D-Fields as a Common Formalism for Difference and Differential Algebra
University of California - Berkeley
In a series of papers with Rahim Moosa, I have developed a theory of D-rings unifying and generalizing difference and differential algebra. Here we are given a ring functor D whose underlying additive group scheme is isomorphic to some power of the additive group. A D-ring is a ring R given together with a homomorphism f : R → D(R). A first motivating example is when D(R) = R[ε]/(ε2), so that the data of D-ring is that of an endomorphism σ:R → R and a σ-derivation ∂:R → R (that is, ∂(rs) = ∂(r)σ(s)+σ(r)∂(s)). Another example is when D(R) = R, where a D-ring structure is given by an endomorphism of R.
We develop a theory of prolongation spaces, jet spaces, and of D-algebraic geometry. With our most recent paper, we draw out the model theoretic consequences of this work showing that in characteristic zero, the theory of D-fields has a model companion, which we call the theory of D-closed fields, and that many of the refined model theoretic theorems (eg the Zilber trichotomy) hold at this level of generality. As a complement, we show that no such model companion exists in characteristic p under a mild hypothesis on D.