Localization and duality in topology and modular representation theory

David J. Benson, J. P. C. Greenlees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


We develop a duality theory for localizations in the context of ring spectra in algebraic topology. We apply this to prove a theorem in the modular representation theory of finite groups.

Let G be a finite group and k be an algebraically closed field of characteristic p. If p is a homogeneous nonmaximal prime ideal in H∗(G,k), then there is an idempotent module κp which picks out the layer of the stable module category corresponding to p, and which was used by Benson, Carlson and Rickard [D.J. Benson, J.F. Carlson, J. Rickard, Thick subcategories of the stable module category, Fund. Math. 153 (1997) 59–80] in their development of varieties for infinitely generated kG-modules. Our main theorem states that the Tate cohomology View the MathML source is a shift of the injective hull of H∗(G,k)/p as a graded H∗(G,k)-module. Since κp can be constructed using a version of the stable Koszul complex, this can be viewed as a statement of localized Gorenstein duality in modular representation theory. Various consequences of this theorem are given, including the statement that the stable endomorphism ring of the module κp is the p-completion of cohomology View the MathML source, and the statement that κp is a pure injective kG-module.

In the course of proving the theorem, we further develop the framework introduced by Dwyer, Greenlees and Iyengar [W.G. Dwyer, J.P.C. Greenlees, S. Iyengar, Duality in algebra and topology, Adv. Math. 200 (2006) 357–402] for translating between the unbounded derived categories View the MathML source and View the MathML source. We also construct a functor View the MathML source to the full stable module category, which extends the usual functor View the MathML source and which preserves Tate cohomology. The main theorem is formulated and proved in View the MathML source, and then translated to View the MathML source and finally to View the MathML source.

The main theorem in View the MathML source can be viewed as stating that a version of Gorenstein duality holds after localizing at a prime ideal in H∗(BG;k). This version of the theorem holds more generally for a compact Lie group satisfying a mild orientation condition. This duality lies behind the local cohomology spectral sequence of Greenlees and Lyubeznik for localizations of H∗(BG;k).

In a companion paper [D.J. Benson, Idempotent kG-modules with injective cohomology, J. Pure Appl. Algebra 212 (7) (2008) 1744–1746], a more recent and shorter proof of the main theorem is given. The more recent proof seems less natural, and does not say anything about localization of the Gorenstein condition for compact Lie groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1716-1743
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Pure and Applied Algebra
Issue number7
Early online date22 Jan 2008
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008

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