# Cohomological Formulation (Lecture 3)

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1 Cohomological Formulation (Lecture 3) February 5, 204 Let F q be a finite field with q elements, let X be an algebraic curve over F q, and let be a smooth affine group scheme over X with connected fibers. Let d = dim(). For each closed point x X, let deg(x) denote the degree of x (that is, the dimension of the residue field κ(x) as a vector space over F q ) and let L denote the line bundle on X of left-invariant top forms on. In the previous lecture, we formulated the function field analogue of Weil s conjecture: Conjecture (Weil). Suppose that the generic fiber of is semisimple and simply connected. Then P Aut(P) q d(g )+deg(l) = x X (κ(x)). Remark 2. Note that neither side of the equation of Conjecture is a priori well defined. The absolute convergence of the product on the right hand side is equivalent to the well-definedness of Tamagawa measure. The left hand side is usually an infinite sum (unless the generic fiber of is anisotropic), but the conjecture asserts that this infinite sum converges to the right hand side. The assertion of Conjecture can be regarded as a function field analogue of the Siegel mass formula (in its original formulation). However, there are tools available for attacking Conjecture that have no analogue in the case of a number field. More specifically, we would like to take advantage of the fact that the collection of all -bundles on X admits an algebro-geometric parametrization. Definition 3. If Y is a scheme equipped with a map Y X, we define a -bundle on Y to be a principal homogeneous space for the group scheme Y = Y X over Y. The collection of -bundles on Y forms a category (in which all morphisms are isomorphisms). For every F q -algebra R, we let Bun (X) denote the category of -bundles on the relative curve Spec R Spec Fq X. The construction R Bun (X)(R) is an example of an algebraic stack, which we will denote by Bun (X). We will refer to Bun (X) as the moduli stack of -bundles on X. Remark 4. The algebraic stack Bun (X) is smooth over F q, and its dimension is given by d(g )+deg(l). By definition, the category Bun (X)(F q ) is the category of -bundles on X. We will denote the sum P Aut(P) by : we can think of it as a (weighted) count of the objects of Bun (X)(F q ), which properly takes into account the fact that Bun (X)(F q ) is a category rather than a set. With this notation, we can rephrase Conjecture as an equality q dim(bun ) = x X (κ(x))

2 Variant 5. For each closed point x X, let Bun (x) denote the stack whose R-valued points are principal -bundles on the X-scheme Spec(R Fq κ(x)). Then Bun (x) is also a smooth algebraic stack (it is the classifying stack of the group scheme over F q obtained by Weil restriction of along the morphism Spec κ(x) Spec F q ) having dimension d deg(x). Since the fibers of are connected, every -bundle on Spec κ(x) is trivial (by virtue of Lang s theorem), and the trivial -bundle on Spec κ(x) has automorphism group (κ(x)). We may therefore write (κ(x)) = Bun (x)(f q ). q dim Bun (x) Conjecture can therefore be written in the more suggestive form q dim Bun (X) = x X Bun (x)(f q ). q dim Bun (x) Heuristically, this formula reflects the idea that Bun (X) can be obtained as a continuous product of the algebraic stacks {Bun (x)} x X. The problem of counting the number of points on algebraic varieties over F q is the subject of another very famous idea of Weil. Let Y be a quasi-projective variety over F q, so that there exists an embedding j : Y P n F q for some n 0. Set Y = Spec F q Spec Fq Y, so that j determines an embedding j : Y P n. F q There is a canonical map from P n to itself, given in homogeneous coordinates by F q [x 0 : : x n ] [x q 0 : xq n]. Since Y is characterized by the vanishing and nonvanishing of homogeneous polynomials with coefficients in F q, this construction determines a map ϕ : Y Y, which we will refer to as the geometric Frobenius map. Then the finite set Y (F q ) of F q -points of Y can be identified with the fixed locus of the map ϕ : Y Y. Weil made a series of conjectures about the behavior of the integers Y (F q ), which are informed by the following heuristic: Idea 6 (Weil). There exists a good cohomology theory for algebraic varieties having the property that the fixed point set Y (F q ) = {y Y (F q ) : ϕ(y) = y} is given by the Lefschetz fixed point formula Y (F q ) = i 0( ) i Tr(ϕ H i c(y )). Weil s conjectures were eventually proven by rothendieck and Deligne by introducing the theory of l-adic cohomology, which we will denote by Y H (Y ; Q l ) (there is also an analogue of l-adic cohomology with compact supports which appears in the fixed point formula above, which we will denote by H c(y ; Q l )). Here l denotes some fixed prime number which does not divide q. For our purposes, it will be convenient to write the rothendieck-lefschetz trace formula in a slightly different form. Suppose that Y is a smooth variety of dimension n over F q. Then, from the perspective of l-adic cohomology, Y behaves as if it were a smooth manifold of dimension 2n. In particular, it satisfies Poincare duality: that is, there is a perfect pairing µ : H i c(y ; Q l ) Ql H 2n i (Y ; Q l ) Q l. This pairing is not quite ϕ-equivariant: instead, it fits into a commutative diagram H i c(y ; Q l ) Ql H 2n i (Y ; Q l ) µ Q l ϕ ϕ H i c(y ; Q l ) Ql H 2n i (Y ; Q l ) q n µ Q l. 2

3 It follows formally that q n Tr(ϕ H i c(y ; Q l )) Tr(ϕ H 2n i (Y ; Q l )). We may therefore rewrite the rothendieck-lefschetz trace formula as an equality ( ) i Tr(ϕ H i (Y ; Q l )) = Y (F q) q. dim(y ) i 0 This suggests the possibility of breaking Conjecture into two parts. Notation 7. In what follows, we fix an embedding Q l C, so that we can regard the trace of any endomorphism of a Q l -vector space as a complex number. Let Bun (X) denote the fiber product Spec F q Spec Fq Bun (X), so that Bun (X) is a smooth algebraic stack over F q equipped with a geometric Frobenius map ϕ : Bun (X) Bun (X). Conjecture 8. The algebraic stack Bun (X) satisfies the rothendieck-lefschetz trace formula q dim(bun (X)) Conjecture 9. There is an equality = i 0( ) i Tr(ϕ H i (Bun (X); Q l )). i 0( ) i Tr(ϕ H i (Bun (X); Q l )) = x X (κ(x)). Warning 0. The l-adic cohomology ring H (Bun (X); Q l ) is generally nonzero in infinitely many degrees, so that the sum ( ) i Tr(ϕ H i (Bun (X); Q l )) i 0 appearing in Conjectures 8 and 9 is generally infinite. Consequently, the convergence of this sum is not automatic, but part of the conjecture. Similarly, neither of the expressions is obviously convergent. Bun (F q ) q dim Bun (X) = P Aut(P) q dim Bun (X) x X (κ(x)) The proofs of Conjecture 8 and 9 require completely different techniques. The remainder of this course will be devoted to the proof of Conjecture 9. Roughly speaking, the idea is to use the heuristic that Bun (X) is a continuous product of the classifying stacks Bun (x) as x ranges over the points of X to formulate a local-to-global principle which can be used to compute the cohomology H (Bun (X); Q l ) in terms of local data. This strategy is inspired by similar principles in a purely topological setting, which we will discuss in the next lecture. For the remainder of this lecture, we will briefly sketch the work that needs to be done to prove Conjecture 8, following the work of Kai Behrend. The first problem that we need to wrestle with is that Bun (X) is an algebraic stack over F q, rather than an algebraic variety over F q. This is because -bundles over the curve X admit nontrivial automorphisms. However, we can rigidify the situation by considering -bundles with level structure. Fix a closed point x X. Let O x be the completed local ring of x in X and let m x denote its maximal ideal. For each N 0, we let D N denote the affine scheme Spec O x /m N x, which we regard as a closed subscheme of X (the closed subscheme determined by the effective divisor N x). For every F q -algebra R, let Bun (N) (X)(R) denote the category whose objects are -bundles on the relative curve Spec R Spec Fq X equipped with a trivialization on the closed subscheme Spec R Spec Fq D N. 3

4 One can show that the construction R Bun (N) (X)(R) determines an algebraic stack Bun(N) (X), equipped with a map Bun (N) (X) Bun (X). Moreover, this map exhibits Bun (N) (X) Bun (X) as a principal H-bundle over Bun (X), where H denotes the Weil restriction of the group D N X along the map D N Spec F q (so that H is a smooth connected algebraic group of dimension dn deg(x) over F q ). Let P be a -bundle on X. Then P might admit nontrivial automorphisms. However, any nontrivial automorphism α of P must act nontrivially on P DN provided that N is sufficiently large. Moreover, this result is true in families. More precisely, suppose that we are given a quasi-compact F q -scheme V equipped with a map V Bun (X), classifying a -bundle P on V Spec Fq X. Then automorphisms of P are classified by an affine group scheme Aut(P) over V. Moreover, for N 0, the group scheme Aut(P) acts faithfully on the restriction of P to V Spec Fq D N. Suppose that we are given an open substack U Bun (X) which is quasi-compact. It follows from the above reasoning that we can choose N 0 such that the fiber product U (N) = U Bun (X) Bun (N) (X) is a set-valued functor, rather than a category-valued functor. It is therefore representable by a smooth algebraic space over F q (which is quasi-compact and quasi-separated). Since the map X is smooth with connected fibers, every -torsor P on X is trivial when restricted to the divisor D N. Consequently, we can identify the set of isomorphism classes of objects of the category U(F q ) with the quotient of the set U (N) (F q ) by the action of the finite group H(F q ). Moreover, the automorphism group of an object P U(F q ) can be identified with the stabilizer in H(F q ) of an arbitrary lift of P to U (N) (F q ). We therefore have an equality U(F q ) = P U(F q) Aut(P) = U (N) (F q ). H(F q ) Here the numerator and denominator can be computed by means of the classical rothendieck-lefschetz fixed point theorem: U (N) (F q ) = q dim(u (N) ) i 0( ) i Tr(ϕ H i (U (N) ; Q l )) H(F q ) = q dim(h) i 0( ) i Tr(ϕ H i (H; Q l )). The algebraic stack U can be described as the stack-theoretic quotient of U (N) by the action of H. Consequently, the l-adic cohomology of U can be computed by a cobar spectral sequence with first page given by E,t = H (U (N) ; Q l ) Ql H red(h; Q l ) t. 4

5 Modulo issues of convergence, we may therefore compute ( ) i Tr(ϕ H i (U; Q l )) = ( ) s+t Tr(ϕ E s,t ) s,t i = s,t ( ) s+t Tr(ϕ E s,t ) = t = t ( ) t Tr(ϕ H (U (N) ; Q l ) Ql H red(h; Q l ) t ) ( ) t Tr(ϕ H (U (N) ; Q l )) Tr(ϕ H red(h; Q l )) t = t ( ) t U (N) (F q ) q ( H(F q) dim(u (N) )t ) qdim(h) = U (N) (F q ) q dim(u (N) ) q dim(h) H(F q ) U (N) (F q ) = q dim(u) H(F q ) = U(F q) q. dim(u) Using the connectedness of H, one can see that all of these sums are absolutely convergent; for more details, we refer the reader to [2]. Remark. The convergence above relies crucially on the fact that we are working with eigenvalues of the arithmetic Frobenius ϕ (which are small), rather than the eigenvalues of the geometric Frobenius ϕ (which are large). This is our reason for preferring the variant formulation of the rothendieck-lefschetz fixed point theorem. If the algebraic stack Bun (X) were quasi-compact, we could take U = Bun (X) in the preceding considerations, and thereby obtain a proof of Conjecture 8. Unfortunately, the algebraic stack Bun (X) is never quasi-compact, except in the case where the group is trivial. Consequently, we need to work much harder. Suppose that we are given a stratification of Bun (X) where each stratum admits a finite radicial morphism from a smooth stack U α with a map U α Bun (X) of relative dimension d α. Applying the above argument to each U α individually, we obtain q dim(bun (X)) = α = α = α U α (F q ) q dim(uα)+dα q dα ( ) Tr(ϕ H i (U α ; Q l )) i ( ) Tr(ϕ H i (U α ; Q l ( d α )). i The cohomology groups H (Bun ; Q l ) and {H (U α ; Q l ( d α ))} are related by a spectral sequence. Modulo convergence issues, this yields a proof of Conjecture 8. However, to guarantee convergence, one needs to choose the U α carefully. In the case where the group scheme is split and reductive, one can employ the Harder-Narasimhan stratification (see [] for details). To handle the general case, we need a generalization of the Harder-Narasimhan stratification to the case where the group scheme is non-constant, and may have bad reduction at finitely many points of X. We will discuss this generalization elsewhere. 5

6 Example 2. Let = SL 2, so that Bun (X) is the moduli stack of rank 2 vector bundles E over X equipped with a trivialization of the determinant bundle det(e). Recall that a -bundle E is said to be semistable if there does not exist a line subbundle L E of positive degree. One can show that semistable -bundles are classified by a quasi-compact open substack Bun ss (X) Bun (X). If a -bundle E is not semistable, then (by definition) there exists a line subbundle L E of positive degree. In this case, the line bundle L is uniquely determined. The collection of those -bundles E for which deg(l) = d > 0 are classified by a locally closed substack Bun d (X) Bun (X). Note that if E is such a bundle, then the data of a trivialization of det(e) is equivalent to the data of an isomorphism E / L L, giving us an exact sequence 0 L E L 0. Consequently, Bun d (X) can be identified (at least at the level of field-valued points) with the moduli stack classifying pairs (L, α), where L is a line bundle of degree d and α is an extension of L by L. If X has an F q -rational point, then each of these moduli stacks has the l-adic cohomology of the moduli stack Bun 0 m (X) of degree 0 line bundles on X. However, the dimension dim(bun d (X)) = 2g 2 2d approaches as d. References [] Behrend, K. The Lefschetz Trace Formula for the Moduli Stack of Principal Bundles. PhD dissertation. [2] Behrend, K. Derived l-adic categories for algebraic stacks. Memoirs of the American Mathematical Society Vol. 63,

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