Motivic stuff

Cohomology, homotopy theory, and arithmetic geometry

Archive for February, 2009

Cohomology breadcrumb trail, the beginning

Posted by Andreas Holmstrom on February 25, 2009

On of the main reasons for setting up this blog is that I would like to write a reasonably coherent set of notes, giving an overview of cohomology theories in algebraic geometry. Actually “overview” might not be the right word, I am rather thinking of a “fil d’Ariane”, or “breadcrumb trail”, which would allow a serious student to obtain some kind of overview if she so wished. The notes I would like to write is the kind of thing I wish someone had given me when I started my graduate studies. At that time, I tried to think about various problems in number theory, but found that I always ran into trouble with various kinds of cohomology, and I could not make any sense or see much pattern in them. I asked five different mathematicians what a cohomology theory actually is, in algebraic geometry, and I got five different answers. When I a few months into my graduate studies listened to a talk by Guido Kings, and he used “rigid syntomic cohomology” as if nothing could have been more basic or natural, I decided I would start writing down notes and collecting facts and references with the aim of one day in the distant future becoming fluent in cohomological language. That day is still rather far away, but at least I hope I have come to the point where writing down a set of rough notes would help my own thought processes. So this is what I will try to do, and if anyone else gets any benefit from this, that would be an extra bonus. I will use the tag “Cohomology breadcrumb trail” for posts which belong to these notes.

One of the things that makes algebraic geometry difficult and interesting, is that there are lots of different kinds of geometric objects. Examples include various classes of varieties, various kinds of more general schemes (for example over arithmetic rings), different kinds of stacks, algebraic spaces, motives, and simplicial sheaves. There are also notions such as log geometry, rigid geometry, derived algebraic geometry, and various forms of noncommutative geometry. For each of these types of geometry, there is a a number of different cohomology theories which can be used to define invariants of the geometric objects.  

The multitude of cohomology theories is frequently a source of confusion. To mention just one single example, people often talk about the “universal cohomology theory”. However, “universal” can mean different things, and depending on what you mean, the universal cohomology theory can be Grothendieck’s Chow motives, Voevodsky’s motivic cohomology, or the algebraic cobordism theory of Levine and Morel. I hope to be able to clarify this and many other similar things, and to give a short introduction to all kinds of cohomology in algebraic geometry. This might of course be too ambitious a goal, but there is no harm in trying…

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Some events this summer

Posted by Andreas Holmstrom on February 21, 2009

I still have some notes from the Grothendieck conference to clean up and post, but in the meanwhile I just wanted to advertise some conferences and summer schools which seem exciting. In the last week of July, a conference on Motivic homotopy theory takes place in Münster. There are two Spanish summer schools on derived algebraic geometry, one in Salamanca in June, and one in Seville in September. In Norway in August there is a programme on p-adic geometry and homotopy theory which looks very interesting. Links to these and lots of other conferences are posted on the recently updated Events page.

However, although these conferences in Europe should be well worth a visit, they do have a hard time competing with the one-month summer school on Galois representations in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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Update on Harada’s proof – no error after all

Posted by Andreas Holmstrom on February 4, 2009

In a previous post I wrote that there is a mistake in Masana Harada’s proof of the standard conjectures. Now it seems that I was wrong about this. As James Milne kindly points out in a comment,  his paper is indeed misquoted, but the argument of Harada is still valid, because, and I quote, “the Tate conjecture (including num=hom) implies that the category of motives over finite fields is generated by abelian varieties, and so the standard conjectures for abelian varieties over finite fields then implies it for all varieties over finite fields”.

Also, Harada posted a revised version of his second preprint a few days ago, fixing a mistake in the proof of Theorem 6.1. 

Apparently the proof of Harada builds on an unsuccessful attempt by Thomason to prove the Tate conjecture. Is there anyone who knows where to find a copy of the original preprint of Thomason?

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