In this post, I will describe a special case of a theorem about torsion points on Jacobians and Teichmuller dynamics which is proved in this paper. Namely, I will describe a different proof of a theorem of Moeller that for Teichmuller curves, zeroes of the holomorphic -form must land in the torsion of (a factor of) the Jacobian. Some familiarity with Teichmuller dynamics will be assumed, as in the survey of Zorich.

** — 1. Setup — **

Consider a Teichmuller curve , coming from a closed orbit of the -action on a stratum of flat surfaces . We have a family of Riemann surfaces over denoted and denote by the fiber corresponding to a point . We also have choice of holomorphic -form, i.e. a line . Note that on we only have the -forms up to scaling, whereas on the tangent space we actually have a choice of -form.

The real and imaginary parts of give a local system over . By work of Moeller, this is defined over a totally real number field . For any other embedding we have a corresponding local system , which is a Galois-conjugate of . The direct sum

is defined over .

This gives rise to a bundle of abelian varieties

Theorem 1 (Moeller)For any and any zeroes of on we have thatis a torsion point. We view as a divisor of degree zero, which then maps to the Jacobian by the Abel-Jacobi map. A different way to state the theorem is that for any holomorphic -form in the relative period from to is a rational combination of the absolute periods of the same -form.

** — 2. Properties of — **

To prove the above theorem, Moeller uses the notion of a “maximal Higgs bundle”. This implies vanishing of a cohomology group associated to the local system and a similar vanishing follows for the Galois conjugates. The point would give rise to a non-trivial cohomology class above, unless it was torsion.

The proof below is different and uses the embedding . This gives rise to an exact sequence of bundles over

Here is the notation. By we denote the tangent space to , which is the same as a relative cohomology group of for . By we denote the purely relative part, which corresponds to the zeroes of . By we denote the absolute cohomology .

The proof goes by considering the position of the tangent space of inside , i.e. of the inclusion . Considering the projection , by work of Moeller we have .

The next step is to understand the position of relative to the piece of . Recall that we have the bundle of holomorphic -forms . This can be lifted to since a holomorphic -form gives also a relative cohomology class.

The following example is taken almost verbatim from the paper. It explains in a simple situation how a point on a torus describes the relative position of a subspace.

Example 2Consider with filtration , where . Consider possible extensions of the formLet be of -rank , generated by . Fix some -lift to of the generators of , denoted . Then the data of a lift of to is some vector of the form . Note that we could have chosen different lifts of to , by adding any integer multiple of . This would change by integer multiples of and , i.e. is well-defined in . This is a point on an elliptic curve, and it is torsion if and only if intersects the -lattice of .

With this example in mind, we can now state the necessary result.

Proposition 3 (Main Proposition)With the notation as in the beginning of the section we haveinside , not just after projection to .

Remark 4The statement above might seem trivial, and indeed for the tautological bundle it is. But the same proof will work for the Galois conjugates of inside , denote them . One needs to replace by , which is the holomorphic -form corresponding to the factor . One can then piece together the results for each . Reasoning as in the example above, this implies that the points must be torsion. Note the proposition above says that the transcendental subspace must intersect the subspace , defined over a number field. This can be viewed as a linear restriction on the relative periods of .

** — 3. Proof of the Main Proposition — **

Consider the short exact sequence

Denote the right projection map by . Inside we have the tangent space to denoted . It maps isomorphically to via the map .

Inside we have the holomorphic -forms . These also give relative cohomology classes, so they lift to ; denote the subspace by .

Because maps isomorphically to via , we have two apriori different splittings:

We can take the difference of the above maps and compose with the projection . By construction, we have

This means that lands in the kernel of , which is . We thus obtain a map

Now we can pass to a finite cover of where the zeroes of the -forms are labeled, i.e. where is a trivial local system. Pick a (complex) linear function on and compose with the above map to get

This map is holomorphic and is a global section of the dual bundle, i.e. of . This bundle has negative curvature and so cannot have global holomorphic sections. We conclude and so .

This completes the proof.

Remark 5In the above proof, one needs to check that the behavior of at the cusps of is not too bad. This can be done, by controlling along a.e. Teichmuller geodesic. Then, the same technique as in this paper gives that must vanish.

** — 4. Affine Manifolds — **

The proof for general affine manifolds is similar. The decomposition needed is proved in this paper using results of Alex Wright.

The linear algebra is similar, but one can no longer make the claim about *all* combinations of zeroes. Concretely, if is an affine manifold and is its tangent space, then let

The smaller this space is, the stronger the theorem on torsion is. For Teichmuller curves, the space is empty and the theorem is strongest. For strata, the space is all of and the torsion theorem is vacuous.

The space is in the purely relative *cohomology* and its annihilator is in *homology*. The bigger the space , the smaller its annihilator (and vice-versa).

Apriori, is a linear subspace defined over the number field . If say , then a typical element will look like

Here are zeroes of the -form and the above is a -linear combination of them which has degree zero. To map such a combination to the Jacobian, rewrite it as

Now each of and are divisors of degree zero and so map to the Jacobian. But the Jacobian also has *real multiplication* by the totally real field . In this example, we can view as an operator on the Jacobian and the above expression provides a point on the Jacobian.

The above construction has an interpretation in terms of relative periods of -forms. Pick some cycle as above. Then there exists a -linear expression in absolute homology with the following property. For any holomorphic -form in some factor the relative period of on equals the absolute period on the *Galois conjugate* of .

Namely, is a -linear combination of absolute -cycles. Its Galois conjugate is another such object, and we can integrate on the -cycles and multiply by the -coefficients.

Question 1It would be interesting to see if the above-described situation can actually occur. In all examples I am familiar with, the space is actually defined over . In such a case Galois-conjugation becomes unnecessary, as does the real-multiplication action on the Jacobian.