Relative Chern characters for nilpotent ideals, by Guillermo Cortiñas and Chuck Weibel

[updated file received 17 Sep 2008]

If I is a nilpotent ideal in a Q-algebra A, Goodwillie defined two isomorphisms from K*(A,I) to negative cyclic homology, HN*(A,I). One is the relative version of the absolute Chern character, and the other is defined using rational homotopy theory. The question of whether they agree was implicit in Goodwillie's 1986 Annals paper.

In this paper, we show that the two isomorphisms agree. Here are three applications.

  • Cathelineau proved that the rational homotopy character is compatible with the λ-filtration. It follows that the relative Chern character is also compatible with this filtration for nilpotent ideals.
  • This agreement, together with Cathelineau's result, was used by the authors and Haesemeyer to show that the absolute Chern character, from K(A) to HN(A), is compatible with the λ-filtration for every commutative Q-algebra. This is the main result of Infinitesimal cohomology...
  • This agreement can be used to strengthen Ginot's results in "Formules explicites pour le charactere de Chern...", Ann. Inst. Fourier 54 (2004).

    Guillermo Cortiñas <>
    Chuck Weibel <>