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A tale of three curves

Jennifer Balakrishnan (Boston University)

Location:  Hill 705
Date & time: Wednesday, 12 February 2020 at 3:30PM - 4:30PM


Let C be a smooth projective curve of genus at least 2 defined over the rational numbers. It was conjectured by Mordell in 1922 and proved by Faltings in 1983 that C has finitely many rational points. However, Faltings' proof does not give an algorithm for finding these points. In the case when the Jacobian of C has rank less than its genus, the Chabauty--Coleman method can often be used to find the rational points of C, using the construction of p-adic line integrals. In certain cases of higher rank, p-adic heights can often be used to find rational or integral points on C. I will describe these "quadratic Chabauty" techniques (part of Kim's nonabelian Chabauty program) and will highlight some recent examples where the techniques have been used: this includes a 1700-year old problem of Diophantus originally solved by Wetherell and the problem of the "cursed curve", the split Cartan modular curve of level 13. This talk is based on joint work with Amnon Besser, Netan Dogra, Steffen Mueller, Jan Tuitman, and Jan Vonk.

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