# Exercise Sheet 7 - Solutions

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1 Algebraic Geometry D-MATH, FS 2016 Prof. Pandharipande Exercise Sheet 7 - Solutions 1. Prove that the Zariski tangent space at the point [S] Gr(r, V ) is canonically isomorphic to S V/S (or equivalently to Hom(S, V/S)). Solution See e.g. Harris, Algebraic Geometry, Example Let M n,n be the space of n n complex matrices. Let det : M n,n C be the determinant and let Z = V (det) be its zero set. Find all the points of Z such that the Zariski tangent space to Z has dimension exactly n 2 1. Solution Let A M n,n be a matrix and let X kl be coordinates on M n,n. We want to compute the derivative of det with respect to the variable X kl at the point A. For this let E kl M n,n be the matrix with coefficient 1 at the (k, l)-th position and 0 otherwise. By expanding det(a + te kl ) in the k-th column, we have det = d(det) A (E kl ) = d det(a + te kl ) X kl dt t=0 = d n ( 1) k+j (a kj + δ jl t)m kj dt t=0 j=1 = ( 1) k+l M kl where M ij is the (i, j)-th minor of A. In general we know that for A Z the tangent space T A Z is cut out from T A M n,n = C n2 by d(det), so it is of dimension at least n 2 1 with equality iff d(det) 0. Hence for A V (det), d(det) = 0 all partial derivatives of det vanish at A M kl = 0 for all k, l rank(a) n 2 Hence the locus where the Zariski tangent space of V (det) has dimension n 2 1 are the matrices of rank exactly n In this exercise, we want to show the following result about intersections of subvarieties of P n. Lemma 1. Let X, Y P n be subvarieties such that dim(x) + dim(y ) n. Then X Y.

2 Below, we will first prove this result in the case that Y is a linear subspace of P n and then see how to show the general case from this. a) For X P n a subvariety let ˆX = {p C n+1 \ {0} : [p] X} {0} C n+1 be the affine cone over X. Show that ˆX is an affine variety and that it is irreducible if X is irreducible. Hint: For irreducibility, given open sets V 1, V 2 in ˆX, construct open sets in X by intersecting with an affine hyperplane in C n+1. b) Prove that dim( ˆX) = dim(x) + 1. Hint: Look at the intersections of ˆX with Ûi = {(x 0,..., x n ) : x i 0}. c) Let L P n be a linear subspace of codimension c (i.e. dimension n c). Show that dim(x L) dim(x) c. In particular, if dim(x) c we have X L. You may use the following result, a geometric version of Krull s principal ideal theorem. Theorem 1. If X is an affine variety and f is a regular function on X, then dim(v (f)) dim(x) 1. d) Let X, Y P n be subvarieties. Consider P 2n+1 with coordinates x 0,..., x n, y 0,..., y n and identify X P n = V (y 0,..., y n ) P 2n+1 and similarly Y P n = V (x 0,..., x n ) P 2n+1. Consider the join J(X, Y ) of X and Y defined by J(X, Y ) = {[t(x, 0) + s(0, y)] : [x] X, [y] Y, (s, t) C \ {0}} P 2n+1. Show that J(X, Y ) is a subvariety of dimension dim(x)+dim(y )+1. Here you can use the following result, which will be proved later. Theorem 2. If X, Y are irreducible quasi-projective varieties, we have dim(x Y ) = dim(x) + dim(y ). e) Identify X Y as an intersection of J(X, Y ) with n + 1 hyperplanes in P 2n+1. Conclude that it is nonempty if dim(x) + dim(y ) n. f) Give an example of a projective variety Z with closed subvarieties X, Y satisfying dim(x) + dim(y ) dim(z) but X Y =. Solution a) If F 1,..., F r C[x 0,..., x n ] are homogeneous polynomials such that X = V (F 1,..., F r ), then ˆX = V (F 1,..., F r ) C n+1 and so indeed ˆX is an algebraic variety. In the case that X is irreducible and let V 1, V 2 ˆX be nonempty open subsets. We want to show that they intersect. Assume otherwise, then as for every p C n+1 the line Cp C n+1 is irreducible, we must have (Cp) V 1 = or (Cp) V 2 =. From this we see that we can choose p 1 V 1, p 2 V 2 not on a line through the origin. Then there exists an affine linear hyperplane H C n+1 containing p 1, p 2

3 and not containing 0. The quotient map C n+1 \ {0} P n restricted to H defines an isomorphism of H with an open subset of P n. A special case of this are the usual isomorphisms H i = {(x 0,..., x i 1, 1, x i+1,... x n )} U i P n. Intersecting with ˆX, we see that ˆX H is isomorphic to an open subset of X. The open subsets V i thus induce open subsets V i ˆX H in X and these are nonempty because p i V i ˆX H. But we assumed that the V i do not intersect, giving a contradiction to the irreducibility of X. b) To show the equality concerning the dimensions, we can consider all irreducible components of X separately and therefore restrict to the case where X is irreducible. Here we know by the previous exercise part that then also ˆX is irreducible. To compute dimensions of X, ˆX, we will use that dim(y ) = trdeg C K(Y ) for Y an irreducible variety. Choose i such that X U i, then for R = Γ(X U i ) the ring of functions on the affine variety X U i, we have dim(x) = dim(x U i ) = trdeg C Q(R), where Q(R) is the fraction field of the ring R. On the other hand, for the open set Ûi = {(x 0,..., x n ) C n+1 : x i 0} we have dim( ˆX) = dim( ˆX Ûi) = trdeg C Q(Γ( ˆX Ûi)) for the same reason. But we can identify the variety ˆX Ûi: it is isomorphic to (X U i ) C via the map ˆX Ûi (X U i ) C, (x 0,..., x n ) ([x 0,..., x n ], x i ). The inverse of this map is given by ([y 0,..., y n ], λ) (λy 0 /y i,..., λy i 1 /y i, λ, λy i+1 /y i,..., λy n /y i ). But as we have seen on a previous sheet Γ((X U i ) C ) = Γ(X U i ) Γ(C ) = R C[t, t 1 ] = R[t, t 1 ]. By elementary commutative algebra, we have Q(R[t, t 1 ]) = Q(R)(t), so indeed trdeg C (Q(R[t, t 1 ])) = trdeg C (Q(R)) + 1 as desired (if y 1,..., y d are a transcencence basis of Q(R), the elements y 1,..., y d, t are a transcencence basis of Q(R)(t)). c) It is clear that if we show the case of codimension c = 1, the general case follows by induction on c, as every linear subspace of codimension c is an intersection of c linear subspaces of codimension 1. So let L = V (F ) be a hyperplane, where F is a linear form in x 0,..., x n. It is clear that the affine cone X L of X L is exactly ˆX ˆL, where

4 ˆL = V (F ) C n+1 is the affine cone over L, which is still the vanishing set of F. But then by Krull s principal ideal theorem, we have dim( ˆX V (F )) dim( ˆX) 1, so dim(x L) = dim( ˆX V (F )) 1 dim( ˆX) 2 = dim(x) 1. Now let L again be any linear subspace of codimension c. To show that X L is nonempty if dim(x) c simply note that by the above argument, we showed X L has dimension at least 1. Hence it cannot just be the set {0} C n+1 (which has dimension 0), but must contain a nonzero vector p. Then [p] X L. d) We check that J(X, Y ) is a closed subset of P 2n+1 on the standard open cover (U i ) i=0,...,2n+1 of P 2n+1. Assume 0 i n, then we note that U i = V i C n+1, where V 0,..., V n is the standard open cover of P n P 2n+1. Here, the identification is U i V i C n+1, [x 0,..., x n, y 0,..., y n ] ([x 0,..., x n ], (y 0 /x i,..., y n /x i )). One checks that using this identification, we have J(X, Y ) U i = {[(tx, sy)] : [x] X, [y] Y, t 0, x i 0} = (X V i ) Ŷ V i C n+1 = U i. As X V i V i and Ŷ Cn+1 are closed, so is J(X, Y ) U i U i. The case n + 1 i 2n + 1 is similar. As for the dimension of J(X, Y ) we can see from the definition that its affine cone J(X, Y ) C 2n+2 = C n+1 C n+1 is given by ˆX Ŷ. By part b) and Theorem 2, we have dim(j(x, Y )) = dim( J(X, Y )) 1 = dim( ˆX Ŷ ) 1 = dim( ˆX) + dim(ŷ ) 1 = dim(x) + dim(y ) + 1. e) We identify P n P 2n+1 as the space D = {[z 0,..., z n, z 0,..., z n ]}. This is exactly the zero locus of the n + 1 linear forms x i y i. It is clear that with this identification X Y = J(X, Y ) D. On the other hand, using the assumptions we have dim(j(x, Y )) = dim(x) + dim(y ) + 1 n + 1 = codim(d), so by part c) this intersection is nonempty. f) Take Z = P 1 P 1 and X = {[0, 1]} P 1, Y = {[1, 0]} P Prove that for any five lines L 1,..., L 5 P 2 in the projective plane there is a conic C tangent to all of them. Here we mean that for all i there is a point p C L i such that T p L i T p C. Hint: Identify the space of plane conics with P 5 and show that the set of conics tangent to a fixed line is a quadric hypersurface in P 5. Solution A conic in the plane is the zero-set of a homogeneous polynomial of degree 2, which has the form f(x, y, z) = ax 2 + bxy + cxz + dy 2 + eyz + fz 2,

5 where (a, b, c, d, e, f) 0. Using that V (f) = V (λf) for λ 0, we identify the space of conics in the plane as P 5 with homogeneous coordinates [a, b,..., f]. Now take a fixed line L and first assume we have L = V (z) = P 1. Then a conic V (f) is tangent to L iff the polynomial f(x, y, 0) = ax 2 + bxy + dy 2 on L = P 1 has a double zero. This is the case iff the discriminant b 2 4ad vanishes. We see that this is a homogeneous quadratic equation in the coordinates on P 5. Now any line L in P 2 is related to L by a linear change of coordinates, which induces a linear change of coordinates on the space P 5. Thus the locus of conics tangent to L is still given as the zero locus of a homogeneous quadratic equation on P 5. Let ϕ 1,..., ϕ 5 C[a, b, c, d, e, f] be such quadratic polynomials for the given lines L 1,..., L 5 and consider the Veronese embedding ν 2 : P 5 P 14. Then the quadratic polynomials ϕ i are induced from linear polynomials u 1,..., u 5 on P 14 and V (ϕ i ) = ν2 1 (V (u i )). To show that there exists a conic tangent to the L i, it suffices to show that ν 2 (P 5 ) V (u 1 )... V (u 5 ). But as ν 2 is an embedding, dim(ν 2 (P 5 )) = dim(p 5 ) = 5. On the other hand V (u 1 )... V (u 5 ) is a linear subspace of codimension less than or equal to 5. Hence by Exercise 3 c) its intersection with ν 2 (P 5 ) is indeed nonempty. Due April 29.

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