A Subadditivity Property of Multiplier Ideals

Research paper by Jean-Pierre Demailly, Lawrence Ein, Robert Lazarsfeld

Indexed on: 17 Apr '00Published on: 17 Apr '00Published in: Mathematics - Algebraic Geometry


Given an effective Q-divisor D on a smooth complex variety, one can associate to D its multiplier ideal sheaf J(D), which measures in a somewhat subtle way the singularities of D. Because of their strong vanishing properties, these ideals have come to play an increasingly important role in higher dimensional geometry. We prove that for two effective Q-divisors D and E, one has the "subadditivity" relation: J(D + E) \subseteq J(D) . J(E) . (We also establish several natural variants, including the analogous statement for the analytic multiplier ideals associated to plurisubharmonic functions.) As an application, we give a new proof of a theorem of Fujita concerning the volume of a big linear series on a projective variety. The first section of the paper contains an overview of the construction and basic properties of multiplier ideals from an algebro-geometric perspective, as well as a discussion of the relation between some asymptotic algebraic constructions and their analytic counterparts.