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Concept# Characteristic polynomial

Summary

In linear algebra, the characteristic polynomial of a square matrix is a polynomial which is invariant under matrix similarity and has the eigenvalues as roots. It has the determinant and the trace of the matrix among its coefficients. The characteristic polynomial of an endomorphism of a finite-dimensional vector space is the characteristic polynomial of the matrix of that endomorphism over any base (that is, the characteristic polynomial does not depend on the choice of a basis). The characteristic equation, also known as the determinantal equation, is the equation obtained by equating the characteristic polynomial to zero.
In spectral graph theory, the characteristic polynomial of a graph is the characteristic polynomial of its adjacency matrix.
Motivation
In linear algebra, eigenvalues and eigenvectors play a fundamental role, since, given a linear transformation, an eigenvector is a vector whose direction is not changed by the transformation, and the corresponding ei

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The topic of this thesis is vanishing theorems in positive characteristic. In particular, we use "the covering trick of Ekedahl" to investigate the vanishing of $H^1(X, \mathcal{O}_X(-D))$ for a big and nef Weil divisor $D$ on a normal projective variety with $-K_X$ nef. In dimension two, we show that on a surface of log del Pezzo type over a perfect field of characteristic $p>5$ this vanishing holds. More generally, using techniques of the \emph{Minimal model program} we prove the Kawamata--Viehweg vanishing theorem in this setting. We also construct a counter-example in characteristic five, showing that our result is optimal. We discuss the relationship (due to Hacon--Witaszek) between this vanishing theorem and properties of threefold klt-singularities. We investigate if a similar relationship exists between threefold lc-singularities and a certain vanishing theorem for higher direct images of elliptic fibrations. This leads to a counter-example to a theorem of Koll'ar over the complex numbers, in every positive characteristic.

We study three convolutions of polynomials in the context of free probability theory. We prove that these convolutions can be written as the expected characteristic polynomials of sums and products of unitarily invariant random matrices. The symmetric additive and multiplicative convolutions were introduced by Walsh and Szego in different contexts, and have been studied for a century. The asymmetric additive convolution, and the connection of all of them with random matrices, is new. By developing the analogy with free probability, we prove that these convolutions produce real rooted polynomials and provide strong bounds on the locations of the roots of these polynomials.

Emelie Kerstin Arvidsson, Fabio Bernasconi

We prove the Kawamata-Viehweg vanishing theorem for surfaces of del Pezzo type over perfect fields of positive characteristic p > 5. As a consequence, we show that klt threefold singularities over a perfect base field of characteristic p > 5 are rational. We show that these theorems are sharp by providing counterexamples in characteristic 5.