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A study of singularities on rational curves via syzygies

By David Cox, Andrew R. Kustin, Claudia Polini and Bernd Ulrich


Consider a rational projective curve C of degree d over an algebraically closed field k. There are n homogeneous forms g_1,...,g_n of degree d in B=k[x,y] which parameterize C in a birational, base point free, manner. We study the singularities of C by studying a Hilbert-Burch matrix phi for the row vector [g_1,...,g_n]. In the "General Lemma" we use the generalized row ideals of phi to identify the singular points on C, their multiplicities, the number of branches at each singular point, and the multiplicity of each branch. Let p be a singular point on the parameterized planar curve C which corresponds to a generalized zero of phi. In the "Triple Lemma" we give a matrix phi' whose maximal minors parameterize the closure, in projective 2-space, of the blow-up at p of C in a neighborhood of p. We apply the General Lemma to phi' in order to learn about the singularities of C in the first neighborhood of p. If C has even degree d=2c and the multiplicity of C at p is equal to c, then we apply the Triple Lemma again to learn about the singularities of C in the second neighborhood of p. Consider rational plane curves C of even degree d=2c. We classify curves according to the configuration of multiplicity c singularities on or infinitely near C. There are 7 possible configurations of such singularities. We classify the Hilbert-Burch matrix which corresponds to each configuration. The study of multiplicity c singularities on, or infinitely near, a fixed rational plane curve C of degree 2c is equivalent to the study of the scheme of generalized zeros of the fixed balanced Hilbert-Burch matrix phi for a parameterization of C.Comment: Typos corrected and minor changes made. To appear in the Memoirs of the AM

Topics: Mathematics - Commutative Algebra, 14H20, 13H15, 13H10, 13A30, 14H50, 14H10, 14Q05, 65D17
Year: 2012
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