Quadric (algebraic geometry)

In mathematics, a quadric or quadric hypersurface is the subspace of N-dimensional space defined by a polynomial equation of degree 2 over a field. Quadrics are fundamental examples in algebraic geometry. The theory is simplified by working in projective space rather than affine space. An example is the quadric surface

The two families of lines on a smooth (split) quadric surface

in projective space over the complex numbers C. A quadric has a natural action of the orthogonal group, and so the study of quadrics can be considered as a descendant of Euclidean geometry.

Many properties of quadrics hold more generally for projective homogeneous varieties. Another generalization of quadrics is provided by Fano varieties.


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