Category Archives: commutative-algebra

## A zero-dimensional ring that is not von Neumann regular

An associative ring $R$ is called von Neumann regular if for each $x\in R$ there exists a $y\in R$ such that $x = xyx$. Now let $R$ be a commutative ring. Its dimension is the supremum over lengths of chains of prime ideals in $R$. So for example, fields are zero dimensional because the only […]

## A finitely generated flat module that is not projective

Let's see an example of a finitely-generated flat module that is not projective! What does this provide a counterexample to? If $R$ is a ring that is either right Noetherian or a local ring (that is, has a unique maximal right ideal or equivalently, a unique maximal left ideal), then every finitely-generated flat right $R$-module […]

## For (most) PIDs: Trace zero matrices are commutators

Let $R$ be a commutative ring and $M_n(R)$ denote the ring of $n\times n$ matrices with coefficients in $R$. For $X,Y\in M_n(R)$, their commutator $[X,Y]$ is defined by $$[X,Y] := XY – YX.$$ The trace of any matrix is defined as the sum of its diagonal entries. If $X$ and $Y$ are any matrices, what […]

## Ideal in a union of ideals

Suppose $I$ is an ideal in a ring $R$ and $J,K$ are ideals such that $I\subseteq J\cup K$. Then either $I\subseteq J$ or $I\subseteq K$. Indeed, suppose that there is some $x\in I$ such that $x\not\in J$. If $y\in I$ is arbitrary and $y\not\in K$ then $x + y$ is in neither $J$ nor $K$. […]

## Degrees of some permutation polynomials

Let $\F_q$ be a finite field. For any function $f:\F_q\to \F_q$, there exists a polynomial $p\in \F_q[x]$ such that $f(a) = p(a)$ for all $a\in \F_q$. In other words, every function from a finite field to itself can be represented by a polynomial. In particular, every permutation of $\F_q$ can be represented by a polynomial. […]

## Zero divisor graph of a commutative ring

Let $R$ be a commutative ring. The zero divisors of $R$, which we denote $Z(R)$ is the set-theoretic union of prime ideals. This is just because in any commutative ring, the set of subsets of $R$ that can be written as unions of prime ideals is in bijection with the saturated multiplicatively closed sets (the […]

## Working with group rings in Sage

Let $\Z[\Z/n]$ denote the integral group ring of the cyclic group $\Z/n$. How would you create $\Z[\Z/n]$ in Sage so that you could easily multiply elements? First, if you've already assigned a group to the variable 'A', then

will give you the corresponding group ring and store it in the variable 'R'. The first […]

## What's in all powers of a principal prime?

Let $R$ be a commutative ring and $(p)$ be a principal prime ideal. What can be said about the intersection $\cap_{k=1}^\infty (p)^k$? Let's abbreviate this $\cap (p)^k$ (I like to use the convention that when limits are not specified, then the operation like intersection is taken over all possible indices). Let's try an example. For […]

## Poset of prime ideals

For a commutative ring, what does the partially ordered set (=poset) of primes look like? I already talked a little about totally ordered sets of primes, but what about in general? For a general partially ordered set $S$ there are two immediate questions that come to mind: Does there exist a commutative ring whose poset […]

## Non-Noetherian domain but finitely generated ideals principal

A finitely-generated module over a principal ideal domain is always isomorphic to $R^n\oplus R/a_1\oplus\cdots\oplus R/a_n$ where $n$ is a nonnegative integer and $a_i\in R$ for $i=1,\dots,n$. This is called the structure theorem for modules over a principal ideal domain. Examples of principal ideal domains include fields, $\Z$, $\Z[\sqrt{2}]$, and the polynomial ring $k[x]$ when $k$ […]