# Tate curve

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification: Primary: 14H52 [MSN][ZBL]

A Tate curve is a uniformization of an elliptic curve having stable bad reduction with the help of a $q$-parametrization.

Let $K$ be a local field (e.g., $\mathbb{C}((t))$ or a finite extension of $\mathbb{Q}_p$). Let $E$ be an elliptic curve over $K$ such that it has stable reduction. Then it can have good reduction (i.e. with integral $j$-invariant) or bad reduction (i.e. with non-integral $j$-invariant). In the case of stable bad reduction one can construct an elliptic curve $E_q$ over $K$, which analytically is $K^*/q^{\mathbb{Z}}$ (where $q^{\mathbb{Z}}$ is the subgroup of $K^*$ generated by $q \in K^*$), such that $E$ and $E_q$ are isomorphic over a finite extension of $K$. One of the marvels of this theorem is the fact that the construction of the period $q$ starting from $E$, and the computation of the $j$-value of $E_q$, can be done without denominators (hence can be done in every characteristic): the $j$-value of the Tate curve with period $q$ is a power series in $q$ with coefficients in $\mathbb{Z}$: $$j = q^{-1} + 744 + 196884 q + 21493760 q^2 + \cdots \ .$$

Such formulas can be found in [a4], Chapt. 15; [a8]. See also [a9], A.1.1, and [a10], Appendix C, Sect. 14. In [a2], VII, constructions over $\mathbb{Z}$ are given, with applications to compactifications of moduli schemes of elliptic curves. A generalization to higher-dimensional Abelian varieties over local fields with totally bad, stable reduction was given by H. Morikawa [a5], [a6] and by D. Mumford [a7]. This was generalized by G. Faltings and by C.-L. Chai to the case of stable reduction of Abelian varieties in [a3] and [a1], and it was used in the theory of compactifications of moduli schemes of Abelian varieties.