Determinantal Varieties Over Truncated Polynomial Rings

We study components and dimensions of higher-order determinantal varieties obtained by considering generic m×n (m⩽n) matrices over rings of the form F[t]/(tk), and for some fixed r, setting the coefficients of powers of t of all r×r minors to zero. These varieties can be interpreted as spaces of (k−1)th order jets over the classical determinantal varieties; a special case of these varieties first appeared in a problem in commuting matrices. We show that when r=m, the varieties are irreducible, but when r<m, these varieties are reducible. We show that when r=2<m (any k), there are exactly ⌊k/2⌋+1 components, which we determine explicitly, and for general r<m, we show there are at least ⌊k/2⌋+1 components. We also determine the components explicitly for k=2 and 3 for all values of r (for k=3 for all but finitely many pairs of (m,n)).