An algebraic geometric realization of the Chern character, by Ralph L. Cohen and Paulo Lima-Filho

Using symmetrized Grassmannians we give an algebraic geometric presentation, in the level of classifying spaces, of the Chern character and its relation to Chern classes. With this we define, for any projective variety X, a Chern character map ch : K^{-i}_{hol}(X) \to \prod_* L^*H^{2*-i}(X)\otimes Q from the "holomorphic K-theory of X to its morphic cohomology (introduced by Friedlander and Lawson). The holomorphic K-theory of X, introduced by Lawson, Lima-Filho and Michelsohn and also by Friedlander and Walker, is defined in terms a group-completion of the space of algebraic morphisms from X into BU. It has been further studied by the authors in a companion paper. Holomorphic K-theory sits between algebraic K-theory and topological K-theory in the same way that morphic cohomology sits between motivic cohomology and ordinary cohomology. Our constructions provide a bridge between these two worlds. We also realize Chern classes in the case where X is smooth, and establish a universal relation between the Chern character and the Chern classes. For this we use classical constructions with algebraic cycles and infinite symmetric products of projective spaces. The latter can be seen as the classifying space for motivic cohomology, and under this perspective our constructions are essentially motivic.


Ralph L. Cohen <ralph@math.stanford.edu>
Paulo Lima-Filho <plfilho@math.tamu.edu>