# nLab Riemann surface

Contents

complex geometry

### Examples

#### Differential geometry

synthetic differential geometry

Introductions

from point-set topology to differentiable manifolds

Differentials

V-manifolds

smooth space

Tangency

The magic algebraic facts

Theorems

Axiomatics

cohesion

• (shape modality $\dashv$ flat modality $\dashv$ sharp modality)

$(\esh \dashv \flat \dashv \sharp )$

• dR-shape modality$\dashv$ dR-flat modality

$\esh_{dR} \dashv \flat_{dR}$

infinitesimal cohesion

tangent cohesion

differential cohesion

singular cohesion

$\array{ && id &\dashv& id \\ && \vee && \vee \\ &\stackrel{fermionic}{}& \rightrightarrows &\dashv& \rightsquigarrow & \stackrel{bosonic}{} \\ && \bot && \bot \\ &\stackrel{bosonic}{} & \rightsquigarrow &\dashv& \mathrm{R}\!\!\mathrm{h} & \stackrel{rheonomic}{} \\ && \vee && \vee \\ &\stackrel{reduced}{} & \Re &\dashv& \Im & \stackrel{infinitesimal}{} \\ && \bot && \bot \\ &\stackrel{infinitesimal}{}& \Im &\dashv& \& & \stackrel{\text{étale}}{} \\ && \vee && \vee \\ &\stackrel{cohesive}{}& \esh &\dashv& \flat & \stackrel{discrete}{} \\ && \bot && \bot \\ &\stackrel{discrete}{}& \flat &\dashv& \sharp & \stackrel{continuous}{} \\ && \vee && \vee \\ && \emptyset &\dashv& \ast }$

Models

Lie theory, ∞-Lie theory

differential equations, variational calculus

Chern-Weil theory, ∞-Chern-Weil theory

Cartan geometry (super, higher)

#### Manifolds and cobordisms

Definitions

Genera and invariants

Classification

Theorems

# Contents

## Idea

A Riemann surface is a $1$-dimensional algebro-geometric object with good properties. The name ‘surface’ comes from the classical case, which is $1$-dimensional over the complex numbers and therefore $2$-dimensional over the real numbers.

There are several distinct meaning of what is a Riemann surface, and it can be considered in several generalities. But the main definition by far is the classical one.

## Definition

Classically, a Riemann surface is a connected complex-$1$-dimensional complex manifold, in the strictest sense of ‘manifold’. In other words, it’s a Hausdorff second countable space $M$ which is locally homeomorphic to the complex plane $\mathbb{C}$ via charts (i.e., homeomorphisms) $\phi_i:U_i \to V_i$ for $U_i \subset M, V_i \subset \mathbb{C}$ open and such that $\phi_j \circ \phi_i^{-1}: V_i \cap V_j \to V_i \cap V_j$ is holomorphic.

It is not necessary to make any assumption about whether there exists a countable base for the topology (second countable) or whether it has a countable dense subset (separable). This is because Tibor Rado (1923) proved that all Riemann surfaces, without such prior assumptions, must necessarily have a countable base. Thus for elegance this condition is customarily not assumed by specialists in Riemann surfaces.

There are generalizations, e.g., over local fields in rigid analytic geometry.

## Examples

Evidently an open subspace of a Riemann surface is a Riemann surface. In particular, an open subset of $\mathbb{C}$ is a Riemann surface in a natural manner.

The Riemann sphere $P^1(\mathbb{C}) := \mathbb{C} \cup \{ \infty \}$ or $S^2$ is a Riemann surface with the open sets $U_1 = \mathbb{C}, U_2 = \mathbb{C} - \{0\} \cup \{\infty\}$ and the charts

$\phi_1 =z, \;\phi_2 = \frac{1}{z}.$

The transition map is $\frac{1}{z}$ and thus holomorphic on $U_1 \cap U_2 = \mathbb{C}^*$.

An important example comes from analytic continuation, which we will briefly sketch below. A function element is a pair $(f,V)$ where $f: V \to \mathbb{C}$ is holomorphic and $V \subset \mathbb{C}$ is an open disk. Two function elements $(f,V), (g,W)$ are said to be direct analytic continuations of each other if $V \cap W \neq \emptyset$ and $f \equiv g$ on $V \cap W$. By piecing together direct analytic continuations on a curve, we can talk about the analytic continuation of a function element along a curve (which may or may not exist, but if it does, it is unique).

Starting with a given function element $\gamma = (f,V)$, we can consider the totality $X$ of all equivalence classes of function elements that can be obtained by continuing $\gamma$ along curves in $\mathbb{C}$. Then $X$ is actually a Riemann surface.

Indeed, we must first put a topology on $X$. If $(g,W) \in X$ with $W=D_r(w_0)$ centered at $w_0$, then let a neighborhood of $g$ be given by all function elements $(g_w, W')$ for $w \in W, W' \subset W$; these form a basis for a suitable topology on $X$. Then the coordinate projections $(g,W) \to w_0$ form appropriate local coordinates. In fact, there is a globally defined map $X \to \mathbb{C}$, whose image in general will be a proper subset of $\mathbb{C}$.

## Properties

### Basic facts

Since we have local coordinates, we can define a map $f: X \to Y$ of Riemann surfaces to be holomorphic or regular if it is so in local coordinates. In particular, we can define a holomorphic complex function as a holomorphic map $f: X \to \mathbb{C}$; for meromorphicity, this becomes $f: X \to S^2$.

Many of the usual theorems of elementary complex analysis (that is to say, the local ones) transfer immediately to the case of Riemann surfaces. For instance, we can locally get a Laurent expansion, etc.

###### Theorem

Let $f: X \to Y$ be a regular map. If $X$ is compact and $f$ is nonconstant, then $f$ is surjective and $Y$ compact.

To see this, note that $f(X)$ is compact, and an open subset by the open mapping theorem?, so the result follows by connectedness of $Y$.

### Complexified differentials

Since a Riemann surface $X$ is a $2$-dimensional smooth manifold in the usual (real) sense, it is possible to do the usual exterior calculus. We could consider a 1-form to be a section of the (usual) cotangent bundle $T^*(X)$, but it is more natural to take the complexified cotangent bundle $\mathbb{C} \otimes_{\mathbb{R}} T^*(X)$, which we will in the future just abbreviate $T^*(X)$; this should not be confusing since we will only do this when we talk about complex manifolds. Sections of this bundle will be called (complex-valued) 1-forms. Similarly, we do the same for 2-forms.

If $z = x + i y$ is a local coordinate on $X$, defined say on $U \subset X$, define the (complex) differentials

$d z = d x + i d y , \;d\bar{z} = d x - i d y.$

These form a basis for the complexified cotangent space at each point of $U$. There is also a dual basis

$\frac{\partial}{\partial z } := \frac{1}{2}\left( \frac{\partial}{\partial x} - i \frac{\partial}{\partial y}\right), \; \frac{\partial}{\partial \bar{z} } := \frac{1}{2}\left( \frac{\partial}{\partial x} + i \frac{\partial}{\partial y}\right)$

for the complexified tangent space.

We now claim that we can split the tangent space $T(X) = T^{1,0}(X) + T^{0,1}(X)$, where the former consists of multiples of $\frac{\partial}{\partial z}$ and the latter of multiples of $\frac{\partial}{\partial \bar{z}}$; clearly a similar thing is possible for the cotangent space. This is always possible locally, and a holomorphic map preserves the decomposition. One way to see the last claim quickly is that given $g: U \to \mathbb{C}$ for $U \subset \mathbb{C}$ open and $0 \in U$ (just for convenience), we can write

$g(z) = g(0) + Az + A' \bar{z} + o(|z|)$

where $A = \frac{\partial g }{\partial z }(0), A' = \frac{\partial g }{\partial \bar{z} }(0)$, which we will often abbreviate as $g_z(0), g_{\bar{z}}(0)$. If $\psi: U' \to U$ is holomorphic and conformal sending $z_0 \in U' \to 0 \in U$, we have

$g(\phi(\zeta)) = g(\phi(0)) + A \phi'(z_0)(\zeta-z_0) + A' \overline{ \phi'(z_0)(\zeta-z_0)} + o(|z|);$

in particular, $\phi$ preserves the decomposition of $T_0(\mathbb{C})$.

Given $f: X \to \mathbb{C}$ smooth, we can consider the projections of the 1-form $df$ onto $T^{1,0}(X)$ and $T^{0,1}(X)$, respectively; these will be called $\partial f, \overline{\partial} f$. Similarly, we define the corresponding operators on 1-forms: to define $\partial \omega$, first project onto $T^{0,1}(M)$ (the reversal is intentional!) and then apply $d$, and vice versa for $\overline{\partial} \omega$.

In particular, if we write in local coordinates $\omega = u d z + v d\bar{z}$, then

$\partial \omega = d( v d \bar{z}) = v_z d z \wedge d\bar{z},$

and

$\overline{\partial} \omega = d( u d z) = u_{\bar{z}} d\bar{z} \wedge d z.$

To see this, we have tacitly observed that $d v = v_z d z + v_{\bar{z}} d\bar{z}$.

### Picard group of holomorphic line bundles

The Picard group of a Riemann surface is the group of holomorphic line bundles in it. Introductions include (Bobenko, section 8).

### Central theorems

In the theory of Riemann surfaces, there are several important theorems. Here are two:

• The Riemann-Roch theorem, which analyzes the vector space of meromorphic functions satisfying certain conditions on zeros and poles;

• The uniformization theorem?, which partially classifies Riemann surfaces.

### Homotopy type

A compact Riemann surface of genus $g \geq 2$ is a homotopy 1-type. The fundamental groupoid is a Fuchsian group.

### Branched covers

By the Riemann existence theorem, every connected compact Riemann surface admits the structure of a branched cover of the Riemann sphere. (MO discussion)

### Function field analogy

function field analogy

number fields (“function fields of curves over F1”)function fields of curves over finite fields $\mathbb{F}_q$ (arithmetic curves)Riemann surfaces/complex curves
affine and projective line
$\mathbb{Z}$ (integers)$\mathbb{F}_q[z]$ (polynomials, polynomial algebra on affine line $\mathbb{A}^1_{\mathbb{F}_q}$)$\mathcal{O}_{\mathbb{C}}$ (holomorphic functions on complex plane)
$\mathbb{Q}$ (rational numbers)$\mathbb{F}_q(z)$ (rational fractions/rational function on affine line $\mathbb{A}^1_{\mathbb{F}_q}$)meromorphic functions on complex plane
$p$ (prime number/non-archimedean place)$x \in \mathbb{F}_p$, where $z - x \in \mathbb{F}_q[z]$ is the irreducible monic polynomial of degree one$x \in \mathbb{C}$, where $z - x \in \mathcal{O}_{\mathbb{C}}$ is the function which subtracts the complex number $x$ from the variable $z$
$\infty$ (place at infinity)$\infty$
$Spec(\mathbb{Z})$ (Spec(Z))$\mathbb{A}^1_{\mathbb{F}_q}$ (affine line)complex plane
$Spec(\mathbb{Z}) \cup place_{\infty}$$\mathbb{P}_{\mathbb{F}_q}$ (projective line)Riemann sphere
$\partial_p \coloneqq \frac{(-)^p - (-)}{p}$ (Fermat quotient)$\frac{\partial}{\partial z}$ (coordinate derivation)
genus of the rational numbers = 0genus of the Riemann sphere = 0
formal neighbourhoods
$\mathbb{Z}/(p^n \mathbb{Z})$ (prime power local ring)$\mathbb{F}_q [z]/((z-x)^n \mathbb{F}_q [z])$ ($n$-th order univariate local Artinian $\mathbb{F}_q$-algebra)$\mathbb{C}[z]/((z-x)^n \mathbb{C}[z])$ ($n$-th order univariate Weil $\mathbb{C}$-algebra)
$\mathbb{Z}_p$ (p-adic integers)$\mathbb{F}_q[ [ z -x ] ]$ (power series around $x$)$\mathbb{C}[ [z-x] ]$ (holomorphic functions on formal disk around $x$)
$Spf(\mathbb{Z}_p)\underset{Spec(\mathbb{Z})}{\times} X$ (“$p$-arithmetic jet space” of $X$ at $p$)formal disks in $X$
$\mathbb{Q}_p$ (p-adic numbers)$\mathbb{F}_q((z-x))$ (Laurent series around $x$)$\mathbb{C}((z-x))$ (holomorphic functions on punctured formal disk around $x$)
$\mathbb{A}_{\mathbb{Q}} = \underset{p\; place}{\prod^\prime}\mathbb{Q}_p$ (ring of adeles)$\mathbb{A}_{\mathbb{F}_q((t))}$ ( adeles of function field )$\underset{x \in \mathbb{C}}{\prod^\prime} \mathbb{C}((z-x))$ (restricted product of holomorphic functions on all punctured formal disks, finitely of which do not extend to the unpunctured disks)
$\mathbb{I}_{\mathbb{Q}} = GL_1(\mathbb{A}_{\mathbb{Q}})$ (group of ideles)$\mathbb{I}_{\mathbb{F}_q((t))}$ ( ideles of function field )$\underset{x \in \mathbb{C}}{\prod^\prime} GL_1(\mathbb{C}((z-x)))$
theta functions
Jacobi theta function
zeta functions
Riemann zeta functionGoss zeta function
branched covering curves
$K$ a number field ($\mathbb{Q} \hookrightarrow K$ a possibly ramified finite dimensional field extension)$K$ a function field of an algebraic curve $\Sigma$ over $\mathbb{F}_p$$K_\Sigma$ (sheaf of rational functions on complex curve $\Sigma$)
$\mathcal{O}_K$ (ring of integers)$\mathcal{O}_{\Sigma}$ (structure sheaf)
$Spec_{an}(\mathcal{O}_K) \to Spec(\mathbb{Z})$ (spectrum with archimedean places)$\Sigma$ (arithmetic curve)$\Sigma \to \mathbb{C}P^1$ (complex curve being branched cover of Riemann sphere)
$\frac{(-)^p - \Phi(-)}{p}$ (lift of Frobenius morphism/Lambda-ring structure)$\frac{\partial}{\partial z}$
genus of a number fieldgenus of an algebraic curvegenus of a surface
formal neighbourhoods
$v$ prime ideal in ring of integers $\mathcal{O}_K$$x \in \Sigma$$x \in \Sigma$
$K_v$ (formal completion at $v$)$\mathbb{C}((z_x))$ (function algebra on punctured formal disk around $x$)
$\mathcal{O}_{K_v}$ (ring of integers of formal completion)$\mathbb{C}[ [ z_x ] ]$ (function algebra on formal disk around $x$)
$\mathbb{A}_K$ (ring of adeles)$\prod^\prime_{x\in \Sigma} \mathbb{C}((z_x))$ (restricted product of function rings on all punctured formal disks around all points in $\Sigma$)
$\mathcal{O}$$\prod_{x\in \Sigma} \mathbb{C}[ [z_x] ]$ (function ring on all formal disks around all points in $\Sigma$)
$\mathbb{I}_K = GL_1(\mathbb{A}_K)$ (group of ideles)$\prod^\prime_{x\in \Sigma} GL_1(\mathbb{C}((z_x)))$
Galois theory
Galois group$\pi_1(\Sigma)$ fundamental group
Galois representationflat connection (“local system”) on $\Sigma$
class field theory
class field theorygeometric class field theory
Hilbert reciprocity lawArtin reciprocity lawWeil reciprocity law
$GL_1(K)\backslash GL_1(\mathbb{A}_K)$ (idele class group)
$GL_1(K)\backslash GL_1(\mathbb{A}_K)/GL_1(\mathcal{O})$$Bun_{GL_1}(\Sigma)$ (moduli stack of line bundles, by Weil uniformization theorem)
non-abelian class field theory and automorphy
number field Langlands correspondencefunction field Langlands correspondencegeometric Langlands correspondence
$GL_n(K) \backslash GL_n(\mathbb{A}_K)//GL_n(\mathcal{O})$ (constant sheaves on this stack form unramified automorphic representations)$Bun_{GL_n(\mathbb{C})}(\Sigma)$ (moduli stack of bundles on the curve $\Sigma$, by Weil uniformization theorem)
Tamagawa-Weil for number fieldsTamagawa-Weil for function fields
theta functions
Hecke theta functionfunctional determinant line bundle of Dirac operator/chiral Laplace operator on $\Sigma$
zeta functions
Dedekind zeta functionWeil zeta functionzeta function of a Riemann surface/of the Laplace operator on $\Sigma$
higher dimensional spaces
zeta functionsHasse-Weil zeta function

## References

Historical references:

• Hermann Weyl, Die Idee der Riemannschen Fläche, 1913 (The concept of a Riemann surface) (on the book, by Peter Schreiber, 2013: web)

• Tibor Radó, Über den Begriff der Riemannschen Fläche, Acta Litt. Sci. Szeged, 2 (101-121), 10 (pdf, pdf)

(proving the triangulation theorem)

Monograph:

Lecture notes:

Last revised on October 18, 2023 at 05:51:56. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.