A famous theorem due to Erdős and Kac states that the number of prime divisors of an integer N behaves like a normal distribution. In this talk we consider analogues of this result in the setting of arithmetic geometry, and obtain probability distributions for questions related to local solubility of algebraic varieties. This is joint work with Efthymios Sofos.

# Past Number Theory Seminar

This talk will report on the definition of some motivic cohomology classes and the proof that they satisfy the norm relations expected of Euler systems, emphasizing a connection with the local Gan-Gross-Prasad conjecture.

Let k be a field of characteristic zero and K=k((t)). Semi-algebraic sets over K are boolean combinations of algebraic sets and sets defined by valuative inequalities. The associated Grothendieck ring has been studied by Hrushovski and Kazhdan who link it via motivic integration to the Grothendieck ring of varieties over k. I will present a morphism from the former to the Grothendieck ring of motives of rigid analytic varieties over K in the sense of Ayoub. This allows to refine the comparison by Ayoub, Ivorra and Sebag between motivic Milnor fibre and motivic nearby cycle functor.

Recall that an integer n is called y-smooth when each of its prime divisors is less than or equal to y. It is conjectured that, for any a>0, any polynomial of positive degree having integral coefficients should possess infinitely many values at integral arguments n that are n^a-smooth. One could consider this problem to be morally “dual” to the cognate problem of establishing that irreducible polynomials assume prime values infinitely often, unless local conditions preclude this possibility. This smooth values conjecture is known to be true in several different ways for linear polynomials, but in general remains unproven for any degree exceeding 1. We will describe some limited progress in the direction of the conjecture, highlighting along the way analogous conclusions for polynomial smoothness. Despite being motivated by a problem in analytic number theory, most of the methods make use of little more than pre-Galois theory. A guest appearance will be made by several hyperelliptic curves. [This talk is based on work joint with Jonathan Bober, Dan Fretwell and Greg Martin].

For a smooth variety over a number field, one defines various different homology groups (Betti, de Rham, etale, log-crystalline), which carry various kinds of enriching structure and are thought of as a system of realisations for a putative underlying (mixed) motivic homology group. Following Deligne, one can study fundamental groups in the same way, and the study of specific realisations of the motivic fundamental group has already found Diophantine applications, for instance in the anabelian proof of Siegel's theorem by Kim.

It is hoped that study of fundamental groups should give one access to ``higher'' arithmetic information not visible in the first cohomology, for instance classical and p-adic heights. In this talk, we will discuss recent work making this hope concrete, by demonstrating how local components of canonical heights on abelian varieties admit a natural description in terms of fundamental groups.

Kim's iterative non-abelian reciprocity laws carve out a sequence of subsets of the adelic points of a suitable algebraic variety, containing the global points. Like Ellenberg's obstructions to the existence of global points, they are based on nilpotent approximations to the variety. Systematically exploiting this idea gives a sequence starting with the Brauer-Manin obstruction, based on the theory of obstruction towers in algebraic topology. For Shimura varieties, nilpotent approximations are inadequate as the fundamental group is nearly perfect, but relative completions produce an interesting obstruction tower. For modular curves, these maps take values in Galois cohomology of modular forms, and give obstructions to an adelic elliptic curve with global Tate module underlying a global elliptic curve.

It is a standard heuristic that sums of oscillating number theoretic functions, like the M\"obius function or Dirichlet characters, should exhibit squareroot cancellation. It is often very difficult to prove anything as strong as that, and we generally expect that if we could prove squareroot cancellation it would be the best possible bound. I will discuss recent results showing that, in fact, certain averages of multiplicative functions exhibit a bit more than squareroot cancellation.

Given a representation of Gal_{Q_p} with coefficients in a p-adically complete local ring R, Fukaya and Kato have conjectured the existence of a canonical trivialization of the determinant of a certain cohomology complex. When R=Z_p and the representation is a lattice in a de Rham representation, this trivialization should be related to the \varepsilon-factor of the corresponding Weil--Deligne representation. Such a trivialization has been constructed for certain crystalline Galois representations, by the work of a number of authors. I will explain how to extend these trivializations to certain families of crystalline Galois representations. This is joint work with Otmar Venjakob.

Dynatomic curves parametrize n-periodic orbits of a one-parameter family of polynomial dynamical systems. These curves lack the structure of their arithmetic-geometric analogues (modular curves of level n) but can be studied dynamically. Morton and Silverman conjectured a dynamical analogue of the uniform boundedness conjecture (theorems of Mazur, Merel), asserting uniform bounds for the number of rational periodic points for such a family. I will discuss recent work towards the function field version of their conjecture, including results on the reduction mod p of dynatomic curves for the quadratic polynomial family z^2+c.

In 2016, Habegger and Pila published a proof of the Zilber-Pink conjecture for curves in abelian varieties (all defined over $\mathbb{Q}^{\rm alg}$). Their article also contained a proof of the same conjecture for a product of modular curves that was conditional on a strong arithmetic hypothesis. Both proofs were extensions of the Pila-Zannier strategy based in o-minimality that has yielded many results in this area. In this talk, we will explain our generalisation of the strategy to the Zilber-Pink conjecture for any Shimura variety. This is joint work with J. Ren.