2.4. The group structure on E(Q) 29
Figure 3. Louis Mordell (1888-1972) and André Weil (1906-1998).
the three points
P = (1,0), Q = (2,0), and R = (0, −3)
are generators of E(Q). This means that any other point on E(Q)
can be expressed as a Z-linear combination of P , Q and R. In other
words,
E(Q) = {a · P + b · Q + c · R : a, b, c Z}.
For instance,
(−3, −1) = P + Q, (8, −22) = P + R, (−2, −4) = P Q,
(−1, −4) = Q R and (3,3) = P R.
The proof of the theorem has three fundamental ingredients: the
so-called weak Mordell-Weil theorem E(Q)/mE(Q) is finite for any
m 2; see below); the concept of height functions on abelian groups
and the descent theorem, which establishes that an abelian group A
with a height function h, such that A/mA is finite (for some m 2),
is finitely generated.
Previous Page Next Page