In mathematics, particularly in algebraic geometry, complex analysis and number theory, an abelian variety is a projective algebraic variety that is also an algebraic group, i.e., has a group law that can be defined by regular functions. Abelian varieties are at the same time among the most studied objects in algebraic geometry and indispensable tools for much research on other topics in algebraic geometry and number theory.
An abelian variety can be defined by equations having coefficients in any field; the variety is then said to be defined over that field. Historically the first abelian varieties to be studied were those defined over the field of complex numbers. Such abelian varieties turn out to be exactly those complex tori that can be embedded into a complex projective space. Abelian varieties defined over algebraic number fields are a special case, which is important also from the viewpoint of number theory. Localization techniques lead naturally from abelian varieties defined over number fields to ones defined over finite fields and various local fields.
Abelian varieties appear naturally as Jacobian varieties (the connected components of zero in Picard varieties) and Albanese varieties of other algebraic varieties. The group law of an abelian variety is necessarily commutative and the variety is non-singular. An elliptic curve is an abelian variety of dimension 1. Abelian varieties have Kodaira dimension 0.
Famous quotes containing the word variety:
“In different hours, a man represents each of several of his ancestors, as if there were seven or eight of us rolled up in each mans skin,seven or eight ancestors at least, and they constitute the variety of notes for that new piece of music which his life is.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)