Seminar Calendar
for Joint number theory / algebraic geometry seminar events the year of Saturday, June 16, 2012.

.
events for the
events containing

Questions regarding events or the calendar should be directed to Tori Corkery.
May 2012              June 2012              July 2012
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa   Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa   Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1  2  3  4  5                   1  2    1  2  3  4  5  6  7
6  7  8  9 10 11 12    3  4  5  6  7  8  9    8  9 10 11 12 13 14
13 14 15 16 17 18 19   10 11 12 13 14 15 16   15 16 17 18 19 20 21
20 21 22 23 24 25 26   17 18 19 20 21 22 23   22 23 24 25 26 27 28
27 28 29 30 31         24 25 26 27 28 29 30   29 30 31

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Joint number theory / algebraic geometry seminar
11:00 am   in 217 Noyes,  Thursday, March 15, 2012
 Del Edit Copy
Submitted by ford.
 Noam Elkies (Harvard Math)On the areas of rational trianglesAbstract: By a "rational triangle" we mean a plane triangle whose sides are rational numbers. By Heron's formula, there exists such a triangle of area $\sqrt{a}$ if and only if $a > 0$ and $x y z (x + y + z) = a$ for some rationals $x, y, z$. In a 1749 letter to Goldbach, Euler constructed infinitely many such $(x, y, z)$ for any rational $a$ (positive or not), remarking that it cost him much effort, but not explaining his method. We suggest one approach, using only tools available to Euler, that he might have taken, and use this approach to construct several other infinite families of solutions. We then reconsider the problem as a question in arithmetic geometry: $xyz(x+y+z) = a$ gives a K3 surface, and each family of solutions is a singular rational curve on that surface defined over $\mathbb{Q}$. The structure of the Neron-Severi group of that K3 surface explains why the problem is unusually hard. Along the way we also encounter the Niemeier lattices (the even unimodular lattices in $\mathbb{R}^{24}$) and the non-Hamiltonian Petersen graph.