A quadratically enriched count of rational curves

Jesse Leo Kass, Marc Levine, Jake P. Solomon, Kirsten Wickelgren
Mathematics, Algebraic Geometry, Algebraic Geometry (math.AG), Algebraic Topology (math.AT), Symplectic Geometry (math.SG)
2023-07-03 16:00:00
We define a quadratically enriched count of rational curves in a given divisor class passing through a collection of points on a del Pezzo surface $S$ of degree $\geq 3$ over a perfect field $k$ of characteristic $\neq 2,3.$ When $S$ is $\mathbb{A}^1$-connected, the count takes values in the Grothendieck-Witt group GW(k) of quadratic forms over $k$ and depends only on the divisor class and the fields of definition of the points. More generally, the count is a morphism from the sheaf of connected components of tuples of points on $S$ with given fields of definition to the Grothendieck-Witt sheaf. We also treat del Pezzo surfaces of degree $2$ under certain conditions. The curve count defined in the present work recovers Gromov-Witten invariants when $k = \mathbb{C}$ and Welschinger invariants when $k = \mathbb{R}.$ To obtain an invariant curve count, we define a quadratically enriched degree for an algebraic map $f$ of $n$-dimensional smooth schemes over a field $k$ under appropriate hypotheses. For example, $f$ can be proper, generically finite and oriented over the complement of a subscheme of codimension $2.$ This degree is compatible with F. Morel's GW(k)-valued degree of an $\mathbb{A}^1$-homotopy class of maps between spheres. For $k \subseteq \mathbb{C}$, this produces an enrichment of the topological degree of a map between manifolds of the same dimension.
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