The Stacks project

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21.11 Čech cohomology and cohomology

The relationship between cohomology and Čech cohomology comes from the fact that the Čech cohomology of an injective abelian sheaf is zero. To see this we note that an injective abelian sheaf is an injective abelian presheaf and then we apply results in Čech cohomology in the preceding section.

Lemma 21.11.1. Let $\mathcal{C}$ be a site. An injective abelian sheaf is also injective as an object in the category $\textit{PAb}(\mathcal{C})$.

Proof. Apply Homology, Lemma 12.26.1 to the categories $\mathcal{A} = \textit{Ab}(\mathcal{C})$, $\mathcal{B} = \textit{PAb}(\mathcal{C})$, the inclusion functor and sheafification. (See Modules on Sites, Section 18.3 to see that all assumptions of the lemma are satisfied.) $\square$

Lemma 21.11.2. Let $\mathcal{C}$ be a site. Let $\mathcal{U} = \{ U_ i \to U\} _{i \in I}$ be a covering of $\mathcal{C}$. Let $\mathcal{I}$ be an injective abelian sheaf, i.e., an injective object of $\textit{Ab}(\mathcal{C})$. Then

\[ \check{H}^ p(\mathcal{U}, \mathcal{I}) = \left\{ \begin{matrix} \mathcal{I}(U) & \text{if} & p = 0 \\ 0 & \text{if} & p > 0 \end{matrix} \right. \]

Proof. By Lemma 21.11.1 we see that $\mathcal{I}$ is an injective object in $\textit{PAb}(\mathcal{C})$. Hence we can apply Lemma 21.10.6 (or its proof) to see the vanishing of higher Čech cohomology group. For the zeroth see Lemma 21.9.2. $\square$

Lemma 21.11.3. Let $\mathcal{C}$ be a site. Let $\mathcal{U} = \{ U_ i \to U\} _{i \in I}$ be a covering of $\mathcal{C}$. There is a transformation

\[ \check{\mathcal{C}}^\bullet (\mathcal{U}, -) \longrightarrow R\Gamma (U, -) \]

of functors $\textit{Ab}(\mathcal{C}) \to D^{+}(\mathbf{Z})$. In particular this gives a transformation of functors $\check{H}^ p(U, \mathcal{F}) \to H^ p(U, \mathcal{F})$ for $\mathcal{F}$ ranging over $\textit{Ab}(\mathcal{C})$.

Proof. Let $\mathcal{F}$ be an abelian sheaf. Choose an injective resolution $\mathcal{F} \to \mathcal{I}^\bullet $. Consider the double complex $A^{\bullet , \bullet }$ with terms $A^{p, q} = \check{\mathcal{C}}^ p(\mathcal{U}, \mathcal{I}^ q)$. Moreover, consider the associated simple complex $sA^\bullet $, see Homology, Definition 12.22.3. There is a map of complexes

\[ \alpha : \Gamma (U, \mathcal{I}^\bullet ) \longrightarrow sA^\bullet \]

coming from the maps $\mathcal{I}^ q(U) \to \check{H}^0(\mathcal{U}, \mathcal{I}^ q)$ and a map of complexes

\[ \beta : \check{\mathcal{C}}^\bullet (\mathcal{U}, \mathcal{F}) \longrightarrow sA^\bullet \]

coming from the map $\mathcal{F} \to \mathcal{I}^0$. We can apply Homology, Lemma 12.22.7 to see that $\alpha $ is a quasi-isomorphism. Namely, Lemma 21.11.2 implies that the $q$th row of the double complex $A^{\bullet , \bullet }$ is a resolution of $\Gamma (U, \mathcal{I}^ q)$. Hence $\alpha $ becomes invertible in $D^{+}(\mathbf{Z})$ and the transformation of the lemma is the composition of $\beta $ followed by the inverse of $\alpha $. We omit the verification that this is functorial. $\square$

Lemma 21.11.4. Let $\mathcal{C}$ be a site. Let $\mathcal{G}$ be an abelian sheaf on $\mathcal{C}$. Let $\mathcal{U} = \{ U_ i \to U\} _{i \in I}$ be a covering of $\mathcal{C}$. The map

\[ \check{H}^1(\mathcal{U}, \mathcal{G}) \longrightarrow H^1(U, \mathcal{G}) \]

is injective and identifies $\check{H}^1(\mathcal{U}, \mathcal{G})$ via the bijection of Lemma 21.5.3 with the set of isomorphism classes of $\mathcal{G}|_ U$-torsors which restrict to trivial torsors over each $U_ i$.

Proof. To see this we construct an inverse map. Namely, let $\mathcal{F}$ be a $\mathcal{G}|_ U$-torsor on $\mathcal{C}/U$ whose restriction to $\mathcal{C}/U_ i$ is trivial. By Lemma 21.5.2 this means there exists a section $s_ i \in \mathcal{F}(U_ i)$. On $U_{i_0} \times _ U U_{i_1}$ there is a unique section $s_{i_0i_1}$ of $\mathcal{G}$ such that $s_{i_0i_1} \cdot s_{i_0}|_{U_{i_0} \times _ U U_{i_1}} = s_{i_1}|_{U_{i_0} \times _ U U_{i_1}}$. An easy computation shows that $s_{i_0i_1}$ is a Čech cocycle and that its class is well defined (i.e., does not depend on the choice of the sections $s_ i$). The inverse maps the isomorphism class of $\mathcal{F}$ to the cohomology class of the cocycle $(s_{i_0i_1})$. We omit the verification that this map is indeed an inverse. $\square$

Lemma 21.11.5. Let $\mathcal{C}$ be a site. Consider the functor $i : \textit{Ab}(\mathcal{C}) \to \textit{PAb}(\mathcal{C})$. It is a left exact functor with right derived functors given by

\[ R^ pi(\mathcal{F}) = \underline{H}^ p(\mathcal{F}) : U \longmapsto H^ p(U, \mathcal{F}) \]

see discussion in Section 21.8.

Proof. It is clear that $i$ is left exact. Choose an injective resolution $\mathcal{F} \to \mathcal{I}^\bullet $. By definition $R^ pi$ is the $p$th cohomology presheaf of the complex $\mathcal{I}^\bullet $. In other words, the sections of $R^ pi(\mathcal{F})$ over an object $U$ of $\mathcal{C}$ are given by

\[ \frac{\mathop{\mathrm{Ker}}(\mathcal{I}^ n(U) \to \mathcal{I}^{n + 1}(U))}{\mathop{\mathrm{Im}}(\mathcal{I}^{n - 1}(U) \to \mathcal{I}^ n(U))}. \]

which is the definition of $H^ p(U, \mathcal{F})$. $\square$

Lemma 21.11.6. Let $\mathcal{C}$ be a site. Let $\mathcal{U} = \{ U_ i \to U\} _{i \in I}$ be a covering of $\mathcal{C}$. For any abelian sheaf $\mathcal{F}$ there is a spectral sequence $(E_ r, d_ r)_{r \geq 0}$ with

\[ E_2^{p, q} = \check{H}^ p(\mathcal{U}, \underline{H}^ q(\mathcal{F})) \]

converging to $H^{p + q}(U, \mathcal{F})$. This spectral sequence is functorial in $\mathcal{F}$.

Proof. This is a Grothendieck spectral sequence (see Derived Categories, Lemma 13.22.2) for the functors

\[ i : \textit{Ab}(\mathcal{C}) \to \textit{PAb}(\mathcal{C}) \quad \text{and}\quad \check{H}^0(\mathcal{U}, - ) : \textit{PAb}(\mathcal{C}) \to \textit{Ab}. \]

Namely, we have $\check{H}^0(\mathcal{U}, i(\mathcal{F})) = \mathcal{F}(U)$ by Lemma 21.9.2. We have that $i(\mathcal{I})$ is Čech acyclic by Lemma 21.11.2. And we have that $\check{H}^ p(\mathcal{U}, -) = R^ p\check{H}^0(\mathcal{U}, -)$ as functors on $\textit{PAb}(\mathcal{C})$ by Lemma 21.10.6. Putting everything together gives the lemma. $\square$

Lemma 21.11.7. Let $\mathcal{C}$ be a site. Let $\mathcal{U} = \{ U_ i \to U\} _{i \in I}$ be a covering. Let $\mathcal{F} \in \mathop{\mathrm{Ob}}\nolimits (\textit{Ab}(\mathcal{C}))$. Assume that $H^ i(U_{i_0} \times _ U \ldots \times _ U U_{i_ p}, \mathcal{F}) = 0$ for all $i > 0$, all $p \geq 0$ and all $i_0, \ldots , i_ p \in I$. Then $\check{H}^ p(\mathcal{U}, \mathcal{F}) = H^ p(U, \mathcal{F})$.

Proof. We will use the spectral sequence of Lemma 21.11.6. The assumptions mean that $E_2^{p, q} = 0$ for all $(p, q)$ with $q \not= 0$. Hence the spectral sequence degenerates at $E_2$ and the result follows. $\square$

Lemma 21.11.8. Let $\mathcal{C}$ be a site. Let

\[ 0 \to \mathcal{F} \to \mathcal{G} \to \mathcal{H} \to 0 \]

be a short exact sequence of abelian sheaves on $\mathcal{C}$. Let $U$ be an object of $\mathcal{C}$. If there exists a cofinal system of coverings $\mathcal{U}$ of $U$ such that $\check{H}^1(\mathcal{U}, \mathcal{F}) = 0$, then the map $\mathcal{G}(U) \to \mathcal{H}(U)$ is surjective.

Proof. Take an element $s \in \mathcal{H}(U)$. Choose a covering $\mathcal{U} = \{ U_ i \to U\} _{i \in I}$ such that (a) $\check{H}^1(\mathcal{U}, \mathcal{F}) = 0$ and (b) $s|_{U_ i}$ is the image of a section $s_ i \in \mathcal{G}(U_ i)$. Since we can certainly find a covering such that (b) holds it follows from the assumptions of the lemma that we can find a covering such that (a) and (b) both hold. Consider the sections

\[ s_{i_0i_1} = s_{i_1}|_{U_{i_0} \times _ U U_{i_1}} - s_{i_0}|_{U_{i_0} \times _ U U_{i_1}}. \]

Since $s_ i$ lifts $s$ we see that $s_{i_0i_1} \in \mathcal{F}(U_{i_0} \times _ U U_{i_1})$. By the vanishing of $\check{H}^1(\mathcal{U}, \mathcal{F})$ we can find sections $t_ i \in \mathcal{F}(U_ i)$ such that

\[ s_{i_0i_1} = t_{i_1}|_{U_{i_0} \times _ U U_{i_1}} - t_{i_0}|_{U_{i_0} \times _ U U_{i_1}}. \]

Then clearly the sections $s_ i - t_ i$ satisfy the sheaf condition and glue to a section of $\mathcal{G}$ over $U$ which maps to $s$. Hence we win. $\square$

Lemma 21.11.9. (Variant of Cohomology, Lemma 20.12.8.) Let $\mathcal{C}$ be a site. Let $\text{Cov}_\mathcal {C}$ be the set of coverings of $\mathcal{C}$ (see Sites, Definition 7.6.2). Let $\mathcal{B} \subset \mathop{\mathrm{Ob}}\nolimits (\mathcal{C})$, and $\text{Cov} \subset \text{Cov}_\mathcal {C}$ be subsets. Let $\mathcal{F}$ be an abelian sheaf on $\mathcal{C}$. Assume that

  1. For every $\mathcal{U} \in \text{Cov}$, $\mathcal{U} = \{ U_ i \to U\} _{i \in I}$ we have $U, U_ i \in \mathcal{B}$ and every $U_{i_0} \times _ U \ldots \times _ U U_{i_ p} \in \mathcal{B}$.

  2. For every $U \in \mathcal{B}$ the coverings of $U$ occurring in $\text{Cov}$ is a cofinal system of coverings of $U$.

  3. For every $\mathcal{U} \in \text{Cov}$ we have $\check{H}^ p(\mathcal{U}, \mathcal{F}) = 0$ for all $p > 0$.

Then $H^ p(U, \mathcal{F}) = 0$ for all $p > 0$ and any $U \in \mathcal{B}$.

Proof. Let $\mathcal{F}$ and $\text{Cov}$ be as in the lemma. We will indicate this by saying “$\mathcal{F}$ has vanishing higher Čech cohomology for any $\mathcal{U} \in \text{Cov}$”. Choose an embedding $\mathcal{F} \to \mathcal{I}$ into an injective abelian sheaf. By Lemma 21.11.2 $\mathcal{I}$ has vanishing higher Čech cohomology for any $\mathcal{U} \in \text{Cov}$. Let $\mathcal{Q} = \mathcal{I}/\mathcal{F}$ so that we have a short exact sequence

\[ 0 \to \mathcal{F} \to \mathcal{I} \to \mathcal{Q} \to 0. \]

By Lemma 21.11.8 and our assumption (2) this sequence gives rise to an exact sequence

\[ 0 \to \mathcal{F}(U) \to \mathcal{I}(U) \to \mathcal{Q}(U) \to 0. \]

for every $U \in \mathcal{B}$. Hence for any $\mathcal{U} \in \text{Cov}$ we get a short exact sequence of Čech complexes

\[ 0 \to \check{\mathcal{C}}^\bullet (\mathcal{U}, \mathcal{F}) \to \check{\mathcal{C}}^\bullet (\mathcal{U}, \mathcal{I}) \to \check{\mathcal{C}}^\bullet (\mathcal{U}, \mathcal{Q}) \to 0 \]

since each term in the Čech complex is made up out of a product of values over elements of $\mathcal{B}$ by assumption (1). In particular we have a long exact sequence of Čech cohomology groups for any covering $\mathcal{U} \in \text{Cov}$. This implies that $\mathcal{Q}$ is also an abelian sheaf with vanishing higher Čech cohomology for all $\mathcal{U} \in \text{Cov}$.

Next, we look at the long exact cohomology sequence

\[ \xymatrix{ 0 \ar[r] & H^0(U, \mathcal{F}) \ar[r] & H^0(U, \mathcal{I}) \ar[r] & H^0(U, \mathcal{Q}) \ar[lld] \\ & H^1(U, \mathcal{F}) \ar[r] & H^1(U, \mathcal{I}) \ar[r] & H^1(U, \mathcal{Q}) \ar[lld] \\ & \ldots & \ldots & \ldots \\ } \]

for any $U \in \mathcal{B}$. Since $\mathcal{I}$ is injective we have $H^ n(U, \mathcal{I}) = 0$ for $n > 0$ (see Derived Categories, Lemma 13.20.4). By the above we see that $H^0(U, \mathcal{I}) \to H^0(U, \mathcal{Q})$ is surjective and hence $H^1(U, \mathcal{F}) = 0$. Since $\mathcal{F}$ was an arbitrary abelian sheaf with vanishing higher Čech cohomology for all $\mathcal{U} \in \text{Cov}$ we conclude that also $H^1(U, \mathcal{Q}) = 0$ since $\mathcal{Q}$ is another of these sheaves (see above). By the long exact sequence this in turn implies that $H^2(U, \mathcal{F}) = 0$. And so on and so forth. $\square$


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