Conics on the Fermat quintic threefold

11 October 2010

(Note that the talk will be in L2 and not the usual SR1)

Many interesting features of algebraic varieties are encoded in the spaces of rational curves that they contain. For instance, a smooth cubic surface in complex projective three-dimensional space contains exactly 27 lines; exploiting the configuration of these lines it is possible to find a (rational) parameterization of the points of the cubic by the points in the complex projective plane.

After a general overview, we focus on the Fermat quintic threefold X, namely the hypersurface in four-dimensional projective space with equation x^5+y^5+z^5+u^5+v^5=0. The space of lines on X is well-known. I will explain how to use a mix of algebraic geometry, number theory and computer-assisted calculations to study the space of conics on X.

This talk is based on joint work with R. Heath-Brown.

  • Junior Number Theory Seminar