By definition, a scheme X over a Noetherian scheme S is a Pn-bundle if it is locally a projective n-space; i.e., and transition automorphisms are linear. Over a regular scheme S such as a smooth variety, every projective bundle is of the form for some vector bundle (locally free sheaf) E.
The projective bundle of a vector bundle
Every vector bundle over a variety X gives a projective bundle by taking the projective spaces of the fibers, but not all projective bundles arise in this way: there is an obstruction in the cohomology group H2(X,O*). In particular, if X is a compact Riemann surface, the obstruction vanishes i.e. H2(X,O*)=0.
The projective bundle of a vector bundle E is the same thing as the Grassmann bundle of 1-planes in E.
- Given a morphism f: T → X, to factorize f through the projection map p: P(E) → X is to specify a line subbundle of f*E.
For example, taking f to be p, one gets the line subbundle O(-1) of p*E, called the tautological line bundle on P(E). Moreover, this O(-1) is a universal bundle in the sense that when a line bundle L gives a factorization f = p ∘ g, L is the pullback of O(-1) along g. See also Cone#O(1) for a more explicit construction of O(-1).
On P(E), there is a natural exact sequence (called the tautological exact sequence):
where Q is called the tautological quotient-bundle.
Let E ⊂ F be vector bundles (locally free sheaves of finite rank) on X and G = F/E. Let q: P(F) → X be the projection. Then the natural map O(-1) → q*F → q*G is a global section of the sheaf hom Hom(O(-1), q*G) = q* G ⊗ O(1). Moreover, this natural map vanishes at a point exactly when the point is a line in E; in other words, the zero-locus of this section is P(E).
A particularly useful instance of this construction is when F is the direct sum E ⊕ 1 of E and the trivial line bundle (i.e., the structure sheaf). Then P(E) is a hyperplane in P(E ⊕ 1), called the hyperplane at infinity, and the complement of P(E) can be identified with E. In this way, P(E ⊕ 1) is referred to as the projective completion (or "compactification") of E.
The projective bundle P(E) is stable under twisting E by a line bundle; precisely, given a line bundle L, there is the natural isomorphism:
Cohomology ring and Chow group
Let X be a complex smooth projective variety and E a complex vector bundle of rank r on it. Let p: P(E) → X be the projective bundle of E. Then the cohomology ring H*(P(E)) is an algebra over H*(X) through the pullback p*. Then the first Chern class ζ = c1(O(1)) generates H*(P(E)) with the relation
where ci(E) is the i-th Chern class of E. One interesting feature of this description is that one can define Chern classes as the coefficients in the relation; this is the approach taken by Grothendieck.
Over fields other than the complex field, the same description remains true with Chow ring in place of cohomology ring (still assuming X is smooth). In particular, for Chow groups, there is the direct sum decomposition
As it turned out, this decomposition remains valid even if X is not smooth nor projective. In contrast, Ak(E) = Ak-r(X), via the Gysin homomorphism, morally because that the fibers of E, the vector spaces, are contractible.
- Elencwajg, G.; Narasimhan, M. S. (1983), "Projective bundles on a complex torus", Journal für die reine und angewandte Mathematik, 340 (340): 1–5, doi:10.1515/crll.1983.340.1, ISSN 0075-4102, MR 0691957
- William Fulton. (1998), Intersection theory, Ergebnisse der Mathematik und ihrer Grenzgebiete. 3. Folge., 2 (2nd ed.), Berlin, New York: Springer-Verlag, ISBN 978-3-540-62046-4, MR 1644323
- Hartshorne, Robin (1977), Algebraic Geometry, Graduate Texts in Mathematics, 52, New York: Springer-Verlag, ISBN 978-0-387-90244-9, MR 0463157