Some questions about schemes and varieties, one really basic. I follow the definitions as given in Hartshorne.

Firstly, my main question. I understood that Grothendiecks introduction of schemes revolutionized the subject. Just out of curiosity, could you give me some examples of theorems of techniques **about varieties** that would be hard or impossible to prove without the language of schemes?

Then some more basic questions. I learned about schemes first and then about varieties (which is really weird, i know), so i kind of missed the natural process of seeing it as an enlargement of the category. Of course affine varieties are given as schemes by the Spec functor. Now for a first question, am i correct in the following reasoning? Take a projective variety $V \subset \mathbb{P}^n$, given by an ideal $I(V) \subset k[x_0,\ldots, x_n]$, then the corresponding scheme is $\text{Proj}(k[x_0,\ldots, x_n]/I(V))$, right?

It seems right to me but it feels kind of slippery. So if somebody could say yes or no with some short explanation or background that would be great.

By the way i did notice that unlike the affine case where there is an equivalence between varieties and rings, here rings that are not isomorphic can give isomorphic projective varieties, right? ($\mathbb{C}[x,y]$ and $\mathbb{C}[x,y,z]/(xz - y^2)$ i guess, certainly not isomorphic rings, but every plane conic is isomorphic to $\mathbb{P}_{\mathbb{C}}^1$)

Now assuming this to be true, Spec and Proj basically give all varieties, because the quasi affine and quasi projective varieties are just open subschemes.

So i was wondering if we could in fact get all schemes this way, by allowing general rings in the above. But this is probably hopelessly naive. I was thinking of an example, and it seemed that the affine line with two origins (say over an algebraically closed field), derived by gluing two copies of $\mathbb{A}^1$ to each other everywhere except at the origin is a nice one. I cannot imagine this being embedded in some affine or projective space.

To put this into a question: given a generic scheme, could you give an intuitive "probability" of whether the scheme is actually the Spec or Proj of some ring/graded ring? As in, how "large" is this subset of schemes? (i guess its either almost everything or almost nothing..)

Also, there's the question: if the affine line is a scheme derived by gluing, why don't we allow such schemes to be varieties? In other words, why don't we define varieties as locally ringed spaces that are locally isomorphic to affine varieties? I recall reading that Weil actually defined them like this. Is there an obvious reason why Hartshorne did not follow this approach? It's probably a matter of taste, but it seems weird to me to define schemes by some "locally affine" property, while not following the same approach in the subcategory of varieties! In fact the approach for varieties is the opposite of local, there's always some ambient space!

I must say i did not read every page of Hartshorne at all, so i might have missed something.

As you must have noticed by now, my questions mostly concern motivation and background, except the one of Proj of a ring. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

**Edit:** Since it's quite a long story, i'll summarize the questions unanswered so far.

Is it in fact true that a projective variety with ideal $I$ is given as a scheme by $\text{Proj}(k[x_0,\ldots, x_n]/I)$? So from this it follows that every variety is either Proj of Spec of some ring, or an open subscheme of a scheme obtained in this way?

To what extent does the same hold for schemes, as in "how many" schemes are either Proj or Spec of some ring, or an open subscheme of one of those? (of course i just require an intuitive answer and expect no rigorous math) Or can we actually characterize those schemes, are they for example always separated?

It seems weird to me to define a scheme by a local property (locally affine), but a variety in the old language as a subset of some ambient space. Is there a good reason to do so, or is it done differenlty somewhere else and to do you have a reference for this?

Joachim