Evaluating the wild Brauer group

Date: 2021-03-29

Time: 17:00 - 18:00

Rachel Newton (University of Reading)

The local-global approach to the study of rational points on varieties over number fields begins by embedding the set of rational points on a variety X into the set of its adelic points. The Brauer–Manin pairing cuts out a subset of the adelic points, called the Brauer–Manin set, that contains the rational points. If the set of adelic points is non-empty but the Brauer–Manin set is empty then we say there’s a Brauer-Manin obstruction to the existence of rational points on X. Computing the Brauer–Manin pairing involves evaluating elements of the Brauer group of X at local points. If an element of the Brauer group has order coprime to p, then its evaluation at a p-adic point factors via reduction of the point modulo p. For p-torsion elements this is no longer the case: in order to compute the evaluation map one must know the point to a higher p-adic precision. Classifying p-torsion Brauer group elements according to the precision required to evaluate them at p-adic points gives a filtration which we describe using work of Bloch and Kato. Applications of our work include addressing Swinnerton-Dyer’s question about which places can play a role in the Brauer–Manin obstruction and the first in a series of questions raised by Wittenberg concerning the relationship between weak approximation and rational connectedness. This is joint work with Martin Bright.