Communications in Number Theory and Physics

Volume 12 (2018)

Number 4

Motivic classes of moduli of Higgs bundles and moduli of bundles with connections

Pages: 687 – 766



Roman Fedorov (Department of Mathematics, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.)

Alexander Soibelman (Department of Mathematics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif., U.S.A.)

Yan Soibelman (Department of Mathematics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Ks., U.S.A.)


Let $X$ be a smooth projective curve over a field of characteristic zero. We calculate the motivic class of the moduli stack of semistable Higgs bundles on $X$. We also calculate the motivic class of the moduli stack of vector bundles with connections by showing that it is equal to the class of the stack of semistable Higgs bundles of the same rank and degree zero.

We follow the strategy of Mozgovoy and Schiffmann for counting Higgs bundles over finite fields. The main new ingredient is a motivic version of a theorem of Harder about Eisenstein series claiming that all vector bundles have approximately the same motivic class of Borel reductions as the degree of Borel reduction tends to $-\infty$.

Received 4 September 2017

Accepted 16 June 2018

Published 14 January 2019