Category Archives: homological-algebra

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 […]

Dimension zero rings for three types of dimension

There are all sorts of notions of dimension that can be applied to rings. Whatever notion you use though, the ones with dimension zero are usually fairly simple compared with the rings of higher dimension. Here we’ll look at three types of dimension and state what the rings of zero dimension look like with respect […]

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 […]

Regular Sequences and Ext Calculations

Let $R$ be a commutative ring and $A$ and $R$-module. We say that $x_1,\dots,x_n\in R$ is a regular sequence on $A$ if $(x_1,\dots,x_n)A\not = A$ and $x_i$ is not a zero divisor on $A/(x_1,\dots,x_{i-1})A$ for all $i$. Regular sequences are a central theme in commutative algebra. Here’s a particularly interesting theorem about them that allows […]

An Abelian Group of Endoprojective Dimension One

We already saw that an abelian group with a $\Z$-direct summand is projective over its endomorphism ring. Finitely generated abelian groups are also projective over their endomorphism rings by essentially the same argument. What’s an example of an abelian group that is not projective over its endomorphism ring? Here’s one: the multiplicative group $Z(p^\infty)$ of […]

Commutative von Neumann Regular Rings

A ring of left global dimension zero is a ring $R$ for which every left $R$-module is projective. These are also known as semisimple rings of the Wedderburn-Artin theory fame, which says that these rings are precisely the finite direct products of full matrix rings over division rings. Note the subtle detail that “semisimple” is […]

Self Injective Integral Domains are Fields: Two Proofs

For finite commutative rings, integral domains are the same as fields. This isn’t too surprising, because an integral domain $R$ is a ring such that for every nonzero $a\in R$ the $R$-module homomorphism $R\to R$ given by $r\mapsto ra$ is injective. Fields are those rings for which all these maps are surjective. But injective and […]