Group, Lie and Number Theory

p-torsion in class groups of number fields of arbitrary degree

Fix a number field K of degree n over the rationals, and a prime p, and consider the p-torsion subgroup of the class group of K. How big is it? It is conjectured that this p-torsion subgroup should be very small (in an appropriate sense), relative to the absolute discriminant of the field; this relates to the Cohen-Lenstra heuristics and various other arithmetic problems. So far it has proved extremely difficult even to beat the trivial bound, that is, to show that the p-torsion subgroup is noticeably smaller than the full class group. In 2007, Ellenberg and Venkatesh shaved a power off the trivial bound by assuming GRH. This talk will discuss several new, contrasting, methods that recover this bound for almost all members of certain families of fields, without assuming GRH. This includes recent joint work with Jordan Ellenberg, Melanie Matchett Wood, and Caroline Turnage-Butterbaugh.
Speaker(s): Lillian Pierce (Duke University)
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When and Where

East Hall - 4088

March 2017

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4:20pm - 5:30pm

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