On a conjecture for $\ell$-torsion in class groups of number fields: from the perspective of moments

Journal Article (Academic article)

It is conjectured that within the class group of any number field, for every integer $\ell \geq 1$, the $\ell$-torsion subgroup is very small (in an appropriate sense, relative to the discriminant of the field). In nearly all settings, the full strength of this conjecture remains open, and even partial progress is limited. Significant recent progress toward average versions of the $\ell$-torsion conjecture has crucially relied on counts for number fields, raising interest in how these two types of question relate. In this paper we make explicit the quantitative relationships between the $\ell$-torsion conjecture and other well-known conjectures: the Cohen-Lenstra heuristics, counts for number fields of fixed discriminant, counts for number fields of bounded discriminant (or related invariants), and counts for elliptic curves with fixed conductor. All of these considerations reinforce that we expect the $\ell$-torsion conjecture is true, despite limited progress toward it. Our perspective focuses on the relation between pointwise bounds, averages, and higher moments, and demonstrates the broad utility of the "method of moments."

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pierce, LB; Turnage-Butterbaugh, CL; Wood, MM

Published Date

  • 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 28 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 575 - 621

Published By

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1073-2780