Title

Rational points on algebraic varieties

Group Number Theory
Supervisor
Description

Diophantine equations are a classical object of study in number theory. During the course of the 20th century, it was realised that one obtains a more powerful conceptual framework by considering them through a more geometric lens, namely viewing a solution to a Diophantine equation as a rational point on the associated algebraic variety.

Given an algebraic variety over a number field, natural questions are: Is there is a rational point? If yes, are there infinitely many? If also yes, can one obtain a finer quantitative description of the distribution of the rational points?

These problems are very difficult in general, but in this project the aim is to make some progress for some special classes of varieties (in particular solve some new cases of Manin’s conjecture). A popular current research theme is to consider these problems in families, such as studying the distribution of varieties in a family with a rational point, or controlling failures of the Hasse principle in families.

To solve these problems one usually uses a combination of techniques from algebraic geometry and analytic number theory, but the project could be tailored towards the preferences of the student (e.g. for a student without much knowledge of algebraic geometry).

Title

Additive combinatorics and Diophantine problems

Group Number Theory
Supervisor
Description

The study of Diophantine equations encompasses a diverse portion of modern number theory.  Recent years have seen spectacular progress on solving linear Diophantine equations in certain sets of interest, such as dense sets or the set of primes.  Much of this progress has been achieved by breaking the problem down into a structure versus randomness dichotomy, using tools from additive combinatorics.  One tackles the structured problem using techniques from classical analytic number theory and dynamical systems, whilst the ‘random' problem is handled using ideas informed by probabilistic combinatorics and Fourier analysis.

The consequences of this rapidly developing theory for non-linear Diophantine equations have yet to be fully explored.  Some possible research topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

Existence of solutions to systems of Diophantine equations in dense sets.  To what extent can Szemerédi’s theorem be generalised to non-linear systems of equations?

Quantitative bounds for sets lacking Diophantine configurations.  Can one obtain good quantitative bounds in the polynomial Szemerédi theorem? What about sets lacking progressions with common difference equal to a prime minus one?

Partition regularity of Diophantine equations.  Can one generalise a Ramsey-theoretic criterion of Rado to systems of degree greater than one?

Higher order Fourier analysis of non-linear equations.  Is it possible to count solutions to hitherto intractable Diophantine equations by developing the Hardy—Littlewood method along the lines of Green and Tao?  What are the obstructions to uniformity for such equations?

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