# Tagged Questions

Non-commutative rings and algebras, non-associative algebras, universal algebra and lattice theory, linear algebra, semigroups.

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### 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 ...
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### Can we unify addition and multiplication into one binary operation? To what extent can we find universal binary operations?

The question is the extent to which we can unify addition and multiplication, realizing them as terms in a single underlying binary operation. I have a number of questions. Is there a binary ...
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### Why is it a good idea to study a ring by studying its modules?

This is related to another question of mine. Suppose you met someone who was well-acquainted with the basic properties of rings, but who had never heard of a module. You tell him that modules ...
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### How would you solve this tantalizing Halmos problem?

$1-ab$ invertible $\implies$ $1-ba$ 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? ...
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### when is A isomorphic to A^3?

this is totally elementary, but I have no idea how to solve it: let $A$ be an abelian group such that $A$ is isomorphic to $A^3$. is then $A$ isomorphic to $A^2$? probably no, but how construct a ...
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### Does this formula have a rigorous meaning, or is it merely formal.

I hope this problem is not considered too "elementary" for MO. It concerns a formula that I have always found fascinating. For, at first glance, it appears completely "obvious", while on closer ...
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### 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 ...
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### Linear Algebra Texts?

Can anyone suggest a relatively gentle linear algebra text that integrates vector spaces and matrix algebra right from the start? I've found in the past that students react in very negative ways to ...
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### “Algebraic” topologies like the Zariski topology?

The fact that a commutative ring has a natural topological space associated with it is still a really interesting coincidence. The entire subject of Algebraic geometry is based on this simple fact. ...
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### What is the current status of the Kaplansky zero-divisor conjecture for group rings?

Let $K$ be a field and $G$ a group. The so called zero-divisor conjecture for group rings asserts that the group ring $K[G]$ is a domain if and only if $G$ is a torsion-free group. A couple of good ...
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### Invertible matrices over noncommutative rings

Let $A\in M_m(R)$ be an invertible square matrix over a noncommutative ring $R$. Is the transpose matrix $A^t$ also invertible? If it isn't, are there any easy counterexamples? The question popped up ...
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### Why is there no Cayley's Theorem for rings?

Cayley's theorem makes groups nice: a closed set of bijections is a group and a group is a closed set of bijections- beautiful, natural and understandable canonically as symmetry. It is not so much a ...
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### Good lattice theory books?

A recent answer motivated me to post about this. I've always had a vague, unpleasant feeling that somehow lattice theory has been completely robbed of the important place it deserves in mathematics - ...
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### What makes a theorem *a* “nullstellensatz.”

I know what the (Hilbert) Nullstellensatz says. A MathSciNet search on "nullstellensatz" turns up nearly 200 papers, with only a minority offering either new proofs or new applications of the classic ...
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### transcendental Galois theory

Suppose we define an arbitrary field extension $K/F$ to be Galois if, for all subextensions $L$ of $K/F$, we have $K^{\operatorname{Aut}(K/L)} = L$. In words: for any element $x$ of $K \setminus L$, ...
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### Non isomorphic finite rings with isomorphic additive and multiplicative structure

About a year ago, a colleague asked me the following question: Suppose $(R,+,\cdot)$ and $(S,\oplus,\odot)$ are two rings such that $(R,+)$ is isomorphic, as an abelian group, to $(S,\oplus)$, and ...
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### What do cluster algebras tell us about Grassmannians?

One of the first examples of a cluster algebra given in Fomin and Zelevinsky's original paper is the homogeneous coordinate ring $\mathbb{C}[G_{2,n}]$ of the Grassmannian of planes in $\mathbb{C}^n$. ...
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### Is there an explicit construction of a free coalgebra?

I am interested in the differences between algebras and coalgebras. Naively, it does not seem as though there is much difference: after all, all you have done is to reverse the arrows in the ...
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### when is the power of a nonnegative polynomial a sum of squares?

There are polynomials that are not sum of squares. For example Motzkin gave the example $x^4y^2+x^2y^4+z^6-3x^2y^2z^2$ in 1967. Is there a real polynomial $f\in{\mathbb{R}}[x_1,\ldots,x_n]$ in ...
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### “Lie algebra” for a general group ?

Is there analog of Lie algebra for the case of topological groups which are not necessarily differentiable manifolds, and in particular for finite groups? here by "analog" i mean that it should have ...
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### Simplest examples of rings that are not isomorphic to their opposites

What are the simplest examples of rings that are not isomorphic to their opposite rings? Is there a science to constructing them? The only simple example known to me: In Jacobson's Basic Algebra (...
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### Strong group ring isomorphisms

Background/Motivation Let $R$ be a commutative ring with unit. If $G$ is a finite (or in general, discrete) group, let $R[G]$ be the group $R$-algebra associated to $G$. The isomorphism problem for ...
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### Gossip about Grothendieck and distributive lattices

In Gian-Carlo Rota's Indiscrete Thoughts, there a list of mathematical gossip among which one reads: [...] What would have happened [...] if Grothendieck had known the theory of distributive ...
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### Idempotents in Rings of Differential Operators

Differential Operators on General Commutative Rings Let k be an algebraically closed field of characteristic zero, and let R be a commutative k-algebra. Then a (Grothendieck) differential operator ...
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### Geometrical meaning of Grassmann Algebra

I don't understand wedge product and Grassmann algebra. However, I heard that these concepts are obvious when you understand the geometrical intuition behind them. Can you give this geometrical ...
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### Bass' stable range of $\mathbf Z[X]$

Let $n$ be a positive integer and $A$ be a commutative ring. The ring $A$ is said to be of Bass stable range $\mathrm{sr}(A)\leq n$ if for $a, a_1, \dots, a_n \in A$ one has the following implication: ...
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### 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 ...
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### How to recognize a Hopf algebra?

Suppose we are handed an algebra $A$ over a field $k$. What should we look at if we want to determine whether $A$ can or cannot be equipped with structure maps to make it a Hopf algebra? I guess in ...
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### Maximal Ideals in Formal Laurent Series Rings?

Setup: Let $k$ be a field, let $n$ be a positive integer, and let $R := k[[x_1,\ldots,x_n]]$ denote the commutative ring of formal power series over $k$ in $x_1,\ldots,x_n$. We know that there is ...
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### Are there any nontrivial ring homomorphisms $M_{n+1}(R)\rightarrow M_n(R)$?

Let $R$ be a finitely generated ring with identity, $M_n(R)$ the set of $n\times n$ matrices. Are there any nontrivial ring homomorphisms $M_{n+1}(R)\rightarrow M_n(R)$? This should be an elementary ...
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### “Sums-compact” objects = f.g. objects in categories of modules?

Hello, Let us call an object of an additive category sumpact (contraction of "sums" and "compact") if taking $Hom$ from it (considered as functor from the category to $Ab$) commutes with coproducts. ...
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### Two (other) rings…are they isomorphic?

Consider the local rings $$R = \mathbb{C}[[x,y,z,w]]/\langle xyz+xyw+xzw+yzw\rangle$$ and $$S = \mathbb{C}[[x,y,z,w]]/\langle xyz+xyw+xzw+yzw+xyzw\rangle.$$ Is $R$ isomorphic to $S$? Some context:...
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### Sums of injective modules, products of projective modules?

Under what assumptions on a noncommutative ring R does a countable direct sum of injective left R-modules necessarily have a finite injective dimension? Analogously, under what assumptions on R does a ...
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### What is a Kelley ring?

I've heard that in some book by someone named Kelley, perhaps an early edition of John L. Kelley's General Topology, the author gave a definition of a ring which turned out to be weaker than the usual ...
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### Expressing adj(A) as a polynomial in A?

Suppose $A\in R^{n\times n}$, where $R$ is a commutative ring. Let $p_i \in R$ be the coefficients of the characteristic polynomial of $A$: $\mathop{\mathrm{det}}(A-xI) = p_0 + p_1x + \dots + p_n x^n$....
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### Why is $(\mathbb{Z}/3\mathbb{Z})^3$ not a class group of an imaginary quadratic number field ?

In general, it seems not known which finite abelian groups are class groups of quadratic number fields. For imaginary quadratic number fileds, I read that $(\mathbb{Z}/3\mathbb{Z})^3$ is the smallest ...
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### The sum of same powers of all matrices modulo p

The following is a problem from our department algebra competition for students: Non-question. An experimental-math geek was trying to raise all matrices $17\times17$ over the field with 17 ...
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### Freeness of a Z[x]-module

Definition: Call a mapping $f: \mathbb{Z} \rightarrow \mathbb{Z}$ a generalized polynomial if for any distinct integers $m$ and $n$ we have $(m - n)|(f(m)-f(n))$. It is easy to check that polynomial ...