proof of lemma 6.45 we choose coordinates in P2such that
[O, 1,0] ! !$ C and 0, q5(ql), . . . ,d(qt) and aa are distinct and are not branch
points of the map 4 :C 4 PI defined by #[x, y, z) = [x, 2). Using lemma 6.47
we choose a triangulation (V, E, F) of P1 such that every branch point of 4
belongs to V, and t$(ql), . . . ,$(qt) and 0 are in the interior of a face fo E F Combining these results we get
white co is in the interior of a different face f, E F. As in the proof of lemma
6.45 we get a triangulation (v, 3, p) of C such that 2-P=O
ai required; t,

where 7 is the join of the paths f o ui for 1 5 i 5 3 (see definition 4.9(iii)). 6.4 Exercises
Also
6.1. A holomorphic differential of the form dg where g is a holomorphic
function on a Riemann surface S is called ezact. Show that the integral of
an exact holomorphic differential along a closed piecewisesmooth path in S
for each f E where 7 = $ o 7 is a closed piecewise-smooth path in C. (If is zero. Deduce that the holomorphic differential 7 on a torus C/A satisfying
4 o f = foo we must compose with the function x H here). By remark 5.1 s'q = dz (see the discussion before proposition 6.17) is not exact.
the meromorphic function 6.2. Two piecewise-smooth closed paths yo and 71 : [O, 11 -+ S in a Riemann
surface S are called homotopic if there is a piecewisesmooth map

G : [O, 1] x [O,1] -+ S

has a pole at a point a inside 7 with residue p if and only if g o I-' "A'.has with G(0, t) = 70(t),G(l,t) = n ( t ) and G(t,O) = G(t, 1) for all t E [O, 11.
either a zero at a with multiplicity p or a pole at ,a with multiplicity -p. lnce The deformation theorem from complex analysis (see e.g. [Priestley 851 4.10)
the restriction of (b to ~ ( A ois) a holomorphic chart on C the latter statement says that if 70and 71 are homotopic closed piecewisesmooth paths in an open
subset U of C and i f f : U -,C is holomorphic then
is equivalent to saying that g has either a zero at )litA, (a) with multiplicity
p or a pole at )I$A) (a) with multiplicity -p. Therefore by Cauchy's residue
theorem
= k(z(f) - ~ ( f ) ) Deduce that if 70 and 71 are homotopic closed piecewise-smooth paths in a
Riemann surface S and 7 is a holomorphic differential on S then
where ~ ( fand ) ~ ( f are) the numbers of zpos and poles (counted with
multiplicities) of g in the interior of the face f , and where the sign depends
on whether 7 is positively or negatively oriented in C. Since all the zeros and
178 CHAPTER 6. DIFFERENTIALS ON RIEMANN SURFACES 6.4. EXERCISES 179

[Hint: show that if G : [O, 11 x [0,1] + S is continuous then there is a Use Abel's theorem to deduce that
<
positive integer N such that if 1 j, k 5 N then there is a holomorphic
chart hr : Uik + on an open subset Ujr of S with the by $ square

Djr = [(j- l)/N, j/N] x [ ( E - l)/N, k/N] 2 G-'(Ujk).


Use the deformation theorem from complex analysis to show that the integral
of 7 around the path in S given by restricting G to the boundary of the square
1 if zl # A f z2 and zl,z2 6 A. Hence show that

Djk is zero. Add up all these integrals to obtain the result.]


6.3. The holomorphic differential dz on C extends to a meromorphic differ-
ential dz on Pl = C U {m). Show that this differential has a pole of order 6.6. Show that a point p # [O, 1,01 of the cubic curve CA associated with
2 at m. Show that every meromorphic differential on P1 can be written as a lattice A in C has order two if and only if the tangent to CAat p passes
f dz where f is a meromorphic function on PI, and that f dz is meromorphic through [O, 1,0]. Show that the points of order one or two form a subgroup
if and only if f is holomorphic on C and z2f (2) tends to a finite limit as of CA isomorphic to C2 x C2.
z -4 m. Deduce that there are no holomorphic differentials on PI. 6.7. Deduce from Abel's theorem that if n is a positive integer there are
6.4. Complete the proof of lemma 6.25 by showing that the map p from Pi exactly n2 elements of CA with order dividing n, and they form a subgroup
to C/A is continuous at any [b,c] E Pi. of CA isomorphic to the product of two cyclic groups of order n.
[Hint: this should be obvious. To prove it rigorously it is enough to show that By considering the equation p + p = -q or otherwise, show that if q E CA
every sequence [b,,, c,,] in P1converging to [b,c] has a subsequence [b,,, G,] is not a point of inflection then there are exactly four points in CAother than
such that the points pi(b,,,cn,) in CA converge to pi(b,c) for i = 1,2,3, q itself whose tangent lines pass through q.
6.8. Use Abel's theorem to show that if u,v, w E C - A and u,v, w are
where pl (b, c), p2(b,c) and p3(b,C) can be reordered if necessary. To prove
this, note that since CAis compact there is a subsequence [b,,,, G,] such that
p(bnr,G,), q(bnr,G ~ and ) r(bn,, G,) converge to some points pjq, r in CA. I + +
.distinct modulo A then u v w E A if and only if

Show that
{P, q, r ) C { ~ l ( bc),p2(b,
If pl(b,c) = pz(b,c) = p3(b,c) then clearly
, c),~3(b,c)I. 0 = det ( P(U) P1(u) 1
p(v) pl(v) 1
P(W) P'(W) 1
).
6.9. (For topologists only). Show that if C is a nonsingular projective curve
with a group structure such that the group multiplication defines a continuous
If pl (b, c), p2(b,c) and p3(b,c) are distinct then the proof of lemma 6.25 shows map from C x C to C then x(C) = 0 so C has genus 1 and degree 3.
that [I-lint: use the Lefschetz fixed point theorem, which implies that if x(C) # 0
, q(b, 4, r(b, 4).
{P, 9, r ) = { ~ ( bc), then any continuous map h : C -, C homotopic to the identity has a fixed
Modify the proof of lemma 6.25 to show that the same is true in the remaining +
point. Consider the map p Hp q for fixed q E C.]
case.] 6.10. Use remark 6.22 and exercise 2.10 to show that there is a projective
6.5. Let CAbe the nonsingular cubic curve in P2associated with a lattice A transformation of P2 taking the points of inflection of CA to the points
in C. Show that if al # a2 and p = [al, bl, l],q = [az, bz, l j are points of CA
then the line through p and q in P2 meets CA again at r = [a3,b3, 11 where I0919 -11, [-1,O, 11, [I,-LO],
[O,l,aI, 11, [l,@,O],
10, a, 11, l1,0,al, [a, 1,0],
where o2- a + 1 = 0, and taking CAto the curve defined by
180 CHAPTER 6. DIFFERENTIALS ON RIEMANN SURFACES 6.4. EXERCISES 181

for some p E C. for some A E C - (0,l). The following steps (which are not to be done in
too much detail, if at all!) give a proof that C is biholomorphic to a torus
6.11. Let S be a compact connected Riemann surface of genus zero. Assum- C/A. Assume first that X @ R.
ing that the Riemann-Roch theorem applies to S, show that if a divisor D on
S is of the form D = p for any p E S then
-
(i). Show that there is a holomorphic function h from C {[O, 1,Oj) to PI
defined by h[x, y, z] = [ x , z].
(ii). If a # b are complex numbers let Lab be the (real) line in C through a and
b. Let %,+ and Vx,, (respectively &,*, &,*) be the connected components
Deduce that there is a meromorphic function f on S with a simple pole at p of C - Lol (respectively C - Lox,C - LIA) labelled so that X E VA,+ (and
and no other poles. Show that f : S -+ P1 is a holomorphic bijection with 0 E %,+, 1 E Vl,+). Let Ux = V,,- U (Vo,+ n %,+) and define Uo and Ul
holomorphic inverse. similarly.
6.12. The periods
Show that PI - {0,1, A) = UOU Ul U Ux. Show that if ( E {O,l, A) then
*,(A) =2 1j-/ ,
1 dx the inverse image h-'(UE) of UE in C has two connected components WI,*,
and use the implicit function theorem to show that the restriction of h to
each of these is a biholomorphism with inverse gt,h :U.-+ Wt,* of the form
and A dx
r 2 ( ~=) 2 J 4%-
1
where fc : Ut -+ C is holomorphic and satisfies
of the cubic curve defined by
y% = z(x- z)(x - Xz)
are holomorphic functions of X E C - {0,1). The sum (iii). If a and b are distinct complex numbers define

7r (A) = (A) + a2(X) 3 7ba : [0, 114 C and y, : [O, 1) -+ C


has a removable singularity at X = 0 with a(0) = 2a. Show that al, a2 and a by
satisfy the Picad-fichs equation
qba(t)= b + t(a - b) and y,,(t) = a/t.
For f,C E {O,l,X},t # C, define
Deduce that

where ao = 1 and

where the sign depends on whether [a, b, 11 belongs to WC,+or Wt,-. Show
so that that 4.~is holomorphic, and that 4CC[a,-b, 11 = -$(([a, b, 11.
(iv). Let wo = 2 JT1, fo(z)-' dz and wl = 2JTA0fl(z)" dz. Use Cauchy's
theorem to show that
6.13. Let C be a nonsingular projective curve in P2. By applying a suitable
projective transformation we can assume that C is defined by
401[a,b, 11 - $oxla, b, 11=fF
h r b , 11 - 410kat 11= fjwl
if [a, b, 1) E WO,
if [a, b, 11 E Wl,
y 2=
~ x(x - z)(z - Xz) 4~0[a, b, 11- 4x1[a, b, 11 = f?(wo + wl) if [a, b, 11 E Wx.
182 CHAPTER ,6. DIFFERENTIALSON RIEMANN SURFACES 6.4. EXERCISES 183

(v). Using (iv) show that there is a well-defined holomorphic map to the curve D defined by

4 : w o u wl u WA = c - { [ o ,0 , 1 ] ,[ I ,0 , 1 ] ,[A,0,1],[o,1901) -,C I A ,
where A = {nwo + mul : n,m E Z ) , such that for some p E C - { 0 , 1 ) . Show that the composition of 4 : C C I A with
the holomorphic bijection u : C / A -r CAdefined at definition 5.22 and this
projective transformation is a holomorphic bijection h : C + D and we can
choose the projective transformation such that

Show that 4[a,-b, 11 = -$[a, b, 11. h[O,0911 = [0,0,11, h[l,O,lI = [1,0,11


(vi). Show that 4 extends to a continuous map 4 : C -+ C I A such that , and h[O,1 , O] = [0, l,O].
h[X,O,1] = f p , ~1)

(ii). Use the fact that d[a,-b, 11 = - $ [ a , b, 11 for all [a,b, 11 E C and that p
is an even function to show that the function h : C 4 D of (i) restricts to a
holomorphic bijection
Use theorem B.6 of Appendix B to show that 4 is holomorphic.
(vii). Show that 4 : C -t CIA is a holomorphic bijection and use exercise
5.6 to deduce that 4 has a holomorphic inverse.
(viii). Show that D - {[O,O,11, [0,1,01,[1,0,11,[ P ,0,111
A= {l y" dx : 7 piecewise - smooth closed path in C). of the form
h b , Y, 11 = [f( x ) , g ( x ,Y ) ,11
(ix). Adapt this argument to apply to the case X E R by modifying the where the first coordinate f ( x ) depends only on x. Show that
definitions of Uo,Ul and UA.
6.14. The following steps build on exercise 6.13 to show that every nonsin-
gular cubic curve C is equivalent under a projective transformation to one of
the form CA for some lattice A in C. As before we may assume that C is '
is a holomorphic bijection such that
defined in appropriate coordinates by

-
for some X E C {0,1}. Exercise 6.13 shows that there is a lattice A =
+
{nuo mwl : n, m E Z ) in C and a holomorphic map 4 : C + C I A with Show that 0,l and X are removable singularities of f and deduce that f
holomorphic inverse such that extends to a holomorphic f : C -+ C such that f(0) = 0 , f ( 1 ) = 1 and
f ( A ) = P.
(iii). Show that a holomorphic bijection f : C 4 C must be of the form
+
f (z) = az b for some a , b E C , a # 0.
and such that d[a,-b, 11 = -$[a, b, 11. [One method of proof runs along the following lines. If the function f(t)
(i). Show that the nonsingular cubic curve CAdefined by has a pole at z = ' 0 then show that f must be a polynomial, and since
s
f : C -+ C is a bijection it must then be a linear polynomial. Otherwise
using the Casorati-Weierstrass theorem (see e.g. [Priestley 851 pp.87 and
102) we can find w E C and a sequence (a,),2l of complex numbers such
is equivalent under a projective transformation of the form that a, -+ oo and f (a,) + w as n -,oo,from which a contradiction can be
obtained by showing that a, -t f-'(w) as n -im . ]
184 CHAPTER 6. DIFFERENTIALS ON RlEMANN SURFACES
(vi). Deduce from (iii) that the holomorphic bijection f : C -+ C of (ii) must
be the identity map and hence A = p. Conclude that C is equivalent under a
projective transformation to the cubic curve CAassociated to the lattice A.
6-15. Use exercise 5.4 to show that any two nonzero holomorphic differentials
on a compact connected Riemann surface are constant multiples of each other.
Use exercises 5.15 and 6.14 to deduce that there is a bijection given by
A t+ Singular curves
relation N defined by A -
between the set of equivalence classes of lattices A in C under the equivalence
if A = a h for some a E C - (0) and the
set of equivalence classes of nonsingular cubic curves in P2under projective
Up to this point our attention has been given almost entirely to nonsingvlar
curves. In this chapter we shall look at singular projective curves in Po.
transformations. Use exercise 6.13 to show that the inverse of this bijection However the study of the singularities of curves is a huge subject (see e.g.
is given by [~rieskorn& Kniirrer 861 and the references therein) and we shall be able to
cover only a tiny fraction of it.
c u d ? : y closed piecewise - smooth path in C)
51
In $7.1 we shall construct a "resolution of singularities" f? for any singular
where q is any nonzero holomorphic differential on C. projective curve C in Pz,in the sense that 6 is a compact Riemann surface
with a surjective continuous map r : 6 + C such that T-l(Sing(C)) is a
finite set of points in 6 and the restriction of s to the complement of this
set in 6 is a holomorphic bijection onto the nonsingular part of C. In $7.2
we shall investigate what a singular curve looks like near a singular point,
using a method which goes back to Newton. Finally in $7.3 we shall give a
description of the topology of singular curves.

7.1 Resolution of singularities


In this section we shall relate the complex projective curve

to the holomorphic functions y(x) defined on open subsets of C satisfying

The implicit function theorem of complex analysis (see Appendix B) tells us


that if [a, b, c] E C satisfies