# 1. Algebraic vector bundles. Affine Varieties

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1 0. Brief overview Cycles and bundles are intrinsic invariants of algebraic varieties Close connections going back to Grothendieck Work with quasi-projective varieties over a field k Affine Varieties 1. Algebraic vector bundles We consider finitely generated commutative k-algebras, which are in natural 1-1 correspondence with affine varieties (over k). Definition 1.1. An A-module P is projective if it is a direct summand of a free module. Equivalently, the A-module p is projective if whenever M N is a surjective map of A-modules any map f : P N of A-modules lifts to a map f : P M. Remark 1.2. If T is a compact Hausdorff topological space and if C(T ) is the ring of continuous functions on T, then for any topological vector bundle E T there is a natural action of C(T ) on the global sections of E, Γ(E). This determines a natural bijective correspondence between isomorphism classes of topological vector bundles on T and finitely generated projective C(T )-modules. Example 1.3. Let A be a Dedekind domain with field of fractions K. Recall that a fractional ideal I K is an A-submodule of K. The ideal class group is the group of fractional ideals modulo principal ideals, where the group operation is product of ideals. Fractional ideals are the rank 1 projective A-modules P, where the rank of P is defined to be the dimension of the F vector space P A F for any ring homomorphism A F from A to a field F. Quasi-projective Varieties Recall 1.4. Recall projective spacep N, whose k points are equivalence classes of N + 1-tuple, a 0,..., a N, some entry of which is non-zero. Two N + 1-tuples (a 0,..., a N ), (b 0,..., b N ) are equivalent if there exists some 0 c k such that (a 0,..., a N ) = (cb 0,..., cb N ). If F (X 0,..., X N ) is a homogeneous polynomial, then the zero locus Z(F ) P N is well defined. Recall that P N is covered by standard affine opens U i = P N \Z(X i ). Recall the Zariski topology on P N, a base of open sets for which are the subsets of the form U G = P N \Z(G). Recall 1.5. Recall the notion of a presheaf on a topological space T : a contravariant functor from the category whose objects are open subsets of T and whose morphisms are inclusions. Recall that a sheaf is a presheaf satisfying the sheaf axiom: for all open subsets U, V, F (U V ) = F (U) F (U V ) F (V ). Recall structure sheaf of regular functions O P N, sections of O P N (U) on any open. 1

2 2 Definition 1.6. A projective variety X is a space with a sheaf of commutative rings O X which admits a closed embedding into some P N, i : X P N, so that O X is the quotient of the sheaf O P N by the ideal sheaf of those regular functions which vanish on X. A quasi-projective variety U is once again a space with a sheaf of commutative rings O U which admits a locally a closed embedding into some P N, j : U P N, so that the closure U P N of U admits the structure of a projective variety and so that O U equals the restriction of O U to U U. A quasi-projective variety U is said to be affine if U admits a closed embedding into some A N = P N \Z(X 0 ) so that O U is the quotient of O A N by the sheaf of ideals which vanish on U. Remark 1.7. Any quasi-projective variety U has a base of (Zariski) open subsets which are affine. Most quasi-projective varieties are neither projective nor affine. There is a bijective correspondence between affine varieties and finitely generated commutative k-algebras. If U is an affine variety, then Γ(O U ) is the corresponding finitely generated k-algebra. Conversely, if A is written as a quotient k[x 1,..., x N ] A, then SpecA Speck[x 1,..., x N ] = A N is the corresponding closed embedding of the affine variety SpecA. Example 1.8. Let F be a polynomial in variables X 0,..., X N homogeneous of degree d (i.e., F (ca 0,..., ca N ) = c d F (a 0,..., a N ). Then the zero locus Z(F ) P N is called a hypersurface of degree d. For example if N = 2, then Z(F ) is 1- dimensional (i.e., a curve). If k = C and if the Jacobian of F does not vanish anywhere on C = Z(F ) (i.e., if C is smooth), then C is a projective, smooth, algebraic curve of genus (d 1)(d 2) 2. Quasi-coherent Sheaves Definition 1.9. Let X be a quasi-projective variety. A quasi-coherent sheaf F on X is a sheaf of O X -modules (i.e., an abelian sheaf equipped with a pairing O X F F of sheaves satisfying the condition that for each open U X this pairing gives F(U) the structure of an O X (U)-module) with the property that there exists an open covering {U i X; i I} by affine open subsets so that F Ui is the sheaf associated to an O X (U i )-module M i for each i. If each of the M i can be chosen to be finitely generated as an O X (U i )-module, then such a quasi-coherent sheaf is called coherent. Definition Let X be a quasi-projective variety. A coherent sheaf E on X is said to be an algebraic vector bundle if E is locally free. In other words, if there exists a (Zariski) open covering {U i ; i I} of X such that E Ui O ei X U i for each i. Remark If quasi-projective variety is affine, then an algebraic vector bundle on X is equivalent to a projective Γ(O X )-module. Construction If M is a free A-module of rank r, then the symmetric algebra Sym A (M) is a polynomial algebra of r generators over A and the structure map π : Spec Sym A (M) Spec A is just the projection Ar Spec A Spec A. This construction readily globalizes: if E is an algebraic vector bundle over X, then π E : V(E) Spec Sym O X (E) X

3 3 is locally a product projection: if {U i X; i } is an open covering restricted to which E is trivial, then the restriction of π E above each U i is isomorphic to the product projection A r U i U i. In the above definition of π E we consider the symmetric algebra on the dual E = Hom OX (E, O X ), so that the association E V(E ) is covariantly functorial. Thus, we may alternatively think of an algebraic vector bundle in terms of the map π E of varieties. Remark We should be looking at the maximal ideal spectrum of a variety over a field k, rather than simply the k rational points, whenever k is not algebraically closed. We suppress this point, for we will soon switch to prime ideal spectra (i.e., work with schemes of finite type over k). However, we do point out that the reason it suffices to consider the maximal ideal spectrum rather the spectrum of all prime ideals is the validity of the Hilbert Nullstellensatz. One form of this important theorem is that the subset of maximal ideals constitute a dense subset of the space of prime ideals (with the Zariski topology) of a finitely generated commutative k-algebra. Examples Example Rank 1 vector bundles O P N (k), k Z on P N. The sections of O P N (j) on the basic open subset U G = P N Z(G) are given by the formula O P N (k)(u G ) = k[x 0,..., X N, 1/G] (j) (i.e., ratios of homogeneous polynomials of total degree j). In terms of the trivialization on the open covering U i, 0 i N, the patching functions are given by Xi k/xj i. Γ(O P N (j)) has dimension ( ) N+j j if j > 0, dimension 1 if j = 0, and 0 otherwise. Thus, using the fact that O P N (j) OX O P N (j ) = O P N (j + j ), we conclude that Γ(O P N (j)) is not isomorphic to Γ(O P N (j )) provided that j j. Proposition (Grothendieck) Each vector bundle on P 1 has a unique decomposition as a finite direct sum of copies of O P 1(k), k Z. Example Serre s conjecture (proved by Quillen and Suslin) asserts that every algebraic vector bundle on A N (or any affine open subset of A N ) is trivial. In more algebraic terms, every finitely generated projective k[x 1,..., x n ]-module is free. Example Let X = Grass n,n, the Grassmann variety of n-planes in P N (i.e., n + 1-dimensional subspaces of k N+1 ). We can embed Grass n,n as a Zariski closed subset of P M 1, where M = ( N+1 n+1), by sending the subspace V k N+1 to its n+1-st exterior power Λ N+1 V P M. There is a natural rank n algebraic vector bundle E on X provided with an embedding in the trivial rank N + 1 dimensional vector bundle O N+1 X (in the special case n = 1, this is O P N ( 1) O N+1 ) whose P N fibre above a point in X is the corresponding subspace. Of equal importance is the natural rank N n-dimensional quotient bundle Q = O N+1 /E. P N This example readily generalizes to flag varieties.

4 4 Example Let A be a commutative k-algebra and recall the module Ω A/k of Kaḧler differentals. These globalize to a quasi-coherent sheaf Ω X on a quasiprojective variety X over k. If X is smooth of dimension r, then Ω X is an algebraic vector bundle over X of rank r. Definition Let X be a quasi-projective variety. We define P ic(x) to be the abelian group whose elments are isomorphism classes of rank 1 algebraic vector bundles on X (also called invertible sheaves ). The group structure on P ic(x) is given by tensor product. So defined, P ic(x) is a generalization of the construction of the Class Group (of fractional ideals modulo principal ideal) for X = Spec A with A a Dedekind domain. Example By examing patching data, we readily verify that H 1 (X, O X) = P ic(x) where OX is the sheaf of abelian groups on X with sections Γ(U, O X ) defined to be the invertible elements of Γ(U, O X ) (with group structure given by multiplication). If k = C, then we have a short exact sequence of analytic sheaves of abelian sheaves on the analytic space X(C) an, 0 Z O X exp O X 0. We use identification due to Serre of analytic and algebraic vector bundles on a projective variety. If X = C is a smooth curve, this identification enables us to conclude the short exact sequence 0 C g /Z 2g P ic(c) H 2 (C, Z) since H 1 (C, O C ) H 0 (C, Ω C ) = C g (where g is the genus of C). In particular, we conclude that for a curve of positive genus, P ic(c) is very large, having a continuous part (which is an abelian variety). Example A K3 surface S over the complex numbers is characterized by the conditions that H 0 (S, Λ 2 (Ω S )) = 0 = Hsing 1 (S, Q). Even though the homotopy type of a K3 surface is well defined, the rank of P ic(s) can vary from 1 to 20. [The dimension of Hsing 2 (S, Q) is 22.] Grothendieck groups K 0 Definition Let X be a quasi-projective variety. We define K 0 (X) to be the quotient of the free abelian group generated by isomorphism classes [E] of (algebraic) vector bundles E on X modulo the equivalence relation generated pairs ([E], [E 1 ] + [E 2 ]) for each short exact sequence 0 E 1 E E 2 0 of vector bundles. Remark Let A be a finitely generated k-algebra. Observe that every short exact sequence of projective A-modules splits. Thus, the equivalence relation defining K 0 (A) is generated by pairs ([E 1 E 2 ], [E 1 ] + [E 2 ]). Every element of K 0 (A) can be written as [P ] [m] for some non-negative integer m; moreover, projective modules P, Q determine the same class in K 0 (A) if and only if there exists some non-negative integer m such that P A m Q A m.

5 5 Proposition K 0 (P N ) is a free abelian group of rank N + 1. Moreover, for any k Z, the invertible sheaves O P N (k),..., O P N (k + N) generate K 0 (P N ). Proof. One obtains a relation among N + 2 invertible sheaves from the Koszul complex on N + 1 dimensional vector space V : 0 Λ N+1 V S N 1 (V ) V S 1 (V ) S (V ) k 0. One shows that the invertible sheaves O P N (j), j Z generate K 0 (P N ) using Serre s theorem that for any coherent sheaf F on P N there exist integers m, n > 0 and a surjective map of O P N -modules O P N (m) n F. One way to show that the rank of K 0 (P N ) equals N+1 is to use Chern classes. Smooth varieties Remark For any d, N > 0, we consider the d-fold symmetric product S d (P N ) of the projective space P N is a well defined algebraic variety. Unfortunately, even for these relatively simply varieties, the computation of K 0 (S d (P N )) has not been achieved. The problem is that X is not smooth. Definition A quasi-projective variety X is smooth of dimension n at some point x X if there exists an open neighborhood x U X and k polynomials f 1,..., f k in n + k variables (viewed as regular functions on A n+k ) vanishing at 0 A n+k with Jacobian fi x j (0) of rank k and an isomorphism of U with Z(f 1,..., f k ) A n+k sending x to 0. In more algebraic terms, a point x X is smooth if there exists an open neighborhood x U X and a map p : U A n sending x to 0 which is flat and unramified at x. Definition Let X be a quasi-projective variety. Then K 0(X) is the Grothendieck group of isomorphism classes of coherent sheaves on X, where the equivalence relation is generated pairs ([E], [E 1 ] + [E 2 ]) for short exact sequences 0 E 1 E E 2 0 of O X -modules. Example Let A = k[x]/x 2. Consider the short exact sequence of A-modules 0 k A k 0 where k is an A-module via the agumentation map (i.e., x acts as multiplication by 0), where the first map sends a k to ax A, and the second map sends x to 0. We conclude that the class [A] of the rank 1 free module equals 2[k]. On the other hand, because A is a local ring, K 0 (A) = Z, generated by the class [A]. Thus, the natural map K 0 (Spec A) K 0(Spec A) is not surjective. The map is, however, injective, as can be seen by observing that dim k ( ) : K 0(Spec A) Z is well defined. Theorem If X is smooth, then the natural map K 0 (X) K 0(X) is an isomorphism. Proof. Smoothness implies that every coherent sheaf has a finite resolution by vector bundles, This enables us to define a map K 0(X) K 0 (X)

6 6 by sending a coherent sheaf F to the alternating sum Σ N i=1 ( 1)i E i, where 0 E N E 0 F 0 is a resolution of F by vector bundles. Injectivity follows from the observation that the composition K 0 (X) K 0(X) K 0 (X) is the identity. Surjectivity follows from the observation that F = Σ N i=1 ( 1)i E i so that the composition K 0(X) K 0 (X) K 0(X) is also the identity. References H [1] R. Hartshorne, Algebraic Geometry, Springer W [2] C. Weibel, Algebraic K-theory. weibel/kbook.html Department of Mathematics, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL address:

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