Asian J. Math. 17 (2), 193-264, (June 2013)
KEYWORDS: Hilbert scheme, nodal curves, intersection theory, enumerative geometry, 14N99, 14H99
This paper presents the rudiments of Hilbert-Mumford Intersection (HMI) theory: intersection theory on the relative Hilbert scheme of a family of nodal (or smooth) curves, over a base of arbitrary dimension. We introduce an additive group of geometric cycles, called ’tautological module’, generated by diagonal loci, node scrolls, and twists thereof. We determine recursively the intersection action on this group by the discriminant (big diagonal) divisor and all its powers. We show that this suffices to determine arbitrary polynomials in Chern classes, in particular Chern numbers, for the tautological vector bundles on the Hilbert schemes, which are closely related to enumerative geometry of families of nodal curves.