In mathematics, **blowing up** or **blowup** is a type of geometric transformation which replaces a subspace of a given space with all the directions pointing out of that subspace. For example, the blowup of a point in a plane replaces the point with the projectivized tangent space at that point. The metaphor is that of zooming in on a photograph to enlarge part of the picture, rather than referring to an explosion.

Blowups are the most fundamental transformation in birational geometry, because every birational morphism between projective varieties is a blowup. The weak factorization theorem says that all birational morphisms can be factored as a composition of particularly simple blowups. The Cremona group, the group of birational automorphisms of the plane, is generated by blowups.

Besides their importance in describing birational transformations, blowups are also an important way of constructing new spaces. For instance, most procedures for resolution of singularities proceed by blowing up singularities until they become smooth. A consequence of this is that blowups can be used to resolve the singularities of birational maps.

Classically, blowups were defined extrinsically, by first defining the blowup on spaces such as projective space using an explicit construction in coordinates and then defining blowups on other spaces in terms of an embedding. This is reflected in some of the terminology, such as the classical term *monoidal transformation*. Contemporary algebraic geometry treats blowing up as an intrinsic operation on an algebraic variety. From this perspective, a blowup is the universal (in the sense of category theory) way to turn a subvariety into a Cartier divisor.

A blowup can also be called *monoidal transformation*, *locally quadratic transformation*, *dilatation*, σ-*process*, or *Hopf map*.

Read more about Blowing Up: The Blowup of A Point in A Plane, Blowing Up Points in Complex Space, Blowing Up Submanifolds in Complex Manifolds, Blowing Up Schemes, Related Constructions

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### Famous quotes related to *blowing up*:

“The wind speeds her,

Blowing upon her hands

And watery back.

She touches the clouds, where she goes

In the circle of her traverse of the sea.”

—Wallace Stevens (1879–1955)