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(Ed.)

Following a suggestion of Peter Scholze, we construct an action of G m ^ \widehat {\mathbb {G}_m} on the Katz moduli problem, a profinite-étale cover of the ordinary locus of the p p -adic modular curve whose ring of functions is Serre’s space of p p -adic modular functions. This action is a local, p p -adic analog of a global, archimedean action of the circle group S 1 S^1 on the lattice-unstable locus of the modular curve over C \mathbb {C} . To construct the G m ^ \widehat {\mathbb {G}_m} -action, we descend a moduli-theoretic action of a larger group on the (big) ordinary Igusa variety of Caraiani-Scholze. We compute the action explicitly on local expansions and find it is given by a simple multiplication of the cuspidal and Serre-Tate coordinates q q ; along the way we also prove a natural generalization of Dwork’s equation τ = log q \tau =\log q for extensions of Q p / Z p \mathbb {Q}_p/\mathbb {Z}_p by μ p ∞ \mu _{p^\infty } valid over a non-Artinian base. Finally, we give a direct argument (without appealing to local expansions) to show that the action of G m ^ \widehat {\mathbb {G}_m} integrates the differential operator θ \theta coming from the Gauss-Manin connection and unit root splitting, and explain an application to Eisenstein measures and p p -adic L L -functions.

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