Spectral curves, algebraically completely integrable Hamiltonian systems, and moduli of bundles release_mkq4tjr2drghpps5eobbgu775i

by Ron Donagi, Eyal Markman

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This is the expanded text of a series of CIME lectures. We present an algebro-geometric approach to integrable systems, starting with those which can be described in terms of spectral curves. The prototype is Hitchin's system on the cotangent bundle of the moduli space of stable bundles on a curve. A variant involving meromorphic Higgs bundles specializes to many familiar systems of mathematics and mechanics, such as the geodesic flow on an ellipsoid and the elliptic solitons. We then describe some systems in which the spectral curve is replaced by various higher dimensional analogues: a spectral cover of an arbitrary variety, a Lagrangian subvariety in an algebraically symplectic manifold, or a Calabi-Yau manifold. One peculiar feature of the CY system is that it is integrable analytically, but not algebraically: the Liouville tori (on which the system is linearized) are the intermediate Jacobians of a family of Calabi-Yau manifolds. Most of the results concerning these three types of non-curve-based systems are quite recent. Some of them, as well as the compatibility between spectral systems and the KP hierarchy, are new, while other parts of the story are scattered through several recent preprints. As best we could, we tried to maintain the survey style of this article, starting with some basic notions in the field and building gradually to the recent developments.
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Date   1995-08-08
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