A NOTE ON THE BLOCH-TAMAGAWA SPACE AND SELMER GROUPS

NIRANJAN RAMACHANDRAN

ABSTRACT. For any abelian varietyAover a number field, we construct an extension of the Tate-Shafarevich group by the Bloch-Tamagawa space using the recent work of Lichtenbaum and Flach. This gives a new example of a Zagier sequence for the Selmer group ofA.

Introduction. LetA be an abelian variety over a number field F and A∨ its dual. B. Birch and P. Swinnerton-Dyer, interested in defining the Tamagawa number τ(A) of A, were led to their celebrated conjecture [2, Conjecture 0.2] for the L-functionL(A, s)(ofAoverF) which predicts both its order r of vanishing and its leading term cA at s = 1. The difficulty in defining τ(A)

directly is that the adelic quotient A(AF)

A(F) is Hausdorff only whenr= 0, i.e.,A(F)is finite. S. Bloch
[2] has introduced a semiabelian varietyGoverF with quotientAsuch thatG(F)is discrete and
cocompact inG(_{A}F)[2, Theorem 1.10] and famously proved [2, Theorem 1.17] that the Tamagawa

number conjecture - recalled briefly below, see (5) - forGis equivalent to the Birch-Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture forAoverF. Observe thatGis not a linear algebraic group. The Bloch-Tamagawa spaceXA=

G(AF)

G(F) ofA/F is compact and Hausdorff.

The aim of this short note is to indicate a functorial construction of a locally compact groupYA

(1) 0→XA→YA →Ш(A/F)→0,

an extension of the Tate-Shafarevich group Ш(A/F) by XA. The compactness ofYA is clearly

equivalent to the finiteness ofШ(A/F). This construction would be straightforward ifG(L)were
discrete inG(_{A}L)for all finite extensionsLofF. But this is not true (Lemma4): the quotient

G(_{A}L)

G(L) is not Hausdorff, in general.

The very simple idea for the construction ofYA is: Yoneda’s lemma. Namely, we consider the

category of topologicalG-modules as a subcategory of the classifying toposBGofG(natural from the context of the continuous cohomology of a topological group G, as in S. Lichtenbaum [10], M. Flach [5]) and constructYAvia the classifying topos of the Galois group ofF.

D. Zagier [18] has pointed out that the Selmer groups Selm(A/F) (6) can be obtained from

certain two-extensions (7) ofШ(A/F) byA(F); these we call Zagier sequences. We show how YAprovides a new natural Zagier sequence. In particular, this shows thatYAis not a split sequence.

The Zagier sequence

0→A(F)→A(_{A}F)→(

A(_{A}_{F}¯)
A( ¯F) )

Γ _{→}_{Ш}_{(}_{A/F}_{)}_{→}_{0}

seems to be new; this description ofШ(A/F)is simpler than the usual definition [2, Lemma 1.16] as it does not involve any higher cohomology groups.

Bloch’s construction has been generalized to one-motives; it led to the Bloch-Kato conjecture on Tamagawa numbers of motives [3]; it is close in spirit to Scholl’s method of relating non-critical values of L-functions of pure motives to critical values of L-functions of mixed motives [9, p. 252] [13,14].

Notations. We write_{A} = _{A}f ×Rfor the ring of adeles overQ; hereAf = ˆZ⊗ZQis the ring
of finite adeles. For any number fieldK, we letOK be the ring of integers,_{A}K denote the ring of

adeles_{A}⊗_{Q}K overK; write_{I}K for the ideles. LetF¯ be a fixed algebraic closure ofF and write
Γ = Gal( ¯F/F)for the Galois group of F. For any abelian group P and any integerm > 0, we
writePmfor them-torsion subgroup ofP. A topological abelian group is Hausdorff.

Construction of YA. This will use the continuous cohomology ofΓ via classifying spaces as in

[10,5] to which we refer for a detailed exposition.

For each field L with F ⊂ L ⊂ F¯, the group G(_{A}L) is a locally compact group. If L/F is

Galois, then

G(_{A}L)Gal(L/F) =G(AF).

So

E= lim_{→} G(AL),

the direct limit of locally compact abelian groups, is equipped with a continuous action ofΓ. The natural map

(2) E :=G( ¯F),→_{E}

isΓ-equivariant. Though the subgroupG(F)⊂G(_{A}F)is discrete, the subgroup

E ⊂_{E}

fails to be discrete; this failure happens at finite level (see Lemma 4below). The non-Hausdorff nature of the quotient

E/E directs us to consider the classifying space/topos.

LetT op be the site defined by the category of (locally compact) Hausdorff topological spaces with the open covering Grothendieck topology (as in the "gros topos" of [5, §2]). Any locally compact abelian groupM defines a sheafyM of abelian groups onT op; this (Yoneda) provides a fully faithful embedding of the (additive, but not abelian) categoryT abof locally compact abelian groups into the (abelian) category Tab of sheaves of abelian groups onT op. Write Top for the category of sheaves of sets onT opand lety:T op→Topbe the Yoneda embedding. A generalized topology on a given setSis an objectF ofTopwithF(∗) = S.

For any (locally compact) topological groupG, its classifying toposBGis the category of objects F ofToptogether with an action yG×F → F. An abelian group objectF ofBGis a sheaf on

Top, together with actionsyG(U)×F(U) → F(U), functorial inU; we writeHi_{(}G_{, F}_{)}_{(objects}

ofTab) for the continuous/topological group cohomology ofGwith coefficients inF. These arise from the global section functor

BG→Tab, F 7→FyG. Details for the following facts can be found in [5, §3] and [10].

(a) (Yoneda) Any topologicalG-moduleM provides an (abelian group) objectyM ofBG; see [10, Proposition 1.1].

(b) If0→M →N is a map of topologicalG-modules withM homeomorphic to its image in N, then the induced mapyM →yN is injective [5, Lemma 4].

(c) Applying Propositions 5.1 and 9.4 of [5] to the profinite group Γ and any continuousΓ -moduleM provide an isomorphism

Hi(Γ, yM)'yH_{cts}i (Γ, M)

between this topological group cohomology and the continuous cohomology (computed via continuous cochains). This is also proved in [10, Corollary 2.4].

For any continuous homomorphismf :M → N of topological abelian groups, the cokernel of yf :yM →yN is well-defined inTabeven if the cokernel offdoes not exist inT ab. Iffis a map of topologicalG-modules, then the cokernel of the induced mapyf : yM → yN, a well-defined abelian group object ofBG, need not be of the formyP.

By (a) and (b) above, the pair of topologicalΓ-modulesE ,→_{E}(2) gives rise to a pairyE ,→y_{E}
of objects ofBΓ. WriteYfor the quotient object yE

yE. AsE/E is not Hausdorff (Lemma4), Yis

notyN for any topologicalΓ-moduleN. Definition 1. We setYA=H0(Γ,Y)∈Tab.

Our main result is the

Theorem 2. (i)YAis the Yoneda image yYAof a Hausdorff locally compact topological abelian groupYA.

(ii)XAis an open subgroup ofYA.

(iii) The groupYAis compact if and only ifШ(A/F)is finite. IfYA is compact, then the index ofXAinYAis equal to#Ш(A/F).

AsШ(A/F)is a torsion discrete group, the topology ofYAis determined by that ofXA. Proof. (of Theorem2) The basic point is the proof of (iii). From the exact sequence

0→yE →y_{E}→Y→0

of abelian objects inBΓ, we get a long exact sequence (inTab)

0→H0(Γ, yE)→H0(Γ, y_{E})→

→H0(Γ,Y)→H1(Γ, yE)−→j H1(Γ, y_{E})→ · · · .

We have the following identities of topological groups:H0_{(Γ}_{, yE}_{) =}_{yG}_{(}_{F}_{)}_{and}_{H}0_{(Γ}_{, y}
E) =
yG(_{A}F), and by [5, Lemma 4],

yG(AF)

yG(F) ' yXA. This exhibits yXA as a sub-object of YA and provides the exact sequence

0→yXA→YA→Ker(j)→0.

If Ker(j) = yШ(A/F), then YA = yYA for a unique topological abelian group YA because

Ш(A/F) is a torsion discrete group. Thus, it suffices to identify Ker(j) as yШ(A/F). Let _{E}δ
denote_{E} endowed with the discrete topology; the identity map on the underlying set provides a
continuous Γ-equivariant map_{E}δ → _{E}. Since E is a discrete Γ-module, the inclusion E → _{E}
factorizes via_{E}δ. By item (c) above, Ker (j)is isomorphic to the Yoneda image of the kernel of
the composite map

H_{cts}1 (Γ, E) j

0

Since E and _{E}δ are discrete Γ-modules, the map j0 identifies with the map of ordinary Galois
cohomology groups

H1(Γ, E)−→j” H1(Γ,_{E}δ).

The traditional definition [2, Lemma 1.16] ofШ(G/F)is asKer(j”). As Ш(A/F)'Ш(G/F)

[2, Lemma 1.16], to prove Theorem2, all that remains is the injectivity ofk. This is straightforward
from the standard description of H1 _{in terms of crossed homomorphisms: if} _{f} _{: Γ} _{→}

Eδ is a
crossed homomorphism withkf principal, then there existsα∈_{E}withf : Γ→_{E}satisfies

f(γ) =γ(α)−α γ ∈Γ.

This identity clearly holds in both_{E}and_{E}δ. Since theΓ-orbit of any element of_{E}is finite, the left
hand side is a continuous map from Γto_{E}δ. Thus,f is already a principal crossed (continuous)
homomorphism. Sokis injective, finishing the proof of Theorem2. _{}
Remark 3. The proof above shows: If the stabilizer of every element of a topologicalΓ-module
N is open inΓ, then the natural mapH1(Γ, Nδ)→H1(Γ, N)is injective.

Bloch’s semi-abelian varietyG. [2,11]

WriteA∨(F) = B×finite. By the Weil-Barsotti formula,

Ext1_{F}(A,_{G}m)'A∨(F).

Every pointP ∈A∨(F)determines a semi-abelian varietyGP which is an extension ofAbyGm.

LetGbe the semiabelian variety determined byB:

(3) 0→T →G→A→0,

an extension ofA by the torusT = Hom(B,_{G}m). The semiabelian varietyGis the Cartier dual
[4, §10] of the one-motive

[B →A∨].

The sequence (3) provides (via Hilbert Theorem 90) [2, (1.4)] the following exact sequence

(4) 0→ T(AF)
T(F) →
G(_{A}F)
G(F) →
A(_{A}F)
A(F) →0.

It is worthwhile to contemplate this mysterious sequence: the first term is a Hausdorff, non-compact group and the last is a non-compact non-Hausdorff group, but the middle term is a non-compact Hausdorff group!

Lemma 4. Consider a fieldLwithF ⊂L⊂F¯. The groupG(L)is a discrete subgroup ofG(_{A}L)
if and only ifA(K)⊂A(L)is of finite index.

Proof. Pick a subgroupC '_{Z}s _{of}_{A}∨_{(}_{L}_{)}_{such that}_{B}_{×}_{C}_{has finite index in}_{A}∨_{(}_{L}_{)}_{. The Bloch}
semiabelian varietyG0overLdetermined byB×Cis an extension ofAbyT0 =Hom(B×C,_{G}m).

One has an exact sequence0→T”→G0 →G→0defined overLwhereT” = Hom(C,_{G}m)is

a split torus of dimensions. Consider the commutative diagram with exact rows and columns 4

0 0
y
y
T”(AL)
T”(L)
T”(AL)
T”(L)
y
y
0 −−−→ T0(AL)
T0_{(}_{L}_{)} −−−→
G0_{(}
AL)
G0_{(}_{L}_{)} −−−→
A(AL)
A(L)
y
y
0 −−−→ T(AL)
T(L) −−−→
G(AL)
G(L) −−−→
A(AL)
A(L)
y
y
y
0 0 0.

The proof of surjectivity in the columns follows Hilbert Theorem 90 applied toT”[2, (1.4]). The
Bloch-Tamagawa spaceX_{A}0 = G0(AL)

G0_{(}_{L}_{)} forAoverLis compact and Hausdorff; its quotient by

T”(_{A}L)
T”(L) = (
IL
L∗)
s
is G(AL)

G(L) .The quotient is Hausdorff if and only ifs= 0. A more general form of Lemma 4 is implicit in [2]: For any one-motive [N −→φ A∨]over F, writeV for its Cartier dual (a semiabelian variety), and put

X = V(AF)

V(F) .

We assume that theΓ-action onN is trivial. ThenX is compact if and only ifKer(φ)is finite;X is Hausdorff if and only if the image ofφhas finite index inA∨(F).

Tamagawa numbers. LetH be a semisimple algebraic group over F. SinceH(F)embeds
dis-cretely inH(_{A}F), the adelic spaceXH = H_{H}(_{(}A_{F}F_{)}) is Hausdorff. The Tamagawa numberτ(H)is the

volume ofXH relative to a canonical (Tamagawa) measure [15]. The Tamagawa number theorem

[8,1] (which was formerly a conjecture) states

(5) τ(H) = #Pic(H)torsion

#Ш(H)

wherePic(H)is the Picard group andШ(H) the Tate-Shafarevich set ofH/F (which measures the failure of the Hasse principle). TakingH =SL2overQin (5) recovers Euler’s result

ζ(2) = π

2

6 .

The above formulation (5) of the Tamagawa number theorem is due to T. Ono [12, 17] whose study of the behavior of τ under an isogeny explains the presence of Pic(H), and reduces the semisimple case to the simply connected case. The original form of the theorem (due to A. Weil) is thatτ(H) = 1for split simply connectedH. The Tamagawa number theorem (5) is valid, more

generally, for any connected linear algebraic group H over F. The case H = _{G}m becomes the

Tate-Iwasawa [16,7] version of the analytic class number formula: the residue ats= 1of the zeta
functionζ(F, s)is the volume of the (compact) unit idele class group_{J}1_{F} = Ker(| − |: IF

F∗ →R>0)
ofF. Here| − |is the absolute value or norm map on_{I}F.

Zagier extensions. [18] Them-Selmer groupSelm(A/F)(form >0) fits into an exact sequence

(6) 0→ A(F)

mA(F) →Selm(A/F)→Ш(A/F)m →0.

D. Zagier [18, §4] has pointed out that while them-Selmer sequences (6) (for allm >1) cannot be induced by a sequence (an extension ofШ(A/F)byA(F))

0→A(F)→?→Ш(A/F)→0, they can be induced by an exact sequence of the form

(7) 0→A(F)→A→S→Ш(A/F)→0

and gave examples of such (Zagier) sequences. Combining (1) and (4) above provides the follow-ing natural Zagier sequence

0→A(F)→A(_{A}F)→

YA

T(_{A}F)

→Ш(A/F)→0.

WriteA(_{A}_{F}¯)for the direct limit of the groupsA(_{A}L)over all finite subextensions F ⊂ L ⊂ F¯.

The previous sequence discretized (neglect the topology) becomes

0→A(F)→A(_{A}F)→(

A(_{A}_{F}¯)
A( ¯F) )

Γ _{→}

Ш(A/F)→0.

Remark 5. (i) For an elliptic curve E over F, Flach has indicated how to extract a canonical Zagier sequence viaτ≥1τ≤2RΓ(Set,Gm)from any regular arithmetic surfaceS → SpecOF with

E =S×Spec_{O}_{F} SpecF.

(ii) It is well known that the class groupPic(OF)is analogous toШ(A/F)and the unit group

O×

F is analogous toA(F). Iwasawa [6, p. 354] proved that the compactness ofJ1F is equivalent to

the two basic finiteness results of algebraic number theory: (i)Pic(OF)is finite; (ii)O×_{F} is finitely
generated. His result provided a beautiful new proof of these two finiteness theorems. Bloch’s
result [2, Theorem 1.10] on the compactness of XA uses the Mordell-Weil theorem (the group

A(F)is finitely generated) and the non-degeneracy of the Néron-Tate pairing onA(F)×A∨(F)

(modulo torsion).

Question 6. Can one define directly a space attached to A/F whose compactness implies the Mordell-Weil theorem forAand the finiteness ofШ(A/F)?

Acknowledgements. I thank C. Deninger, M. Flach, S. Lichtenbaum, J. Milne, J. Parson, J. Rosen-berg, L. Washington, and B. Wieland for interest and encouragement and the referee for helping correct some inaccuracies in an earlier version of this note. I have been inspired by the ideas of Bloch, T. Ono (via B. Wieland [17]) on Tamagawa numbers, and D. Zagier on the Tate-Shafarevich group [18]. I am indebted to Ran Cui for alerting me to Wieland’s ideas [17].

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DEPARTMENT OFMATHEMATICS, UNIVERSITY OFMARYLAND, COLLEGEPARK, MD 20742 USA. E-mail address:[email protected]