# Zariski tangent space

*to an algebraic variety or scheme at a point *

The vector space over the residue field of the point that is dual to the space , where is the maximal ideal of the local ring of on . If is defined by a system of equations

where , then the Zariski tangent space at a rational point is defined by the system of linear equations

A variety is non-singular at a rational point if and only if the dimension of the Zariski tangent space to at is equal to the dimension of . For a rational point , the Zariski tangent space is dual to the space — the stalk at of the cotangent sheaf . An irreducible variety over a perfect field is smooth if and only if the sheaf is locally free. The vector bundle associated with is called the tangent bundle of over ; it is functorially related to . Its sheaf of sections is called the tangent sheaf to . The Zariski tangent space was introduced by O. Zariski [1].

#### References

[1] | O. Zariski, "The concept of a simple point of an abstract algebraic variety" Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. , 62 (1947) pp. 1–52 |

[2] | P. Samuel, "Méthodes d'algèbre abstraite en géométrie algébrique" , Springer (1955) |

[3] | I.R. Shafarevich, "Basic algebraic geometry" , Springer (1977) (Translated from Russian) |

#### Comments

#### References

[a1] | R. Hartshorne, "Algebraic geometry" , Springer (1977) pp. Sect. IV.2 |

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Zariski tangent space.

*Encyclopedia of Mathematics.*URL: http://encyclopediaofmath.org/index.php?title=Zariski_tangent_space&oldid=13053