Projective duality and a Chern-Mather involution

Paolo Aluffi

We observe that linear relations among Chern-Mather classes of projective varieties are preserved by projective duality. We deduce the existence of an explicit involution on a part of the Chow group of projective space, encoding the effect of duality on Chern-Mather classes. Applications include Plücker formulae, constraints on self-dual varieties, generalizations to singular varieties of classical formulas for the degree of the dual and the dual defect, formulas for the Euclidean distance degree, and computations of Chern-Mather classes and local Euler obstructions for cones.