FANO HYPERSURFACES WITH ARBITRARILY LARGE DEGREES OF IRRATIONALITY

NATHAN CHEN, DAVID STAPLETON
2020 Forum of Mathematics, Sigma  
We show that complex Fano hypersurfaces can have arbitrarily large degrees of irrationality. More precisely, if we fix a Fano index $e$ , then the degree of irrationality of a very general complex Fano hypersurface of index $e$ and dimension n is bounded from below by a constant times $\sqrt{n}$ . To our knowledge, this gives the first examples of rationally connected varieties with degrees of irrationality greater than 3. The proof follows a degeneration to characteristic $p$ argument, which
more » ... $ argument, which Kollár used to prove nonrationality of Fano hypersurfaces. Along the way, we show that in a family of varieties, the invariant 'the minimal degree of a dominant rational map to a ruled variety' can only drop on special fibers. As a consequence, we show that for certain low-dimensional families of varieties, the degree of irrationality also behaves well under specialization.
doi:10.1017/fms.2020.20 fatcat:vxjle4ryljfd7nbj3g3rxzjy6e