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Markoff-type K3 Surfaces: Local and Global Finite Orbits

Matthew Litman, UC Davis
Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - 11:00am to 12:00pm

Markoff triples were introduced in 1879 and have a rich history spanning many branches of mathematics. In 2016, Bourgain, Gamburd, and Sarnak answered a long standing question by showing there exist infinitely many composite Markoff numbers. Their proof relied on showing the connectivity for an infinite family of graphs associated to Markoff triples modulo p for infinitely many primes p. In this talk we discuss what happens for the projective analogue of Markoff triples, that is surfaces W in P^1 x P^1 x P^1 cut out by the vanishing of a (2,2,2)-form that admit three non-commuting involutions and are fixed under coordinate permutations and double sign changes. Inspired by the work of B-G-S we investigate such surfaces over finite fields, specifically their orbit structure under their automorphism group. For a specific one-parameter subfamily W_k of such surfaces, we construct finite orbits in W_k(C) by studying small orbits that appear in W_k(F_p) for many values of p and k. This talk is based on joint work with E. Fuchs, J. Silverman, and A. Tran.

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