Let M be a closed symplectic manifold of volume V. We say that the symplectic packings of M by balls are unobstructed if any collection of disjoint symplectic balls (of possibly different radii) of total volume less than V admits a symplectic embedding to M. In 1994, McDuff and Polterovich proved that symplectic packings of Kähler manifolds by balls can be characterized in terms of the Kähler cones of their blow-ups. When M is a Kähler manifold which is not a union of its proper subvarieties (such a manifold is called Campana simple), these Kähler cones can be described explicitly using the Demailly and Paun structure theorem. We prove that for any Campana simple Kähler manifold, as well as for any manifold which is a limit of Campana simple manifolds in a smooth deformation, the symplectic packings by balls are unobstructed. This is used to show that the symplectic packings by balls of all even-dimensional tori equipped with Kähler symplectic forms and of all hyper-Kähler manifolds of maximal holonomy are unobstructed. This generalizes a previous result by Latschev–McDuff–Schlenk. We also consider symplectic packings by other shapes and show, using Ratner’s orbit closure theorem, that any even-dimensional torus equipped with a Kähler form whose cohomology class is not proportional to a rational one admits a full symplectic packing by any number of equal polydisks (and, in particular, by any number of equal cubes).
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.