**40**

votes

**5**answers

4k views

### Is there a “geometric” intuition underlying the notion of normal varieties?

I first got concious of the notion of normal varieties around 3 years ago and despite the fact that by now I can manipulate with it a bit, this notion still puzzles me a lot.
One thing that strikes me ...

**72**

votes

**5**answers

6k views

### What do epimorphisms of (commutative) rings look like?

(Background: In any category, an epimorphism is a morphism $f:X\to Y$ which is "surjective" in the following sense: for any two morphisms $g,h:Y\to Z$, if $g\circ f=h\circ f$, then $g=h$. Roughly, "...

**35**

votes

**6**answers

1k views

### On the universal property of the completion of an ordered field

I have been trying to write up some notes on completion of ordered fields, ideally in the general case (i.e., not just completing $\mathbb{Q}$ to get $\mathbb{R}$ but considering the completion via ...

**18**

votes

**12**answers

2k views

### Homological Algebra for Commutative Monoids?

Homological algebra for abelian groups is a standard tool in many fields of mathematics. How much carries over to the setting of commutative monoids (with unit)? It seems like there is a notion of ...

**0**

votes

**2**answers

277 views

### Rank of a $ \mathbb{Z}_{p}[[T]] $ module

Let $p$ be a prime and $M$ is a finitely generated $ \mathbb{Z}_{p}[[T]] $ module. Suppose $M[p]$ denotes the $p$-torsion of $M$. Then $M[p]$ and $M/(p)$ are both $ F_{p}$ vector spaces. So we can ...

**54**

votes

**2**answers

5k views

### How would you solve this tantalizing Halmos problem?

1-ab invertible => 1-ba invertible has a slick power series "proof" as below, where Halmos asks for an explanation of why this tantalizing derivation succeeds. Do you know one?
Geometric series. In ...

**40**

votes

**9**answers

11k views

### Irreducibility of polynomials in two variables

Let $k$ be a field. I am interested in sufficient criteria for $f \in k[x,y]$ to be irreducible. An example is Theorem A of this paper.
Does anyone know of similar results in the same vein? How about ...

**73**

votes

**2**answers

7k views

### When is the tensor product of two fields a field?

Consider two extension fields $K/k, L/k$ of a field $k$.
A frequent question is whether the tensor product ring $K\otimes_k L$ is a field. The answer is "no" and this answer is often justified by ...

**29**

votes

**12**answers

9k views

### Elementary / Interesting proofs of the Nullstellensatz

Is there an easy proof of the Nullstellensatz that avoids the standard Noether-normalization techniques?
One proof I know proves first the 'weak' Nullstellensatz which ensures that maximal ideals ...

**66**

votes

**1**answer

5k views

### A short proof for $\dim(R[T])=\dim(R)+1$

For a commutative ring $R$ we clearly have $\dim(R[T]) \geq \dim(R)+1$. If $R$ is noetherian, we have equality. Every proof I'm aware of uses quite a bit of commutative algebra and non-trivial ...

**16**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### Why does the (S2) property of a ring correspond to the Hartogs phenomenon?

Hartogs Theorem says every function whose undefined locus is of codim 2 can be extend to the whole domain. I saw people saying this corresponds to the (S2) property of a ring. But I can't see why this ...

**20**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Criteria for irreducibility of polynomial

If $f, g\in \mathbb C[a,b]$ are polynomials in two variables, are there easy criteria that allow to see if $f(x,y)-g(t,z)\in \mathbb C[x,y,t,z]$ is irreducible?
Thank you very much,
best

**16**

votes

**5**answers

3k views

### Noether's normalization lemma over a ring A

Given a field $k$ and a finitely generated $k$-algebra $R$ without zero divisors, one knows that there exist $x_1, \ldots, x_n$ algebraically independent such that $R$ is integral over $k[x_1, \ldots, ...

**30**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Is every Noetherian Commutative Ring a quotient of a Noetherian Domain?

This was an interesting question posed to me by a friend who is very interested in commutative algebra. It also has some nice geometric motivation.
The question is in two parts. The first, as stated ...

**15**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Ideals of the ring of smooth functions

The ring $C^\infty(M)$ of smooth functions on a smooth manifold $M$ is a topological ring with respect to the Whitney topology and the usual ring operations. Is it possible to describe, maybe under ...

**13**

votes

**4**answers

3k views

### A finitely generated $\mathbb{Z}$-algebra that is a field has to be finite

I was trying to understand completely the post of Terrence Tao on Ax-Grothendieck theorem.
http://terrytao.wordpress.com/2009/03/07/infinite-fields-finite-fields-and-the-ax-grothendieck-theorem/
...

**25**

votes

**2**answers

3k views

### Examples of algebraic closures of finite index

So there are easy examples for algebraic closures that have index two and infinite index: $\mathbb{C}$ over $\mathbb{R}$ and the algebraic numbers over $\mathbb{Q}$. What about the other indices?
...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

5k views

### Rank of a module

What's wrong with defining the rank of a finitely generated module over any (commutative) ring to be just the smallest number of generators? All books I know define rank only locally this way. But why ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Questions about spectra of rings of continuous functions

I have been thinking a bit about rings of continuous functions of various kinds -- how they motivate the more modern notion of the Zariski topology on the prime spectrum as well as how they fit into a ...

**9**

votes

**0**answers

407 views

### What is a good introduction to cluster algebras from surfaces?

What is a good reference for cluster algebras from surfaces, with a view to their connection to Teichmuller theory?
In my view, that means it should start off with unpunctured surfaces (and in fact,...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

378 views

### dual of Z^I for uncountable I

Let $I$ be an infinite set. There is a homomorphism of abelian groups $\mathbb{Z}^{(I)} \to \hom(\mathbb{Z}^I,\mathbb{Z})$ which sends the basis element $e_i$ to the projection $p_i$. If $I$ is ...

**16**

votes

**3**answers

853 views

### Is a retract of a free object free?

I wonder whether this is true in the categories of groups, monoids, commutative algebras, associative algebras, Lie algebras?

**11**

votes

**0**answers

388 views

### What is the state of art in Groebner bases

How big polynomial systems can we deal with? How do you know when you don't even have to try?
Motivation:
Recently I tried to solve a problem posed in another MO question and ultimately I got stuck ...

**6**

votes

**3**answers

761 views

### Are epimorphisms from a division ring isomorphisms ?

According to Corollary 1.2(3) of the paper Silver: Noncommutative Localizations and Applications. J. of Alg. 7(1964), 44-67:
If $R$ is a (commutative) field and $\alpha: R \to S$ an epimorphism in ...

**6**

votes

**2**answers

741 views

### von neumann algebras and measurable spaces

I've read some pages on links between von neumann (VN) algebras and measurable spaces (Spectra of $C^*$ algebras and Non-commutative geometry from von Neumann algebras?), but I can't get the following:...

**4**

votes

**2**answers

908 views

### Iterated calculation of determinants

Given a $4 \times 4$ matrix $S$ over a commutative ring $R$. I want to consider it as a $2\times 2$ matrix over $M_2(R)$. Lets say $S=\left(\begin{array}{cc} A&B \\\ C&D\end{array}\right)$ ...

**8**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Zero divisor conjecture and idempotent conjecture

Let $G$ be a torsion-free group and $C$ the ring of complex numbers. The zero divisor (idempotent, resp.) conjecture is that there is no nontrivial zerodivisor (idempotent, resp.) in $CG$.
The wiki ...

**16**

votes

**1**answer

572 views

### Is the regularity of finitely generated rings decidable?

Q: Is there an algorithm to decide whether a given finitely generated (over $\mathbb{Z}$) commutative ring is regular?
I mean by regular that the localization at every prime ideal is a regular local ...

**9**

votes

**1**answer

533 views

### Homomorphisms from powers of Z to Z

I believe it is known that if I is a set of non-measurable cardinality, then any homomorphism $Z^I\to Z$ factors through a finite power. Here $Z$ is the group of integers. Can anyone give a ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

295 views

### an algebraic variety for a boolean circuit

There is a polynomial reduction from a $3-CNF$ $SAT$ problem to some system of polynomial equations over $\mathbb{F}_2$.
I mean there is polynomial reduction $F$ such that for every boolean ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

277 views

### Transcendence degree of the surreals over the subfield generated by the ordinals

Consider the Grothendieck ring $K[\Omega]$ of the semiring $\Omega$ of all ordinals under the operations of natural sum and product. Its quotient field $K(\Omega)$ is naturally a subfield of the ...

**0**

votes

**1**answer

286 views

### Iwasawa invariants

Suppose $M$ is a finitely generated torsion $Z_p[[T]]$-module; the torsion comes from the $\mu$-invariant and the $\lambda$-invariant. Consider $M/(p)$ and $M[p]$ ($p$-torsion of $M$) which are $F_p[[...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

171 views

### Assuming $depth M\ge depth N$, what can one say about $depth M_p$ and $depth N_p$?

Definition. Let $(R,m)$ be a Noetherian local ring, $M$ and $N$ finite R-modules, $p$ a prime ideal, and $I$ an ideal such that $IM\neq M$. Then the common length of the maximal $M$-sequences in $...

**3**

votes

**2**answers

213 views

### Divisibility of the degree of an extension by the degree of its residual field

Let $A$ be an integrally closed domain whose quotient field is $K$, $L$ be a finite Galois extension of $K$, and $B$ be the integral closure of $A$ in $L$. Let $M_A$ be a maximal ideal of $A$, and $...

**45**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### a categorical Nakayama lemma?

There are the following Nakayama style lemmata:
(the classical Nakayama lemma) Let $R$ be a commutative ring with $1$ and $M$ a finitely generated $R$-module. If $m_1, \ldots, m_n$ generate $M$ ...

**49**

votes

**2**answers

4k views

### What is the insight of Quillen's proof that all projective modules over a polynomial ring are free?

One of the more misleadingly difficult theorems in mathematics is that all finitely generated projective modules over a polynomial ring are free. It involves some of the most basic notions in ...

**22**

votes

**6**answers

4k views

### Algebraic stacks from scratch [closed]

I have a pretty good understanding of stacks, sheaves, descent, Grothendieck topologies, and I have a decent understanding of commutative algebra (I know enough about smooth, unramified, étale, and ...

**32**

votes

**3**answers

5k views

### What is the “intuition” behind “brave new algebra”?

Y.I. Manin mentions in a recent interview
the need for a “codification of efficient new intuitive tools, such as … the “brave new algebra” of homotopy theorists”. This makes me puzzle, because I ...

**69**

votes

**11**answers

4k views

### Can a non-surjective polynomial map from an infinite field to itself miss only finitely many points?

Is there an infinite field $k$ together with a polynomial $f \in k[x]$ such that the associated map $f \colon k \to k$ is not surjective but misses only finitely many elements in $k$ (i.e. only ...

**34**

votes

**3**answers

4k views

### Does “finitely presented” mean “always finitely presented”? (Answered: Yes!)

Precisely, if an R-module M has a finite presentation, and Rk → M is some unrelated surjection (k finite), is the kernel necessarily also finitely generated?
Basically I want to believe I can ...

**26**

votes

**4**answers

4k views

### Flatness and local freeness

The following statement is well-known:
$A$ a commutative Noetherian ring, $M$ a finitely generated $A$-module. Than $M$ is flat if and only if $M_{\mathfrak{p}}$ is free for all $\mathfrak{p}$.
My ...

**28**

votes

**3**answers

7k views

### When is the product of two ideals equal to their intersection?

Consider a ring $A$ and an affine scheme $X=SpecA$ . Given two ideals $I$ and $J$ and their associated subschemes $V(I)$ and $V(J)$, we know that the intersection $I\cap J$ corresponds to the union $V(...

**14**

votes

**9**answers

1k views

### What representative examples of modules should I keep in mind?

So here's my problem: I have no intuition for how a "generic" module over a commutative ring should behave. (I think I should never have been told "modules are like vector spaces.") The only ...

**28**

votes

**10**answers

7k views

### Rings in which every non-unit is a zero divisor

Is there a special name for the class of (commutative) rings in which every non-unit is a zero divisor? The main example is $\mathbf{Z}/(n)$. Are there other natural or interesting examples?

**19**

votes

**5**answers

3k views

### To prove the Nullstellensatz, how can the general case of an arbitrary algebraically closed field be reduced to the easily-proved case of an uncountable algebraically closed field?

In his answer to a question about simple proofs of the
Nullstellensatz
(Elementary / Interesting proofs of the Nullstellensatz),
Qiaochu Yuan referred to a really simple proof for the case of an
...

**18**

votes

**2**answers

4k views

### Maximal ideals in the ring of continuous real-valued functions on R

For a compact space $K$, the maximal ideals in the ring $C(K)$ of continuous real-valued functions on $K$ are easily identified with the points of $K$ (a point defines the maximal ideal of functions ...

**10**

votes

**1**answer

812 views

### geometric interpretation and differences of Gorenstein rings, Complete intersections and regular rings

Let $R$ be a local Noetherian ring.
What is the geometric interpretation of:
1- Gorenstein rings
2- Complete intersections
3- Regular rings?
and how can I realize differences by geometric ...

**30**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### How can I define the product of two ideals categorically?

Given a commutative ring $R$, there is a category whose objects are epimorphisms surjective ring homomorphisms $R \to S$ and whose morphisms are commutative triangles making two such epimorphisms ...

**23**

votes

**2**answers

4k views

### Noetherian rings of infinite Krull dimension?

Since Noetherian rings satisfy the ascending chain condition, every such ring must contain infinitely many chains of prime ideals s.t. the heights of these chains are unbounded.
The only example I ...

**16**

votes

**6**answers

3k views

### Duals and Tensor products

Let $A$ be a commutative ring with a unit element. Let $M$ and $N$ be $A$-modules. Let $M^v$ and $N^v$ be the dual modules. In general, do we have $M^v \otimes N^v \cong (M\otimes N)^v$? It is ...