Counting bitangents of plane quartics - tropical, real and arithmetic

  • Hannah Markwig (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)
E1 05 (Leibniz-Saal)


A smooth plane quartic defined over the complex numbers has precisely 28 bitangents. This result goes back to Pluecker. In the tropical world, the situation is different. One can define equivalence classes of tropical bitangents of which there are seven, and each has 4 lifts over the complex numbers. Over the reals, we can have 4, 8, 16 or 28 bitangents. The avoidance locus of a real quartic is the set in the dual plane consisting of all lines which do not meet the quartic. Every connected component of the avoidance locus has precisely 4 bitangents in its closure. For any field k of characteristic not equal to 2 and with a non-Archimedean valuation which allows us to tropicalize, we show that a tropical bitangent class of a quartic either has 0 or 4 lifts over k. This way of grouping into sets of 4 which exists tropically and over the reals is intimately connected: roughly, tropical bitangent classes can be viewed as tropicalizations of closures of connected components of the avoidance locus. Arithmetic counts offer a bridge connecting real and complex counts, and we investigate how tropical geometry can be used to study this bridge.

This talk is based on joint work with Maria Angelica Cueto, and on joint work in progress with Sam Payne and Kristin Shaw.

Mirke Olschewski

MPI for Mathematics in the Sciences Contact via Mail

Upcoming Events of this Seminar