### Working paper

## Grothendieck ring of varieties, D- and L-equivalence, and families of quadrics

We discuss a conjecture saying that derived equivalence of simply connected smooth projective varieties implies that the difference of their classes in the Grothendieck ring of varieties is annihilated by a power of the affine line class. We support the conjecture with a number of known examples, and one new example. We consider a smooth complete intersection X of three quadrics in P5 and the corresponding double cover Y→P2 branched over a sextic curve. We show that as soon as the natural Brauer class on Y vanishes, so that X and Y are derived equivalent, the difference [X]−[Y] is annihilated by the affine line class.

We define a Grothendieck ring of varieties with actions of finite groups and show that the orbifold Euler characteristic and the Euler characteristics of higher orders can be defined as homomorphisms from this ring to the ring of integers. We describe two natural λ-structures on the ring and the corresponding power structures over it and show that one of these power structures is effective. We define a Grothendieck ring of varieties with equivariant vector bundles and show that the generalized (‘motivic’) Euler characteristics of higher orders can be defined as homomorphisms from this ring to the Grothendieck ring of varieties extended by powers of the class of the complex affine line. We give an analogue of the Macdonald type formula for the generating series of the generalized higher-order Euler characteristics of wreath products.

A power structure over a ring is a method to give sense to expressions of the form $(1+a_1t+a_2t^2...)^m$, where $a_i$, $i=1,2, ...$, and $m$ are elements of the ring. The (natural) power structure over the Grothendieck ring of complex quasi-projective varieties appeared to be useful for a number of applications. We discuss new examples of $\lambda$-and power structures over some Grothendieck rings. The main example is for the Grothendieck ring of maps of complex quasi-projective varieties. We describe two natural $\lambda$-structures on it which lead to the same power structure. We show that this power structure is effective. In the terms of this power structure we write some equations containing classes of Hilbert–Chow morphisms. We describe some generalizations of this construction for maps of varieties with some additional structures.

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.