Kähler manifolds and variations of Hodge structures

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1 Kähler manifolds and variations of Hodge structures October 21, Some amazing facts about Kähler manifolds The best source for this is Claire Voisin s wonderful book Hodge Theory and Complex Algebraic Geometry, I. There are Riemannian manifolds, symplectic manifolds, and hermitian manifolds, all of which are manifolds X together with some kind of tensor (a map from T p X T p X to R or C) at every point, which is (respectively) symmetric and positive definite, alternating, or hermitian. (To be a hermitian manifold, you need to first be a complex manifold, so that T p X is a complex vector space.) A Kähler manifold is a manifold X where all the above adjectives apply: Riemannian, symplectic, complex, hermitian. More precisely, a Kähler form is a complex manifold (so that each T p X has a complex structure J) which has a symplectic form ω : 2 T p X R, which is compatible with the complex structure in the sense that ω(ju, Jv) = ω(u, v). (Note that a symplectic form is just a differential 2-form; the definition of a symplectic manifold requires that ω be closed.) We see that ω(u, Jv) is symmetric; it is required to be positive definite (and thus it is a Riemann form). With this in place, we get a hermitian form h: T p X T p X C by h(u, v) = ω(u, Jv) + iω(u, v). Sound familiar? The same structures ω and J appear on the Lie algebra of an abelian variety over C. You can use the group operation to 1

2 spread those structures around to every tangent space, so that an abelian variety is a Kähler manifold. In fact, every smooth projective variety is Kähler: projective space itself has a Kähler structure (the Fubini-Study metric), which passes to every closed complex subvariety. However, not every compact Kähler manifold is projective: let V/Λ be a complex torus, where V comes equipped with a symplectic form ω as above; then V/Λ will only be an abelian variety when the restriction of ω to Λ Λ takes integer values. A rich source of Kähler manifolds come from projective varieties. Projective space P n has a Kähler form ω, called the Fubini-Study metric. The class [ω] H 2 (P n, R) is the same as the class of a hyperplane section, so it lies in H 2 (P n, Z). If X P n is a closed smooth subvariety, then X inherits the Kähler form from P n, and the class of this form lies in H 2 (X, Z). Thus every projective variety is Kähler. The Kodaira embedding theorem says that this is an if and only if. That is, if X is a compact complex manifold, then X is projective if and only if it admits a Kähler form ω whose class lies in H 2 (X, Z) (a priori such a class only lies in H 2 (X, R)). In the case of a complex torus A = V/Λ, we have H 2 (A, Z) = Hom( 2 Λ, Z), and so H 2 (A, R) = Hom( 2 V, R). In this isomorphism, the class of the Kähler form ω on V corresponds to ω : 2 V R, and thus the Kodaira embedding theorem says that A is projective if and only if ω takes integer values on Λ Λ, which we already knew. The cohomology of Kähler manifolds is dizzyingly rich. We ll highlight three basic properties: Hodge decomposition, Lefshetz decomposition, and polarization. 1.1 Hodge decomposition For a compact Kähler manifold X of real dimension 2n, the cohomology H k (X, Z) is an integral Hodge structure: H k (X, Z) C = H p,q (X). p+q=k Here H p,q (X) is the space of classes in HdR k (X, C) represented by closed forms which are everywhere of type (p, q). We have H p,q (X) = H q,p (X). In particular, the Betti numbers β k = dim H k (X, R) have to be even whenever k is odd. This allows us to find complex manifolds which are not Kähler. One example is the Hopf surface X obtained by quotienting 2

3 C 2 \ {(0, 0} by the contraction (x, y) (2x, 2y). Then X is diffeomorphic to S 1 S 3, which implies that its Betti numbers are 1, 1, 0, 1, 1. Since β 1 is odd, X cannot be Kähler. 1.2 Lefshetz decomposition Our manifold X comes equipped with a Kähler class [ϖ] H 2 (X, R). Wedging with [ϖ] defines a map L: H k (X, R) H k+2 (X, R), called the Lefschetz operator. By Poincaré duality, H k (X, R) is dual to H 2n k (R). The hard Lefshetz theorem says that for k n, is an isomorphism. Now let L n k : H k (X, R) H 2n k (X, R) H k (X, R) prim = ker L n k+1, the set of primitive classes in degree k. There is a decomposition of H k (X, R) into primitive subspaces coming via iterates of L from degrees k, k 2,... : H k (X, R) = L r H k 2r (X, R) prim. r Each H k (X, R) prim has its own Hodge structure, so we can talk about H k (X, C) prim splitting into subspaces H p,q (X) prim. 1.3 Polarization The map L n k is an isomorphism between H k (X, R) and its dual H 2n k (X, R), so we have just set up a bilinear pairing. For i n, let Ψ be the nondegenerate bilinear form Ψ (the intersection form) defined on each H k (X, R) by Ψ(α, β) = ω n k α β. X It is alternating if k is odd and symmetric if k is even. Furthermore, it respects the Hodge structure in the sense that H p,q (X) and H r,s (X) are orthogonal unless (p, q) = (s, r). We refer to this state of affairs by saying 3

4 that V = H k (X, R) is a polarized Hodge structure of weight k. In Deligne s fancy language, the polarization is a morphism of Hodge structures Ψ: V V R( k) (where R( k) refers to the Tate twist). It means that if we define a form H on V C by H(α, β) = i k Ψ(α, β), then H is Hermitian (not necessarily positive definite). The Hodge index theorem computes the signature of the Hermitian form Ψ on H k (X, C); in fact it becomes definite when you restrict it to the primitive part H p,q (X) prim, with sign i p q k ( 1) k(k 1)/2 (see in Voisin). 1.4 Integral polarized Hodge structures Recall that a complex manifold X is projective if and only if it admits a Kähler form ω whose class lies in H 2 (X, Z) (the Kodaira embedding theorem). In that case, wedging with ω carries H k (X, Z) onto H k+2 (X, Z), and the whole discussion (Lefshetz decompsition, polarization) carries over onto H k (X, Z), so that we can talk about H k (X, Z) prim. This inspires the following definition, with V playing the role of H k (X, Z) prim : Definition An integral polarized Hodge structure of weight k is a Z-module V Z of finite rank, equipped with a pairing Ψ: V Z V Z Z, alternating if k is odd and symmetric otherwise, and a Hodge decomposition where V pq = V qp, such that if V C = V pq, H(α, β) = i k Ψ(α, β), then the V pq are orthogonal with respect to H, and is definite on V pq with sign i p q k ( 1) k(k 1)/2. 4

5 2 Variations of Hodge Structure Let f : X S be a morphism of complex manifolds, such that every fiber is a Kähler manifold. For every s S we have an abelian groups H i (X s, Z), which form a local system L on S. In sheaf-theoretic language, L = R i f (Z). And what is a local system? It s a locally constant sheaf of abelian groups L on (the underlying topological space) S. This means that you get a stalk L s for each s S, together with some data about how to move sections of L s around. For each homotopy class of path r : s s in S, there s a corresponding isomorphism ρ(r): L s L s, and these have to satisfy the obvious transitivity property. Of course if r : s s is a loop in π 1 (S, s), then we get an automorphism of ρ(r) of L s ; in brief we get a representation ρ: π 1 (S, s) Aut L s, and this representation carries exactly the information of the local system L (for S connected anyway). Now let s mix in the Hodge structures. Let V = H k (X s, R). For each path r : s s in S, we get a Hodge structure on H k (X s, R) prim coming from X s, which gives a Hodge structure Vr pq on V via ρ(r). Note that the subspaces vary with r, but the original integral and polarization structures on V V pq r do not. Let D be a space whose points represent Hodge structures of weight k on V, with the same combinatorial data as the Hodge structure coming from X s itself (that is, we hold the dimension of V pq fixed). We get a map π : S D, where S is the universal cover. This is a period map. A point of S is a homotopy class of paths p: s s, and π sends this to the Hodge structure Vr pq on V. Essentially the period map π : S D measures how the integrals γ s ω s behave, where the cycle γ s (resp., the k-form ω s ) vary continuously with s, and ω s is constrained to be of type (p, q). Example Let S = P 1 \ {0, 1, }, and let X S be the Legendre family of elliptic curves, so that X λ as equation y 2 = x(x 1)(x λ), for all λ S. The differential form ω = dx/2y forms a basis for the C-vector space H 1,0 (X λ ) of holomorphic 1-forms on X λ. Let λ S be a base point, and let V = H 1 (X λ, Z). In this case the relevant space D of Hodge structures is the set of positive complex structures on a 2-dimensional symplectic space; we know this to be H, the upper half-plane. Thus our period map is π : S H. 5

6 Explicitly, the period map works like this. E λ is a double cover of P 1, branched at 0, 1, λ,. The loop in P 1 which encircles 0 and 1 lifts to a cycle α H 1 (X λ, Z), and the loop encircling λ and lifts to a cycle β. Let us use the basis α, β to identify H 1 (X, Z) with Z 2 ; we can use the dual basis to identify V Z = H 1 (X, Z) with Z 2 as well. The Hodge decomposition is V C = H 1,0 (X λ ) H 0,1 (X λ ). We have just identified V C with C 2. With respect to this, H 1,0 is the line spanned by ( 1 0 dx, x(x 1)(x λ) λ dx x(x 1)(x λ) ) C 2 The ratio of these integrals is π(λ) H. As λ varies, so does π(λ), but when you move λ through a nontrivial element of π 1 (S), the cycles α and β are going to change (monodromy!). So really π is only well-defined on the universal cover of S. On the other hand, we already know the universal cover of S: it is H, and the quotient map H S is the modular λ-function, with symmetry group Γ(2) = F 2 = π 1 (S). In this case, the period map π : H H is the identity map; this reflects the fact that the periods of X λ determine X λ up to isomorphism (the Torelli theorem). In the next lecture, we ll take on the question of what sort of period spaces D can arise when considering a general family of smooth projective varieties X S. 6

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