### CUNY Academic Works CUNY Academic Works

### Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects CUNY Graduate Center

### 9-2015

### The Moduli Space of Rational Maps The Moduli Space of Rational Maps

### Lloyd William West

### Graduate Center, City University of New York

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### by

### Lloyd William West

### A dissertation submitted to the Graduate Faculty in Mathematics in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, The City University of New York.

### 2015

### 2015 c

### Lloyd William West

### All Rights Reserved

### This manuscript has been read and accepted for the Graduate Faculty in Mathematics in satisfaction of the dissertation requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

### Lucien Szpiro

### Date Chair of Examining Committee

### Linda Keen

### Date Executive Officer

### Lucien Szpiro (Chair)

### Raymond Hoobler

### Kenneth Kramer

### Liang-Chung Hsia

### Supervisory Committee

### THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK

### Abstract

### The Moduli Space of Rational Maps by

### Lloyd William West

### Advisor: Lucien Szpiro

### We construct the moduli space, M _{d} , of degree d rational maps on P ^{1} in terms of invariants of binary forms. We apply this construction to give explicit invariants and equations for M _{3} .

### Using this construction, we give a method for solving the following prob-

### lems: (1) explicitly construct, from a moduli point P ∈ M _{d} (k), a rational

### map φ with the given moduli; (2) find the field of definition of a rational

### map φ. We work out the method in detail for the case d = 3.

### Dedicated to my grandparents

### The insight and love for mathematics of my advisor, Lucien Szpiro, has instructed and inspired me throughout my graduate work. His openness at all times to talk mathematics extended even to discussing theorems as we chased busses along Madison Avenue in the rain. I would like to thank him here for all that he has taught me and for his support during my time at CUNY.

### I am deeply grateful to Ray Hoobler for his guidance and encouragement and for his generosity in sharing his vast knowledge of algebraic geometry.

### His keen eye for the important details and the clarity with which he explains mathematics has been a model to me.

### I started working on the moduli space of cubic maps after Bart van Steirteghem raised the question of describing it in terms of SL 2 -invariants in his seminar on GIT. I would like to thank him for the question, many helpful suggestions towards the solution, and for his friend- and mentor-ship.

### vi

### I would like to thank Gautam Chinta for supporting me through his grant and for inviting me to speak about this work in the Collaborative Number Theory Seminar.

### I benefited from discussing this work with several mathematicians outside of CUNY. I would especially like to thank Barinder Banwait, Gao Hui, John Milnor, Christophe Ritzenthaler, Nick Shepherd-Barron, Joseph Silverman and Tom Tucker for their comments.

### Anupam Bhatnagar has been a constant source of friendship and good advice – mathematical and otherwise – throughout my time in New York.

### The comradeship of my fellow graduate students and postdocs of the Im- promtu group has been indispensable. I would like to thank them – especially Joseph Gunther and Nikita Miasnikov – for the insights they shared and for the many helpful comments that they gave on this work.

### This thesis would not have been written without the love and support of my parents and parents-in-law – especially not without the labors of Kauz.

### Und es h¨ atte alles keinen Sinn ohne Liya und Haichuan.

### List of Figures xi

### List of Tables xii

### 1 Introduction 1

### 1.1 The Moduli Space M _{d} . . . . 2 1.2 Field of Moduli and Fields of Definition . . . . 4

### 2 Preliminary results on moduli spaces and fields of definition

### of rational maps 7

### 2.1 GIT construction of the moduli space . . . . 7 2.2 Cohomological obstruction to the equality of FOD and FOM . 13

### 3 Results from classical invariant theory 18

### 3.1 Representations of SL 2 . . . . 18 3.2 Invariants and Covariants . . . . 19

### viii

### 3.3 Symbolic Notation . . . . 21

### 3.4 The Fundamental Theorems . . . . 24

### 3.5 Transvectants . . . . 26

### 3.6 Invariants of Quadratic Forms . . . . 28

### 3.7 Typical Presentations . . . . 30

### 4 Invariants and equations for the moduli space 33 4.1 Expressing rational maps in terms of binary forms . . . . 33

### 4.2 Invariants, Covariants and Relations . . . . 37

### 4.3 Relations . . . . 39

### 4.4 Automorphisms . . . . 40

### 5 FOD and FOM: Constructing Rational Maps from their Mod- uli 44 5.1 Weighted projective coordinates . . . . 45

### 5.2 The covariants method . . . . 46

### 5.3 Constructing maps with non-trivial automorphism group . . . 55

### 6 Even degrees: Quadratic Maps 62 6.1 The invariants and covariants . . . . 62

### 6.2 Constructing a model from the moduli . . . . 65

### Appendices 68

### A Invariants for cubic rational maps 69

### B Magma Scripts 71

### Bibliography 72

### 4.1 Organization of the strata . . . . 43

### xi

### 4.1 Covariants and Invariants for quadratic and quartic (f, g) . . . 37

### 4.2 Invariants for quadratic and quartic (f, g) . . . . 38

### 4.3 Covariants for cubic rational map . . . . 39

### 4.4 Loci with non-trivial automorphism group in M _{3} . . . . 42

### 6.1 Covariants for quadratic maps . . . . 63

### xii

## Introduction

### In this thesis, we study the dynamics of rational maps from a number theo- retic perspective. Let k be a field. By a rational map over k of degree d we shall mean a rational function of one variable over k of degree d: this can be thought of as an element φ in the function field k(z); geometrically it is a mor- phism, φ : P ^{1} k → P ^{1} k , from the projective line to itself. In complex dynamics, one studies the iteration of such maps over the field of complex numbers. In arithmetic dynamics one studies rational maps over non-algebraically closed fields, such as Q or Q p (see the article [ST06] or [Sil07] for a book length introduction).

### Rational maps are in some ways analogous to abelian varieties and ellip- tic curves; for example, torsion points of an elliptic curve are analogous to preperiodic points of a rational map. These analogies have inspired conjec- tures and theorems about the arithmetic of rational maps that correspond

### 1

### to famous conjectures and theorems in the world of abelian varieties, such as the Uniform Boundedness, Andr´ e-Oort and Shafarevich conjectures (see, for example, [Sil07], [GKN14], [ST08]).

### In this thesis, we address two issues that play an important role in arith- metic dynamics – as their corresponding analogues do in the world of abelian varieties: the moduli space and the field of definition.

### 1.1 The Moduli Space M _{d}

### The dynamical behavior of a rational map is unchanged after performing the same change of coordinates on the source and target spaces. This leads to the following notion of isomorphism for rational maps.

### Definition 1. Let S be a scheme and let ψ, φ : P ^{1} S → P ^{1} S be two rational maps. We say that ψ and φ are S-isomorphic, written ψ ' _{S} φ, if there exists an automorphism γ ∈ Aut(P ^{1} S ) making the following diagram commute:

### P ^{1} S

### γ

### ψ // P ^{1} S

### γ

### P ^{1} S

### φ // P ^{1} S

### In the case that S is the spectrum of a field k, we shall say that ψ and φ

### are k-isomorphic. We shall say that ψ and φ are isomorphic, if they become

### k-isomorphic after base change to ¯ ¯ k.

### We shall refer to an S-isomorphism equivalence class of rational maps as an S-dynamical system. We denote the class of a map φ by [φ] _{S} . For maps over a field k, denote [φ] k ¯ by [φ].

### The coarse moduli space, denoted M _{d} , of degree-d rational maps up to isomorphism exists as a scheme over Z [Sil98]. For M 2 there is an explicit description, due to Milnor [Mil93]: namely, there is an isomorphism

### (σ 1 , σ 2 ) : M 2 ∼

### → A ^{2} _{C}

### This isomorphism is given explicitly by the invariants σ 1 and σ 2 , which are the first two symmetric functions in the multipliers of the fixed points of a map. Moreover Silverman [Sil98] proved that one has an isomorphism M _{2} → SpecZ[σ ^{∼} 1 , σ _{2} ] ' A ^{2} _{Z} as schemes over Z. In other words, over any field the ring of absolute invariants of quadratic rational maps is generated by σ _{1} and σ _{2} . It has been shown that M _{d} is a rational variety for any d [Lev11], but there were no specific results on the equations or geometry of M _{d} for d greater than two.

### In this thesis we construct M _{d} as an SL _{2} -quotient of a space of pairs

### of binary forms. Such quotients are well studied and there are methods for

### explicitly computing the ring of invariants. As an example of such computa-

### tions, we give an explicit description of the defining invariants and equations

### for M _{3} (Theorem 12).

### 1.2 Field of Moduli and Fields of Definition

### Fix a base field k. For a rational map φ of degree d with coefficients in ¯ k, write φ ^{γ def} = γ ◦ φ ◦ γ ^{−1} for the conjugation action of γ ∈ PGL _{2} (¯ k). Write [φ] for the point of M _{d} (¯ k) corresponding to the equivalence class of maps conjugate to φ. Given a k-point P ∈ M _{d} (k), there always exists a rational map φ with coefficients in ¯ k such that [φ] = P; we say that φ is a model for P. In sections 5 and 6 we present a method for explicitly constructing such a model from the coordinates of the point P.

### However, when k is not algebraically closed, a k-point P ∈ M d (k) may fail to have a model with coefficients in k. Recall the following standard definitions.

### Definition 2. (Field of Definition and Field of Moduli )

### 1. One says that a field L is a field of definition (FOD) for φ if there exists

### γ ∈ PGL _{2} (¯ k) such that the coefficients of φ ^{γ} are in L. We shall also

### say that L is a field of definition for a moduli point P if there exist a

### rational map φ defined over L such that [φ] = P.

### 2. Define

### G _{φ} := {σ ∈ Gal(¯k/k) : σ(φ) = φ ^{γ}

^{σ}

### for some γ _{σ} ∈ PGL _{2} (¯ k) }

### Then the field of moduli (FOM) of φ, denoted k _{φ} , is the fixed field k ¯ ^{G}

^{φ}

### of G _{φ} . One has [φ] ∈ M _{d} (k _{φ} ).

### For d even, Silverman [Sil95] has shown that the FOM is always equal to the FOD. Given a point P ∈ M _{d} (k) (d even), one should therefore be able to find a map φ defined over k such that [φ] = P. In section 6 we give a method for finding such a model that works for a generic odd degree map, and illustrate it explicitly in the case of quadratic maps. (Note that Manes and Yasufuku [MY11] have already given an explicit description of models, as well as twists, in the quadratic case).

### When d is odd, the FOD may in general be larger than the FOM. For example, Silverman [Sil95] notes that

### ψ(x) = √

### −1 · x − 1 x + 1

### 3

### ,

### has field of definition Q( √

### − 1), but field of moduli Q.

### The obstruction to equality of FOM and FOD can be described coho-

### mologically. This approach was taken in [Sil95]. The details are covered in

### section 2.2, but it essentially corresponds to a certain conic curve C P defined

### over k; the obstruction is trivial precisely when the conic has a k-point. In section 5 we give a construction, in terms of the coordinates of the point P, of the conic C P . In the case where the obstruction vanishes (that is when the conic has a k-point), the construction furnishes an explicit model φ de- fined over k. On a nonempty open set of M _{d} , the conic can be constructed using identities in the ring of covariants associated to the SL _{2} action, due to Clebsch [Cle72]. Such identities have been applied by Mestre and others (see [Mes91], [LR12]) to construct hyperelliptic curves of genus 2 and 3 from their moduli. We shall call this the covariants method.

### The covariants method fails on the closed subset of M ^{Aut} _{3} of points with

### nontrivial automorphism group; here one must apply alternative ad hoc con-

### structions. In this thesis we give explicit formulas only in the case d = 3,

### since for larger d generators for the ring of invariants are not known. How-

### ever, the covariants method can be applied for any odd d, once the invariants

### are known.

## Preliminary results on moduli spaces and fields of definition of rational maps

### 2.1 GIT construction of the moduli space

### In this section we recall the construction of M _{d} using geometric invariant theory (originally given in [Sil98]).

### The space of rational maps

### The first step is to find a scheme that parametrizes rational maps of degree d.

### Let Rat d denote the functor from schemes to sets given by Rat _{d} (S) =

### S-morphisms φ : P ^{1} S → P ^{1} S

### with φ ^{∗} O P

^{1}

_{S}

### (1) ' O P

^{1}

_{S}

### (d)

### The problem of this subsection is to find a scheme representing this func- tor.

### 7

### Let φ : P ^{1} k → P ^{1} k be a rational map of degree d. We can write φ in terms of coordinates X _{0} , X _{1} on P ^{1} as

### φ(X _{0} , X _{1} ) = [F _{0} (X _{0} , X _{1} ) : F _{1} (X _{0} , X _{1} )]

### where F 0 (X 0 , X 1 ), F 1 (X 0 , X 1 ) are homogenous forms of degree d in k[X 0 , X 1 ] with no common factor in ¯ k[X _{0} , X _{1} ]. The forms F _{0} and F _{1} are specified by their coefficients:

### F _{0} (X _{0} , X _{1} ) = c _{1} X ^{d} _{0} + c _{2} X ^{d−1} _{0} X _{1} + · · · + c _{d} X _{0} X ^{d−1} _{1} + c _{d+1} X ^{d} _{1}

### F _{1} (X _{0} , X _{1} ) = c _{d+2} X ^{d} _{0} + c _{d+3} X ^{d−1} _{0} X _{1} + · · · + c _{2d+1} X _{0} X ^{d−1} _{1} + c _{2d+2} X ^{d} _{1}

### Such expressions can be parametrized by k-points of the projective space of the 2d + 2 coefficients, which we shall denote by P _{d} = Proj A _{d} , where A _{d} = Z[c 1 , . . . , c _{2d+2} ].

### For a point of P d to represent a rational map of degree d, the polynomials F 0 and F _{1} must have no common factor. This condition can be expressed by the non-vanishing of the resultant, Res(F _{0} , F _{1} ), a polynomial in A _{d} of degree 2d, which we shall denote by ρ _{d} .

### Proposition 1. The space Rat _{d} = P d − {ρ d = 0 } – henceforth the space of

### rational maps – is a fine moduli space for rational maps of degree d in given

### coordinates. This holds over Z; i.e. for any scheme S, there is a bijection

### Rat _{d} (S) ←−−−→ ^{∼}

### S-morphisms φ : P ^{1} S → P ^{1} S

### with φ ^{∗} O _{P}

^{1}

_{S}

### (1) ' O _{P}

^{1}

_{S}

### (d)

### Proof. This is Theorem 3.1 in [Sil98].

### Note that the coordinate ring on Rat _{d} is A _{d} [ρ ^{−1} _{d} ] _{(0)} , where R _{(0)} stands for elements of degree zero in a graded ring R.

### The moduli functor

### Let M _{d} denote the functor from schemes to sets given by

### M _{d} (S) = Rat _{d} (S)/ ' _{S}

### Proposition 2. There exists a coarse moduli space for this functor. This means that there is a scheme, denoted M _{d} , and a natural map of functors

### M _{d} (·) −−−→ Hom(·, M _{d} )

### that induce bijections

### M _{d} (Ω) −−−−→ Hom(Ω, M ^{∼} _{d} )

### for every algebraically close field Ω.

### Proof. This is Theorem 3.2 in [Sil98].

### We shall presently explain how to construct M _{d} . Before that, let us note that there is no fine moduli scheme for M _{d} . The functor M _{d} fails to be representable because for a non-algebraically closed field k, the map

### M _{d} (k) −−−→ Hom(k, M _{d} )

### may fail to be bijective. The failure of injectivity is due to the fact that ratio- nal maps can have non-trivial automorphism groups, leading to the existence of twists (see [Sil07], Chapter 4). The failure of surjectivity is the problem of FOD versus FOM; an explicit solution to this problem is given in Chapter 5 of this dissertation.

### General plan for the construction of M _{d}

### The functor M _{d} is a quotient of Rat _{d} by an equivalence relation. The strat- egy for constructing M _{d} is to find an action of an algebraic group G on Rat _{d} such that the orbits of the group are equal to equivalence classes of maps – at least over an algebraically closed field. Then M _{d} can be constructed as a GIT quotient of Rat _{d} by G (see [MFK94] for a thorough account of Geometric Invariant Theory and applications to moduli spaces).

### The action of SL 2

### The group of automorphisms of P ^{1} is isomorphic to the projective general

### linear group: Aut(P ^{1} ) ' PGL _{2} . The action on P ^{1} induces a conjugation

### action on the space Rat _{d} of rational maps on P ^{1} :

### θ : PGL _{2} × Rat _{d} → Rat _{d} (γ, φ) 7→ φ ^{γ}

### where φ ^{γ} = γ◦φ◦γ ^{−1} for any γ ∈ PGL _{2} . If φ is written as [F _{0} (X _{0} , X _{1} ), F _{1} (X _{0} , X _{1} )]

### then an element γ = p q r s

### acts as

### [F 0 (X 0 , X 1 ) : F 1 (X 0 , X 1 )] ^{γ} =

### [pF _{0} (sX _{0} − qX _{1} , −rX _{1} + pX _{1} ) + qF _{1} (sX _{0} − qX _{1} , −rX _{1} + pX _{1} ) : rF _{0} (sX _{0} − qX _{1} , −rX _{1} + pX _{1} ) + sF _{1} (sX _{0} − qX _{1} , −rX _{1} + pX _{1} )]

### Note that this action extends to all of P _{d} , not just Rat _{d} .

### Over an algebraically closed field, orbits of this action on Rat _{d} correspond to isomorphism classes of rational maps.

### To construct the GIT quotient of Rat d by this action, we must give a linearization in the sense of [MFK94]. Since linearizing the PGL _{2} -action is a little inconvenient, we instead lift to an action of SL _{2} , which has a natural linearization (cf. [MFK94] 1.§3).

### To that end, let V be a two dimensional k vector space with the standard

### representation of SL _{2} . Let PV = Proj(SymV ^{∗} ) – note that, for psychological

### reasons, we follow the classical, not the Grothendieck convention. Then the

### space V _{d} = Γ (PV, O PV (d)) is the space of degree d binary forms on V, with the induced representation of SL _{2} . Note that V _{d} = S ^{d} (V ^{∗} ). (See Section 6 for more on the representation theory of SL _{2} ).

### An homogenous binary form of degree d is an element of V _{d} = V _{d} . A pair of homogenous forms can be thought of as an element of W _{d} = V d ⊗ V, by writing [F _{0} , F _{1} ] as y _{0} F _{0} (X _{0} , X _{1} ) + y _{1} F _{1} (X _{0} , X _{1} )], where y _{0} , y _{1} are a basis for V. In this way we can identify P _{d} with PW d .

### We have the representation of SL _{2} on W _{d} = V _{d} ⊗ V and an associ- ated SL _{2} -action on PW d . On the other hand, via the canonical isogeny ω : ¯ SL _{2} → PGL _{2} we get an SL _{2} -action ˜ θ = θ ◦ ( ¯ ω × id _{P}

_{d}

### ) on P _{d} . The following proposition is immediate from the preceding discussion.

### Proposition 3. Identifying PW d with P _{d} , identifies the action of SL _{2} on PW d with ˜ θ. The linear action of SL _{2} on W _{d} gives a natural lineariztion of the action on P d .

### The calculation of the Hilbert-Mumford criterion in [Sil98] shows that Rat _{d} is contained in the stable locus of the linearized action of SL _{2} on P _{d} , therefore we can form a geometric quotient

### M _{d} = Rat _{d} /SL _{2}

### Concretely, the quotient is given by

### Spec R _{d}

### where R _{d} ^{def} = H ^{0} (Rat _{d} , O Rat

d### ) ^{SL}

^{2}

### = ((A _{d} [ _{ρ} ^{1} ]) _{(0)} ) ^{SL}

^{2}

### . Since ρ is itself an SL _{2} - invariant, we have R d ' (A d ) ^{SL}

^{2}

### [ _{ρ} ^{1} ] (0) . The ring R d is the subring of A d

### consisting of all functions in the coefficients of φ that remain unchanged under the conjugation action.

### We have a compactification of M _{d} by the natural embedding into

### M ^{ss} _{d} = Proj (A ^{SL} _{d}

^{2}

### ).

### It remains to find generators and relations for the ring A ^{SL} _{d}

^{2}

### . This problem can be reduced to classical invariant theory. We shall take this up again in Chapter 4 after first reviewing some background from Classical Invariant Theory.

### 2.2 Cohomological obstruction to the equal- ity of FOD and FOM

### In this section we recall the cohomological obstruction to equality of FOD

### and FOM that was first described by [Sil95]. Similar methods were applied

### by Cadoret in [Cad08] to analyze the related question for Hurwitz moduli

### spaces. We first need some results on the automorphism groups of rational maps.

### An automorphism of a rational map φ of degree d > 2 is an element γ ∈ PGL 2 (¯ k) such that φ = φ ^{γ} .

### The group of all automorphisms of the rational map φ shall be denoted Aut(φ). This group is finite and its order is bounded in terms of d ([Sil07]

### Prop. 4.65).

### The finite subgroups of PGL _{2} are well known:

### Proposition 4. (1) Any finite subgroup of PGL _{2} (¯ k) is isomorphic to one of the following: a cyclic group C _{n} of order n, a Klein Viergruppe V _{4} ,a dihedral group D _{2n} of order 2n, the alternating group A _{4} , the symmetric group S _{4} , or the alternating group A _{5} .

### (2) Any two finite subgroups of PGL _{2} (¯ k) that are abstractly isomorphic are conjugate in PGL 2 (¯ k).

### (3) Any finite subgroup A < PGL _{2} (¯ k) is conjugate to a group A _{0} for which both A _{0} and its normalizer N(A _{0} ) are G _{k} -stable; hence these groups have the structure of a G _{k} -module, as does Q(A _{0} ) = N(A _{0} )/A _{0} .

### (4) The groups A _{0} can be taken to be

.

### C

n### =

### ζ

^{r}

_{n}

### 0 0 1

### : r = 0, . . . , n − 1

### where ζ

n### is a primitive n-th root of unity, n > 1

.

### D

2n### =

### ζ

^{r}

_{n}

### 0 0 1

### , 0 ζ

^{r}

_{n}

### 1 0

### : r = 0, . . . , n − 1

### where ζ

n### is a primitive n-th root of unity,

### n > 3

.

### V

4### =

### ±1 0 0 1

### , 0 ±1 1 0

.

### A

4### =

### ±1 0 0 1

### , 0 ±1 1 0

### , i

^{ν}

### i

^{ν}

### 1 −1

### , i

^{ν}

### −i

^{ν}

### 1 1

### , 1 i

^{ν}

### 1 −i

^{ν}

### , −1 −i

^{ν}

### 1 −i

^{ν}

### : ν = 1, 3

.

### S

4### =

### i

^{ν}

### 0 0 1

### , 0 i

^{ν}

### 1 0

### , i

^{ν}

### −i

^{ν+ν}

^{0}

### 1 i

^{ν}

^{0}

### !

### : ν, ν

^{0}

### = 0, 1, 2, 3

.

### S

4### =

### ζ

^{r}

### 0 0 1

### , 0 ζ

^{r}

### 1 0

### , ζ

^{r}

### ω ζ

^{r−s}

### 1 −ζ

^{s}

### ω

### , ζ

^{r}

### ω ¯ ζ

^{r−s}

### 1 −ζ

^{−s}

### ω ¯

### : r, s = 0, 1, 2, 3, 4

### where ζ

n### is a primitive 5-th root of unity, ω =

^{−1+}

√ 5

2

### and ¯ ω =

^{−1−}

√ 5 2

### .

### (5) Recall the definition of the infinite Dihedral group

### D _{∞} = G m o µ 2

### and consider the copy in PGL _{2} (¯ k) given by

### D _{∞} (¯ k) = { a 0 0 1

### : a ∈ ¯ k ^{×} } ∪ { 0 b 1 0

### : b ∈ ¯ k ^{×} }

### Then we can list the normalizers of the groups A 0 from (4) as follows.

.

### Nor _{PGL}

_{2}

_{(¯} _{k)} (C _{n} ) = D _{∞} (¯ k)

.

### Nor _{PGL}

_{2}

_{(¯} _{k)} (D _{2n} ) = D _{4n} , n > 3

.

### Nor _{PGL}

_{2}

_{(¯} _{k)} (V _{4} ) = Nor _{PGL}

_{2}

_{(¯} _{k)} (A _{4} ) = Nor _{PGL}

_{2}

_{(¯} _{k)} (A _{4} ) = S _{4}

.

### Nor _{PGL}

_{2}

_{(¯} _{k)} (A _{5} ) = A _{5}

### (6) The corresponding quotients with G k -galois module structure are

.

### Q(C _{n} ) = D _{∞} (¯ k)

.

### Q(D _{2} n) = Z/2Z, n > 3

.

### Q(V _{4} ) = Z/3Z o Z/2Z

.

### Q(A _{4} ) = Z/2Z

.

### Q(S 4 ) = 1

.

### Q(A 5 ) = 1

### Proof. [Cad08] Lemma 2.1

### Let φ be a model over ¯ k for P ∈ M _{d} (k). After conjugation we may assume that A = Aut(φ) is G _{k} -stable. From definition 2, for each σ ∈ G _{k} :=

### Gal(¯ k/k) we have an element γ _{σ} ∈ PGL _{2} (¯ k) such that σ(φ) = φ ^{γ}

^{σ}

### The assumption that A is G _{k} -stable has the following consequence:

### Lemma 3. ([Sil95] Lemma 4.2)

.

### γ _{σ} ∈ N(A)

.

### The map

### G k −→ Q(A)

### σ 7−→ γ _{σ}

### gives a well defined element of H ^{1} (G _{k} , Q(A)), which we shall denote c _{φ} .

### From the quotient and inclusion morphisms N(A) → Q(A) and N(A) ,→

### PGL 2 (¯ k), we get maps

### H ^{1} (G _{k} , N(A))

### p

### i // H ^{1} (G _{k} , PGL _{2} (¯ k))

### H ^{1} (G _{k} , Q(A))

### The cohomological obstruction is defined to be the (possibly empty) set I k (φ) := i(p ^{−1} (c φ )).

### Proposition 5. The field k is a field of definition for φ if and only if I _{k} (φ) contains the trivial class.

### Proof. (Compare [Cad08] Prop. 2.4 and [Sil95] Prop. 4.5) Suppose φ has a model ψ defined over k. Then there exists η ∈ PGL _{2} (¯ k) such that ψ = φ ^{η} . From σ(ψ) = ψ, we have σ(φ) = φ ^{ησ(η)}

^{−1}

### for all σ ∈ G _{k} . So the class c φ can be represented by the cocycle ησ(η) ^{−1} , which clearly lifts to a true cocycle in H ^{1} (G _{k} , N(A)) and is a PGL _{2} (¯ k)-coboundary.

### The converse is covered by [Sil95] Prop. 4.5.

### In Chapter 5 we take up the problem of explicitly constructing the classes

### in I _{k} (φ).

## Results from classical invariant theory

### We briefly recall the basics of classical invariant theory. For a fuller account see the classic books[Cle72], [GY10] and [Gor87]. The references [Dol03], [Bri96], [Olv99] are excellent modern accounts.

### 3.1 Representations of SL _{2}

### Let k be an algebraically closed field of characteristic zero. The following proposition summarizes the representation theory of SL _{2} over k.

### Proposition 6. 1. Let V be a two dimensional k vector space with the standard action of SL _{2} . Let V _{1} = V ^{∗} be the space of linear binary forms over k. Then V _{1} is an irreducible representation.

### 2. As an SL _{2} -module V _{1} is self-dual: i.e. V _{1} ' (V _{1} ) ^{∗}

### 18

### 3. Up to isomorphism the irreducible representations of SL _{2} over k are

### {S ^{n} V 1 : n ∈ Z >0 }

### 4. Every representation of SL _{2} over k is decomposable into a direct sum of irreducible representations.

### We shall write V _{n} for symmetric power S ^{n} V _{1} ; it is identified with the space of binary forms of degree n and the space Γ (PV, O PV (d)).

### 3.2 Invariants and Covariants

### Definition 4. Given an SL _{2} -variety, W, an SL _{2} -equivariant morphism H : W → V e is called a covariant of order e.

### When W is a linear representation of SL _{2} , by Proposition 6 we can write W ∼ = L

### 16`6n V _{d}

_{`}

### for some n and d _{`} ∈ Z >0 . So a point of W may be given as system of n binary forms, {f ` ; 1 6 ` 6 n}, where

### f _{`} =

### d

`### X

### i=0

### c ^{(`)} _{i} X ^{d} _{0}

^{`}

^{−i} X ^{i} _{1} .

### Let us fix a notation: if f(X _{0} , X _{1} ) is a form of degree d with coefficients c =

### (c _{1} , . . . , c _{d} ), the result of substituting X _{0} = sX ^{0} _{0} − qX ^{0} _{1} and X _{1} = −rX ^{0} _{0} + pX ^{0} _{1}

### is a new form in X ^{0} _{0} and X ^{0} _{1} , whose coefficients we shall denote by c ^{0} =

### (c ^{0} _{1} , . . . , c ^{0} _{d} ).

### With this notation, a covariant of W of order e is given by a form H of de- gree e in variables X _{0} , X _{1} , with coefficients that are polynomials in (c ^{(`)} ) _{16`6n} satisfying the following transformation identity

### H((c ^{0(`)} ) _{16`6n} , X ^{0} _{0} , X ^{0} _{1} ) = H((c ^{(`)} ) _{16`6n} , X 0 , X 1 )

### Note that the forms f _{`} are themselves covariants.

### The covariants of order e form a N ^{n} -graded k-algebra Cov(W) _{e} , where the grading is given by the degrees with respect to the variables (c ^{(`)} ) _{16`6n} . The total degree of an homogenous element H in the variables (c ^{(`)} ) _{16`6n} shall be called simply the degree of H. A covariant of order 0 is an invariant. The quotient of two invariants of the same degree is called an absolute invariant.

### The SL _{2} -covariants form a graded k-algebra

### Cov(W) =

### ∞

### M

### e=0

### Cov(W) _{e} .

### We write Inv(W) for the sub-algebra of invariants.

### We note that the algebra of covariants is isomorphic to a ring of invariants of the space W × V; that is,

### Cov(W) ' k[W × V] ^{SL}

^{2}

### The following result is one of the high-points of the classical theory.

### Proposition 7. (Gordon, Hilbert) The algebras Inv(W) and Cov(W) are of finite type over k. A set of generators is called a set of basic invariants or basic covariants respectively.

### The original method of proof, due to Gordon, involved an explicit method of construction the generators. In the subsequent sections we will recall some of the classical techniques for constructing invariants and covariants.

### 3.3 Symbolic Notation

### A key tool of the classical theory is the so-called symbolic notation. We give a brief summary of this technique here. For more details on classical symbolic notation see the article [Osg92] or the books [GY10], [Cle72], [Gor87]; for a modern treatment see [Dol03].

### Write a binary form with binomial coefficients as

### f = X n i=0

### n!

### (n − i)!i! a i X ^{n−i} _{0} X ^{i} _{1} (3.1) Were f a pure power of the linear form α _{X} = α _{0} X _{0} + α _{1} X _{1} , then, comparing the expansion of

### f = α ^{n} _{X}

### with (3.1), one would have identities a _{0} = α ^{n} _{0} , a _{1} = α ^{n−1} _{0} α _{1} , a 2 = α ^{n−2} _{0} α ^{2} _{1} ,

### . . .

### a _{n} = α ^{n} _{1} ;

### The symbols α _{0} and α _{1} are called symbolic quantities. They have meaning in terms of the original coefficients only when they occur as monomials of degree n. The technique of symbolic notation applies these identities to write any homogenous polynomial in a _{i} and X _{0} , X _{1} in terms of symbolic quantities – regardless of whether the original form was in fact a pure power – the result is called a symbolic expression for the polynomial.

### The procedure to obtain the symbolic expression is as follows. To symbol- ically express a polynomial P of degree d in the coefficients a _{i} , one introduces d sets of symbolic quantities (α ^{(j)} ) ^{d} _{j=1} , where α ^{(j)} = (α ^{(j)} _{0} , α ^{(j)} _{1} ). Classically one writes

### f = (α ^{(1)} _{X} ) ^{n} = (α ^{(2)} _{X} ) ^{n} = · · · = (α ^{(d)} _{X} ) ^{n} .

### Using the above identities between the original coefficients and degree n

### monomials in the symbolic quantities, one find a expression for the given

### polynomial terms of the α ^{(j)} ; for each degree d monomial in the a _{i} one

### replaces each a _{i} by the corresponding symbolic expression, using a different

### set of symbolic quantities for each a i in the the monomial. Any permutation

### of the indices j yields another expression for P, one defines the symbolic expression to be the symmetrization.

### Proposition 8. The process of forming symbolic expressions yields an SL _{2} - equivariant isomorphism

### symb : S ^{d} [V _{n} ^{∗} ] → Sym _{(n)}

d### (V ^{∗} )

### between polynomials of degree d in the coefficients of f and the space Sym _{(n)}

d### (V ^{∗} ) of symmetric multi-homogenous expressions in the variables (α ^{(j)} ) ^{d} _{j=1} .

### Proof. See [Dol03], Chapter 1.

### Example 5. Let f be the quadratic form f = a _{0} X ^{2} _{0} + 2a _{1} X _{0} X _{1} + a _{2} X ^{2} _{1} . Then the symbolic expression for the monomial a _{0} a _{2} will be

### symb(a _{0} a _{2} ) = 1

### 2 {(α ^{(1)} 0 ) ^{2} (α ^{(2)} _{1} ) ^{2} + (α ^{(2)} _{0} ) ^{2} (α ^{(1)} _{0} ) ^{2} }

### Classically one uses different letters for each set of symbolic quantities, so in this example one would write instead ^{1} _{2} {α ^{2} 0 β ^{2} _{1} + β ^{2} _{0} α ^{2} _{1} }. For the discriminant a _{0} a _{2} − a ^{2} _{1} , one has the symbolic expression

### symb(a _{0} a _{2} − a ^{2} _{1} ) = 1

### 2 (α _{0} β _{1} − β _{0} α _{1} ) ^{2}

### 3.4 The Fundamental Theorems

### In the preceding example we saw that the discriminant of a quadratic form could be written in symbolic notation as

### 1

### 2 (α _{0} β _{1} − β _{0} α _{1} ) ^{2}

### The notation (αβ) is used for the expression α _{0} β _{1} − β _{0} α _{1} , which is referred to a bracket functions of the first kind. The bracket functions are easily seen to be invariant under the SL _{2} -action. Moreover, the symbolic expressions α _{X} = α 0 X 0 + α 1 X 1 are clearly covariant; these are called bracket functions of the second kind. From the proceeding section we know that any symbolic expression with d symbols in which each symbol appears to degree n will be the symbolic expression of a genuine polynomial in the coefficients a _{i} of a form of degree n. Accordingly we can easily write down many invariants and covariants, such as

### (αβ) ^{n} , (αβ) ^{2} (βγ) ^{2} (αγ) ^{2} α ^{n−4} _{X} β ^{n−4} _{X} γ ^{n−4} _{X} , and so on . . .

### Let us write Cov ^{bracket} (V _{n} ) for the sub-algebra generated by covariants formed from bracket functions.

### We can now state the following key classical theorem.

### Theorem 6. (First Fundamental Theorem of Classical Invariant Theory)

### Cov ^{bracket} (V n ) = Cov(V _{n} )

### There are three basic syzygies in the algebra of bracket functions. The first is

### (I) (αβ) = −(βα) By expanding the determinant

### α _{0} β _{0} γ _{0} α 1 β 1 γ 1

### α _{X} β _{X} γ _{X}

### and noticing that the third row is the sum of the second and third rows, one obtains the second syzygy:

### (II) α _{X} (βγ) + β _{X} (γα) + γ _{X} (αβ) = 0

### By substituting δ 1 for X 0 and −δ 0 for X 0 , one obtains

### (III) (αδ)(βγ) + (βδ)(γα) + (γδ)(αβ) = 0

### We note in passing a third useful relation obtained by substituting Y _{1} for γ _{0} and −Y _{0} for γ _{0} in (I):

### α X β Y + β X α Y = (XY)(αβ) = 0

### We can now state a second key classical theorem.

### Theorem 7. (Second Fundamental Theorem of Classical Invariant Theory) Every polynomial identity between the bracket functions is obtained as a linear combination of the three basic syzygies.

### 3.5 Transvectants

### The omega process with respect to variables Z ^{(p)} = (Z ^{(p)} _{0} , Z ^{(p)} _{1} ) and Z ^{(q)} = (Z ^{(q)} _{0} , Z ^{(q)} _{1} ) is defined as

### Ω _{pq} = ∂ ^{2}

### ∂Z ^{(p)} _{0} ∂Z ^{(q)} _{1} − ∂ ^{2}

### ∂Z ^{(q)} _{0} ∂Z ^{(p)} _{1}

### Given two binary forms F and G in X _{0} , X _{1} of orders m and n respectively, one defines the r-th transvectant (also called the r-th ¨ uberschiebung) as

### (F, G) _{r} = (n − r)!(m − r)!

### n!m! ·

### h

### (Ω 12 ) ^{r}

### F(Z ^{(1)} _{0} , Z ^{(1)} _{1} ) · G(Z ^{(2)} _{0} , Z ^{(2)} _{1} ) i

### X

0### =Z

^{(1)}

_{0}

### =Z

^{(2)}

_{0}

### , X

1### =Z

^{(1)}

_{1}

### =Z

^{(2)}

_{1}

### If F and G are covariants of degree d and e respectively, then (F, G) _{k} is a covariant of order m + n − 2k and degree e + d. Transvection allows us to write the decomposition of tensor products of SL _{2} -modules into irreducibles as follows.

### Proposition 9. (Clebsch-Gordon formula) The map S ^{m} V ⊗ S ^{n} V −→

### min(m,n)

### M

### r=0

### S ^{m+n−2r} V f, g 7−→ X

### (f, g) _{r}

### is an isomorphism of SL _{2} modules,.

### Note the symbolic expression for the transvection of two forms F = α ^{n} _{X} and G = β ^{m} _{X} is

### (F, G) _{r} = (αβ) ^{r} α ^{n−r} _{X} β ^{m−r} _{X}

### The First Fundamental Theorem can be restated as follows.

### Proposition 10. (First Fundamental Theorem of Invariant Theory) Any covariant of a system of binary forms can be expressed as a linear combination of iterated transvectants of the groundforms.

### We shall also use the generalized transvectant (see [Olv99] and [GY10] § 81). Given a sequence of distinct pairs (p _{1} , q _{1} ), . . . , (p _{k} , q _{k} ), where p _{i} , q _{i} ∈ {1, . . . , m} and p i 6= q _{i} , define

### κ `

### def = X

### i : `∈ {p

i### ,q

_{i}

### }

### r i

### Then one can define the generalized transvectant of the m forms G _{1} , . . . , G _{m} of orders s _{1} , . . . , s _{m} as

### (p _{1} , q _{1} ) _{r}

_{1}

### (p _{2} , q _{2} ) _{r}

_{2}

### · · · (p _{k} , q _{k} ) _{r}

_{k}

### [G _{1} , G _{1} , . . . , G _{m} ] = Y m

### `=1

### (s _{`} − κ _{`} )!

### s _{`} ! ·

### " _{k} Y

### i=1

### (Ω p

_{i}

### q

_{i}

### ) ^{r}

^{i}

### · Y m

### `=1

### G(Z ^{(`)} _{0} , Z ^{(`)} _{1} )

### #

### X

0### =Z

^{(`)}

_{0}

### , X

1### =Z

^{(`)}

_{1}

### 16`6m

### 3.6 Invariants of Quadratic Forms

### In the sequel we will make repeated use of facts about the algebra of covari- ants of three quadratic forms, Cov(V 2 ⊕ V 2 ⊕ V 2 ), which we record here.

### Let

### u _{1} = a _{0} X ^{2} _{0} + 2a _{1} X _{0} X _{1} + a _{2} X ^{n} _{1} , u 3 = b 0 X ^{2} _{0} + 2b 1 X 0 X 1 + b 2 X ^{n} _{1} , u _{3} = c _{0} X ^{2} _{0} + 2c _{1} X _{0} X _{1} + c _{2} X ^{n} _{1}

### be three quadratic binary forms. We shall denote them in symbolic notation as

### u _{1} = α ^{2} _{x} , u _{3} = β ^{2} _{x} , u _{3} = γ ^{2} _{x}

### Proposition 11. The k-algebra Cov(V _{2} ⊕ V _{2} ⊕ V _{2} ) is generated by the fol- lowing elements

.

### The three covariants of order 2 defined by

### ξ _{i} = (u _{j} , u _{k} ) _{1} for cyclic permutations (ijk) of (123)

.

### The six quadratic invariants defined by

### C _{ij} = (u _{j} , u _{k} ) _{2} for 1 6 i, j 6 3

.

### The cubic invariant

### R _{123} = (u _{1} , u _{2} ) _{1} (u _{2} , u _{3} ) _{1} (u _{1} , u _{3} ) _{1}

### Proof. See [Gor87] No. 123

### Note the form of the symbolic expressions; for example

### C _{12} = (αβ) ^{2} ξ 1 = (βγ)β X γ X

### R _{12,3} = (αβ)(βγ)(αγ) =

### a _{0} b _{0} c _{0} a 1 b 1 c 1

### a _{2} b _{2} c _{2}

### Proposition 12. The following relations hold between the covariants in Cov(V _{2} ⊕ V _{2} ⊕ V _{2} )

### 1. 2 R ^{2} _{123} = det C _{ij}

### 2. u _{1} ξ _{1} + u _{2} ξ _{2} + u _{3} ξ _{3} = 0

### 3. R _{123} u _{i} = P

### j C _{ij} ξ _{j} for i = 1, 2, 3

### 4. P

### ij C ij ξ i ξ j = 0

### Proof. See [Gor87] No. 123, or [Cle72] ( §58). Modern proofs are given in

### [LR12].

### 3.7 Typical Presentations

### Our methods in the sequel depend on Clebsch’s construction of ‘typical pre- sentations’ (‘typische Darstellungen’ ) for systems of binary forms ([Cle72]

### §81).

### Systems where at least one of the forms is of odd order

### Let f 1 , . . . , f n be a system of binary forms that contains at least one form of odd order.

### Proposition 13. In the ring of covariants of any system of forms containing at least one form of odd order there exists a pair of quadratic covariants of f 1 , . . . , f _{n} , denoted u _{1} and u _{2} say, whose resultant does not vanish identically.

### Proof. [Cle72] §90

### We shall now give a formula to express any form f of the system as a binary form in new variables u _{0} and u _{1} such that the coefficients are invariants and the change of variables is given by covariants; this is what is meant by ‘typical presentation’ of the form f.

### To this end, denote u _{i} symbolically as u _{0} = α _{X} and u _{1} = β _{X} . Now apply

### the second fundamental syzygy of section 3.4 to the forms u _{i} and a linear

### form f = η _{x} to get

### (α β) · η _{x} = (η β) · u _{0} − (η α) · u _{1} (3.2)

### On taking the n-th power (introducing new symbolic quantities α ^{(j)} , β ^{(j)} as needed) we get an expression for any form f = η ^{n} _{X} in the covariant ring.

### Y n j=1

### α ^{(j)} β ^{(j)} · f = Y n

### j=1

### η β ^{(j)} · u _{0} − η α ^{(j)} · u _{1}

### (3.3)

### This is the typical presentation of a generic form of odd order.

### Systems of forms of even order

### In the case that all of the original forms f _{`} are of even order, one does not dispose of independent linear covariants. One can however prove the following:

### Proposition 14. In the ring of covariants of any system of forms of even order there exists a pair of quadratic covariants, u _{1} and u _{2} say, whose re- sultant does not vanish identically. Given these one can always find a third quadratic covariant u _{3} such that all three are generically linearly indepen- dent; i.e. R 123 is not identically zero. For example, one can take the first transvectant of u _{1} and u _{2} .

### Proof. [Cle72] §102

### The three covariants u _{1} , u _{2} , u _{3} can be treated as a system of quadratic forms as in section 3.6, whence one has the invariants and covariants ξ _{i} , C _{ij} , R _{123} .

### Following [Cle72] ( §103), we use the syzygies given in Proposition 12 to express any form of degree 2n in terms of its invariants and covariants, as follows.

### Note that the equation

### R u _{1} = X

### j

### C _{ij} ξ _{j}

### can be written symbolically as

### R _{123} η ^{2} _{X} = (η α) ^{2} ξ _{1} + (η β) ^{2} ξ _{2} + (η γ) ^{2} ξ _{3}

### where f = η ^{2} _{X} is any quadratic form. If we the n-th power of both sides (introducing new symbolic quantities α ^{(j)} , β ^{(j)} , γ ^{(j)} as needed), we get an expression for any form f = η ^{2n} _{X} of degree 2n in the covariant ring.

### R ^{n} _{123} f = Y n

### j=1

### η α ^{(j)} ^{2}

### ξ _{1} + η β ^{(j)} ^{2}

### ξ _{2} + η γ ^{(j)} ^{2} ξ _{3}

### (3.4)

### This is the typical presentation of a generic form of even degree.

## Invariants and equations for the moduli space

### 4.1 Expressing rational maps in terms of bi- nary forms

### In this section we show how to find the ring of invariants (A _{d} ) ^{SL}

^{2}

### – and hence find equations for the variety M _{d} – by recasting the problem into the classical invariant theory question of finding the simultaneous invariants of two binary forms.

### Proposition 15. There is an isomorphism of SL _{2} -modules

### α : W _{d} −−−−→ S ^{∼} ^{d+1} V ⊕ S ^{d−1} V

### A rational map φ, given by homogenous polynomials F _{0} (X _{0} , X _{1} ) and F _{1} (X _{0} , X _{1} ), corresponds, under α, to a pair of binary forms (f, g), where g is the fixed

### 33

### point polynomial

### X _{1} F _{0} (X _{0} , X _{1} ) − X _{0} F _{1} (X _{0} , X _{1} );

### and f is the divergence

### ∂F _{0}

### ∂X _{0} + ∂F _{1}

### ∂X _{1} of the map A ^{2} → A ^{2} defined by (F _{0} , F _{1} ).

### Proof. We apply the Clebsch-Gordan isomorphism of Proposition 9. This is classical, but to obtain the explicit forms, f and g, with fairly transparent dynamical significance, we shall modify the usual definitions of the operators in the Clebsch-Gordan series.

### To explicitly realize the isomorphism, define the following operators

### ∆ _{xx} ∆ _{xy}

### ∆ _{yx} ∆ _{yy}

### = X _{0} −X _{1} Y _{1} Y _{0}

### ∂

### ∂X

0### ∂

### ∂Y

1### − _{∂X} ^{∂}

1

### ∂

### ∂Y

0### Ω = ˜ det

### ∂

### ∂X

0### ∂

### ∂Y

1### − _{∂X} ^{∂}

1