The study of separating invariants is a new trend in Invariant Theory and a return to its roots: invariants as a classification tool. For a finite group acting linearly on a vector space, a separating set is simply a set of invariants whose elements separate the orbits o the action. Such a set need not generate the ring of invariants. In this talk, we give lower bounds on the size of separating sets based on the geometry of the action. These results are obtained via the study of the local cohomology with support at an arrangement of linear subspaces naturally arising from the action.

(Joint with Jack Jeffries)