It is clear that there is a forgetful map
Z : Stab(D) −→ HomZ(K(D), C)
sending a stability condition to its central charge. The following result was proved
in [12]. Its slogan is that deformations of the central charge lift uniquely to de-
formations of the stability condition. One has to be a little bit careful because in
general (in fact even for D =
Coh(X) with X an elliptic curve) the group K(D)
has infinite rank.
Theorem 3.5. Let D be a triangulated category. For each connected com-
Stab(D) there is a linear subspace V HomZ(K(D), C),
with a well-defined linear topology, such that the restricted map Z :

HomZ(K(D), C) is a local homeomorphism onto an open subset of V .
In the cases of most interest for us we can get round the problem of K(D) being
of infinite rank as follows.
Definition 3.6. If X is a smooth complex projective variety we write Stab(X)
for the set of locally-finite stability conditions on D =
Coh(X) for which the
central charge Z factors via the Chern character map
H∗(X, Q)
In physics language we are insisting that the central charge of a brane depends only
on its topological charge.
Theorem 3.5 immediately implies that Stab(X) is a finite-dimensional complex
Remark 3.7. There are other more natural ways to get round the problem
of K(D) being infinite rank which will almost certainly play a role in the further
development of the theory. One possibility would be to take some homology theory
H(D) associated to D for which there is a natural Chern character map K(D)
H(D), and then insist that the central charge Z factors via H(D). For example
one could take periodic cyclic homology. In the case when D =
Coh(X), with X
a smooth projective variety, it is known [53] that this homology theory coincides
as a vector space with the de Rham cohomology of X, and in particular is finite-
dimensional. But in the absence of any real understanding of why this would be
particularly a sensible thing to do we shall stick with the ad hoc definition above.
3.3. Group actions. The space of stability conditions of any triangulated
category has some natural group actions which will be important in what follows.
Lemma 3.8. The space Stab(D) carries a right action of the group
GL +(2, R),
the universal covering space of
R), and a left action of the group Aut(D) of
exact autoequivalences of D. These two actions commute.
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