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44
votes
1answer
3k views

A condition that implies commutativity

Let $R$ be a ring. A notable theorem of N. Jacobson states that if the identity $x^{n}=x$ holds for every $x \in R$ and a fixed $n \geq 2$ then $R$ is a commutative ring. The proof of the result for ...
34
votes
3answers
3k views

What the heck is the Continuum Hypothesis doing in Weibel's Homological Algebra?

On page 98 of Weibel's An Introduction to Homological Algebra he mentions that the ring $R = \prod_{i=1}^\infty \mathbb{C}$ has global dimension $\geq 2$ with equality iff the continuum hypothesis ...
32
votes
7answers
3k views

Does $SL_3(R)$ embed in $SL_2(R)$?

Is there any non-trivial ring such that $SL_{3}(R)$ is isomorphic to a subgroup of $SL_{2}(R)$? $SL_{3}(\mathbb{Z})$ is not an amalgam, and has the wrong number of order $2$ elements to be a subgroup ...
29
votes
3answers
2k views

Even XOR Odd Infinities?

Modular Arithmetic (MA) has the same axioms as first order Peano Arithmetic (PA) except $\forall x (Sx \ne 0)$ is replaced with $\exists x(Sx = 0)$. ...
24
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
1k views

Invariance of $Z[x]$ under a self-equivalence of the category of commutative rings with 1.

Let $\mbox{Rings}$ be the category of commutative rings with $1$. Is there an equivalence of categories $F: \mbox{Rings} \to \mbox{Rings}$ s.t. $$F(\mathbb{Z}[x])\not\cong \mathbb{Z}[x]?$$
20
votes
2answers
474 views

What are applications of commutativity theorems for rings?

Herstein's little book "Noncommutative Rings" has a chapter called Commutativity Theorems in which he proves results like Jacobson's theorem: if a ring (associative with identity, please) has the ...
19
votes
1answer
623 views

Examples of Noetherian overkill

I have read in many places that the noetherian hypothesis is often overkill - both in commutative algebra and in ($\overset?=$) algebraic geometry. In particular, I've read that coherence and finite ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

On a theorem of Jacobson

In a comment to an answer to a MO question, in which Bill Dubuque mentioned Jacobson's theorem stating that a ring in which $X^n=X$ is an identity is commutative (theorem which has shown up on MO ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a Galois correspondence for ring extensions?

Given an ring extension of a (commutative with unit) ring, Is it possible to give a "good" notion of "degree of the extension"?. By "good", I am thinking in a degree which allow us, for instance, to ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the units in the ring of Laurent polynomials?

What are the units in $R[X,X^{-1}]$, where $R$ is a commutative ring with $1$? I know that the question for polynomial rings is a standard textbook exercise. However, I couldn't find a reference for ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Dimension 1 prime ideals in the intersection of two maximal ideals

This question/problem really comes from a fact in algebraic geometry, where it says that given an irreducible variety $V$ ($\dim V \geq 2$) then for any given pair of points $x,y\in V$ there is an ...
12
votes
1answer
998 views

Affine scheme on spec(A) of a ring A as the sheafification of a pre-sheave on spec(A)?

It is obvious that there is a parallel between the definition of structure sheaf of $\operatorname{Spec}(A)$ versus the sheafification of a pre-sheaf. The definition of the sheaf $\mathscr F^+$ ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Generalized Euler phi function

Let $n$ be an integer, there is a well-known formula for $\varphi(n)$ where $\varphi$ is the Euler phi function. Essentially, $\varphi(n)$ gives the number of invertible elements in ...
12
votes
4answers
795 views

What does the semiring of ideals of a ring R tell us about R?

Here is something I've wondered about since I was an undergraduate. Let $R$ be a ring (commutative, let's say, although the generalization to noncommutative rings is obvious). Ideals of $R$ can be ...
11
votes
7answers
829 views

Properties of rings that have an elegant description in terms of the associated category of modules

Suppose $A$ is a ring. Then $A$ happens to be a division ring iff every left $A$-module is free. (See here for proofs). I think this is very beautiful; what other properties of rings have an elegant ...
11
votes
4answers
929 views

Are units of rings of functions on algebraic varieties finitely generated (mod. constants)?

Hello, Consider the following question. Let $A$ be a finitely generated reduced algebra over an algebraically closed field $k$. Consider the group of units of $A$, modulo the group $k^*$. Is this ...
11
votes
1answer
499 views

Are there non-reflexive modules isomorphic to their bi-dual?

Let $M$ be an $R$-module. We say that $M$ is reflexive if the natural map $M\rightarrow M^{**}$ is an isomorphism. I'd like to know if there exists a module isomorphic to its bi-dual but not ...
11
votes
1answer
815 views

Lengths over a local ring

Let $A$ be a noetherian domain, $\mathfrak{m}$ а maximal ideal, $s$ a non-zero element of $\mathfrak{m}$, $d= \dim A_\mathfrak{m}$. Is the following claim true? Claim: For any $\epsilon>0$, there ...
10
votes
2answers
405 views

Are these rings of functions isomorphic?

Let $R$ be the ring of all functions $f : \Bbb{R}\longrightarrow \Bbb{R}$ which are continuous outside $(-1,1)$ and let $S$ be the ring of all functions $f : \Bbb{R}\longrightarrow \Bbb{R}$ which are ...
10
votes
1answer
280 views

Non-field example of a commutative, local, dual ring with nilradical $N$ such that $ann(N)\nsubseteq N$

I asked this question on math.stackexchange a month ago with no progress, even after a bounty. I hope to eliminate one if the other receives a satisfactory answer. For an ideal $I\lhd R$ in a ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Applications of commutative algebra

Hi. I'm preparing a thesis in commutative algebra, and when I say this to my friends they always ask me what are the applications to "real-world", and I don't know what to answer. This let me think ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Axiomatic definition of integers

The real numbers can be axiomatically defined (up to isomorphism) as a Dedekind-complete ordered field. What is a similar standard axiomatic definition of the integer numbers? A commutative ordered ...
9
votes
0answers
137 views

Weierstrass division theorem for henselian rings

Let $A$ be an henselian local noetherian ring. There is an old result of Lafon ("Anneaux henséliens et théorème de préparation" (1967)), which says that if $A$ is analytically normal and of ...
9
votes
0answers
198 views

Is the generation of rings by their units a question in K-theory?

Susan's question When can number rings be spanned (as $\mathbb{Z}$-modules) by units? smells like an algebraic K-theory question in disguise. I'll reformulate the question first: Given an integral ...
8
votes
2answers
600 views

Is the support of an Artinian module finite?

Let $R$ be a commutative Noetherian ring, $M$ is an Artinian $R$-module. Is the set $Supp_R(M)$ finite? Thanks.
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Maximal ideals of Z[x,y]

we know that the maximal ideals of ${\mathbb Z}[x]$ are of the form $(p, f(x))$ where $p$ is a prime number and $f(x)$ is a polynomial in ${\mathbb Z}[x]$ which is irreducible modulo $p$. Is it true ...
8
votes
1answer
739 views

Algebraic Closure of a Ring is Not a Ring?

I'm trying to motivate the notion of integrality in a ring extension. It seems that the following would be a good motivation, because it would show that the notion of algebraic elements over a ring is ...
7
votes
3answers
726 views

Idempotent polynomials

Let $R$ be a commutative ring with identity and let $f \in R[x]$. There are well known characterizations for $f$ to be a nilpotent element of $R[x]$ or to have a multiplicative inverse in $R[x]$. Is ...
7
votes
2answers
869 views

Is every poset the poset of prime ideals of a ring?

The answer to this question, as it is, is trivially false, for one necessary condition is the existence of maximal element(s), i.e., maximal ideals exist and are prime. My question was inspired from ...
7
votes
4answers
603 views

$\lambda$-ring structure defined for a graded ring in Fulton-Lang's book

Given a commutative ring $A$ with unity, Grothendieck used universal polynomials to define a special $\lambda$-ring structure on $\Lambda(A):=1+t\:A[[t]]$. Suppose $A$ is graded, say ...
7
votes
1answer
729 views

Direct sum of injective modules over non-Noetherian rings

Hi. I know, by the Bass-Papp theorem, that if every direct sum of injective $R$-modules is injective then $R$ is Noetherian. I would like to know if there exists a direct sum of injective $R$-modules ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Can an infinite commutative ring have a finite (but nonzero) number of non-nilpotent zero-divisors?

By a theorem of Ganesan, if a commutative ring not a domain has only finitely many zero-divisors, then the ring must be finite. (There are analogous results for non-commutative rings.) There are ...
7
votes
1answer
496 views

Divisibility and factorization in rings that are not integral domains

In my course notes for an undergraduate course "Algebra I", I wrote at the point when I'm introducing the notion of divisibility in rings (in a section on unique factorization): We want to study ...
7
votes
4answers
665 views

Quotient rings of $C(X)$

Let $X$ be a Tychonoff topological space. Consider the ring $C(X)$ of all continuous real valued functions on $X$. For what conditions on an ideal $I$ of $C(X)$, we could deduce that the quotient ring ...
7
votes
2answers
801 views

Modules over Laurent series rings

Let $k[x]$ be the ring of polynomials over a field k in one variable x. A $k[x]$-module is a k-vector space together with a linear endomorphism (the action of x). The field $k(x)$ of rational ...
7
votes
2answers
346 views

What is the probability that a random sequence of polynomials is regular?

Let $k$ be a finite field or a field with a height function, such as a number field. Consider the ring $k[[x_1,\dots, x_n]]$ and let $\mathfrak{m}$ be its maximal ideal. What is the asymptotic ...
7
votes
0answers
317 views

Can every commutative ring of characteristic $p\in\mathbb P$ be written as the form $R/(p)$ with $R$ being a ring of characteristic $0$?

All rings here are associative, commutative and unital. By a ring of characteristic zero (resp. of characteristic $p$, for prime $p$) I mean a ring $A$ such that the canonical homomorphism $\mathbb ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Periodic matrices

A square matrix $M$ such that $M^{k+1}=M$, for some positive integer $k$, is called a periodic matrix. Can we characterize the periodic matrices in $\mathcal{M}_n(\mathbb{Z})$? If we replace ...
6
votes
1answer
537 views

Is an ideal generated by multilinear, irreducible, homogeneous polynomials of different degrees always radical?

I asked this question on math.se and someone even put a bounty on it, yet there was no answer. Hence, I am asking here. Assume $\Bbbk$ to be a field of characteristic zero. Definition. A ...
6
votes
2answers
977 views

Is being finitely generated a local property?

I am trying ot figure out a proof of the following fact, that I believe is true, but it seems to me that something is lacking. Suppose we have commutative, unitary rings $A,B$ and a (unit preserving) ...
6
votes
1answer
327 views

Is the sheaf of smooth functions flat?

Let $X$ be a smooth algebraic variety over $\mathbb{C}$. Is the sheaf of smooth functions on $X$ flat as an $\mathcal{O}_X$ module?
6
votes
1answer
463 views

Are roots of transcendental elements transcendental?

This looks extremely easy, but then again it's late at night... Let $k$ be a commutative ring with unity. An element $a$ of a $k$-algebra $A$ is said to be transcendental over $k$ if and only if ...
6
votes
1answer
138 views

When does 'Zariski tangent space derivative' vanishes everywhere imply that a section is constant?

Consider an abelian algebra, $R$, over the field $K$ with the properties that every residue field of $R$ is (canonically) isomorphic to $K$ (I'm not sure but I think this is necessary, otherwise we ...
6
votes
3answers
997 views

functional subrings

I should recall the notion of maximal subring of a commutative unitary ring $R$. Def: A commutative ring $S$ is called a maximal subring of $R$ if $S \subset R$ and if $T \subset R$ constitute a ...
6
votes
1answer
618 views

Maximal ideals of the rings of Baire-One Functions

A real function $f:X\rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ is called Baire-one function, if there is a sequence $(f_n)_{n=1} ^\infty$ of continuous functions $f_n:X\rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ on $X$ so that for all ...
6
votes
0answers
131 views

flatness and derived completion

Let $A$ be a local ring of maximal ideal $\mathfrak{m}$. Let $\hat{A}$ be its completion. If $A$ is noetherian , then we know that $A\rightarrow\hat{A}$ is faithfully flat. If $A$ is not noetherian, ...
6
votes
0answers
169 views

Square of primary ideals

Is there any example of a $P$-primary ideal $I$ in a noetherian domain $R$ such that $I^2=PI \not=P^2$?
6
votes
2answers
533 views

The number of ideals in a ring

Here is a question that I first asked in math.stackexchange, but I think the question must be proposed here. Let $R$ be a finite commutative ring with identity. Under what conditions the number ...
5
votes
2answers
438 views

Isomorphic rings of functions

Let $X$ and $Y$ be two topological spaces with $C(X) \cong C(Y)$ (where $C(X)$ is the ring of all continuous real valued functions on $X$). I know that we can not conclude that $X$ and $Y$ are ...