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42
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
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 ...
30
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 ...
27
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 $\exists x(Sx = 0)$. ...
18
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. $$F(\mathbb{Z}[x])\not\cong \mathbb{Z}[x]?$$
17
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
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 ...
13
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
951 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
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
2answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
714 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
744 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
383 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
772 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 $\mathscr F^+$ ...
10
votes
4answers
853 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
448 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
801 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 ...
8
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
558 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
0answers
176 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
488 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
4answers
495 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
677 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
4answers
641 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
700 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
329 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
163 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
2k 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
4answers
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
809 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
569 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 ...
6
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
422 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
3answers
986 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
408 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
190 views

Subset of Spec(A) realized as inverse image of some Spec(B)

Let $A$ be a (commutative) ring and $U$ be an arbitrary subset of $\mathrm{Spec}(A)$. Do there exist a ring $B$ and a ring homomorphism $\varphi\colon A\to B$ such that ...
5
votes
1answer
177 views

Units of $\mathbf Z[X,Y]/(P(X,Y))$

Let $P(X,Y)\in \mathbf Z[X,Y]$ be an irreducible polynomial and let $A$ denote the quotient ring $\mathbf Z[X,Y]/(P)$. What is known about the group of units of $A$? It's not even clear to me that ...
5
votes
2answers
206 views

Integral domains with totally ordered spectra

In my research I ended up trying to prove some properties of integral domains such that their spectrum is a totally ordered poset. Are there some nice (ubiqitous/natural) examples of such domains, ...
5
votes
1answer
371 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
411 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
227 views

Does $ \text{mult}(R / I) = d_{1} \cdots d_{r} $ imply that $ (f_{1},\ldots,f_{r}) $ is an $ R $-regular sequence?

We define the multiplicity of an $ R $-module $ M $ of dimension $ d > 0 $ to be $$ \text{mult}(M) \stackrel{\text{df}}{=} \text{LC}(P_{M}) \cdot (d - 1)!, $$ where $ P_{M} $ denotes the Hilbert ...
5
votes
0answers
323 views

Does existence of an isolated solution imply the Jacobian determinant is non-zero?

Let $f_1,\dots,f_n$ be formal power series in $\mathbb{C}[[x_1,\dots,x_n]]$ whose constant terms are all zero (i.e. $f_1,\dots f_n$ are not units in the ring). Suppose further that the radical of the ...
5
votes
0answers
562 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
243 views

Testing isomorphism of finitely generated algebras

Let $A=\mathbf{Q}[x_1,\ldots,x_n]$ be the polynomial ring in $n$ variables over the rational numbers. Let $B=\mathbf{Q}[f_1,\ldots,f_r]$ and $C=\mathbf{Q}[g_1,\ldots,g_s]$ be two finitely generated ...
5
votes
0answers
856 views

Are local, Noetherian rings with principal maximal ideal PIR?

A question asked by a friend. I believe it's false, but lack a decisive counterexample. This question shows that it is true for valuation rings, but I know too little about them. In the wider ...
4
votes
2answers
441 views

When does End(M) consist entirely of zero, zero divisors, and units?

Let $R$ be a commutative ring (with $1$) such that every non-zero divisor in $R$ is a unit (see Rings in which every non-unit is a zero divisor for various stabs at what these are called). Let $M$ be ...
4
votes
2answers
361 views

Homological characterization of smooth maps

Let $A \to B$ be a finitely generated homomorphism between two commutative noetherian rings. As far as I understand, in various generalizations of this situation, such a map is called smooth if $B$ ...
4
votes
3answers
789 views

Is being finitely generated a local property?

Hi to everyone. 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 ...