Group-scheme action

In algebraic geometry, an action of a group scheme is a generalization of a group action to a group scheme. Precisely, given a group S-scheme G, a left action of G on an S-scheme X is an S-morphism

such that

  • (associativity) , where is the group law,
  • (unitality) , where is the identity section of G.

A right action of G on X is defined analogously. A scheme equipped with a left or right action of a group scheme G is called a G-scheme. An equivariant morphism between G-schemes is a morphism of schemes that intertwines the respective G-actions.

More generally, one can also consider (at least some special case of) an action of a group functor: viewing G as a functor, an action is given as a natural transformation satisfying the conditions analogous to the above.[1] Alternatively, some authors study group action in the language of a groupoid; a group-scheme action is then an example of a groupoid scheme.


The usual constructs for a group action such as orbits generalize to a group-scheme action. Let be a given group-scheme action as above.

  • Given a T-valued point , the orbit map is given as .
  • The orbit of x is the image of the orbit map .
  • The stabilizer of x is the fiber over of the map

Problem of constructing a quotient

Unlike a set-theoretic group action, there is no straightforward way to construct a quotient for a group-scheme action. One exception is the case when the action is free, the case of a principal fiber bundle.

There are several approaches to overcome this difficulty:

Depending on applications, another apppraoch would be to shift the focus away from a space then onto stuff on a space; e.g., topos. So the problem shifts from the classification of orbits to that of equivariant objects.

See also


  1. In details, given a group-scheme action , for each morphism , determines a group action ; i.e., the group acts on the set of T-points . Conversely, if for each , there is a group action and if those actions are compatible; i.e., they form a natural transformation, then, by the Yoneda lemma, they determine a group-scheme action .
  • Mumford, David; Fogarty, J.; Kirwan, F. (1994). Geometric invariant theory. Ergebnisse der Mathematik und ihrer Grenzgebiete (2) [Results in Mathematics and Related Areas (2)]. 34 (3rd ed.). Berlin, New York: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-540-56963-3. MR 1304906.

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