Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 November 2018
In this paper we study genus 2 curves whose Jacobians admit a polarized (4, 4)-isogeny to a product of elliptic curves. We consider base fields of characteristic different from 2 and 3, which we do not assume to be algebraically closed. We obtain a full classification of all principally polarized abelian surfaces that can arise from gluing two elliptic curves along their 4-torsion, and we derive the relation their absolute invariants satisfy.
As an intermediate step, we give a general description of Richelot isogenies between Jacobians of genus 2 curves, where previously only Richelot isogenies with kernels that are pointwise defined over the base field were considered.
Our main tool is a Galois theoretic characterization of genus 2 curves admitting multiple Richelot isogenies.