Riemann surface



Complex geometry

Differential geometry

synthetic differential geometry


from point-set topology to differentiable manifolds

geometry of physics: coordinate systems, smooth spaces, manifolds, smooth homotopy types, supergeometry



smooth space


The magic algebraic facts




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

    (ʃ)(ʃ \dashv \flat \dashv \sharp )

  • dR-shape modality\dashv dR-flat modality

    ʃ dR dRʃ_{dR} \dashv \flat_{dR}

  • tangent cohesion

    • differential cohomology diagram
    • differential cohesion

      • (reduction modality \dashv infinitesimal shape modality \dashv infinitesimal flat modality)

        (&)(\Re \dashv \Im \dashv \&)

      • graded differential cohesion

        • fermionic modality\dashv bosonic modality \dashv rheonomy modality

          (Rh)(\rightrightarrows \dashv \rightsquigarrow \dashv Rh)

        • id id fermionic bosonic bosonic Rh rheonomic reduced infinitesimal infinitesimal & étale cohesive ʃ discrete discrete continuous *

          \array{ && id &\dashv& id \ && \vee && \vee \ &\stackrel{fermionic}{}& \rightrightarrows &\dashv& \rightsquigarrow & \stackrel{bosonic}{} \ && \bot && \bot \ &\stackrel{bosonic}{} & \rightsquigarrow &\dashv& Rh & \stackrel{rheonomic}{} \ && \vee && \vee \ &\stackrel{reduced}{} & \Re &\dashv& \Im & \stackrel{infinitesimal}{} \ && \bot && \bot \ &\stackrel{infinitesimal}{}& \Im &\dashv& \& & \stackrel{\text{étale}}{} \ && \vee && \vee \ &\stackrel{cohesive}{}& ʃ &\dashv& \flat & \stackrel{discrete}{} \ && \bot && \bot \ &\stackrel{discrete}{}& \flat &\dashv& \sharp & \stackrel{continuous}{} \ && \vee && \vee \ && \emptyset &\dashv& \ast }



          Lie theory, ∞-Lie theory

          differential equations, variational calculus

          Chern-Weil theory, ∞-Chern-Weil theory

          Cartan geometry (super, higher)

          Manifolds and cobordisms



          A Riemann surface is a 11-dimensional algebro-geometric object with good properties. The name ‘surface’ comes from the classical case, which is 11-dimensional over the complex numbers and therefore 22-dimensional over the real numbers.

          There are several distinct meaning of what is a Riemann surface, and it can be considered in several generalities.


          Classically, a Riemann surface is a connected complex-11-dimensional complex manifold, in the strictest sense of ‘manifold’. In other words, it’s a Hausdorff second countable space MM which is locally homeomorphic to the complex plane \mathbb{C} via charts (i.e., homeomorphisms) ϕ i:U iV i\phi_i:U_i \to V_i for U iM,V iU_i \subset M, V_i \subset \mathbb{C} open and such that ϕ jϕ i 1:V iV jV iV j\phi_j \circ \phi_i^{-1}: V_i \cap V_j \to V_i \cap V_j is holomorphic.

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


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

          ϕ 1=z,ϕ 2=1z. \phi_1 =z, \;\phi_2 = \frac{1}{z}.

          The transition map is 1z\frac{1}{z} and thus holomorphic on U 1U 2= *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)(f,V) where f:Vf: V \to \mathbb{C} is holomorphic and VV \subset \mathbb{C} is an open disk. Two function elements (f,V),(g,W)(f,V), (g,W) are said to be direct analytic continuations of each other if VWV \cap W \neq \emptyset and fgf \equiv g on VWV \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 γ=(f,V)\gamma = (f,V), we can consider the totality XX of all equivalence classes of function elements that can be obtained by continuing γ\gamma along curves in \mathbb{C}. Then XX is actually a Riemann surface.

          Indeed, we must first put a topology on XX. If (g,W)X(g,W) \in X with W=D r(w 0)W=D_r(w_0) centered at w 0w_0, then let a neighborhood of gg be given by all function elements (g w,W)(g_w, W') for wW,WWw \in W, W' \subset W; these form a basis for a suitable topology on XX. Then the coordinate projections (g,W)w 0(g,W) \to w_0 form appropriate local coordinates. In fact, there is a globally defined map XX \to \mathbb{C}, whose image in general will be a proper subset of \mathbb{C}.


          Basic facts

          Since we have local coordinates, we can define a map f:XYf: 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:Xf: X \to \mathbb{C}; for meromorphicity, this becomes f:XS 2f: 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.


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

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

          Complexified differentials

          Since a Riemann surface XX is a 22-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)T^*(X), but it is more natural to take the complexified cotangent bundle T *(X)\mathbb{C} \otimes_{\mathbb{R}} T^*(X), which we will in the future just abbreviate T *(X)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+iyz = x + i y is a local coordinate on XX, defined say on UXU \subset X, define the (complex) differentials

          dz=dx+idy,dz¯=dxidy.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 UU. There is also a dual basis

          z:=12(xiy),z¯:=12(x+iy) \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)T(X) = T^{1,0}(X) + T^{0,1}(X), where the former consists of multiples of z\frac{\partial}{\partial z} and the latter of multiples of z¯\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:Ug: U \to \mathbb{C} for UU \subset \mathbb{C} open and 0U0 \in U (just for convenience), we can write

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

          where A=gz(0),A=gz¯(0)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 z¯(0)g_z(0), g_{\bar{z}}(0). If ψ:UU\psi: U' \to U is holomorphic and conformal sending z 0U0Uz_0 \in U' \to 0 \in U, we have

          g(ϕ(ζ))=g(ϕ(0))+Aϕ(z 0)(ζz 0)+Aϕ(z 0)(ζz 0)¯+o(|z|); 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, ϕ\phi preserves the decomposition of T 0()T_0(\mathbb{C}).

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

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

          ω=d(vdz¯)=v zdzdz¯, \partial \omega = d( v d \bar{z}) = v_z d z \wedge d\bar{z},


          ¯ω=d(udz)=u z¯dz¯dz. \overline{\partial} \omega = d( u d z) = u_{\bar{z}} d\bar{z} \wedge d z.

          To see this, we have tacitly observed that dv=v zdz+v z¯dz¯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).

          See also at Narasimhan–Seshadri theorem and at moduli space of connections – Flat connections over a torus.

          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 g2g \geq 2 is a homotopy 1-type. The fundamental groupoid is a Fuchsian group.

          (MO discussion)

          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 𝔽 q\mathbb{F}_q (arithmetic curves)Riemann surfaces/complex curves
          affine and projective line
          \mathbb{Z} (integers)𝔽 q[z]\mathbb{F}_q[z] (polynomials, function algebra on affine line 𝔸 𝔽 q 1\mathbb{A}^1_{\mathbb{F}_q})𝒪 \mathcal{O}_{\mathbb{C}} (holomorphic functions on complex plane)
          \mathbb{Q} (rational numbers)𝔽 q(z)\mathbb{F}_q(z) (rational functions)meromorphic functions on complex plane
          pp (prime number/non-archimedean place)x𝔽 px \in \mathbb{F}_pxx \in \mathbb{C}
          \infty (place at infinity)\infty
          Spec()Spec(\mathbb{Z}) (Spec(Z))𝔸 𝔽 q 1\mathbb{A}^1_{\mathbb{F}_q} (affine line)complex plane
          Spec()place Spec(\mathbb{Z}) \cup place_{\infty} 𝔽 q\mathbb{P}_{\mathbb{F}_q} (projective line)Riemann sphere
          p() p()p\partial_p \coloneqq \frac{(-)^p - (-)}{p} (Fermat quotient)z\frac{\partial}{\partial z} (coordinate derivation)
          genus of the rational numbers = 0genus of the Riemann sphere = 0
          formal neighbourhoods
          p\mathbb{Z}_p (p-adic integers)𝔽 q[[tx]]\mathbb{F}_q[ [ t -x ] ] (power series around xx)[[zx]]\mathbb{C}[ [z-x] ] (holomorphic functions on formal disk around xx)
          Spf( p)×Spec()XSpf(\mathbb{Z}_p)\underset{Spec(\mathbb{Z})}{\times} X (“pp-arithmetic jet space” of XX at pp)formal disks in XX
          p\mathbb{Q}_p (p-adic numbers)𝔽 q((zx))\mathbb{F}_q((z-x)) (Laurent series around xx)((zx))\mathbb{C}((z-x)) (holomorphic functions on punctured formal disk around xx)
          𝔸 = pplace p\mathbb{A}_{\mathbb{Q}} = \underset{p\; place}{\prod^\prime}\mathbb{Q}_p (ring of adeles)𝔸 𝔽 q((t))\mathbb{A}_{\mathbb{F}_q((t))} ( adeles of function field ) x((zx))\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)
          𝕀 =GL 1(𝔸 )\mathbb{I}_{\mathbb{Q}} = GL_1(\mathbb{A}_{\mathbb{Q}}) (group of ideles)𝕀 𝔽 q((t))\mathbb{I}_{\mathbb{F}_q((t))} ( ideles of function field ) xGL 1(((zx)))\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
          KK a number field (K\mathbb{Q} \hookrightarrow K a possibly ramified finite dimensional field extension)KK a function field of an algebraic curve Σ\Sigma over 𝔽 p\mathbb{F}_pK ΣK_\Sigma (sheaf of rational functions on complex curve Σ\Sigma)
          𝒪 K\mathcal{O}_K (ring of integers)𝒪 Σ\mathcal{O}_{\Sigma} (structure sheaf)
          Spec an(𝒪 K)Spec()Spec_{an}(\mathcal{O}_K) \to Spec(\mathbb{Z}) (spectrum with archimedean places)Σ\Sigma (arithmetic curve)ΣP 1\Sigma \to \mathbb{C}P^1 (complex curve being branched cover of Riemann sphere)
          () pΦ()p\frac{(-)^p - \Phi(-)}{p} (lift of Frobenius morphism/Lambda-ring structure)z\frac{\partial}{\partial z}
          genus of a number fieldgenus of an algebraic curvegenus of a surface
          formal neighbourhoods
          vv prime ideal in ring of integers 𝒪 K\mathcal{O}_KxΣx \in \SigmaxΣx \in \Sigma
          K vK_v (formal completion at vv)((z x))\mathbb{C}((z_x)) (function algebra on punctured formal disk around xx)
          𝒪 K v\mathcal{O}_{K_v} (ring of integers of formal completion)[[z x]]\mathbb{C}[ [ z_x ] ] (function algebra on formal disk around xx)
          𝔸 K\mathbb{A}_K (ring of adeles) xΣ ((z x))\prod^\prime_{x\in \Sigma} \mathbb{C}((z_x)) (restricted product of function rings on all punctured formal disks around all points in Σ\Sigma)
          𝒪\mathcal{O} xΣ[[z x]]\prod_{x\in \Sigma} \mathbb{C}[ [z_x] ] (function ring on all formal disks around all points in Σ\Sigma)
          𝕀 K=GL 1(𝔸 K)\mathbb{I}_K = GL_1(\mathbb{A}_K) (group of ideles) xΣ GL 1(((z x)))\prod^\prime_{x\in \Sigma} GL_1(\mathbb{C}((z_x)))
          Galois theory
          Galois groupπ 1(Σ)\pi_1(\Sigma) fundamental group
          Galois representationflat connection (“local system”) on Σ\Sigma
          class field theory
          class field theorygeometric class field theory
          Hilbert reciprocity lawArtin reciprocity lawWeil reciprocity law
          GL 1(K)\GL 1(𝔸 K)GL_1(K)\backslash GL_1(\mathbb{A}_K) (idele class group)
          GL 1(K)\GL 1(𝔸 K)/GL 1(𝒪)GL_1(K)\backslash GL_1(\mathbb{A}_K)/GL_1(\mathcal{O})Bun GL 1(Σ)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)\GL n(𝔸 K)//GL n(𝒪)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()(Σ)Bun_{GL_n(\mathbb{C})}(\Sigma) (moduli stack of bundles on the curve Σ\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 Σ\Sigma
          zeta functions
          Dedekind zeta functionWeil zeta functionzeta function of a Riemann surface/of the Laplace operator on Σ\Sigma
          higher dimensional spaces
          zeta functionsHasse-Weil zeta function


          Historical references include

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

          Lecture notes include

          Last revised on November 18, 2014 at 22:34:52. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.