# Exceptional divisor

In mathematics, specifically algebraic geometry, an **exceptional divisor** for a regular map

**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://api.formulasearchengine.com/v1/":): {\displaystyle f: X \rightarrow Y}**

of varieties is a kind of 'large' subvariety of **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://api.formulasearchengine.com/v1/":): {\displaystyle X}**
which is 'crushed' by **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://api.formulasearchengine.com/v1/":): {\displaystyle f}**
, in a certain definite sense. More strictly, *f* has an associated **exceptional locus** which describes how it identifies nearby points in codimension one, and the exceptional divisor is an appropriate algebraic construction whose support is the exceptional locus. The same ideas can be found in the theory of holomorphic mappings of complex manifolds.

More precisely, suppose that

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is a regular map of varieties which is birational (that is, it is an isomorphism between open subsets of **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://api.formulasearchengine.com/v1/":): {\displaystyle X}**
and **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://api.formulasearchengine.com/v1/":): {\displaystyle Y}**
). A codimension-1 subvariety **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://api.formulasearchengine.com/v1/":): {\displaystyle Z \subset X}**
is said to be *exceptional* if **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://api.formulasearchengine.com/v1/":): {\displaystyle f(Z)}**
has codimension at least 2 as a subvariety of **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://api.formulasearchengine.com/v1/":): {\displaystyle Y}**
. One may then define the *exceptional divisor* of **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://api.formulasearchengine.com/v1/":): {\displaystyle f}**
to be

**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://api.formulasearchengine.com/v1/":): {\displaystyle \sum_i Z_i \in Div(X),}**

where the sum is over all exceptional subvarieties of **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://api.formulasearchengine.com/v1/":): {\displaystyle f}**
, and is an element of the group of Weil divisors on **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://api.formulasearchengine.com/v1/":): {\displaystyle X}**
.

Consideration of exceptional divisors is crucial in birational geometry: an elementary result (see for instance Shafarevich, II.4.4) shows that any birational regular map that is not an isomorphism has an exceptional divisor. A particularly important example is the blowup

**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://api.formulasearchengine.com/v1/":): {\displaystyle \sigma: \tilde{X} \rightarrow X}**

of a subvariety

**Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://api.formulasearchengine.com/v1/":): {\displaystyle W \subset X}**:

in this case the exceptional divisor is exactly the preimage of **Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://api.formulasearchengine.com/v1/":): {\displaystyle W}**
.

## References

- Shafarevich, Igor (1994).
*Basic Algebraic Geometry, Vol. 1*. Springer-Verlag. ISBN 3-540-54812-2.

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