The Artin approximation theorem in algebraic geometry

26 November 2014
Emily Cliff

Given a commutative ring A with ideal m, we consider the formal completion of A at m, and we ask when algebraic structures over the completion can be approximated by algebraic structures over the ring A itself. As we will see, Artin's approximation theorem tells us for which types of algebraic structures and which pairs (A,m) we can expect an affirmative answer. We will introduce some local notions from algebraic geometry, including formal and etale neighbourhoods. Then we will discuss some algebraic structures and rings arising in algebraic geometry and satisfying the conditions of the theorem, and show as a corollary how we can lift isomorphisms from formal neighbourhoods to etale neighbourhoods of varieties.