Essential dimension of algebraic groups, including bad characteristic

Research paper by Skip Garibaldi, Robert M. Guralnick

Indexed on: 03 May '16Published on: 03 May '16Published in: Mathematics - Group Theory


We give upper bounds on the essential dimension of (quasi-)simple algebraic groups over an algebraically closed field that hold in all characteristics. The results depend on showing that certain representations are generically free. In particular, aside from the cases of spin and half-spin groups, we prove that the essential dimension of a simple algebraic group $G$ of rank at least two is at most $\mathrm{dim}(G) - 2(\mathrm{rank}(G)) - 1$. It is known that the essential dimension of spin and half-spin groups grows exponentially in the rank. In most cases, our bounds are as good or better than those known in characteristic zero and the proofs are shorter. We also compute the generic stabilizer of an adjoint group on its Lie algebra.