The Stacks project

97.18 Points of finite type

Let $\mathcal{X}$ be an algebraic stack. A finite type point $x \in |\mathcal{X}|$ is a point which can be represented by a morphism $\mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(k) \to \mathcal{X}$ which is locally of finite type. Finite type points are a suitable replacement of closed points for algebraic spaces and algebraic stacks. There are always “enough of them” for example.

Lemma 97.18.1. Let $\mathcal{X}$ be an algebraic stack. Let $x \in |\mathcal{X}|$. The following are equivalent:

  1. There exists a morphism $\mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(k) \to \mathcal{X}$ which is locally of finite type and represents $x$.

  2. There exists a scheme $U$, a closed point $u \in U$, and a smooth morphism $\varphi : U \to \mathcal{X}$ such that $\varphi (u) = x$.

Proof. Let $u \in U$ and $U \to \mathcal{X}$ be as in (2). Then $\mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(\kappa (u)) \to U$ is of finite type, and $U \to \mathcal{X}$ is representable and locally of finite type (by Morphisms of Spaces, Lemmas 63.39.8 and 63.28.5). Hence we see (1) holds by Lemma 97.17.2.

Conversely, assume $\mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(k) \to \mathcal{X}$ is locally of finite type and represents $x$. Let $U \to \mathcal{X}$ be a surjective smooth morphism where $U$ is a scheme. By assumption $U \times _\mathcal {X} \mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(k) \to U$ is a morphism of algebraic spaces which is locally of finite type. Pick a finite type point $v$ of $U \times _\mathcal {X} \mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(k)$ (there exists at least one, see Morphisms of Spaces, Lemma 63.25.3). By Morphisms of Spaces, Lemma 63.25.4 the image $u \in U$ of $v$ is a finite type point of $U$. Hence by Morphisms, Lemma 28.15.4 after shrinking $U$ we may assume that $u$ is a closed point of $U$, i.e., (2) holds. $\square$

Definition 97.18.2. Let $\mathcal{X}$ be an algebraic stack. We say a point $x \in |\mathcal{X}|$ is a finite type point1 if the equivalent conditions of Lemma 97.18.1 are satisfied. We denote $\mathcal{X}_{\text{ft-pts}}$ the set of finite type points of $\mathcal{X}$.

We can describe the set of finite type points as follows.

Lemma 97.18.3. Let $\mathcal{X}$ be an algebraic stack. We have

\[ \mathcal{X}_{\text{ft-pts}} = \bigcup \nolimits _{\varphi : U \to X\text{ smooth}} |\varphi |(U_0) \]

where $U_0$ is the set of closed points of $U$. Here we may let $U$ range over all schemes smooth over $\mathcal{X}$ or over all affine schemes smooth over $\mathcal{X}$.

Proof. Immediate from Lemma 97.18.1. $\square$

Lemma 97.18.4. Let $f : \mathcal{X} \to \mathcal{Y}$ be a morphism of algebraic stacks. If $f$ is locally of finite type, then $f(\mathcal{X}_{\text{ft-pts}}) \subset \mathcal{Y}_{\text{ft-pts}}$.

Proof. Take $x \in \mathcal{X}_{\text{ft-pts}}$. Represent $x$ by a locally finite type morphism $x : \mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(k) \to \mathcal{X}$. Then $f \circ x$ is locally of finite type by Lemma 97.17.2. Hence $f(x) \in \mathcal{Y}_{\text{ft-pts}}$. $\square$

Lemma 97.18.5. Let $f : \mathcal{X} \to \mathcal{Y}$ be a morphism of algebraic stacks. If $f$ is locally of finite type and surjective, then $f(\mathcal{X}_{\text{ft-pts}}) = \mathcal{Y}_{\text{ft-pts}}$.

Proof. We have $f(\mathcal{X}_{\text{ft-pts}}) \subset \mathcal{Y}_{\text{ft-pts}}$ by Lemma 97.18.4. Let $y \in |\mathcal{Y}|$ be a finite type point. Represent $y$ by a morphism $\mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(k) \to \mathcal{Y}$ which is locally of finite type. As $f$ is surjective the algebraic stack $\mathcal{X}_ k = \mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(k) \times _\mathcal {Y} \mathcal{X}$ is nonempty, therefore has a finite type point $x \in |\mathcal{X}_ k|$ by Lemma 97.18.3. Now $\mathcal{X}_ k \to \mathcal{X}$ is a morphism which is locally of finite type as a base change of $\mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(k) \to \mathcal{Y}$ (Lemma 97.17.3). Hence the image of $x$ in $\mathcal{X}$ is a finite type point by Lemma 97.18.4 which maps to $y$ by construction. $\square$

Lemma 97.18.6. Let $\mathcal{X}$ be an algebraic stack. For any locally closed subset $T \subset |\mathcal{X}|$ we have

\[ T \not= \emptyset \Rightarrow T \cap \mathcal{X}_{\text{ft-pts}} \not= \emptyset . \]

In particular, for any closed subset $T \subset |\mathcal{X}|$ we see that $T \cap \mathcal{X}_{\text{ft-pts}}$ is dense in $T$.

Proof. Let $i : \mathcal{Z} \to \mathcal{X}$ be the reduced induced substack structure on $T$, see Properties of Stacks, Remark 96.10.5. An immersion is locally of finite type, see Lemma 97.17.4. Hence by Lemma 97.18.4 we see $\mathcal{Z}_{\text{ft-pts}} \subset \mathcal{X}_{\text{ft-pts}} \cap T$. Finally, any nonempty affine scheme $U$ with a smooth morphism towards $\mathcal{Z}$ has at least one closed point, hence $\mathcal{Z}$ has at least one finite type point by Lemma 97.18.3. The lemma follows. $\square$

Here is another, more technical, characterization of a finite type point on an algebraic stack. It tells us in particular that the residual gerbe of $\mathcal{X}$ at $x$ exists whenever $x$ is a finite type point!

Lemma 97.18.7. Let $\mathcal{X}$ be an algebraic stack. Let $x \in |\mathcal{X}|$. The following are equivalent:

  1. $x$ is a finite type point,

  2. there exists an algebraic stack $\mathcal{Z}$ whose underlying topological space $|\mathcal{Z}|$ is a singleton, and a morphism $f : \mathcal{Z} \to \mathcal{X}$ which is locally of finite type such that $\{ x\} = |f|(|\mathcal{Z}|)$, and

  3. the residual gerbe $\mathcal{Z}_ x$ of $\mathcal{X}$ at $x$ exists and the inclusion morphism $\mathcal{Z}_ x \to \mathcal{X}$ is locally of finite type.

Proof. (All of the morphisms occurring in this paragraph are representable by algebraic spaces, hence the conventions and results of Properties of Stacks, Section 96.3 are applicable.) Assume $x$ is a finite type point. Choose an affine scheme $U$, a closed point $u \in U$, and a smooth morphism $\varphi : U \to \mathcal{X}$ with $\varphi (u) = x$, see Lemma 97.18.3. Set $u = \mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(\kappa (u))$ as usual. Set $R = u \times _\mathcal {X} u$ so that we obtain a groupoid in algebraic spaces $(u, R, s, t, c)$, see Algebraic Stacks, Lemma 90.16.1. The projection morphisms $R \to u$ are the compositions

\[ R = u \times _\mathcal {X} u \to u \times _\mathcal {X} U \to u \times _\mathcal {X} X = u \]

where the first arrow is of finite type (a base change of the closed immersion of schemes $u \to U$) and the second arrow is smooth (a base change of the smooth morphism $U \to \mathcal{X}$). Hence $s, t : R \to u$ are locally of finite type (as compositions, see Morphisms of Spaces, Lemma 63.23.2). Since $u$ is the spectrum of a field, it follows that $s, t$ are flat and locally of finite presentation (by Morphisms of Spaces, Lemma 63.28.7). We see that $\mathcal{Z} = [u/R]$ is an algebraic stack by Criteria for Representability, Theorem 93.17.2. By Algebraic Stacks, Lemma 90.16.1 we obtain a canonical morphism

\[ f : \mathcal{Z} \longrightarrow \mathcal{X} \]

which is fully faithful. Hence this morphism is representable by algebraic spaces, see Algebraic Stacks, Lemma 90.15.2 and a monomorphism, see Properties of Stacks, Lemma 96.8.4. It follows that the residual gerbe $\mathcal{Z}_ x \subset \mathcal{X}$ of $\mathcal{X}$ at $x$ exists and that $f$ factors through an equivalence $\mathcal{Z} \to \mathcal{Z}_ x$, see Properties of Stacks, Lemma 96.11.11. By construction the diagram

\[ \xymatrix{ u \ar[d] \ar[r] & U \ar[d] \\ \mathcal{Z} \ar[r]^ f & \mathcal{X} } \]

is commutative. By Criteria for Representability, Lemma 93.17.1 the left vertical arrow is surjective, flat, and locally of finite presentation. Consider

\[ \xymatrix{ u \times _\mathcal {X} U \ar[d] \ar[r] & \mathcal{Z} \times _\mathcal {X} U \ar[r] \ar[d] & U \ar[d] \\ u \ar[r] & \mathcal{Z} \ar[r]^ f & \mathcal{X} } \]

As $u \to \mathcal{X}$ is locally of finite type, we see that the base change $u \times _\mathcal {X} U \to U$ is locally of finite type. Moreover, $u \times _\mathcal {X} U \to \mathcal{Z} \times _\mathcal {X} U$ is surjective, flat, and locally of finite presentation as a base change of $u \to \mathcal{Z}$. Thus $\{ u \times _\mathcal {X} U \to \mathcal{Z} \times _\mathcal {X} U\} $ is an fppf covering of algebraic spaces, and we conclude that $\mathcal{Z} \times _\mathcal {X} U \to U$ is locally of finite type by Descent on Spaces, Lemma 70.15.1. By definition this means that $f$ is locally of finite type (because the vertical arrow $\mathcal{Z} \times _\mathcal {X} U \to \mathcal{Z}$ is smooth as a base change of $U \to \mathcal{X}$ and surjective as $\mathcal{Z}$ has only one point). Since $\mathcal{Z} = \mathcal{Z}_ x$ we see that (3) holds.

It is clear that (3) implies (2). If (2) holds then $x$ is a finite type point of $\mathcal{X}$ by Lemma 97.18.4 and Lemma 97.18.6 to see that $\mathcal{Z}_{\text{ft-pts}}$ is nonempty, i.e., the unique point of $\mathcal{Z}$ is a finite type point of $\mathcal{Z}$. $\square$

[1] This is a slight abuse of language as it would perhaps be more correct to say “locally finite type point”.

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