Category Archives: homological-algebra

## A short survey of von Neumann regular rings

I've talked a lot about von Neumann regular rings on this blog, so I thought I'd write an informal short survey on them, collecting some facts we've already seen and many new ones. It should give you an idea of what von Neumann regular rings are. Most of the facts that I did not explicitly […]

## Roger Ming's theorem on von Neumann regular rings

We say that an associative ring $A$ is von Neumann regular if for every $a\in A$ there exists a $x\in A$ such that $axa = a$. That is a rather strange condition, isn't it? But, you can think of $x$ as a pseudoinverse to $a$. This weakening of inverses has a homological counterpart: if every […]

## Exotic dimensions used in ring theory

Do you ever get the feeling that mathematics uses the word dimension a lot? Well, that's for good reason. The concept of dimension is fundamental in mathematics. What is dimension? You can think of dimension as a numerical invariant characterizing the number of parameters required to do a certain thing. For example, for vector spaces, […]

## Weak dimension one rings are axiomatizable

Let $R$ be a ring. In the previous post on pure exact sequences, we called an exact sequence $0\to A\to B\to C\to 0$ of left $R$-modules pure if its image under any functor $X\otimes -$ is an exact sequence of abelian groups for any right $R$-module $X$. Here is yet another characterization of purity: Theorem. […]

## Pure exact sequences

Over the next few posts, I'll talk more about axiomatizability of algebraic structures in first-order logic. Before I do that, we need to know about purity of exact sequences. So let's fix a ring $R$. An exact sequence $$0\to A\to B\to C\to 0$$ in the category of left $R$ modules is called pure if for […]

## Finite-dimensional k[x]-modules: projective or not?

Let's suppose $M$ is a nonzero projective $\Z$-module. Can it be finite? Nope. I'm sure there are plenty ways to prove it, but one way is to observe that a projective $\Z$-module is free, and hence if $M$ is nonzero it must have at least one copy of $\Z$. So, $M$ is infinite. What's the […]

## Abelian categories: examples and nonexamples

I've been talking a little about abelian categories these days. That's because I've been going over Weibel's An Introduction to Homological Algebra. It's a book I read before, and I still feel pretty confident about the material. This time, though, I think I'm going to explore a few different paths that I haven't really given […]

## Image factorisation in abelian categories

Let $R$ be a ring and $f:B\to C$ be a morphism of $R$-modules. The image of $f$ is of course $${\rm im}(f) = \{ f(x) : x\in B \}.$$The image of $f$ is a submodule of $C$. It is pretty much self-evident that $f$ factors as $$B\xrightarrow{e} {\rm im}(f)\xrightarrow{m} C$$where $e$ is a surjective homomorphism […]

## Injective and p-injective

An $R$-module $M$ is called injective if the functor $\Hom_R(-,M)$ is exact. The well-known Baer criterion states that an $R$-module $M$ is injective if and only if for every ideal $I$ of $R$, every map $I\to M$ can actually be extended to a map $R\to M$. For example, $\Q$ is an injective $\Z$-module. If every […]

## 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 […]