### Article

## Gelfand-Zetlin polytopes and flag varieties

I construct a correspondence between the Schubert cycles on the variety of complete flags in ℂn and some faces of the Gelfand–Zetlin polytope associated with the irreducible representation of SLn(ℂ) with a strictly dominant highest weight. The construction is motivated by the geometric presentation of Schubert cells using Demazure modules due to Bernstein–Gelfand–Gelfand [3]. The correspondence between the Schubert cycles and faces is then used to interpret the classical Chevalley formula in Schubert calculus in terms of the Gelfand–Zetlin polytopes. The whole picture resembles the picture for toric varieties and their polytopes.

Let *F*_{λ} be a generalized flag variety of a simple Lie group *G* embedded into the projectivization of an irreducible *G*-module *V*_{λ}. We define a flat degeneration *F*_{λ}^{a}, which is a *G*_{a}^{M} variety. Moreover, there exists a larger group *G*^{a} acting on *F*_{λ}^{a}, which is a degeneration of the group *G*. The group *G*^{a} contains *G*_{a}^{M} as a normal subgroup. If *G* is of type *A*, then the degenerate flag varieties can be embedded into the product of Grassmannians and thus to the product of projective spaces. The defining ideal of *F*_{λ}^{a} is generated by the set of degenerate Plüker relations. We prove that the coordinate ring of *F*_{λ}^{a} is isomorphic to a direct sum of dual PBW-graded *g*-modules. We also prove that there exist bases in multi-homogeneous components of the coordinate rings, parametrized by the semistandard PBW-tableux, which are analogues of semistandard tableaux.

We discuss the problem of counting vertices in Gelfand--Zetlin polytopes. Namely, we deduce a partial differential equation with constant coefficients on the exponential generating function for these numbers. For some particular classes of Gelfand-Zetlin polytopes, the number of vertices can be given by explicit formulas.

Let G be a semisimple algebraic group whose decomposition into the product of simple components does not contain simple groups of type A, and P⊆G be a parabolic subgroup. Extending the results of Popov [7], we enumerate all triples (G, P, n) such that (a) there exists an open G-orbit on the multiple flag variety G/P × G/P × . . . × G/P (n factors), (b) the number of G-orbits on the multiple flag variety is finite.

Quiver Grassmannians are varieties parametrizing subrepresentations of a quiver representation. It is observed that certain quiver Grassmannians for type A quivers are isomorphic to the degenerate flag varieties investigated earlier by the second named author. This leads to the consideration of a class of Grassmannians of subrepresentations of the direct sum of a projective and an injective representation of a Dynkin quiver. It is proven that these are (typically singular) irreducible normal local complete intersection varieties, which admit a group action with finitely many orbits, and a cellular decomposition. For type A quivers explicit formulas for the Euler characteristic (the median Genocchi numbers) and the Poincare polynomials are derived.

Let k be a field of characteristic zero, let G be a connected reductive algebraic group over k and let g be its Lie algebra. Let k(G), respectively, k(g), be the field of k- rational functions on G, respectively, g. The conjugation action of G on itself induces the adjoint action of G on g. We investigate the question whether or not the field extensions k(G)/k(G)^G and k(g)/k(g)^G are purely transcendental. We show that the answer is the same for k(G)/k(G)^G and k(g)/k(g)^G, and reduce the problem to the case where G is simple. For simple groups we show that the answer is positive if G is split of type A_n or C_n, and negative for groups of other types, except possibly G_2. A key ingredient in the proof of the negative result is a recent formula for the unramified Brauer group of a homogeneous space with connected stabilizers. As a byproduct of our investigation we give an affirmative answer to a question of Grothendieck about the existence of a rational section of the categorical quotient morphism for the conjugating action of G on itself.

Let G be a connected semisimple algebraic group over an algebraically closed field k. In 1965 Steinberg proved that if G is simply connected, then in G there exists a closed irreducible cross-section of the set of closures of regular conjugacy classes. We prove that in arbitrary G such a cross-section exists if and only if the universal covering isogeny Ĝ → G is bijective; this answers Grothendieck's question cited in the epigraph. In particular, for char k = 0, the converse to Steinberg's theorem holds. The existence of a cross-section in G implies, at least for char k = 0, that the algebra k[G]G of class functions on G is generated by rk G elements. We describe, for arbitrary G, a minimal generating set of k[G]G and that of the representation ring of G and answer two Grothendieck's questions on constructing generating sets of k[G]G. We prove the existence of a rational (i.e., local) section of the quotient morphism for arbitrary G and the existence of a rational cross-section in G (for char k = 0, this has been proved earlier); this answers the other question cited in the epigraph. We also prove that the existence of a rational section is equivalent to the existence of a rational W-equivariant map T- - - >G/T where T is a maximal torus of G and W the Weyl group.