Point counting for foliations over number fields

Wed, 19/12/2018 - 10:30

A foliation subdivides a manifold $M$ into a union of "leafs". It is usually defined by specifying a "distribution": a choice of tangent space at every point of $M$. Going from a distribution to a leaf tangent to it amounts to solving a differential equation, and the leafs are therefore usually transcendental objects.

Consider the case that $M$ and the distribution are algeraic over a number field. We give bounds for the number of intersections between a leaf of the foliation and an algebraic subvariety of complementary dimension by using a combination of ideas from differential equations, value distribution theory and algebraic geometry. I will explain this result and how it leads to estimates for the number of algebraic points of specified degree and height on a leaf. These estimates significantly sharpen the Pila-Wilkie counting theorem in this context.

I will also indicate how this result, applied to foliations arising naturally in the study of abelian varieties and their moduli spaces (modular curves, Siegel varieties, Shimura varieties), can lead to significant information on classical problems in diophantine geometry following ideas of Pila, Zannier, Masser and others.