Category Archives: modules

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 […]

Stably free and the Eilenberg swindle

I already mentioned the idea of stably isomorphic for a ring $R$: two $R$-modules $A$ and $B$ are stably isomorphic if there exists a natural number $n$ such that $A\oplus R^n\cong B\oplus R^n$. Let's examine a specific case: if $A$ is stably isomorphic to a free module, then let's call it stably free. So, to […]

When is a direct product of projective modules projective?

Over a field $k$, an arbitrary product of copies of $k$ is a free module. In other words, every vector space has a basis. In particular, this means that arbitrary products of projective $k$-modules are projective. Over the ring of integers, an arbitrary product of projective modules is not necessarily projective. In fact, a product […]

On a characterisation of Krull dimension zero rings

Here is one characterisation of commutative rings of Krull dimension zero: Theorem. A commutative ring $R$ has Krull dimension zero if and only if every element of the Jacobson radical ${\rm Jac}(R)$ of $R$ is nilpotent and the quotient ring $R/{\rm Jac}(R)$ is von Neumann regular. Recall that a ring $R$ is von Neumann regular […]

Is it a projective module?

Consider a field $k$. Define an action of $k[x,y]$ on $k[x]$ by $f*g = f(x,x)g(x)$ for all $f\in k[x,y]$ and $g\in k[x]$. In other words, the action is: multiply $f$ and $g$ and then replace every occurrence of $y$ by $x$. Is $k[x]$ a projective $k[x,y]$-module? Consider first the map $k[x,y]\to k[x]$ given by $f\mapsto […]

Projective Principal Ideals, Idempotent Annihilators

Given an idempotent $e$ in a ring $R$, the right ideal $eR$ is projective as a right $R$-module. In fact, $eR + (1-e)R$ is actually a direct sum decomposition of $R$ as a right $R$-module. An easy nontrivial example is $\Z\oplus\Z$ with $e = (1,0)$. Fix an $a\in R$. If $aR$ is a projective right […]

Projectivity and the Double Dual

Projective modules are the algebraic analogues of vector bundles, and they satisfy some strong properties. To state one we will first introduce the notation $P^* := {\rm Hom}_R(P,R)$ for any right $R$-module $P$. (Working with right $R$-modules is just a convention) Here's one property that projective modules satisfy: if $P$ is a right projective module […]