# Questions tagged [ac.commutative-algebra]

Commutative rings, modules, ideals, homological algebra, computational aspects, invariant theory, connections to algebraic geometry and combinatorics.

374
questions

**96**

votes

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### 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, "...

**55**

votes

**5**answers

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### 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 ...

**23**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### Does Smith normal form imply PID?

Let $R$ be a nonzero commutative ring with $1$, such that all finite matrices over $R$ have a Smith normal form. Does it follow that $R$ is a principal ideal domain?
If this fails, suppose we ...

**20**

votes

**12**answers

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### 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 ...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

784 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 ...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

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### Bijection implies isomorphism for algebraic varieties

Let $f:X\to Y$ be a morphism of algebraic varieties over $\mathbb C$. Assume that
a) $f$ is bijective on $\mathbb C$-points
b) $X$ is connected
c) $Y$ is normal.
Does it imply that $f$ is an ...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

213 views

### If $f,g \in D[x,y]$ are algebraically dependent over $D$, then $f,g \in D[h]$ for some $h\in D[x,y]$?

This question asks: If $f,g \in k[x,y]$ are two algebraically dependent polynomials over an arbitrary field $k$, is it true that there exists a polynomial $h \in k[x,y]$ such that $f,g \in k[h]$,
...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

226 views

### Any two bivariate algebraically dependent polynomials are always in the same ring generated by some bivariate polynomial?

If $f(x,y)$ and $g(x,y)$ are two algebraically dependent polynomials over some field $k$, is it true that there exists a bivariate polynomial $p(x,y)$ such that both $f(x,y)$ and $g(x,y)$ are in the ...

**58**

votes

**9**answers

15k 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 ...

**39**

votes

**2**answers

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### Ring-theoretic characterization of open affines?

Background
Recall that, given two commutative rings $A$ and $B$, the set of morphisms of rings $A\to B$ is in bijection with the set of morphisms of schemes $\mathrm{Spec}(B)\to\mathrm{Spec}(A)$. ...

**29**

votes

**6**answers

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### 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 ...

**21**

votes

**5**answers

3k 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 ...

**24**

votes

**6**answers

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### 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 ...

**21**

votes

**2**answers

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### 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 ...

**35**

votes

**6**answers

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### 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 ...

**20**

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**5**answers

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### 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, ...

**40**

votes

**2**answers

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### 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 ...

**16**

votes

**4**answers

4k 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. This is very cute. Using finite fields you prove that every injective polynomial map $\mathbb C^n\to \mathbb ...

**16**

votes

**4**answers

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### Completion of a local ring of a curve

Let $X$ be a smooth projective irreducible curve defined over an algebraically closed field $\mathbb{K}$ (of arbitrary characteristic), and let $p\in X$ be a closed point. Denote by $\mathcal{O}_p(X)$ ...

**9**

votes

**3**answers

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### Existence of prime ideals and Axiom of Choice.

One of the must obvious equivalences of Axiom of Choice is the converse of Krull Theorem.
Bernhard Banaschewski in the Article titled by A New Proof that “Krull implies Zorn” showed a very simple ...

**7**

votes

**2**answers

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### 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:...

**10**

votes

**1**answer

703 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 ...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

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### Smith Normal Form of powers of a matrix

What invariants of a matrix determine the Smith Normal Form (SNF) of all the powers of a matrix?
The question makes sense over any PID $R$. If we let $M = M_n(R)$ and $G=Gl_n(R)$, then SNF is a ...

**13**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### which homogeneous polynomials split into linear factors?

Let $R$ be the set of homogeneous polynomials of degree $n$ in $d$ variables over $\mathbb{C}$. When $n>2$, the set of elements of $R$ that split into a product of linear factors forms a proper ...

**5**

votes

**2**answers

291 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 $...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

205 views

### $f,g \in \mathbb{Z}[x,y]$ satisfying: $\operatorname{Jac}(f,g)=0$ and $f,g \notin \mathbb{Z}[h]$ for every $h \in \mathbb{Z}[x,y]$?

Is it possible to find $f,g \in \mathbb{Z}[x,y]$ (with $\deg(f),\deg(g) \geq 1$) such that the following two conditions are satisfied:
(1) $\operatorname{Jac}(f,g)=f_xg_y-f_yg_x = 0$.
(2) ...

**0**

votes

**2**answers

311 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 ...

**88**

votes

**2**answers

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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?
Geometric ...

**94**

votes

**2**answers

11k 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 ...

**49**

votes

**12**answers

14k 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 ...

**90**

votes

**1**answer

11k 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 ...

**49**

votes

**2**answers

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### 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 $M$ ...

**39**

votes

**3**answers

11k 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(...

**39**

votes

**4**answers

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### Why is there a duality between spaces and commutative algebras?

1) The category of affine varieties over $\mathbb{C}$ is equivalent to the opposite category of finitely generated reduced algebras over $\mathbb{C}$. The equivalence associates to an affine variety ...

**62**

votes

**1**answer

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### $R$ is isomorphic to $R[X,Y]$, but not to $R[X]$

Is there a commutative ring $R$ with $R \cong R[X,Y]$ and $R \not\cong R[X]$?
This is a ring-theoretic analog of my previous question about abelian groups: In fact, in any algebraic category we may ...

**36**

votes

**5**answers

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### Explicit elements of $K((x))((y)) \setminus K((x,y))$

In an answer to the popular question on common false beliefs in mathematics
Examples of common false beliefs in mathematics
I mentioned that many people conflate the two different kinds of formal ...

**10**

votes

**5**answers

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### reduced ⊗ reduced = reduced; what about connected?

Several questions actually.
All rings and algebras are supposed to be commutative and with $1$ here.
(1) Let $k$ be a field, and let $A$ and $B$ be two $k$-algebras. I need a proof that if $A$ and $...

**22**

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

**29**

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### 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?
...

**26**

votes

**2**answers

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### When is $SL(n,R) \rightarrow SL(n,R/q)$ surjective?

Let $R$ be a commutative ring with unit and let $q$ be an ideal of $R$. There is thus a natural map $SL(n,R) \rightarrow SL(n,R/q)$ for all $n$. This map is surjective if $SL(n,R/q)$ is generated by ...

**20**

votes

**1**answer

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### 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 ...

**13**

votes

**5**answers

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### When a formal power series is a rational function in disguise

Given a formal power series $f \in k[[X]]$, where $k$ is a commutative field, is there any good way to tell whether or not $f\in k(X)$?
Edit: To clarify, "good way to tell" means "computable ...

**13**

votes

**5**answers

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### When are dual modules free?

Let $A$ be a commutative integral domain, with fraction field $K$. Let $T$ be a torsion-free finitely generated $A$ module, so $T \otimes_A K$ is a finite dimensional vector space $V$. Let $T^*$ be ...

**16**

votes

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### 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 ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

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### 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 ...

**25**

votes

**1**answer

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### Are Conway's omnific integers the Grothendieck group of the ordinals under commutative addition?

This is a question in two parts.
Say that $\mathbf{On}$ is the proper class of all ordinal numbers in ZFC. We can define a binary operator over $\mathbf{On}$ which corresponds to the commutative ...

**13**

votes

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### 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 ...

**22**

votes

**4**answers

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### 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 of ...

**15**

votes

**6**answers

2k views

### What's an example of a transcendental power series?

Let $k$ be a field. What is an explicit power series $f \in k[[t]]$ that is transcendental over $k[t]$?
I am looking for elementary example (so there should be a proof of transcendence that does ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

919 views

### Is $R=k[x_1,\ldots]\to k[[x_1,\ldots]]$ a flat morphism? What about $R\to\hat{R}$?

Let $k$ be a field. For $R=k[x_1,\ldots]$ with countably infinite number of variables, [due to the discussion in the comments] we have to make the following distinction between $k[[x_1,\ldots]]$ and ...