In mathematics, a Galois module is a G-module, with G being the Galois group of some extension of fields. The term Galois representation is frequently used when the G-module is a vector space over a field or a free module over a ring in representation theory, but can also be used as a synonym for G-module. The study of Galois modules for extensions of local or global fields and their group cohomology is an important tool in number theory.
In classical algebraic number theory, let L be a Galois extension of a field K, and let G be the corresponding Galois group. Then the ring OL of algebraic integers of L can be considered as an OK[G]-module, and one can ask what its structure is. This is an arithmetic question, in that by the normal basis theorem one knows that L is a free K[G]-module of rank 1. If the same is true for the integers, that is equivalent to the existence of a normal integral basis, i.e. of α in OL such that its conjugate elements under G give a free basis for OL over OK. This is an interesting question even (perhaps especially) when K is the rational number field Q.
For example, if L = Q(√−3), is there a normal integral basis? The answer is yes, as one sees by identifying it with Q(ζ) where
In fact all the subfields of the cyclotomic fields for p-th roots of unity for p a prime number have normal integral bases (over Z), as can be deduced from the theory of Gaussian periods (the Hilbert–Speiser theorem). On the other hand, the Gaussian field does not. This is an example of a necessary condition found by Emmy Noether (perhaps known earlier?). What matters here is tame ramification. In terms of the discriminant D of L, and taking still K = Q, no prime p must divide D to the power p. Then Noether's theorem states that tame ramification is necessary and sufficient for OL to be a projective module over Z[G]. It is certainly therefore necessary for it to be a free module. It leaves the question of the gap between free and projective, for which a large theory has now been built up.
A classical result, based on a result of David Hilbert, is that a tamely ramified abelian number field has a normal integral basis. This may be seen by using the Kronecker–Weber theorem to embed the abelian field into a cyclotomic field.
Many objects that arise in number theory are naturally Galois representations. For example, if L is a Galois extension of a number field K, the ring of integers OL of L is a Galois module over OK for the Galois group of L/K (see Hilbert–Speiser theorem). If K is a local field, the multiplicative group of its separable closure is a module for the absolute Galois group of K and its study leads to local class field theory. For global class field theory, the union of the idele class groups of all finite separable extensions of K is used instead.
Let K be a number field. Emil Artin introduced a class of Galois representations of the absolute Galois group GK of K, now called Artin representations. These are the continuous finite-dimensional linear representations of GK on complex vector spaces. Artin's study of these representations led him to formulate the Artin reciprocity law and conjecture what is now called the Artin conjecture concerning the holomorphy of Artin L-functions.
Let ℓ be a prime number. An ℓ-adic representation of GK is a continuous group homomorphism ρ : GK → Aut(M) where M is either a finite-dimensional vector space over Qℓ (the algebraic closure of the ℓ-adic numbers Qℓ) or a finitely generated Zℓ-module (where Zℓ is the integral closure of Zℓ in Qℓ). The first examples to arise were the ℓ-adic cyclotomic character and the ℓ-adic Tate modules of abelian varieties over K. Other examples come from the Galois representations of modular forms and automorphic forms, and the Galois representations on ℓ-adic cohomology groups of algebraic varieties.
These are representations over a finite field of characteristic ℓ. They often arise as the reduction mod ℓ of an ℓ-adic representation.
There are numerous conditions on representations given by some property of the representation restricted to a decomposition group of some prime. The terminology for these conditions is somewhat chaotic, with different authors inventing different names for the same condition and using the same name with different meanings. Some of these conditions include:
where CK is K× or the idele class group IK/K× (depending on whether K is local or global) and W ab
K is the abelianization of the Weil group of K. Via φ, any representation of GK can be considered as a representation of WK. However, WK can have strictly more representations than GK. For example, via rK the continuous complex characters of WK are in bijection with those of CK. Thus, the absolute value character on CK yields a character of WK whose image is infinite and therefore is not a character of GK (as all such have finite image).
An ℓ-adic representation of WK is defined in the same way as for GK. These arise naturally from geometry: if X is a smooth projective variety over K, then the ℓ-adic cohomology of the geometric fibre of X is an ℓ-adic representation of GK which, via φ, induces an ℓ-adic representation of WK. If K is a local field of residue characteristic p ≠ ℓ, then it is simpler to study the so-called Weil–Deligne representations of WK.
Let K be a local field. Let E be a field of characteristic zero. A Weil–Deligne representation over E of WK (or simply of K) is a pair (r, N) consisting of
These representations are the same as the representations over E of the Weil–Deligne group of K.
If the residue characteristic of K is different from ℓ, Grothendieck's ℓ-adic monodromy theorem sets up a bijection between ℓ-adic representations of WK (over Qℓ) and Weil–Deligne representations of WK over Qℓ (or equivalently over C). These latter have the nice feature that the continuity of r is only with respect to the discrete topology on V, thus making the situation more algebraic in flavor.