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Algebra II

Istvn Mez, PhD


Contents
Foreword v
Notations vi
I Divisibility, primes, congruences 1
1 Divisibility, euclidean algorithm 3
1.1 Divisibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
1.2 The greatest common divisor and the least common multiple . 4
1.3 The euclidean algorithm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2 Primes and the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic 8
2.1 Primes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.2 The Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.3 The sieve of Eratosthenes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
3 Congruences 12
3.1 The notion of congruence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
3.2 Congruence classes and the modular arithmetic . . . . . . . . 14
3.3 Solution of congruences and the EulerFermat theorem . . . . 15
Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
3.4 The calculation of the function for large arguments . . . . . 20
Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
II Groups 21
4 Basic properties of groups 23
4.1 The notion of groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
4.2 The most basic properties of groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
4.3 Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
i
4.3.1 The set Z and N with the usual operations . . . . . . . 26
4.3.2 The residue classes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
4.3.3 The dihedral groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
4.3.4 The symmetric group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
4.3.5 The circle group of the two dimensional euclidean space 30
Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
5 Subgroups and cosets 32
5.1 Subgroups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
5.2 Cosets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
5.3 Generating systems and cyclic groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
5.3.1 The group structure of (Z
n
, +) and the Bzout Lemma 37
5.4 Subgroup structure and generators of several groups . . . . . . 37
5.4.1 The subgroups ang generators of the cyclic groups . . . 38
5.4.2 The subgroups and generators of U(Z
n
) . . . . . . . . . 38
5.4.3 The generators of S
n
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
6 Special subgroups in groups 41
6.1 Normal subgroups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
6.2 Special subgroups of groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
6.2.1 The centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
6.2.2 Centralizer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
6.2.3 Commutator subgroup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
6.2.4 The quaternion group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
7 The factor group 46
Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
8 Homomorphisms 49
8.1 Denition and examples of homomorphisms . . . . . . . . . . 49
8.2 Isomorphism theorems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
III Rings 55
9 Basic properties of rings 57
9.1 The notion of rings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
9.1.1 Several classes of rings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
9.1.2 Subrings. Several special elements in rings . . . . . . . 58
Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
ii
10 Ideals and factor rings 61
10.1 Ideals of rings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
10.2 Generatig system of ideals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
10.3 Factor rings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
10.3.1 Factor rings of the ring of integers . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
10.3.2 Factor rings of polynomial rings . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
11 Homomorphisms of rings 68
11.1 Homomorphisms and isomorphism theorems . . . . . . . . . . 68
12 Commutative rings 70
12.1 Divisibity in commutative rings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
12.2 Euclidean rings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
12.3 Rings with prime factorization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
12.4 Maximal and prime ideals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
12.4.1 Maximal ideals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
12.4.2 Prime ideals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
IV Modules 81
13 Basic properties of modules 83
13.1 The notion of modules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
13.2 Submodule and factor module . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
13.3 Homomorphisms of modules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
14 Endomorphism ring of modules - the Krull dimension 87
14.1 Endomorphism ring of abelian groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
14.2 The endomorphism rings of modules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
14.3 The Krull dimension . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
14.3.1 The Krull dimension of commutative rings . . . . . . . 91
14.3.2 The Krull dimension of modules over commutative rings 92
Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
15 Cyclic and simple modules 94
15.1 Cyclic modules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
iii
V Finite elds 97
16 Structure of nite elds 99
17 Construction of nite elds 101
Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
VI Field extensions 103
18 Field extensions, algebraic and transcendental elements 105
18.1 Algebraic and transcendent elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
18.2 Field extensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
19 Splitting elds 108
19.1 The denition of splitting elds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
19.2 The eld of complex numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
iv
Foreword
Debrecen, 2011.
Istvn Mez
v
Notations
N = 1, 2, 3, . . . is the set of natural numbers,
Z = 0, 1, 2, 3, . . . is the set of integers,
Q =
a
b
[ a, b Z is the set of rational numbers,
vi
Part I
Divisibility, primes, congruences
1
2
The most basic notion of number theory is the divisibility. Some deriva-
tive notions of it are greatest common divisor, least common multiple, con-
gruence of numbers, prime and composite numbers. In this part of the lecture
notes we introduce these. Later we shall see how these notions generalize if
we leave the set of integers, and step forward to more general algebraic struc-
tures, such as rings, and polynomial rings, especially.
1
Divisibility, euclidean algorithm
1.1 Divisibility
1.1.1. Denition. We say that an integer b is divisible by an integer a (or
a divides b) if b can be written as b = ac, where c is also an integer. In this
case we also say that b is a multiple of a.
The fact that a divides b is denoted by a [ b. If this is not the case then
we write a b.
1.1.2. Example. 2 divides 10 because 10 can be rewritten as 10 = 2 5 (so
here c = 5). That is, 2 [ 10.
1.1.3. Theorem. The divisibility has the following properties for any integer
a:
1. a [ a,
2. 1 [ a,
3. a [ 0,
4. 0 [ a implies that a = 0,
5. a [ b implies that ac [ bc. Reversely, if ac [ bc then a [ b.
6. If a [ b and b [ c then a [ c.
7. If a [ b then
b
a
[ b.
Proof. The rst statement is obvious, since a = a 1. the second also, since
1 [ a means that there is an integer c such that a = 1 c, and here c = a. The
third and fourth are similar.
The fth statement follows also, since a [ b means that there is a d such
that b = ad. Multiplying both sides by c, we get that bc = adc = (ac)d. The
reverse statement can be proven similarly.
3
4 1. chapter. Divisibility, euclidean algorithm
The sixth statement gives that b = ad
1
and c = bd
2
for some d
1
and d
2
.
Then it follows that c = ad
1
d
2
, i.e. a [ c.
The last statement is also easy:
b
a
[ b means that b =
b
a
c for some c. We
can choose c = a. (The fraction
b
a
exists, because a [ b.)
1.2 The greatest common divisor and the least
common multiple
1.2.1. Denition. The greatest positive common divisor of a and b is called
not surprisingly the greatest common divisor. In sign, (a, b) or sometimes
gcd(a, b).
1.2.2. Example. For example, the greatest common divisor of 45 and 60 is
15, because there is no greater number which divides both 45 and 60. So
(45, 60) = 15.
1.2.3. Denition. The least common multiple of a and b is the least number
which is divisible by a and b. It is denoted as [a, b] or sometimes lcm(a, b).
1.2.4. Example. The least common multiple of 45 and 60 is 180, that is,
[45, 60] = 180.
It is easy to see that
(a, b)[a, b] = [ab[.
Now we present some useful facts about these notions.
1.2.5. Theorem. If a and b are integers then
1. (a, b) = (b, a),
2. (a, 1) = 1,
3. (a, a) = [a[,
4. (a, 0) = [a[,
5. (ca, cb) = [c[(a, b),
6. If d [ a and d [ b then
_
a
d
,
b
d
_
=
(a,b)
d
.
7. (a, a + 1) = 1.
Proof. Just the last statement is not straightforward. Let us suppose that
(a, a + 1) = d. Then d [ a and d [ a + 1. Therefore a = dc
1
and a + 1 = dc
2
.
Hence a + 1 a = 1 = d(c
2
c
1
). Since c
2
> c
1
, d cannot be greater than
1.
1.3. The euclidean algorithm 5
1.2.6. Example. The fth statement can be applied to calculate the great-
est common divisor. Indeed, if we want to calculate (45, 60), we can see that
3 divides 45 and 60, too. Then (45, 60) = 3(15, 20). Moreover, 15 and 20
can be divided by 5, so (15, 20) = 5(3, 4). But 3 and 4 do not have common
divisor greater than one, so (45, 60) = 3(15, 20) = 3 5(3, 4) = 3 5 1 = 15.
1.2.7. Theorem. If a and b are integers then
[a, b] = [b, a],
[a, 1] = a,
[a, a] = [a[,
1.3 The euclidean algorithm
As we know from our high school studies, we can nd the gcd and lcm by
prime factorization. For example, 680 = 2
3
5 17, and 420 = 2
2
3 5 7, so
the gcd of these numbers is (680, 420) = 2
2
5 = 20. But it is not always easy
to nd the prime factorization of a number. The euclidean algorithm gives
the gcd as a result, without knowing the prime factorization of the input
numbers. It is easier to give an example than describe the general method.
Let us calculate the gcd of 680 and 420. The algorithm works as follows.
We divide the greatest number by the smallest one, and then the smallest one
by the remainder of the previous division. Then the penultimate remainder
is divided by the last one, and so on. The least nonzero remainder will be
the gcd of the two input numbers.
Since
680 = 1 420 + 260,
so the rst remainder is 260. Then
420 = 1 260 + 160.
Now we divide the penultimate remainder by the last one:
260 = 1 160 + 100,
160 = 1 100 + 60,
100 = 1 60 + 40,
60 = 1 40 + 20 ,
40 = 2 20 + 0.
Here the algorithm ends, because we have reached the 0. The last nonzero
remainder is 20. Therefore the greatest common divisor of 680 and 420 is 20,
as we have calculated earlier.
6 1. chapter. Divisibility, euclidean algorithm
But why this algorithm works? We need a proof. Let us denote the two
(positive) input numbers by r
0
and r
1
, and let us suppose that r
0
r
1
. Then
we can always write that
r
0
= q
1
r
1
+ r
2
.
And immediately follows that r
2
< r
1
. Moreover, we can proceed as follows:
r
1
= q
2
r
2
+ r
3
,
.
.
.
r
n2
= q
n1
r
n1
+ r
n
,
r
n1
= q
n
r
n
+ r
n+1
.
By the same reasons as above, r
3
< r
2
, and so on. Since the remainders
r
2
, r
3
, . . . cannot be negative, and they are strictly decreasing, we necessarily
get that for some n r
n+1
= 0. In addition, the last nonzero remainder, r
n
will divide r
n1
(this follows from the last equation). By the penultimate
equation, r
n
divides r
n2
, and so on, up to r
1
and r
0
. So we really get
that the last nonzero remainder divides the input numbers. That this is the
greatest divisor of both of these numbers also follows, because if d divides
r
0
and r
1
, then d divides r
2
by the rst equation. By the same reasons, d
divides r
3
as well, and so on. Finally we get that d divides r
n
. So all the
divisors of r
0
and r
1
divides r
n
, so r
n
is the greatest one.
Exercises
1.3.1. Exercise. By using the euclidean algorithm, nd the greatest common
divisor of 13860 and 14850.
1.3.2. Exercise. Calculate (1588 600
312
, 794 500
248
).
1.3.3. Solution. Since 1588 = 2 794, we have that
(1588 600
312
, 794 500
248
) = 794(2 600
312
, 500
248
) =
794(2 6
312
100
312
, 5
248
100
248
) =
794 100
248
(2 6
312
100
312248
, 5
248
) =
794 100
248
(100
64
, 5
248
) =
794 100
248
(25
64
4
64
, 5
248
) = 794 100
248
(25
64
, 5
248
) =
794 100
248
(5
128
, 5
248
) = 794 100
248
5
128
(1, 5
248128
) =
794 100
248
5
128
.
1.3. The euclidean algorithm 7
1.3.4. Exercise. Is it possible to write 16188 10
48
+ 19375 as a product of
three consecutive integers?
1.3.5. Solution. No, because this number is not divisible by 3 the sum
of its digits does not sum to a multiple of 3 . But the product of three
consecutive integers is always a multiple of 3.
1.3.6. Exercise. Prove that for any n 1 2
n
1 or 2
n
+1 is divisible by 3.
1.3.7. Solution. The numbers 2
n
1, 2
n
and 2
n
+1 are consecutive, therefore
one of them is divisibly by 3. Since 2
n
is not divisible by 3, one of the other
two must be.
1.3.8. Exercise. Let F
n
be the sequence of the Fibonacci numbers, i.e., F
0
=
1, F
1
= 1 and F
n
= F
n1
+ F
n2
, thus, for example, F
2
= 0 + 1 = 1,
F
3
= 1 + 1 = 2, F
4
= 2 + 1 = 3, and so on. Show that any two consecutive
Fibonacci numbers have gcd 1, that is, (F
n
, F
n1
) = 1.
1.3.9. Solution. If F
n
and F
n1
have a greatest commond divisor d > 1,
then, by the denition of the sequence, d [ (F
n
F
n1
) = F
n2
. Since d
divides F
n1
and F
n2
, it divides their dierence, which is F
n3
and so on.
Finally we get that d [ F
1
= 1, so d = 1.
2
Primes and the Fundamental The-
orem of Arithmetic
2.1 Primes
We continue with the notion of primes. We shall prove that any integer
except from zero and one can be written as a product of primes, and this
decomposition is unique, up to the order of the primes.
Therefore we can say that the primes are the fundamental building blocks
of the set of integer numbers.
2.1.1. Denition. A natural number p is called prime if it has two positive
divisors, 1 and p. A non prime number is called composite.
2.1.2. Example. The number p = 5 is prime, but 6 is not, since it has
divisors dierent from 1 and 6.
The next theorem says that every number builds up from primes. The
building blocks are the primes, and the sticking material is the multiplication,
as an operation.
2.1.3. Theorem. Every positive integer greater than one is a product of
primes or it is itself a prime number.
Proof. By induction. For n = 2 the theorem is true, since 2 has just two
positive divisors, so it is a prime. Assume that the theorem is true for all
m < n. Then there are two possibilities for n: n is a prime or it is composite.
If n is prime, there is nothing to do. If n is composite, then it has a divisor
d, which is not 1 and not n. Since n = c d, c and d are less than n, so the
induction hypothesis works: d and c are primes or product of primes, and so
the same for n.
8
2.2. The Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic 9
2.2 The Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic
By the theorem of the above section we have seen that every natural number
is a product of primes. But we can prove much more. Namely, this product
is unique. This will be the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic. To prove
this theorem, we need some lemmas.
2.2.1. Lemma. (a, b) = ax + by for some x and y integers.
2.2.2. Example. (6, 8) = 2 = 9 1 + (1) 6.
2.2.3. Lemma. Two consecutive integers are always coprimes.
Proof. Let us suppose that d [ n, d [ (n + 1) n = C
1
d, n + 1 = C
2
d
d > 1, C
2
> C
1
. 1 = n + 1 1 = d(C
1
C
1
) C
2
C
1
+ 1. Since d > 1
it follows that C
2
C
1
< 1 i.e. C
2
< 1 + c
1
.
2.2.4. Lemma. If p ca (that is, a is not a multiple of p), then (a, p) = 1.
Proof. Let d = (a, p). Then
1) d [ a d = 1 or d = p
2) d [ a d ,= p
_
d = 1.
2.2.5. Lemma. (Euclids theorem) If p [ ab or p [ b, more generally, if p
divides a product, it divides at least one of the factors.
Proof. Assume, by Lemma 2.2.4. that (p, a) = 1. So p [ b is necessary since,
by Lemma 2.2.1.
1 =px + ay 1 b 1 (2.1)
b =bpx + bay, (2.2)
p [ pbx and p [ bay by the assumption. Then p [ (bpx + bpy)
. .
b
, so p [ b.
2.2.6. Theorem. (The fundamental theorem of arithmetic.) Every integer
n > 1 is a product of prime factors. Apart from the order, this representation
is unique.
Proof. By induction on n.
n = 2 is clear.
10 2. chapter. Primes and the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic
Let us suppose that the theorem is true for all m < n.
If n is prime, there is nothing to prove.
If n is not a prime, then by Theorem 2.1.3., it is a product of primes.
We show that this representation is unique. In contrary, we suppose
that n = p
1
p
2
p
s
= q
1
q
2
q
t
. We show that s = t and p
1
= q
1
;
for some indices p
1
[ n = q
1
q
t
, so p
1
divides some q
i
, by Euclids
theorem.
We relabel such that q
1
= q
i
. So p
1
[ q
1
, but q
1
is prime, so p
1
= q
1
.
Then
n
p
1
= p
2
p
s
= q
2
q
t
< n. By induction hypothesis, we are
done.
2.2.7. Denition. If n = p

1
1
p

1
n
,
1
1. We say that this is the
standard form of n.
2.2.8. Example. The number 14 850 has the next prime product represen-
tation:
14 850 = 2 3
3
5
2
11.
2.3 The sieve of Eratosthenes
There is an ancient method for nding primes up to a specic limit. In this
section we present this simple algorithm. We make a table of the natural
numbers up to a given limit, like 30. Then sieving out the composites on a
clever way, just primes will remain in the table. It is obvious that any multiple
of 2 is composite, so we sieve them out. The least not sieved number is 3,
which is a prime. Then we can sieve out all the multiples of 3, since they are
surely composites. The least remaining number is 5, which is a prime. We
sieve out its multiples, and so on. In practice, the initial table looks like
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Sieving out the multiples of 2, i.e. the even numbers (excluding 2):
2 3 4/ 5 6 / 7 8 / 9 10 /// 11 12 /// 13 14 /// 15 16 /// 17 18 /// 19 20 /// 21 22 /// 23 24 /// 25 26 /// 27 28 /// 29 30 ///
Sieving out the multiples of 3, we get the following table:
2 3 4/ 5 6 / 7 8 / 9/ 10 /// 11 12 /// 13 14 /// 15 /// 16 /// 17 18 /// 19 20 /// 21 /// 22 /// 23 24 /// 25 26 /// 27 /// 28 /// 29 30 ///
The next remaining number is 5, so we sieve out its multiples:
2 3 4/ 5 6 / 7 8 / 9/ 10 /// 11 12 /// 13 14 /// 15 /// 16 /// 17 18 /// 19 20 /// 21 /// 22 /// 23 24 /// 25 /// 26 /// 27 /// 28 /// 29 30 ///
2.3. The sieve of Eratosthenes 11
All the remaining numbers are primes. This algorithm therefore gives that
up to 30 there are 10 primes:
2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29.
Two simple renements can be observed. We can start immediately just
with the odd numbers, eliminating the half of the table. In addition, we can
observe that if we have a prime p in the table, its multiples below p
2
(that
is, 1 p, 2 p, . . . , (p 1) p are already marked, so it is enough to check the
primes up to

n. (In our concrete case

30 is between 5 and six, so after
p = 5 we can stop.)
3
Congruences
3.1 The notion of congruence
If a does not divide b then we can make division and we can nd the remain-
der. For example, if b = 16 and a = 3 then
16 = 3 5 + 1,
where 5 is the result of the division of 16 by 3, and 1 is the remainder.
This simple example shows that for every integers a and b, it is possible
to write them as
b = aq + r,
where 0 r < a. As we said before, r is the remainder. Here comes a
fundamental denition of number theory.
3.1.1. Denition. If a is a xed integer, b and c are said to be congruent
modulo a if they can be written as
b = aq
1
+ r,
c = aq
2
+ r.
That is, if they give the same remainder if we divide them by a. This congru-
ency fact is denoted by b c (mod a). In this setting a is called modulus.
We can see that b and c are conguent modulo a if and only if a [ (b c).
3.1.2. Example. If a = 10 then b = 13 and c = 23 are congruent modulo
10, since
13 = 10 1 + 3,
23 = 10 2 + 3.
(And indeed, 23 13 is divisible by 10.)
The next theorem lists some basic facts on congruences.
12
3.1. The notion of congruence 13
3.1.3. Theorem. Let a, b, c, m be integers. Then
a a (mod m),
a b (mod m) implies that b a (mod m),
if a b (mod m) and b c (mod m) then a c (mod m),
if a b (mod m) then ac bc (mod m),
if a b (mod m) then a + c b + c (mod m),
if a b (mod m) then a
n
b
n
(mod m),
a b (mod m) si y solo si ac bc (mod mc),
if ac bc (mod m) then a b (mod
m
(m,c)
).
The proofs are more or less elementary, we prove just the last one. If
ac bc (mod m) then
m [ (ac bc) m [ c(a b),
and then we divide by (m, c):
m
(m, c)

c
(m, c)
(a b),
but
m
(m,c)
and
c
(m,c)
have no common divisors. This yields that
m
(m,c)
must
divide a b, i.e. a b (mod
m
(m,c)
).
3.1.4. Example. 2 7 (mod 5) and the third point of the theorem implies
that 4 2 4 7 (mod 5), which is really true. However, 48 18 (mod 10),
but we cannot divide by 6, since 8 , 3 (mod 10). What we can do, is that
we divide the modulus, too:
48 18 (mod 10)
48
6

18
6
_
mod
10
(10, 6)
_
.
So 8 3 (mod 5) which is already a valid congruence.
Exercises
3.1.5. Exercise. Find the smallest non-negative x for which
1474 x (mod 22).
14 3. chapter. Congruences
3.1.6. Exercise. Find all x for which
x
2
1 (mod 8).
3.1.7. Exercise. Prove that the congruence 5n
3
+ 7n
5
0 (mod 12) holds
for any integer n.
3.1.8. Exercise. Prove that a number is divisible by 3 if and only if its digits
sum to a number divisible by 3.
3.1.9. Exercise. Try to work out a divisibility test for 11.
3.1.10. Exercise. Can be the number 654873213218 divided by 11?
3.1.11. Exercise. Find all x and y for which 8678xy464 is divisible by 11.
3.1.12. Exercise. Consider the number 37x2469y2z. Determine all values
of x, y, z for which the given number is divisible by 5,8,9 and 11 simultane-
ously.
3.2 Congruence classes and the modular arith-
metic
The calculation addition, multiplication, division in the usual sets, like
Z, Q is very familiar for us. However, as we have seen, sometimes it is enough
to know just the remainder term in a calculation. For example, we have also
seen that 17, 7, 3, 13, 23 are all congruent modulo 10. But the numbers
15, 5, 5, 15, 25 are not conguent, or incongruent to the above numbers.
This suggests that we might consider these two (innite) sets of numbers
dierent and, in addition, we can pick up only one element from each sets
which represents the given set.
Namely, if we pick up 3 from the rst set and 5 from the other, then these
two sets are represented by these numbers. This means that if we give 3, we
can reconstruct all the other numbers in the set, just we add and substract
10 from 3 several times. With this step we reduced our numbers to nite,
modulo 10. We have ten sets with representatives 0, 1, 2,. . . , 9.
The set of these 10 numbers (or representatives) is called congruence class
modulo 10. How can we calculate in this class? For example, what is the
value of 4+8? Let us see: 4 represents the set of numbers which are congruent
to 4 modulo 10, i.e. of the form 10k +4, where k is an integer. The same for
8: it represents the numbers of the form 10l +8. So, adding 4 and 8 we have
10k + 4 + 10l + 8 = 10(k + l) + 12 = 10(k + l + 1) + 2,
3.3. Solution of congruences and the EulerFermat theorem 15
that is, 4 + 8 can be written as an integer times 10 plus 2. This is nothing
else but a set with 2 as a representative. Therefore, we get the unusual fact
that
4 + 8 = 2 (mod 10).
It is important to see that 4, 8, 2 and the others are not numbers but a set
of numbers! To emphasize the fact that the equality is not between numbers
but between sets, we use the sign in place of =.
These calculations in congruence classes are called modular arithmetic.
3.2.1. Example. Let us face to a bit harder examples. Solve the equation
3 + x 2 (mod 10).
What is the result of the multiplication 4 5 modulo 10? And modulo 12?
3.3 Solution of congruences and the EulerFer-
mat theorem
From now on we are familiar with modular arithmetic. We can add, sub-
stract, multiply numbers with respect to a given modulus. Sadly, divisibility
is not so straightforward. We can solve the equation
2x 4 (mod 6),
and the result is x = 2, since 2 is the representative of the set 6k + 2 and if
we miltiply two such numbers, the result will be of the form 6k + 4. That
is okay, but what happens if we try to use the last point of Theorem 3.1.3.?
Then we nd that
x
4
2
_
mod
6
(2, 6)
_
, that is, x 2 (mod 3).
This also yields the same solution, x = 2. But the original modulus was 6,
and x 2 (mod 3) also means that x can be 2+3 = 5 as well, modulo 6. We
can justify this solution checking that (6k +2)(6k +5) is of the form 6k +4.
It is easy to check that there are no solutions (just try out the remaining
cases 0, 1, 3, 4).
The above considerations show that a simple equation may have more
than one solution, and contrary to the ordinary linear equations in Q
the solution cannot be given by division in general. An other bad news is
that it can happen, that there is no solution at all. For instance, the next
congruence has no solution:
2x 3 (mod 6).
16 3. chapter. Congruences
How could we gure out that a given congruence has a solution or not?
And if it has solutions, how many solutions are there? And how can we nd
these solutions? We shall deal with these questions in the following.
First, we consider a more special congruence to which more general ones
can be traced back.
3.3.1. Theorem. Let (a, m) = 1. Then the congruence
ax b (mod m)
has one and only one solution.
Proof. On the right b can be considered to be between 0 and m 1. If we
multiply a with 1, 2,. . . , m1, then we get a, 2a, . . . (m1)a. Because there
is no common divisor of a and m, just only one among these numbers will
be congruent to b. In more detail, if ia and ja would be congruent modulo
m, then i and j would be congruent, which is not possible, because they are
dierent and between 0 and m1.
What happens in the more general case, if (a, m) ,= 1? The next theorem
gives the answer.
3.3.2. Theorem. Let (a, m) = d. Then the congruence
ax b (mod m)
has solutions if and only if d [ b.
Proof. If a solution exists, then since d divides a and m, then d must divide
b as well.
If, in contrary, d divides b, then we can use the last point of Theorem
3.1.3. to get
a
d

b
d
_
mod
m
d
_
.
And now we can use the previous theorem, since (a/d, m/d) = 1.
Let us note that this theorem already shows that the previously consid-
ered congruence
2x 3 (mod 6)
has no solution, since (2, 6) = 2 does not divide 3. What is about the
congruence
28x 11 (mod 52)?
The above theorem does not help us to nd solutions. It just tell us that
when solutions do exist. The next theorem gives an aid to construct solutions
and it even tells us how many solutions are there.
3.3. Solution of congruences and the EulerFermat theorem 17
3.3.3. Theorem. Let (a, m) = d and, in order to get solvable congruence,
suppose that d divides b. Then the congruence
ax b (mod m) (3.1)
has exactly d solutions modulo m. These solutions are
t, t +
m
d
, t + 2
m
d
, . . . , t + (d 1)
m
d
. (3.2)
Here t is the (unique) solution of the congruence
a
d
t
b
d
_
mod
m
d
_
. (3.3)
Proof. By the seventh point of Theorem 3.1.3. we can see that all the solu-
tions of 3.3 are also solutions of (3.1). Reversely, the eighth point of Theorem
3.1.3. gives that the solutions of (3.1) are solutions of (3.3). Therefore if t is
a solution of (3.3), all the numbers of (3.2) are solutions of (3.3), and so of
(3.1). The numbers in (3.2) are incongruents, because
t + r
m
d
t + s
m
d
(mod m)
with 0 r < d y 0 s < d. Then
r
m
d
s
m
d
(mod m)
and this congruence with the above inequalities yield that r = s.
We still do not know that (3.1) does not have any solutions. If y is an
other solution, we have that ay b at (mod m), hence y t (mod m/d),
so y = t + k
m
d
for which an integer k 1, 2, . . . , d 1.
How can we apply this theorem? Let us consider again our former con-
gruence
2x 4 (mod 6)
Since (2, 6) = 2, this theorem says that there are two solutions. Yes, this is
true, as we showed before. And what are these two solutions? According to
the theorem,
t, t +
m
d
, i.e., t, t + 3.
And t is the solution of
2
2
t
4
2
_
mod
6
2
_
.
That is, to nd t we have to solve the congruence
t 2 (mod 3).
18 3. chapter. Congruences
And this is easily solvable, the result is t 2. Altogether, the solution of our
congruence
2x 4 (mod 6)
is t 2 and t 2 + 3 = 5, as we saw before.
From now on we know how to gure out the solvability of a congruence
and how to trace back the solution to a reduced congruence. This is Theorem
3.3.3. Only one question remains: how to nd the solution for a reduced
congruence (reduced means that (a, m) = 1). In the previous problem we
nally arrived at the reduced congruence x 2 (mod 3). But we are not so
lucky in general. To take an other example, how could we solve
7x 3 (mod 8)?
Since (7, 8) = 1, we cannot reduce this congruence. The answer is the Euler
Fermat theorem.
Before stating it, we give a short notion.
3.3.4. Denition. Two integers, a and b are said to be coprimes if (a, b) = 1.
3.3.5. Theorem (EulerFermat). Let (a, m) = 1. Then
a
(m)
1 (mod m).
Here (m) is the number of the elements in the set 1, 2, . . . , m which are
coprimes to m.
3.3.6. Denition. The function is the Euler function. It is sometimes
called as totient function.
Before proving the theorem, we might be more familiar with the func-
tion. For example, let us calculate (8) and (14). The results are 4 and 6,
respectively.
Proof. Let S = b
1
, b
2
, . . . , b
(m)
be a set of nonequal integers which are all
coprimes to m. (Clearly, there are at most (m) such integers.) Now let us
multiply these numbers by a. The resulting set is aS = ab
1
, ab
2
, . . . , ab
(m)
.
Now let us multiply the numbers in S and aS. The result is b
1
b
2
b
(m)
and
a
(m)
b
1
b
2
b
(m)
, respectively. Since the sets S and aS contain a maximal
number of coprime numbers with respect to m, their product must be equal,
modulo m. Therefore
a
(m)
b
1
b
2
b
(m)
b
1
b
2
b
(m)
(mod m).
Since all the b
i
s are coprimes to m, we can cancel them, by using the last
part of Theorem 3.1.3..
3.3. Solution of congruences and the EulerFermat theorem 19
This very useful theorem helps us to nd the solution of the previously
given congruence
7x 3 (mod 8).
To solve it, just multiply both sides with 7
(8)1
. Why? Because on the left
we shall have 7
(8)
x:
7
(8)
x 3 7
(8)1
(mod 8),
But, according to the Euler-Fermat theorem, 7
(8)
1 (mod 8) (do not
forget that (7, 8) = 1, so the theorem can be applied). Hence the congruence
turns to be
x 3 7
(8)1
(mod 8).
We can easily calculate that (8) = 4, so
x 3 7
3
(mod 8).
We can reduce this large number 3 7
3
= 1029, since it equals to
1029 = 800 + 229 = 800 + 160 + 69 = 800 + 160 + 64 + 5.
This shows that 1029 5 (mod 8), that is,
x 5 (mod 8).
So all the numbers which solve this congruence belongs to the set represented
by 5: . . . , 11, 3, 5, 13, 21, . . . .
Exercises
3.3.7. Exercise. Find all the numbers x what if you multiple by 28, the
result will have 8 as a residue if you divide it by 12.
In the next two problems, several tricks are needed to reduce the right
hand side into a handeable form.
3.3.8. Exercise. Solve the congruence
9x 2 (mod 11).
3.3.9. Exercise. Solve the congruence
5x 24 (mod 13).
3.3.10. Exercise. What is the last digit of 38
77
?
3.3.11. Exercise. What is the remainder of the division 39
30
: 29?
3.3.12. Exercise. What is the last two digits of 59
43
in base two?
20 3. chapter. Congruences
3.4 The calculation of the function for large
arguments
How many coprime numbers are there to 100 between 1 and 100? Clearly,
the answer is (100). The answer can be given by trial and error, however,
this method is not satisfactory. There is a simple formula with which it is
much more easier to determine (n) for large n. This is the next theorem.
3.4.1. Theorem. Let the prime factors of n are p
1
, p
2
, . . . , p
r
. Then
(n) = n
_
1
1
p
1
__
1
1
p
2
_

_
1
1
p
r
_
.
Proof. We have to substract from n the number of numbers which are divis-
ible by any prime divisor of n:
(n) = n

p
1
[ 1 k n[p
1
[k
. .
p
1
,2p
1
,...,
n
p
1
p
1
[ +

p
1
,p
2
[ 1 k n[p
1
p
2
[k
. .
p
1
p
2
,2p
1
p
2
,...,
n
p
1
p
2
p
1
p
2
[

p
1
,p
2
,p
3
[1 k n[p
1
p
2
p
3
[k[
= n

p
1
n
p
1
+

p
1
p
2
n
p
1
p
2

p
1
,p
2
,p
3
n
p
1
p
2
p
3
+
(n)
n
= 1

1
p
1
+

1
p
1
p
2

1
p
1
p
2
p
3
+
And the right hand side is nothing else but
_
1
1
p
1
_

_
1
1
p
2
_

_
1
1
p
3
_
.
Exercises
3.4.2. Exercise. Show that (100) = 40.
3.4.3. Exercise. What is the last three digits of 2
412
?
3.4.4. Exercise. What is the remainder of the division 54
55
56
: 13?
Part II
Groups
21
22
In this chapter we start to investigate the maybe most fundamental al-
gebraic structures, the groups. If we have an operation with some specic
and usual properties on a set, we have a group. This structure is general
enough to unify the study of many structures in mathematics and other sci-
ences, such as physics or chemistry (crystal groups, symmetries in motions,
etc.)
4
Basic properties of groups
4.1 The notion of groups
4.1.1. Denition. If we have a set G and a function : GG G, then
this function is called a binary operation (an operation with two variables)
on the set G. For simplicity, in place of (x, y) we write a b.
In other words, we have a binary operation if this operation maps overy
pair of elements (a, b) GG to an element of G. This operation can have
several important properties, like the following ones.
4.1.2. Denition. Let G be a set and : G G G be an operation on
it. The operation is commutative if
a b = b a (a, b G).
is associative if
(a b) c = a (b c) (a, b, c G).
4.1.3. Example. The usual addition and multiplication on the set Z or R
are commutative and associative operations.
4.1.4. Denition. If on the set G there is an associative operation, we say
that G is a semigroup. If this operation is commutative, too, G is said to be
a commutative semigroup.
The semigroup and its operation is often denoted together by (G, ).
4.1.5. Denition. Let (G, ) be a semigroup. Let us suppose that there is
a element e G such that
e a = a e = a
for any a G. This element e is called the neutral element of G.
23
24 4. chapter. Basic properties of groups
Moreover, let us suppose that for any element a G there is an associated
inverse a
1
G such that
a a
1
= a
1
a = e,
we say that G or (G, ) is a group.
With other words, we say that G is a group, if it has an associative
operation, a neutral element and any element has an inverse.
An important subclass of the class of groups is the class of groups, on
which the operation is commutative.
4.1.6. Denition. If (G, ) is a group such that the operation is commu-
tative, we say that the group (G, ) (or simply G) is commutative or abelian
1
.
The name group was introduced by variste Galois
2
, who is considered
to be the founder of group theory. He used the groups to investigate the
solvability of equations of higher degree.
4.2 The most basic properties of groups
In this short section we list the most basic consequences of the axioms of the
groups.
First of all, if we have a (semi)group (G, ), it is obvious that it makes
sense multiply more than three elements, because of the associativity. That
is, the value of the product
a
1
a
2
a
n
is independent from the braces (but not from the order of the elements in
general!).
Moreover, the neutral element e G is unique. In contrary, let us suppose
that it has more than one, say e and f. Then
e = e f = f e = f.
Then e = f.
The inverse is unique. Let us suppose the contrary, that is b
1
and b
2
are
the inverses. Then, by denition,
e = a b
1
= a b
2
,
1
The word abelian comes from the name of Niels Henrik Abel (1802-1829) norwegian
mathematician, who investigated such groups.
2
variste Galois (1811-1832), french mathematician
4.3. Examples 25
and then
b
1
= e b
1
= a b
1
b
2
= (a b
1
) b
2
= e b
2
= b
2
.
So b
1
= b
2
.
It follows from the last fact that the inverse of an inverse of an element is
the element itself. In other words, if a
1
is the inverse of a, then a
1
1
= a.
We can also note that an inverse of a product is the product of the inverses
in reverse order:
(a b)
1
= b
1
a
1
.
This is so, because the associativity gives that
(a b)
1
b
1
a
1
= a (b
1
b
1
) a
1
= a e a
1
= a a
1
= e.
We collect these facts in the next proposition.
4.2.1. Proposition. Let (G, ) be an arbitrary group. Then the following
statements are hold.
1. G has a unique neutral element.
2. Any element of G has a unique inverse.
3. a
1
1
= a for any a G.
4. (a b)
1
= b
1
a
1
.
Now we demonstrate that it is always possible to solve the simple equation
a x = b,
that is, if a and b are given elements of a group, then we can determine (the
unique) x which satises this equation.
If we multiply the two sides of the equation by a
1
from the left, we get
that
a
1
a x = a
1
b,
and then
x = a
1
b.
In what follows, we omit the sign to simplify our expressions.
4.3 Examples
The groups have so many dierent appearances and faces that we devote a
whole section to give some basic examples.
26 4. chapter. Basic properties of groups
4.3.1 The set Z and N with the usual operations
The set of integers, Z is very familiar to us. The usual addition with the
sign + makes this set to be a group. However, this is not true for the
multiplication.
Let us check the axioms of the groups. First, the function + : ZZ Z
is a binary operation. For this operation the associativity holds, since
(a + b) + c = a + (b + c)
for any integers a, b, c Z. Moreover, the commutativity also satises, since
a + b = b + a
for any a, b Z. At this point we then know that (Z, +) is a commutative
semigroup. This semigroup has a neutral element, the 0 Z, since
0 + a = a + 0 = a.
Inverse is also exists for any element, since
a + (a) = 0.
Here the inverse a
1
= a, if we apply the usual notations.
We concluded that (Z, +) is a commutative (or abelian) group. This is not
so if we consider the multiplication as an operation. (Z, ) is a commutative
semigroup, but it is not a group, because not every element has an inverse
(in fact, just two elements, 1 have).
The case is more worse if we consider the structures (N, +) and (N, ).
None of them is a group. The rst is a commutative semigroup, and there is
no neutral element (0 , N), and there are no inverses. The second structure
possess almost the same properties, but there is a neutral element, 1 N.
That these really hold, is left to the reader.
4.3.2 The residue classes
The residue classes very often appear in group theory, therefore we dene
them now.
Let us denote the elements of the residue class modulo m by Z
m
. There-
fore
Z
m
= 0, 1, 2, . . . , m1,
remembering that here an element i represents all the integers of the form
mk + i, (k Z).
Let us equip the set Z
m
with the addition, as we did in the modular
arithmetic. Then it is straightforward to see, that (Z
m
, +) is a group. To
4.3. Examples 27
pick a part of the proof, we show that + is really associative in this setting.
Let a, b Z
m
. Then we have to show that
(a + b) + c = a + (b + c).
We emphasize that this equality is between congruence classes. (a + b) + c
and a + (b + c) are equal if
(a + b) + c (a + (b + c))
have the same residue, as integers, modulo m. And this holds. The other
axioms also can be proven easily for (Z
m
, +).
Now take the multiplicativity: (Z
m
, ). It immediately reveals that 0 can-
not have multiplicative inverse, so we have to include zero from the set Z
m
.
Many properties of (Z
m
0, ) are inherited from the multiplication of inte-
gers, hence the associativity, commutativity. The unit element is obviously
the 1. However, the existence of the inverse is an interesting question. To
nd an inverse of a Z
m
0 we have to nd an a
1
such that aa
1
= 1 in
the set Z
m
0, that is, modulo m. This problem is equivalent to solve the
congruence
aa
1
1 (mod m).
We know from section 3.3 that this has a solution if (a, m) [ 1, i.e., (a, m) = 1.
In a group every element has to have an inverse, so this must hold for all
a Z
m
0. It is obvious that this cannot be hold for any m. The integers
which satisfy the property
(1, m) = 1, (2, m) = 1, , , (m2, m) = 1, (m1, m) = 1
are the primes and just the primes. We then have the following theorem,
which has a fundamental importance from the algebraical point of view.
4.3.1. Theorem. The structure (Z
m
0, ) is an abelian group if and only
if m is a prime. If m is not a prime, then (Z
m
0, ) is an abelian semigroup
with unity.
4.3.3 The dihedral groups
The following example shows that group theory is strongly connected to
geometry. Let us consider the hexagon with indexed edges:
Let us dene two transformations on it,
a = rotation with

3
in positive direction,
b = mirroring with respect to the vertical axis.
28 4. chapter. Basic properties of groups
If the operation is the application of the transformations, then it is
obvious that
a a a a a a = a
6
= 1,
b b = b
2
= 1.
Here 1 is the identity transformation. It is a bit more work to show that
b a = a
1
b.
This identity shows that any combination of the transformations a and b can
be reduced to the form
a
i
b
j
(i = 0, 1, . . . , 5; j = 0, 1).
For example, let us reduce the expression a
8
ba
4
b
2
a
2
to this form. Since
a
6
= b
2
= 1 we immediately have that
a
8
ba
4
b
2
a
3
= a
2
ba
4
a
3
= a
2
ba
7
= a
2
ba.
Now we can apply the identity ba = a
1
b th get
a
2
ba = a
2
a
1
b = aaa
1
b = ab.
Then we dene the following group.
4.3.2. Denition. Let
D
6
= 1, a, a
2
, . . . , a
5
, b, ab, a
2
b, . . . , a
5
b.
We equip this set with the above operation. To get more readable formulas,
we omit the star.
It is not so hard to check that D
6
with this operation forms a group. This
group is called the dihedral group of order 6.
One can justify that the relations
a
6
= 1, b
2
= 1, and ba = a
1
b
already dene the group D
6
, no more relations are needed. Therefore we
shall use the following type of denition for a group:
D
6
= a, b [ a
6
= 1, b
2
= 1, ba = a
1
b .
4.3.3. Denition. This form of denition of a group is called giving a group
via dening relations.
The dihedral group can be generalized to any polygon:
4.3.4. Denition.
D
n
= a, b [ a
n
= 1, b
2
= 1, ba = a
1
b .
The group D
n
is called the dihedral group of order 2n.
The dihedral groups are not abelian unless n = 2.
4.3. Examples 29
4.3.4 The symmetric group
If we have a set N = 1, 2, . . . , n, we can consider the bijections on this set:
: N N.
These functions can be described by a table of the form
_
1 2 3 n 1 n
i
1
i
2
i
3
i
n1
i
n
_
,
where i
1
, i
2
, . . . , i
n
are all dierent.
We are interested in groups, so we need an operation and a set. The set
is denoted by S
n
:
S
n
= : N N [ is a bijection,
while the operation is the composition of functions usually denoted by . To
see how this works in these special sets, we x S
6
and two elements in it
=
_
1 2 3 4 5 6
5 4 3 6 1 2
_
S
6
and =
_
1 2 3 4 5 6
3 1 6 5 2 4
_
S
6
.
So the product of and is
= =
_
1 2 3 4 5 6
5 4 3 6 1 2
__
1 2 3 4 5 6
3 1 6 5 2 4
_
=
_
1 2 3 4 5 6
3 5 2 1 4 6
_
.
This product is associative: this is just the property of the composition .
The neutral element is the identity bijection
1 =
_
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6
_
.
The inverse of an element is easy to determine:
If =
_
1 2 3 4 5 6
5 4 3 6 1 2
_
then
1
=
_
1 2 3 4 5 6
5 6 3 2 1 4
_
.
So
1
=
1
= 1.
After seeing how this structure works, we are ready to give the following
denition:
4.3.5. Denition. The set S
n
with the above dened operation is a group,
which is called the symmetry group of parameter n.
By a simple combinatorial reason [S
n
[ = n!.
30 4. chapter. Basic properties of groups
4.3.5 The circle group of the two dimensional euclidean
space
Up to now we had considered nite groups (except (Z, +)). Therefore we
take the transformations of the form
_
cos sin
sin cos
_
( R)
on the two dimensional euclidean space R
2
. These transformations give a
rotation of vectors with angle in positive direction (counterclockwise).
Let us dene the set
SO(2, R) =
__
cos sin
sin cos
_

R
_
.
The operation in this set we dene as the usual matrix multiplication. There-
fore the properties of this operation inherit from the usual one. Therefore
the structure
(SO(2, R), )
is a noncommutative group. The associacivity as we said above is inher-
ited. The neutral element is the rotation with the angle = 0 which belongs
to the identity matrix
_
1 0
0 1
_
.
The inverse of an element of the group (with an angle ) is the rotation with
:
_
cos sin
sin cos
_
1
=
_
cos() sin()
sin() cos()
_
.
The justication that this latter matrix is really the matrix inverse of the
rst one, we left to the reader.
Now we give the denition of our group.
4.3.6. Denition. Let
SO(2, R) =
__
cos sin
sin cos
_

R
_
be the set of rotations of vectors in the two dimensional euclidean space. If
we equip this set with the usual matrix multiplication, this set will be an
innite nonabelian group. This group is called two dimensional rotational
group.
4.3. Examples 31
Exercises
4.3.7. Exercise. Let us dene an operation on the set R1 as follows:
a b = a + b + ab.
Check the group axioms on (R 1, ).
4.3.8. Exercise. Let H be a nonempty set and P(H) be the set of all the
subsets of H. Determine that (P(H), ) and (P(H), ) are groups or not.
4.3.9. Exercise. Let I =] 1, 1[ be the interval in R. We dene the
operation on the set I as
a b =
a + b
1 + ab
.
Prove that (I, ) is a group.
4.3.10. Exercise. Let
H =
_
_
_
_
_
1 a b
0 1 c
0 0 1
_
_

a, b, c R
_
_
_
.
The operation will be the usual matrix multiplication. Prove that (H, ) is a
group. This group is called the Heisenberg group.
5
Subgroups and cosets
The examples above show that a group have many dierent appearances.
Therefore a general theory which describe the structure of groups without
lying on a specic representation will be extremely useful. In what follows
we introduce this general theory in more details.
5.1 Subgroups
5.1.1. Denition. If we have a group G and a subset H of G it can happen,
that this smaller set is also a group with the same operation. If this is the
case, we say that H is a subgroup of G. This fact is denoted by
H G.
The singleton set 1 and the whole set G are always subgroups of G.
To see a nontrivial example, we can take the dihedral group D
6
. Then
the subset
H = 1, a, a
2
, a
3
, a
4
, a
5

is a subgroup, as well as
I = 1, b.
If we collect the even powers of a, they also form a subgroup:
J = 1, a
2
, a
4
.
There is a simple test which helps us to decide whether a subset is a
subgroup or not.
5.1.2. Theorem. Let H G such that H ,= . H is a subgroup of G if and
only if
a
1
b H for all a, b H.
32
5.2. Cosets 33
Proof. It is obvious that if two elements a and b are in H, then their product
have to be in H. Moreover, if a in H then its inverse is must be in H.
Considering the two statements together, a
1
b must be in H. The reverse
statement is the same.
As an application, we can see that the set
H = 1, ab, a
2
b, a
3
b, a
4
b, a
5
b D
6
is not a subgroup, since, for example,
(ab)(a
2
b) = a(ba
2
)b = aa
2
bb = a
1
= a
5
, H.
It is easy to prove the following proposition.
5.1.3. Proposition. Any intersection of subgroups is a subgroup.
5.2 Cosets
The following construction will be very useful in the investigation of groups.
For example, with the aid of it we can easily prove that the order of the
subgroups is always a divisor of the order of the group. This will be the
theorem of Lagrange.
5.2.1. Denition. Let (H, ) (G, ) be a subgroup and g G. The sets
g H = g h [ h H,
H g = h g [ h H
are called left coset and right coset of G with respect to H.
To see an example, let us consider the group (Z, +). We dene the set
nZ as
nZ = na [ a Z,
where n > 1 integer. Then H := (nZ, +) is a subgroup of G := (Z, +):
(nZ, +) (Z, +).
The left (or right) cosets of G with respect to H are exactly the residue
classes modulo n:
0 + H = H,
1 + H = na + 1 [ a Z,
2 + H = na + 2 [ a Z,
.
.
.
n 1 + H = na + n 1 [ a Z.
34 5. chapter. Subgroups and cosets
5.2.2. Denition. An element of a left or right coset is the representant of
the coset.
For example, if n = 5, then 12 is a representant of 2 + H, since 12
5a + 2 [ a Z.
The next theorem lists some basic properties of cosets. From now on we
will not write out the operation , therefore the cosets will have the form gH
and Hg in place of g H and H g, respectively.
5.2.3. Theorem. Let H G. Then
1. gH = fH if g fH,
2. The intersection of two cosets (both left or both right) is the empty set
or the cosets are equal,
3. The cosets as sets of G with respect to H give a disjoint cover of the
set G.
Proof. Let us suppose that g fH. We show that gH = fH. First we show
that gH fH. If g fH then g = fh for some h H. Taking an element
in gH this has the form gh
1
for some h
1
H. The above statement gives
that gh
1
= fhh
1
fH. Therefore the element gh
1
fH.
Similarly, gH fH, since g = fh, so f = gh
1
. An element in fH has
the form fh
1
for some h
1
H, so fh
1
= gh
1
h
1
gH.
To prove the second statement, let us suppose that the intersection of
two cosets gH and fH is nonempty, that is, h gH fH. Then h gH
and h fH, so by the previous point gH = fH.
The third statement follows, since the intersection of dierent cosets is
empty. Moreover, if we had an element g not covered by none of the cosets,
gH would be a new coset, which is dierent from the previous ones.
The above theorem has an important corollary, the theorem of Lagrange.
Before that, we give a short denition.
5.2.4. Denition. The number of elements in the group G is called the
order of G.
5.2.5. Theorem (Lagrange
1
). If H is a subgroup of the nite group G,
then the order of H is a divisor of G.
Proof. By the last theorem, we know that G is a disjoint union of the dierent
cosets with respect ot H. Therefore, as a set,
G = g
1
H g
2
H g
n
H
for some positive integer n. Since [g
i
H[ = H[ for all i, we have that
[G[ = [g
1
H[ +[g
2
H[ + +[g
n
H[ = n[H[,
which means that the order of H divides the order of G.
5.3. Generating systems and cyclic groups 35
5.2.6. Denition. Let H G be a subgroup of G. If it is possible to
decompose G as a nite union of cosets with respect to H, that is, there is a
natural number n such that
G = g
1
H g
2
H g
n
H,
we call this n as the index of H. This number is denoted by
[G : H].
5.2.7. Example. We have seen that the cosets of (nZ, +) (Z, +) are the
residue classes modulo n. Therefore
[(Z, +) : (nZ, +)] = n.
5.2.8. Example. Now we consider the subgroup H := 1, a, . . . , a
5
D
6
.
The left cosets are
1 H = H,
b H = b, ba, ba
2
, ba
3
, ba
4
, ba
5
= b, a
5
b, a
4
b, a
3
b, a
2
b, ab.
We have listed all the elements in the two (necessarily disjoint) cosets, there-
fore
D
6
= H b H.
This shows that H has index 2:
[D
6
: 1, a, . . . , a
5
] = 2.
5.2.9. Exercise. Seek the left cosets of G with respect to H, where
1. G = (R, +) and H = (Z, +),
2. G = (C, +) and H = (R, +),
3. G = (C 0, ) and H = z C [ [z[ = 1.
5.3 Generating systems and cyclic groups
We have seen that the intersection of of arbitrary number of subgroups in a
group G is a subgroup. So it makes sense to take a set M G and take the
intersect of all the groups containing M. This intersection is the smallest
subgroup which contains M. This subgroup will be denoted by M.
5.3.1. Denition. Let M G. If M = G, we say that M is a generating
set G, or, in other words, M generates G.
36 5. chapter. Subgroups and cosets
For example, in (Z, +) M = 1 is a generating system, since any group
containing 1 must contain 1+1, 1+1+1, and so on, so M N. Moreover,
any group containing 1 must contain 1 + (1) = 0, 1, (1) + (1), and so
on. Hence M = Z. We have got that
1 = Z,
that is, this set generates Z, in other words, a generating system for (Z, +).
However, if we take M (Z, ), the smallest subgroup containing M is M
itself, so it is not a generating system.
An other example: if M = 2 in (Z, +), then M = 2Z.
5.3.2. Denition. If a group G contains a generating system with only one
element, then this group is called cyclic.
We have seen that 1 = (Z, +), so the group (Z, +) is cyclic. The
same can be state for (Z
n
, +). We state this observation in a proposition.
5.3.3. Proposition. The groups (Z, +) and (Z
n
, +) are cyclic.
5.3.4. Theorem. A cyclic group of order n is always of the form
G = 1, a, a
2
, . . . , a
n1
.
Proof. If a = G, then we have that any power of a must be in G. That
these powers are dierent, also follows. In contrary, let us suppose that there
are two powers i and j such that 1 i, j n 1 and i ,= j but a
i
= a
j
. We
can suppose that j = i + r for some r. Then we have that
a
i
= a
i+r
.
By simplication, 1 = a
r
. This means that the powers 1, a, . . . , a
r
already
give the whole group, which is a contradiction.
We have that a cyclic group of order n is unique, so we introduce the next
notation.
5.3.5. Denition. From now on the cyclic group of order n will be denoted
by C
n
, that is,
C
n
= g = 1, g, g
2
, . . . , g
n1
.
A simple but important denition will come.
5.3.6. Denition. The smallest natural number r for which g
r
= 1 for the
group element g, we call the order of g, and we denote by o(g).
For the sake of simplicity from now on if we have a generating system
g
1
, g
2
, . . . , we simply leave the set notation and write g
1
, g
2
, . . . .
5.4. Subgroup structure and generators of several groups 37
5.3.7. Theorem. For any nite group
1. The order of the elements divide the order of the group,
2. if the order of a group is a prime number, the group is cyclic.
Proof. 1) Let us take an element g in our group. Then g is a subgroup of
order o(g). Lagranges theorem yields that this order divides the order of the
group.
2) Let the order of our group G be a prime p. Then we pick an element
g in the group. The order of the subgroup g divides p, so it equals to p.
Hence g = G, so G is cyclic.
5.3.1 The group structure of (Z
n
, +) and the Bzout
Lemma
The most fundamental and most frequently appearing nite group in algebra
is (Z
n
, +). Therefore it is worth to deal with its properties and its structure
in more detail. We have seen that this group is cyclic. Moreover, it can
easily be seen that all the subgroups of (Z, +) are of the form (Z
n
, +). This
immediately yields a theorem which we used before without proof. Now we
give this missing proof as well.
5.3.8. Theorem. (Bzouts lemma) Let m, n Z and d = (m, n). Then
d = am + bn
for some integers a and b.
Proof. Let
H = mZ + nZ = um + vn [ u, v Z.
Then H is a subgroup of (Z, +), hence has the form H = d

Z. This means
that there are u and v such that
d

= um + vn. (5.1)
Since d divides m and n, it follows that d [ d

. On the other hand, since d


is the maximal common divisor of m and n, um + vn = d

[ d. This means
that d = d

. Now (5.1) gives the statement.


5.4 Subgroup structure and generators of sev-
eral groups
After considering the general notion of subgroups ang generators, we deter-
mine these for several groups we already know.
38 5. chapter. Subgroups and cosets
5.4.1 The subgroups ang generators of the cyclic groups
The next theorem determine, when an element in C
n
is a generator.
5.4.1. Theorem. Let C
n
be a cyclic group of order n. Moreover, let g
t
C
n
such that t < n = o(g). The element g
t
is a generator of C
n
if and only if
(t, n) = 1. As a consequence is that in C
n
there are (n) generators.
Proof. If (t, n) > 1, then o(g
t
) < n, so g
t
cannot be a generator.
5.4.2. Example. In C
6
= g the element g
4
cannot be a generator:
(g
4
)
1
= g
4
, (g
4
)
2
= g
8
= g
2
, (g
4
)
3
= g
1
2 = 1.
The elements g
5
is a generator, however.
The next theorem follows:
5.4.3. Theorem. C
n
has an (and only one) subgroup of order k if k [ n.
The generator of this subgroup is g
n/k
.
5.4.4. Example. In the subgroup C
8
= g there are three subgroups:
C
1
= 1, C
2
= 1, g
4
, C
4
= 1, g
2
, g
4
, g
6
.
Since the group (Z
n
, +) is cyclic (the element g = 1 is a generator), we
can apply the aboves to this group as well.
5.4.2 The subgroups and generators of U(Z
n
)
We have seen earlier that the structure (Z
n
, ) cannot always be a group,
because an element a Z
n
does not have a multiplicative inverse if (a, n) > 1.
However, it is possible to restrict us to the invertible elements and put them
into a new set. This new set turns to be a group.
5.4.5. Denition. Let U(Z
n
) be the set of the invertible elements of Z
n
.
This new set is a group and it is called as the multiplicative group of Z
n
. The
structure (Z
n
, +) is always a group, it is called the additive group of Z
n
.
The order of U(Z
n
) is (n).
5.4.6. Example. Fixing n = 10, let us determine U(Z
10
). The relative
primes to 10 in the set Z
10
are 1, 3, 7, 9, so
U(Z
10
) = 1, 3, 7, 9.
Let us take the powers of 3:
3
1
= 3, 3
2
= 9, 3
3
= 27 = 2 10 + 7

= 7 (mod 10).
Therefore we have proved that U(Z
10
) is cyclic.
5.4. Subgroup structure and generators of several groups 39
It is interesting to know, when U(Z
n
) is cyclic. The next theorem gives
the answer. We do not prove the theorem.
5.4.7. Theorem. The multiplicative group U(Z
n
) is cyclic if and only if n
satises one of the followings:
1. n = 2 or n = 4,
2. n = p
t
, where p is an odd prime,
3. n = 2p
t
, where p is an odd prime.
Since n = 2 5
1
, U(Z
10
) is cyclic, as we have seen in the last example.
5.4.3 The generators of S
n
It is unhopeful to give a short description of the subgroups of S
n
, because
its structure is complicated. What we can do is the determination of the
generators of S
n
.
Let us take a permutation on S
8
:
=
_
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
7 3 2 6 1 8 5 4 9
_
.
We can realize, that the elements 1, 7, 5; 2, 3; 4, 6, 8 and 9 are permuted
without mixing with the other groups. The subpermutations of the form
1 7 5 1, 2 3 1, 4 6 8 4, 9 9
are called cycles. The last elements can be left out, because the repetition.
The cycles are denoted by
_
1 7 5
_
,
_
2 3
_
,
_
4 6 8
_
,
_
9
_
.
The cycles like (9) can be left out, this does not cause confusion. Such cycles
are called xed points.
Up to order and xed points, any permutation can be rewritten as a
product of cycles. In our example,
=
_
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
7 3 2 6 1 8 5 4 9
_
=
_
1 7 5
_ _
2 3
_ _
4 6 8
_
.
This yields that we have the following proposition.
5.4.8. Proposition. In the group S
n
, the cycles are generators.
40 5. chapter. Subgroups and cosets
We can prove more: any cycle can be written out as a product of cycles
of length two:
_
l
1
l
2
l
t
_
=
_
l
1
l
t
_ _
l
1
l
t1
_

_
l
1
l
2
_
.
In our example,
_
1 7 5
_
=
_
1 5
_ _
1 7
_
.
The cycles of length two are called transpositions.
Then we have the description of the generators in S
n
:
5.4.9. Proposition. In the group S
n
, the transpositions are generators.
Finally we remark that the order of a permutation, as an element of the
group S
n
is the greatest common multiple of the order of the cycles.
Exercises
5.4.10. Exercise. Let M = 2, 3. Determine MM in the groups (Z, +)
and (Z, ).
5.4.11. Exercise. Determine the generated subgroup
__
1 2 3
3 2 1
__
S
3
.
6
Special subgroups in groups
There are several subgroups in groups which play a more important role,
than the others. In this chapter we introduce these subgroups and we show
how one can apply them to reveal the structures of groups.
6.1 Normal subgroups
In abelian groups the left and right cosets are always equal. In general, non-
abelian groups this is not always the case. For exampple, if in D
4
we choose
H = 1, b, then
aH = a, ab , = Ha = a, ba = a, a
3
b.
However, it can happen that the left and right cosets are equal: in D
4
we
can choose H = 1, a, a
2
, a
3
to see that
bH = b, ba, ba
2
, ba
3
= Hb = b, ab, a
2
b, a
3
b = b, ba
3
, ba
2
, ba.
Those special subgroups for which the left and right cosets are equal, have a
special name.
6.1.1. Denition. Let H G be a subgroup. If for any g G
gH = Hg,
that is, all the the left and right cosets are equal, we say that H is a normal
subgroup in G. In notations,
H G.
We have seen that
1, a, a
2
, a
3
D
4
,
but
1, b ,D
4
.
41
42 6. chapter. Special subgroups in groups
6.1.2. Theorem. Any subgroup of index two is normal.
Proof. If H has index 2 in G, then
G = H gH = H Hg.
Since H and gH are disjoint, it is necessary that gH = Hg.
There is a test, which can be often applied to check the normality of a
subgroup.
6.1.3. Denition. We say that a and b are conjugated, if there is a c such
that
a = c
1
bc.
6.1.4. Remark. The conjugation is an equivalence relation. This implies
that this relation gives a disjoint union of classes. In each class the elements
are conjugated. Hence we have that
G = C
g
1
C
g
2
C
g
n
,
where C
g
i
is a class of conjugated elements. These classes are called conjugacy
classes.
6.1.5. Theorem. A subgroup H in G is normal if and only if H contains
all the conjugates of all of its elements.
Proof. If H is normal, then gH = Hg, so gHg
1
contains the conjugates of
the elements in H.
Now let us suppose that ghg
1
H for all g G. Then ghg
1
= h
1
, so
hg
1
= g
1
h
1
for any g. This implies that Hg
1
= g
1
H. Substituting g
1
by g, we have that Hg = gH, so H is normal.
6.2 Special subgroups of groups
6.2.1 The centre
There is a subgroup in any groups which measure how far is a group to be
a an abelian one.
6.2.1. Denition. Let (G) be the set of all the elements which are com-
muting with all the elements in G. That is,
(G) = g G [ gf = fg for all f G.
This set is a normal subgroup of G, which is called the centre of G.
6.2. Special subgroups of groups 43
Of course, if G is abelian, then (G) = G.
6.2.2. Example. We show that (D
m
) = 1, a
m/2
if mis even, and (D
m
) =
1 if m is odd.
It is obvious that the powers of a are commuting with the powers of a,
that is, a
k
a
l
= a
l
a
k
for all powers k and l. Moreover, it is also easy to see
that
a
m/2
b = ba
m/2
= ba
m/2
,
so a
m/2
is really in the centre if m is even. therefore we have to check the
commutativity of g = a
k
with a
i
b (0 i m1).
a
k
(a
i
b) = (a
i
b)a
k
if and only if
a
k+i
b = a
ik
b, that is a
k+i
= a
ik
.
This can happen if and only if a
k
= a
k
, so k = m/2.
6.2.2 Centralizer
6.2.3. Denition. Let M G. Then we dene the subset C
G
(M) G in
which all the elements are commuting with the elements in M:
C
G
(M) = g G [ gm = mg for all m M.
This subset is a subgroup of G, which is called the centralizator of M is G.
If M = G, then, of course, C
G
(M) = (G).
That C
G
(M) is really a subgroup, one can prove in the next way: let m
1
and m
2
be two elements of C
G
(M). Then m
1
m
1
2
g = m
1
gm
1
2
= gm
1
m
1
2
.
This is so, because if an element m is commutative with g, then this is so
with m
1
and g as well. We have proven that if m
1
, m
2
C
G
(M), then
m
1
m
1
2
C
G
(M). According to Theorem 5.1.2., we have that C
G
(M) is a
subgroup.
6.2.3 Commutator subgroup
6.2.4. Denition. Let a and b be two elements in the group G. The element
a
1
b
1
ab
of the group G is called the commutator of a and b, and it is denoted by (a, b).
If (a, b) = 1, we say that a and b are commuting. The set of the commutators
is not necessarily a subgroup, therefore we dene the commutator subgroup
as the subgroup generated by all the commutators. This subgroup is denoted
by G

. Hence
G

= (a, b) [ a, b G
.
44 6. chapter. Special subgroups in groups
6.2.5. Theorem. The commutator subgroup G

is a normal subgroup in G:
G

G.
Proof. A subgroup is normal if and only if, as a set, contains all the conju-
gates of all of its elements. This was Theorem 6.1.5.. So we have to show
that G

contains all the conjugates of all commutators (a, b):


c
1
(a, b)c = c
1
a
1
b
1
abc = c
1
a
1
cc
1
b
1
cc
1
acc
1
bc =
(c
1
ac)
1
(c
1
bc)
1
(c
1
ac)(c
1
bc) = (c
1
ac, c
1
bc).
And the last element is really a commutator.
Moreover, since the commutators generate G

, any element is a prod-


uct of commutators. So, according to the above argument, not just for the
commutators, but for all the elements the conjugates are in G

.
6.2.4 The quaternion group
We study the above introduced notions in a new group. Let
Q = 1, i, j, k
is a set of 8 elements such that
i
j
= j
2
= k
2
= 1, ij = k, jk = l, ki = j, ji = k, kj = l, ik = j.
It can be easily seen, that Q is a noncommutative group. First, let us de-
termine the subgroups of Q. Q has 8 elements, so it can have subgroups of
order 1, 2, 4, 8. The subgroups of order 1 and 8 are 1 and Q, respectively.
A subgroup of order 2 cannot have any of the elements i, j or k, since it must
have contain the powers i
2
= 1, j
2
= 1 or k
2
= 1 as well. Therefore the
unique subgroup of orde two is 1, 1. The subgroups of order 4 are
1, i, 1, j, 1, k.
This is so, because if a subgroup contained i and j, it must have contain k
as well. But it must contain 1, so we have more than 4 elements.
Now let us verify the normality of the subgroups. It is obvious that
H = is a normal subgroup.
Let H = 1, i. Then
1 = H = 1, i, 1H = 1, i,
iH = 1, i, iH = 1, i,
jH = 1, k, jH = 1, k,
kH = 1, j, kH = 1, j.
Hence
Q = H jH kH.
6.2. Special subgroups of groups 45
Exercises
6.2.6. Exercise. Show that (G) is really a normal subgroup.
6.2.7. Exercise. Prove that
(G) =

gG
C
G
(g).
6.2.8. Exercise. Let L M. Then prove that
C
G
(L) C
G
(M).
6.2.9. Exercise. Let G be the group of the 22 real matrices with the usual
matrix product. Moreover, let
g =
_
1 0
a 1
_
be an element of G (a is a xedreal number). Determine the centrealizator
of g in G. That is,
C
G
(g) =?
7
The factor group
There is a very useful method, with which we can construct new groups from
older ones. This method is originally due to Gauss
1
.
Let H be a normal subgroup in a group G. Since H is normal, the cosets
gH and Hg are equal. If we consider gH as an element (and not a set), we
can leave the letter H. The set of cosets will be denoted by G/H. So, for
example, if we have that
G = g
1
H g
2
H g
n
H,
then
G/H = g
1
, g
2
, . . . , g
n
.
Note that the elements in G/H are originally sets, and they are not elements
of the group G. We would like to have a group, so we have to equip G/H
with an operation. This operation is the multiplication of two representants
of the two cosets to be multiplied. Hence let a and b be two elements of
g
1
H and g
2
H, respectively. Their product will be in a third coset g
3
H. We
prove that a and b can be arbitrary in g
1
H and g
2
H, their product is always
an element of g
3
H, therefore the multiplication is well dened. Indeed, if
a = g
1
h
1
and b = g
2
h
2
(where h
1
, h
2
H), then
ab = g
1
h
1
g
2
h
2
= g
1
g
2
(g
1
2
h
1
g
2
)h
2
g
1
g
2
H.
This is so, because a normal subgroup, here H, contains all the conjugates of
its elements, so g
1
2
h
1
g
2
H. We see that a and b can be arbitrary elements
of the cosets g
1
H and g
2
H, the result is always in g
1
g
2
H. Or, if we use our
new notation G/H, the product of g
1
and g
2
is well dened.
The multiplication is associative, this inherits from G. The unity in
(G/H, ) is 1 = H and the inverse of an element gH = g is g
1
H = g
1
.
Hence we can give the next denition.
7.0.10. Denition. Let H G be a normal subgroup in G. The above
dened structure (G/H, ) is a group, which is the factor group of G with
respect to H.
1
Carl Friedrich Gauss (-) german mathematician.
46
47
7.0.11. Example. Let (Z, +) be the additive group of the integers. Let
H = 6 be the subgroup generated by the integer 6. Then
Z = (0 + H) (1 + H) (5 + H).
Hence
Z/H = 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 = Z
6
.
This means that the factor group of (Z, +) withrespect to H is the residue
class modulo 6.
7.0.12. Example. Now let G = D
6
and H = a
3
= 1, a
3
. Then
H = 1, a
3
, aH = a, a
4
, a
2
H = a
2
, a
5
,
bH = b, a
3
b, abH = ab, a
4
b, a
2
bH = a
2
b, a
5
b.
These cosets cover G. As it is easy to see, the factor group is
G/H = 1, a, a
2
, b, ab, a
2
b
is the dieder group of order 6, that is,
D
6
/a
3
= D
3
.
The next theorem is very useful.
7.0.13. Theorem. If G

is the commutator subgroup of G, then the factor


group G/G

is abelian.
Proof. It can be seen that gh = hg(g, h), moreover, that (g, h)G

= G

, since
(g, h) G

. Then
gG

hG

= ghG

= hg(g, h)G

= hgG

= hG

gG

,
whence it follows that G/G

is really commutative.
Exercises
7.0.14. Exercise. Determine the G/H factorgroup, where G and H are
given by:
1. G = (Z, +) and H = 10,
2. G = (Z
8
, +) and H = 0, 4,
3. G = U(Z
11
) and H = 1, 10,
48 7. chapter. The factor group
4. G is the group of the 2 2 real matrices with the multiplication and
H = g G [ det(g) > 0,
5. G is the same as in the previous point, and H = g G [ det(g) = 1.
6. G = (Q, ) and H = p, where p is a xed prime.
7. G = C[0, 1], the group of continuous real functions on [0, 1] with the
addition, and H = f G [ f(0) = 0.
7.0.15. Exercise. Let H be a normal subgroup of G such that HG

= 1.
Show that
H (G).
8
Homomorphisms
8.1 Denition and examples of homomorphisms
In the investigation of the connection between groups the homomorphisms
play a fundamental role. If we can have a function between two groups such
that this function is bijective and preserve the operation, we have the right
to think that these structures are the same.
If this function preserve the operation but is not bijective, just injective,
we have that the domain is the same as a substructure of the codomain. In
what follows, we clarify these arguments.
8.1.1. Denition. Let G and L be two groups. The function f : G L is
called homomorphism if
f(ab) = f(a)f(b) (a, b G).
8.1.2. Example. Let us dene the group GL(n, R) as the set of n n in-
vertible real matrices with the multiplication. This group is called general
linear group of order n. The function f = det : GL(n, R) R 0 is a
homomorphism, since det(AB) = det(A) det(B).
8.1.3. Example. Let (R
+
, ) be the group of positive integers with the mul-
tiplication. The function log : R
+
R is a homomorphism from (R
+
, ) to
(R, +). This is so, since log(ab) = log(a) + log(b).
8.1.4. Example. The modulo operation as a function is a homomorphism
between (Z, +) and (Z
m
, +).
In algebra the surjectivity and injectivity has their own names.
8.1.5. Denition. If f : G L is a surjective homomorphism, we say that
f is an epimorphism. If f is injective and surjective, it is called isomorphism.
49
50 8. chapter. Homomorphisms
8.1.6. Denition. If G and L two groups such that there is an isomorphism
between them, we say that they are isomorphic. In sign,
G

= L.
8.1.7. Example. The positive real numbers with the multiplication and the
real numbers with the addition are isomorphic via the log function:
(R
+
, )

= (R, +).
The isomorphic structures are considered to be identical.
8.1.8. Denition. If f : G L be a homomorphism, the set
ker f = g G [ f(g) = 1
is called the kernel of G. (In the equation f(g) = 1 on the right 1 is the
neutral element of L.)
8.1.9. Denition. It is obvious that 1 ker f always holds. If ker f = 1,
we say that f is a monomorphism.
That 1 ker f can be seen as follows:
f(a) = f(a 1) = f(a)f(1),
so f(1) = 1, that is, 1 ker f. Much more is true for the kernel. Namely, it is
a normal subgroup of G. In addition, if the kernel is trivial (ker f = 1) then
f is injective as a function. These are two statements of the next theorem.
8.1.10. Theorem. If f : G L is a homomorphism, then
1. f(1) = 1,
2. f(g
1
) = f(g)
1
,
3. if f is a monomorphism, then it is injective as a function,
4. ker f G,
5. the image of a subgroup in G is a subgroup in L: H G f(H)
f(G),
6. the image of a normal subgroup in G is a normal subgroup in L if f is
an epimorphism.
8.2. Isomorphism theorems 51
Proof. 1. we have seen after the Denition 8.1.9..
2. Since 1 = f(gg
1
) = f(g)f(g
1
), the result comes.
3. If f is a monomorphism, we prove that a ,= b implies f(a) ,= f(b).
In contrary, let us suppose that f(a) = f(b). Then f(a)f(b)
1
= 1, but
1 = f(a)f(b)
1
= f(a)f(b
1
) = f(ab
1
). If ker f = 1, this means that
ab
1
ker f, so a = b.
4. First we prove that ker f G. If a, b ker f, then
f(a
1
b) = f(a)
1
f(b) = 1
1
1 = 1,
so a
1
b ker f. This means by Theorem 5.1.2. that ker f is a subgroup.
To prove the normality of the kernel, we prove that all the conjugates of
all the elements are in the kernel, too (applying Theorem 6.1.5.). Let g G
and a ker f. Then
f(g
1
ag) = f(g)
1
f(a)f(g) = f(g)
1
f(g) = 1,
that is, g
1
ag ker f.
5. If H is a subgroup of G, then for h
1
, h
2
H we have that h
1
1
h
2
H.
This yields that
f(H) f(h
1
1
h
2
) = f(h
1
1
)f(h
2
) = f(h
1
)
1
f(h
2
),
hence f(H) is a subgroup, indeed.
6. Let H and f an epimorphism. If we x an element h H, we know
that ghg
1
H and that there is an l L such that f(g) = l. Altogether,
l
1
f(h)l = f(g)
1
f(h)f(g) = f(g
1
hg) f(H).
Therefore f(H) contains the conjugates of its elements, so normal.
8.2 Isomorphism theorems
There are three fundamental theorems with respect to homomorphisms. The
rst one states that if we have a homomorphism between groups, then the
domain factor the kernel is isomorphic to the image. This will be the homo-
morphism theorem. In other words, it states that if we exclude (or factor
out) the kernel of the homomorphism in the domain, then the resulting factor
is isomorphic to the image.
The second theorem which is called as the rst isomorphism theorem
gives relations among intersections of subgroups and factors. The third
theorem states that if we factorize the group G with a normal subgroup N
and the result is factorized by A/N (where N A, N and A are normal),
then the resulting factor group is isomorphic with G/A.
At the end we prove the fundamental fact that every group of order n is
isomorphic with a subgroup of S
n
.
52 8. chapter. Homomorphisms
8.2.1. Theorem (Homomorphism theorem). Let f : G L be a ho-
momorphism. Then
G/ ker f

= Imf.
Proof. Let us consider an element g G and the inverse image of f(g):
f
1
(g) = u G [ f(u) = f(g).
Two statement we need. The rst is obvious: g f
1
(g). The second one is
that g ker f f
1
(g). To see this, we pick an element u g ker f: u = gh,
where h ker f. Then f(u) = f(gh) = f(g)f(h) = f(g) 1 = f(g).
We also prove that g ker f f
1
(g) and thus g ker f = f
1
(g). Indeed, if
u f
1
(g), then
f(u
1
g) = f(u
1
)f(g) = f(u)
1
f(g) = f(g)
1
f(g) = 1,
so u
1
g ker f, which means that v g ker f. Since v was arbitrary, we
have that any element in f
1
(g) is an element of g ker f.
Now we dene : G/ ker f Imf as (g ker f) = f(g). It is obvious
that is a homomorphism, since
(g ker f hker f) = f(gh) = f(g)f(h) = (g ker f)(hker f).
It is also obvious that is an epimorphism. To see that is an isomorphism,
we need to prove that it is monomorphism. But this is true, since (g ker f) =
f(g) = 1 if and only if g is in the kernel of f, that is, if in the factor group
it equals to one. So ker = 1, and is really an isomorphism.
In general it is not true, that a product of two subgroups H
1
, H
2
G is a
subgroup of G. But one of them is normal, the product will be a subgroup.
Moreover, if H is a subgroup and N is a normal subgroup in G, then
H N is normal in H. This is obvious, but more is true: the product factor
N is isomorphic with H factor the intersection. These statements are the
ingredients of the next theorem.
8.2.2. Theorem (First isomorphism theorem). If H G and N G,
then
1. H N is a subgroup of G,
2. H N is a normal subgroup in H,
3. HN/N

= H/H N.
8.2. Isomorphism theorems 53
Proof. Let u, v HN. Then u = h
1
n
1
and v = h
2
n
2
. Since N is normal,
(h
1
1
h
2
)
1
n
1
1
(h
1
1
h
2
) N, and
u
1
v = n
1
1
h
1
1
h
2
n
2
= h
1
1
h
2
(h
1
2
h
1
)n
1
1
(h
1
1
h
2
)n
2
=
h
1
1
h
2
[(h
1
1
h
2
)
1
n
1
1
(h
1
1
h
2
)]n
2
HN.
This and Theorem5.1.2. yields that HN is a subgroup.
The second statement is straightforward.
To see how we can prove the third statement, we dene the map :
HN H/H N such that if x = hn HN, then (x) = h(H N).
It is not totally obvious that is a function (that is, one element has at
most one image). To see that this is true, we suppose that x has an other
representation, x = h
1
n
1
. Then hn = h
1
n
1
, which implies that h
1
1
h =
n
1
n
1
H N, whence it follows that h
1
(H N) and h(H N) have
common elements, so they coincide by the rst point of Theorem 5.2.3.
is obviously a homomorphism with kernel N. Therefore our statement
is a consequence of the Homomorphism Theorem.
8.2.3. Theorem. If H and N are normal subgroups of G such that N H
then H/N G/N and (G/N)/(H/N)

= G/H.
The theorem says that it is possible to cancel N in (G/N)/(H/N), so in
this case the / sign work as a usual division.
Proof. Let us dene the homomorphisms
: G G/N, (g) = gN,
and
: G/N (G/N)/(H/N), (gN) = gN(H/N)
for g G. Then their composition
: G (G/N)/(H/N)
is also a homomorphism, which has H as a kernel. Then the result follows
from the Homomorphism Theorem.
We close this section with an important consequence of the Homomor-
phism Theorem.
8.2.4. Theorem (Cayley
1
). Every subgroup of order n is isomorphic with
a subgroup of S
n
.
54 8. chapter. Homomorphisms
To give a more picturesque meaning of this theorem, every nite group
is a subgroup of a permutation group, and there are no other groups. (If we
identify groups with their isomorphic variants.)
Proof. Let or group G be g
1
, g
2
, . . . , g
n
. Let us consider the symmetric
group S
G
on the set G and dene an element (a permutation) as
(g
i
) =
_
g
1
g
2
g
n
g
i
g
1
g
i
g
2
g
i
g
n
_
.
Then : G S
G
is a homomorphism:
(g
i
g
j
) =
_
g
1
g
2
g
n
(g
i
g
j
)g
1
(g
i
g
j
)g
2
(g
i
g
j
)g
n
_
=
_
g
j
g
1
g
j
g
2
g
j
g
n
g
i
(g
j
g
1
) g
i
(g
j
g
2
) g
i
(g
j
g
n
)
__
g
1
g
2
g
n
g
j
g
1
g
j
g
2
g
j
g
n
_
= (g
i
)(g
j
).
It is also true that is always a monomorphism, that is, it has a trivial kernel.
This is so, because if (g
i
) is the identity permutation, then g
i
g
k
= g
k
for all
k, so g
i
= 1. Hence G/ ker = G/1 = G

= Im S
G
.
Exercises
8.2.5. Exercise. Let us dene f : C
10
= g C
20
= h as f(g) = h
2
.
Prove that this is a homomorphism and determine its kernel.
8.2.6. Exercise. Find all the isomorphisms of (Z
4
, +).
8.2.7. Exercise. Prove that GL(2, Z
2
)

= S
3
.
Part III
Rings
55
56
The groups are algebraic structures with one operation. Many structures,
however, have more than one operations. It is enough to consider the set of
integers, the matrices over a eld or the set of polynomials, for example.
Therefore it is necessary to deal with a general abstract algebraic structure
which has more than one operation. To have a theory which is not too
restrictive, we shall suppose that one operation possesses all the properties
of a group operation (unit element, inverse and even commutativity), but
the other operation will not be always so rich. This assumption enables us
to involve a large number of examples. To connect the two operations, we
shall assume the distributivity.
9
Basic properties of rings
9.1 The notion of rings
9.1.1. Denition. Let + and be two binary operations (we shall call them
addition and multiplication, respectively) on the set R. We say that the
algebraic structure (R, +, ) is a ring if
1. (R, +) is an abelian group,
2. The multiplication is distributive with respect to the addition:
a(b + c) = ab + ac, and (b + c)a = ba + ca.
(Since the multiplication is not necessarily commutative, we need both
od the assumptions.)
9.1.2. Example. (Z, +, ), (R, +, ), (R
3
, +, ) (here is the vectorial prod-
uct) are rings.
The set of continuous real functions on the interval [a, b] is a ring with the
pointwise addition and multiplication. This set is usually denoted as C[0, 1].
There are some basic consequences of the axioms. For example,
0 a = a 0 = 0 (a R).
Indeed,
0 a = (0 + 0)a = 0 a + 0 a.
Here we uses that 0 is the neutral element with respect to + and the dis-
tributivity holds.
Moreover, the additive inverse of a is a times the additive inverse of the
unit element 1, that is,
a = (1) a.
We know that a + (a) = 0, and by the previous observation
0 = 0 a = (1 + (1)) a = 1 a + (1) a = a + (1) a.
57
58 9. chapter. Basic properties of rings
9.1.1 Several classes of rings
We have not supposed nothing for the multiplication in a ring, just that it is
a binary operation and it is distrubutive with respect to the addition. If we
suppose other axioms, we get subclasses of rings.
Since R (we leave the operations if they are + and ) is an abelian group,
it contains a neutral element with respect to +. This will be denoted by 0
from now on.
9.1.3. Denition. If has a neutral element 1 R, for which
1 a = a 1 = a
for any a R, we say that R is a ring with unity. This fact will be denoted
by 1 R, for short.
9.1.4. Denition. If the associativity holds for :
(a b) c = a (b c),
we say that R is associative.
Hence an associative ring (R, +, ) is nothing else but an abelian group
(R, +) and a semigroup (R, ) connected by the distributivity.
9.1.5. Denition. R is commutative, is the multiplication is commutative,
that is,
a b = b a
for any a, b R.
9.1.6. Example. The ring (Z, +, ) is commutative but the ring GL(n, R)
is not, if n > 1.
In what follows we omit the sign of the multiplication.
9.1.2 Subrings. Several special elements in rings
The notion of substructure is already known for us.
9.1.7. Denition. A subset L R is a subring in R if it is a ring with the
operations of R.
9.1.8. Theorem. The subset L R is a subring in R if and only if
a + (b) = a b L and ab L
for all a, b L.
9.1. The notion of rings 59
The proof can be veried easily.
In the well known structure of integers, rationals and reals it never can
happen that a product of two nonzero element is zero. But this is not im-
possible in other structures: for exmaple, the product of the matrices
_
1 1
2 2
_
and
_
1 1
1 1
_
is zero.
Other example is given in the ring C[0, 1] by the functions
f(x) =
_
0 x [0, 1/2[,
x
1
2
x [1/2, 1]
,
and
g(x) =
_
0
1
2
x [0, 1/2[,
0 x [1/2, 1]
.
Their product is zero: f(x)g(x) 0, however the functions are not.
These special elements in rings have their own name.
9.1.9. Denition. The nonzero element a R is a left zero divisor if there
is a b ,= 0 such that ab = 0. The right zero divisor is the same, but with the
assumption ba = 0.
If the ring does not contain zero divisor, we say that it is zero divisor
free.
The second power of the matrix
_
0 1
0 0
_
9.1.10. Denition. is zero. The elements having the property that some
powers of them is zero, are called nilpotent elements. The least natural
number n for which a
n
= 0 is the nilpotency index of a.
9.1.11. Denition. The element a R is idempotent if a
2
= 1.
9.1.12. Denition. The element a R is central if ab = ba for all b R.
The central elements form a subring, this subring is called the centre of R.
Here comes a denition which can be cause misunderstood.
9.1.13. Denition. If an element a R has a multiplicative inverse, this a
is called unity.
60 9. chapter. Basic properties of rings
Hence 1 R (if exists) is the unit element and a unity, because it is
invertible. But a unity is not unit element (except it is 1).
The unities form a subgroup in R with respect to the multiplication. This
set is denoted by U(R). For example,
U(Z) = 1, 1,
C[0, 1] = f C[0, 1] [ f(x) ,= 0 for all x [0, 1].
Exercises
9.1.14. Exercise. Which sets form a ring?
1. 2Z in Z,
2.
__
a b
mb a
_

a, b Z
_
,
m is a xed integer.
9.1.15. Exercise. Let (Z, +, ) is the ring of integers. Prove that (Z, , ) is
also a ring, where
a b = a + b 1, and a b = a + b ab
for all integers a and b.
9.1.16. Exercise. Prove that R is commutative if and only if the identity
(a + b)
2
= a
2
+ 2ab + b
2
satises.
9.1.17. Exercise. Let 1 R and [R[ > 1. Prove that 0 ,= 1.
9.1.18. Exercise. Prove the following statements
1. idempotent element cannot be nilpotent,
2. the unities cannot be nilpotent,
3. if 1 R and R is zero divisor free there are just two idempotents: 0
and 1.
10
Ideals and factor rings
Investigating the homomorphisms of groups, we have seen that the kernel
was a normal subgroup of the domain. In rings, more is true; the kernel
is an ideal. In a wider context, in rings, the ideals play the role of normal
subgroup. As we could form factorgroups using normal subgroups, we will
be able to dene factor rings via ideals.
Moreover, there is an other reason why it is useful dene ideals. In the
ring of integers, the prime factorization holds. In a more general situation,
in a special but wide class of rings the prime ideal factorization comes in the
place of prime factorization.
10.1 Ideals of rings
10.1.1. Denition. Let I be a subring of the ring R. If we multiply an
element of I with an arbitrary element of R from the left and the result is in
I, we say that I is a left ideal . In other words, if for any elements a I and
r R we have that
ra I
we say that I is a left ideal. I is a right ideal if, similarly,
ar I
for any a I and r R.
If an ideal is a left and right ideal, we simply say that I is an ideal.
It is obvious that if a I, then the products ar and ra are in I. Hence
to be an ideal is a stronger property than to be a subring.
10.1.2. Example. The set aZ is a subring. It is also an ideal, since if we
multiply an element of aZ (which is a multiple of a) with an arbitrary integer,
the result is a multiple of a, hence it is in aZ.
61
62 10. chapter. Ideals and factor rings
10.1.3. Example. Let /
22
(R) be the ring of the real matrices of size 22.
Then
I
1
=
__
a b
0 0
_

a, b R
_
is a left ideal, but not a right ideal of /
22
(R). In addition,
I
2
=
__
a 0
b 0
_

a, b R
_
is a right ideal but not a left ideal.
Of course, 0 I for any ideal I, since I is a subgroup. If 1 I, then
I = R, as it is obvious.
10.1.4. Denition. If I = 0 or I = R, we say that I is a trivial ideal . If
I is not trivial, we say that it is proper.
10.1.5. Proposition. A proper ideal does not contain unity.
Proof. An element a R is a unity, if it has a multiplicative inverse, a
1
. If
a I, then we can multiply it by a
1
and, since I is an ideal, the result is
in I. But a
1
a = 1, so this means that 1 I. Hence I = R, so it is not a
proper ideal.
We can carry Theorem 9.1.8. to the case of ideals, to have a test for to
checking the ideal property of a subset I.
10.1.6. Theorem. The subset I R is a left ideal in R if and only if
a + (b) = a b I and ra I
for all a, b I and for all r R.
A same test holds for right ideals, mutatis mutandis.
10.2 Generatig system of ideals
10.2.1. Denition. Let M be a subset of the ring R. The smallest ideal
which contains M is called the ideal generated by M. In other words, M is
the generating system of I.
If the ideal I has a generating system of one element a R, we say that
I is principal . The element a is called the generating element of I and we
write that I = (a).
If I is generated by more than one elements, say a
1
, a
2
, . . . , we write that
I = (a
1
, a
2
, . . . ).
10.3. Factor rings 63
If I is a principal ideal and its generating element is a, then I since it
is closed to the addition contains the elements a +a = 2a, a +a +a = 3a,
and so on. By the same reason a = (1)a I, therefore I contains na
as well for any n = 1, 2, . . .
Here comes a theorem with a fundamental importance.
10.2.2. Theorem. All the ideals of the ring of integers Z are principal ide-
als.
Proof. Let I be an ideal of Z. I contains positive numbers, since, for example,
if 0 > t I, then 0 < t I as well. Let us pick a positive element in I,
say m. I contains all the multiples of m.
Every element t of I can be written as t = mq +r, where 0 r < m and
q Z. From this r = t mq I. Since r is non-negative and less than m,
we have that r = 0. This is so, because m was the smallest positive number
in I. Hence t = mq. Since t was arbitrary, we have got that any element of
I is of the form mq, so I is a principal ideal, indeed.
Exercises
10.2.3. Exercise. Let us dene the sum of two ideals I and J as
I + J = a + b a I, b J.
Prove that I + J is an ideal.
10.2.4. Exercise. Let I and J be two ideals in Z generated by m and n,
respectively. Prove that I + J is generated by (m, n).
10.2.5. Exercise. Let I is an ideal in Z generated by the numbers 8 and 12.
Determine I. What is the generator of I?
10.3 Factor rings
Parallel to factor groups of groups with normal subgroups, we dene factor
rings of rings with respect to ideals.
Let I be an ideal of the ring R. Since I is a subgroup of R by denition
and (R, +) is commutative, I is a normal subgroup, hence the factor group
R/I is dened and has elements
R/I = a + I [ a R.
To win a ring, we have to equip R/I with a multiplication. Let a + I and
b + I be two elements of R/I. Then their product is dened as
(a + I)(b + I) = ab + I.
64 10. chapter. Ideals and factor rings
Why is it important that I is not just a subring but an ideal? If we take
two representants a + i
1
and a + i
2
from a + I and b + I, respectively, their
product is
(a + i
1
)(b + i
2
) = ab + ai
2
+ i
1
b + i
1
i
2
.
Since I is an ideal, the elements ai
2
, i
1
b and i
1
i
2
are in I, whence the whole
product has a form
ab + I.
This shows that the product is well dened thanks to the ideal property of
I.
10.3.1 Factor rings of the ring of integers
Now we investigate the structure of Z in more details. We know, that every
ideal I of Z has the form I = (m) for an integer m. As a group with respect
to the addition,
Z/(m) = Z
m
= 0, 1, 2, . . . , m1.
The product of two elements in Z/(m) is the product of the representants,
so, for instance, if m = 10,
4 7 = 1,
since 4 7 = 21 1 (mod 10). This shows that 7 is the multiplicative inverse
of 4 in Z/(10) = Z
10
:
4
1
= 7.
This ring Z
10
is not zero divisor free, since 2 5 = 0 in it.
Every ring Z
m
is commutative and contain unit element. The only one
property which not necessarily holds is that every element has an inverse.
From our previous considerations (see Theorem 4.3.1.) we know that (Z
m
, )
is an (abelian) group if and only if m is a prime.
Now we check whether can have Z
m
zero divisors. If an element a has
a zero divisor, it cannot have an inverse. In contrary, let us suppose that
ba = 0 for some b ,= 0. Then, multiply this equation by the inverse of a, we
have that b = 0. This is a contradiction. Hence in Z
m
every element has an
inverse if and only if Z
m
is zero divisor free. Collecting all of these facts, the
next theorem is proved.
10.3.1. Theorem. The next propositions are equivalent.
1. m is prime,
2. in Z
m
every element has an inverse,
3. Z
m
is zero divisor free.
Hence (Z
m
, +) and (Z, ) are abelian groups with the same set.
10.3. Factor rings 65
10.3.2. Denition. If the ring R is an abelian group with its multiplication,
R is called a eld.
The above theorem says that Z
m
is a eld if and only if m is a prime.
10.3.2 Factor rings of polynomial rings
A polynomial p(x) has the form
p(x) = a
n
x
n
+ a
n1
x
n1
+ + a
2
x
2
+ a
1
x + a
0
,
where the coecients a
0
, . . . , a
n
can come from a ring R. The set of all the
polynomials of coecients in R is denoted by R[x], that is,
R[x] = a
n
x
n
+ a
n1
x
n1
+ + a
2
x
2
+ a
1
x + a
0
[ a
i
R, i = 0, 1, . . . , n.
To avoid complications with the order of the product of coecient, we always
suppose that R is commutative.
If the ring R is dierent from Q or R, the addition and multiplication can
have surprising properties. For example, if R = Z
4
, then
2x
2
+ 2, x
3
+ 3x
2
+ 2 Z
4
[x].
Their sum is
(2x
2
+ 2) + (x
3
+ 3x
2
+ 2) = x
3
+ 5x
2
+ 4 = x
3
+ x
2
.
Their product is
(2x
2
+ 2)(x
3
+ 3x
2
+ 2) = 2x
5
+ 6x
4
+ 4x
2
+ 2x
3
+ 6x
2
+ 4 =
2x
5
+ 2x
4
+ 2x
3
+ 2x
2
.
The rings of polynomials never can be elds, since the element x does not
have an inverse. Now we reveal the basic algebraic properties of polynomial
rings.
For example, if it straightforward to see that the polynomial ring R[x] is
zero divisor free if R is zero divisor free.
The next property is deeper. If we x a polynomial p(x), then the poly-
nomial f(x) always can be rewritten as
f(x) = q(x)p(x) + r(x),
where 0 deg(r(x)) < deg(p(x)). This means that the proof of Theorem
10.2.2. can be applied not just for Z but for polynomial rings as well. (Later
we shall introduce a class of rings in which Theorem 10.2.2. always holds.
They will be the euclidean rings.) So the next theorem is valid.
66 10. chapter. Ideals and factor rings
10.3.3. Theorem. In the polynomial ring R[x] every ideal is principal.
If deg(p(x)) = n, then in the factor ring R[x]/I every polynomial has
degree at most n 1. In special,
R[x]/(x)

= R.
Let us take a more advanced example.
10.3.4. Example. Let R = R and I = (x
2
+ 1). Fix two elements in this
ring:
x + 3, 2x + 5 R[x]/(x
2
+ 1).
Their product is
(x + 3)(2x + 5) = 2x
2
+ 5x + 6x + 15 = 2x
2
+ 11x + 15.
To nd its representation in R[x]/(x
2
+1), we have to divide the result with
x
2
+ 1:
2x
2
+ 11x + 15 = 2(x
2
+ 1) + r(x),
whence
r(x) = 11x + 13.
Hence we have that
(x + 3)(2x + 5) = 11x + 13
in R[x]/(x
2
+ 1).
Exercises
10.3.5. Exercise. Are there two nonzero polynomials p(x), q(x) Z
4
[x] with
degree greater than zero such that p(x)q(x) = 0?
10.3.6. Exercise. Let p(x) = 3x
2
+ 2x + 5 and f(x) = x
4
+ 2x
2
+ 3. Find
the polynomials q(x) and r(x) such that
f(x) = q(x)p(x) + r(x).
10.3.7. Exercise. Let 3x
3
+ 5x + 4 and 2x
4
+ x + 1 be two polynomials in
R[x]/(3x
2
+ 2x + 1). What is the product of these polynomials in this factor
ring?
10.3.8. Exercise. Let 3x
3
+ 5x + 4 and 2x
4
+ x + 1 be two polynomials in
Z
6
[x]/(3x
2
+2x +1). What is the product of these polynomials in this factor
ring?
10.3. Factor rings 67
10.3.9. Exercise. Look for the idempotents, nilpotents and zero divisors in
the rings Z
10
, Z
18
and Z
7
.
10.3.10. Exercise. Multiply the polynomials 3x
2
+5x +2 and 4x
2
+6x +1
in the factor ring Z
10
[x]/(x
3
+ x + 1).
10.3.11. Exercise. Prove that there is a polynomial f(x) in Z
3
[x]/(x
3
+ 1)
such that f(x) is nilpotent with nilpotency index 3.
10.3.12. Exercise. Let R[x, y] be the polynomial ring over the ring R. De-
scribe the polynomials in the ideal I R[x, y] , when I is generated by the
set
1. x, y,
2. x
2
, y,
3. x
2
y, xy
2
,
4. x
2
y, xy
2
, x
3
y
2
.
11
Homomorphisms of rings
The denition of homomorphisms of rings and the basic theorems on ho-
momorphisms is very similar to the respective denitions and theorems on
homomorphisms of groups, therefore we will not spend too much time with
these notions. The proofs will be left to the reader.
11.1 Homomorphisms and isomorphism theo-
rems
11.1.1. Denition. Let f : R L is a function. If
f(a + b) = f(a) + f(b),
and
f(ab) = f(a)f(b)
for all a, b R, we say that f is a homomorphism.
If f is surjective, we say that it is an epimorphism
The kernel of a ring homomorphism is similarly dened, as all the other
notions.
11.1.2. Denition. If f : R L is a homomorphism, we dene its kernel
as
ker f = a R [ f(a) = 0.
If ker f = 0, f is called monomorphism.
11.1.3. Example. Let us consider the ring R = C[0, 1] and let us x a
real number a [0, 1]. We dene the homomorphism
a
(f) = f(a) for all
f C[0, 1]. Then it is really true that is a homomorphism and its kernel
is
ker = f C[0, 1] [ f(a) = 0.
68
11.1. Homomorphisms and isomorphism theorems 69
The next theorem is the parallel result of Theorem 8.1.10.
11.1.4. Theorem. Let f : R L be a homomorphism. Then
1. f(0) = 0,
2. ker f is an ideal of L,
3. if S is a subring of R, then f(S) is a subring of L,
4. if I is an ideal of R and f is an epimorphism, then f(I) is an ideal of
L.
Note that the second and the last point of the theorem also show that in
rings the ideals play the role that normal subgroups played in groups.
The next theorem is the homomorphism theorem of rings.
11.1.5. Theorem (Homomorphism theorem). Let f : R L be a ho-
momorphism. Then
R/ ker f

= Imf.
11.1.6. Theorem (Isomorphism Theorem). Let I be an ideal of R, and
S be a subring in R. Then I S is an ideal of S, and
(I + S)/I

= S/(I S).
12
Commutative rings
In what follows we would like to extend the well known euclidean algorithm,
divisibility and prime factorization to more general rings. Since commuta-
tivity is indispensable, we restrict us to commutative rings. An other special
assumption will be needed to reach our aim. This will be the euclidean
property of commutative rings.
12.1 Divisibity in commutative rings
To deal with prime factorization in general (commutative) rings, we introduce
the following notations.
12.1.1. Denition. A ring is called integrity domain if it is commutative,
has a unit element with respect to the multiplication and does not have zero
divisor.
The divisibility is dened as usual.
12.1.2. Denition. If a and b are two elements in an integrity domain R,
and there is a c R such that a = bc, then we say that b divides a. In sign,
b [ a.
12.1.3. Denition. If b [ a and a [ b, then we say that a and b are associated.
12.1.4. Example. In Z +a and a are associated for any a Z and there
are no other kind of associated pairs.
Here comes a short but useful lemma.
12.1.5. Lemma. The elements a and b are associated in an integrity domain
if and only if a = be, where e is a unity (invertible element).
70
12.1. Divisibity in commutative rings 71
Proof. First let us suppose that a and b are associated, that is, a [ b and b [ a.
This means that a = bc and b = ad for some c and d. Now a = bc = adc,
whence
a adc = a(1 dc) = 0.
Since a product cannot be zero in integrity domain, just when one of the
factors is zero, we get that dc = 1, what means that d and c are unities.
Reversely, let us suppose that a = be for some invertible element e. This
also means that b divides a. On the other hand, ae
1
= b, what means that
a divides b, too.
12.1.6. Denition. Let a be a nonzero and non unity element of an integrity
domain R. If every divisor of a is a unity or associated to a, we say that a is
an irreducible element in R.
12.1.7. Example. In the polynomial ring R[x] just the constant polynomi-
als are invertible, if in R all the elements are unities. Also, a polynomial is
irreducible if an only if it is an irreducible element of the ring R[x]. From
here comes the name irreducible.
At rst sight we would think that the notion of irreducible elements is
the straight generalization of primes. This is true for the ring Z (in this ring
the irreducible elements and the prime numbers coincide, up to sign). But
we get closer to primeness, if we use the following denition.
12.1.8. Denition. Let p is a nonzero element in an integrity domain R. If
p [ ab yields that p [ a or p [ b, then we say that p is a prime element.
12.1.9. Theorem. In an integrity domain every prime element is irreducible.
Proof. Let us suppose the contrary, that is, an element p is prime but not
irreducible. By denition, p can be factored as p = ab, where a and b are
not associated to p. Again, by the denition of primeness, p divides a or
b. Let us suppose that p [ a. Then a = pd, so a = abd, which means that
a(1 bd) = 0. Sin we are working in an integrity domain, bd = 1, so b and
d are unities. Since a = pd, we get that a and p are associated. This is a
contradiction.
The reverse statement is not always true, i.e., there are rings in which an
irreducible element is not prime.
Let
R = a + ib

5 [ a, b Z C.
It can be easily veried that R is an integrity domain. Let us dene the
function norm
N : R 0, 1, 2, . . .
72 12. chapter. Commutative rings
as
N(a + ib

5) = a
2
+ 5b
2
.
Since N is just the absolute value restricted to R, we have that N is multi-
plicative:
N(rs) = N(r)N(s) (r, s R).
If an element r is invertible, we have that N(r) = 1. Indeed, if rr
1
= 1, we
have
1 = N(1) = N(rr
1
) = N(r)N(r
1
).
Since the codomain of N is the set of nonnegative integers, we get that
N(r) = 1. This also implies that the unities in the ring R are the elements
1 and 1 (all the other elements have norm dierent from 1).
We shall prove that 3 R is an irreducible element but it is not a prime.
3 R is irreducible, since if we try to factorize it as 3 = uv, we get that
9 = N(3) = N(uv) = N(u)N(v),
so we have the possibilities that
N(u) = N(v) = 3,
N(u) = 1, N(v) = 9,
N(u) = 9, N(v) = 1,
In any case, we get that u and v are either unity or associated to 3, so 3 is
an irreducible element, indeed. But it is not prime, since, for example,
3 [ (2 + i

5)(2 i

5) = 9,
but 3 (2 +i

5) and 3 (2 i

5). These can be seen by contradiction. Let


us suppose that
3 [ (2 + i

5),
i.e., there is an a + ib

5 R such that
3(a + ib

5) = (2 + i

5).
Then
3a + i3b

5 = (2 + i

5),
which means that
3a = 2, and 3b = 1,
which is impossible, since a and b are integers.
We already have divisibility in integrity domains, so it is easy to dene
the gretest common divisor in arbitrary integrity domains.
12.1. Divisibity in commutative rings 73
12.1.10. Denition. If c [ a and c [ b then we say that c is a common
divisor of a and b. If c is a common divisor and if every other common
divisor of a and b divide c, we say that c is a greatest common divisor of a
and b. It is usually denoted by (a, b).
The greatest common divisor is not unique. By this denition, the great-
est common divisors of 15 and 25 in Z are 5.
12.1.11. Example. A greatest common divisor of the polynomials
p(x) = (x
2
+ 1)(x + 3) and q(x) = (x + 2 + 1)(2x
2
1)
over Q is x
2
+1. In addition, to be general, we can see that every polynomial
c(x
2
+ 1) (c Q)
is a greatest common divisor of the polynomials p(x) and q(x). To see this,
we recall the denition. A common divisor is a greatest common divisor if
every other divisor divides it. c(x
2
+ 1) [ d(x
2
+ 1) and reversely for any c
and d integers, since we can nd numbers e and f such that
ec(x
2
+ 1) = d(x
2
+ 1),
and
c(x
2
+ 1) = fd(x
2
+ 1).
We can see that the greatest common divisor is unique up to unit factors.
Since in Z the units are 1, so if d is the usual greatest common divisor of two
numbers, then d are the greatest common divisors by our new denition.
The greatest common divisor does not necessarily exist. But in principal
ideal domain it always exists, as the following theorem says.
12.1.12. Theorem. If an integrity domain is principal ideal domain, then
the greatest common divisor of arbitrary two elements always exists.
Proof. Let us look for the greatest common divisor of a and b. We take the
ideal I generated by a and b:
I = a, b.
In this ideal every element has the form ax+by for some x, y R. Moreover,
since R is a principal ideal domain, I = (d) = dR for some d R. The last
two statements together yield that
d = ax + by, a = dx
1
, and b = dx
2
.
The last two equations say that d is a common divisor of a and b. The rst
one says that if c is a common divisor of a and b, then it divides b. So d is
the greatest.
74 12. chapter. Commutative rings
Let us realize that this proof oer an algorithm to nd the greatest com-
mon divisor. If we would like to calculate it for two elements a, b in R, we
need to construct the ideal generated by these two elements and then look
for a one element generator of this ideal. This generator element will be the
greatest common divisor.
12.2 Euclidean rings
The theorems of the last section show that integrity domains which are prin-
cipal domains are the straight generalizations of the ring Z. In such rings we
have primes, divisibility, greatest common divisor etc.
Now we step forward and show that if an integrity domain has an addi-
tional property the euclidean property then in this ring the unique prime
factorization also holds.
12.2.1. Denition. Let R be an integrity domain. R is called euclidean
ring if it possess a function
N : R 0, 1, 2, . . .
such that for any a, b R there are elements q, r R such that
a = bq + r, and N(r) < N(b) or r = 0.
The function N is called norm.
It is obvious that the euclidean rings are generalizations of the ring Z.
The next example shows why.
12.2.2. Example. The ring R = Z is an euclidean ring with the norm
N(a) = [a[.
The euclidean algorithm shows that if we have two integers a and b, it is
always possible to rewrite a as a = bq + r where [r[ < [b[ or r = 0.
Hence Z is an euclidean ring.
12.2.3. Example. The polynomial ring K[x], where K is a eld, is an eu-
clidean ring with the norm
N(p(x)) = deg(p(x)).
See the considerations on page 65., too.
The next example is new for us, however we have seen a similar example
on page 71.
12.2. Euclidean rings 75
12.2.4. Example. The ring
G = a + bi [ a, b Z
is also an euclidean ring with the norm
N(a + bi) = a
2
+ b
2
.
The ring G is the ring of Gaussian integers.
We prove that G is indeed euclidean. Let x = a + bi and y = c + di ,= 0
are elements of G. We try to write x as x = qy + r, where q G and
N(r) < N(y) or r = 0. If r = 0, q = xy
1
= a
1
+b
1
i, which is not a Gaussian
integer in general. For this reason we choose two integers a
2
and b
2
such that
[a
1
a
2
[ <
1
2
and [b
1
b
2
[ <
1
2
and dene q = a
2
+ b
2
i. Then we can prove
that for this norm N we also have that r = 0 or N(r) < N(y). Indeed,
N(b) = N(x qy) = N(y(xy
1
q)) = N(y)N(xy
1
q) =
N(y)N(a
1
+ b
1
i a
2
b
2
i) =
N(y)((a
1
a
2
)
2
+ (b
1
b
2
)
2
)
1
2
N(y) < N(y).
The proof of the next theorem is the same as for Z (see Theorem 10.2.2.).
12.2.5. Theorem. Every euclidean ring is a principal ideal domain and one
can use the euclidean algorithm to nd the greatest common divisor of two
elements.
To see the generality of this theorem, see Theorem 10.3.3. as well.
The polynomial ring Q[x] is an euclidean ring, so, by the last thereom,
we can use the euclidean algorithm to nd the greatest common divisor of
two polynomials. Let
a(x) = x
4
x
3
5x
2
x 6,
and
b(x) = x
3
5x
2
+ x 5.
We look the greatest common divisor of p(x) and q(x):
(x
4
x
3
5x
2
x 6, x
3
5x
2
+ x 5) =?
The euclidean algorithm says that we have to divide the element with greater
norm with then other:
x
4
x
3
5x
2
x 6 : x
3
5x
2
+ x 5.
76 12. chapter. Commutative rings
We multiply the second with x to get x
4
5x
3
+x
2
5x. We substract this
from x
4
x
3
5x
2
x 6:
4x
3
6x
2
+ 4x 6.
So
a(x) = xb(x) + (4x
3
6x
2
+ 4x 6).
Hence
q(x) = x, and r
1
(x) = 4x
3
6x
2
+ 4x 6.
The last non zero remainder is the greatest common divisor. We have not yet
reached the zero remainder, so we can continue the process. Now we divide
b(x) by r
1
(x):
x
3
5x
2
+ x 5 : 4x
3
6x
2
+ 4x 6.
The result is 1/4, while the remainder is
x
3
5x
2
+ x 5
1
4
(4x
3
6x
2
+ 4x 6) =
7
2
x
2

7
2
.
Hence
b(x) = q(x)r
1
(x) + r
2
(x),
where
q(x) =
1
4
, and r
2
(x) =
7
2
x
2

7
2
.
The remainder is not zero, so we can divide r
1
(x) by r
2
(x):
4x
3
6x
2
+ 4x 6 :
7
2
x
2

7
2
.
We can see that
4x
3
6x
2
+ 4x 6 =
_

7
2
x
2

7
2
_

4
7
(2x 3)
_
.
There is no remainder, so we get that r
2
(x) is a greatest common divisor.
Since it is unique just up to a unity factor, we can multiply it by an arbitrary
constant since constants are unities in Q[x]:
(x
4
x
3
5x
2
x 6, x
3
5x
2
+ x 5) =
2
7
r
2
(x) = x
2
+ 1.
Thus the greatest common divisor is calculated. We see how the general eu-
clidean algorithm works to nd greatest common divisor of two polynomials.
12.3. Rings with prime factorization 77
12.3 Rings with prime factorization
We extend the notion of prime factorization and give necessary and sucient
condition, when in a ring every nonzero and non-unity element has a prime
factorization.
12.3.1. Denition. Let R be an integrity domain. R is called unique fac-
torization domain (UFD) or factorial ring if every element 0 ,= a R which
is not unity can be factorized to prime elements, and this factorization is
unique up to associated elements. In other words, R is UFD if
a = p
1
p
2
p
r
, and a = q
1
q2 q
2
yields that s = t and p
i
and q
i
are associated (with some appropriate index-
ing).
The next theorem gives necessary and sucient condition on R to be
UFD.
12.3.2. Theorem. An integrity domain R is UFD if and only if the next
two conditions hold:
1. Every irreducible element of R is prime,
2. Any increasing chain of principal ideals contain just nitely many ele-
ments, that is, if
(a
1
) (a
2
) (a
3
) (a
n
) ,
then there is an index m for which
(a
m
) = (a
m+1
) = (a
m+2
) = .
Proof. First, let R be UFD. Then the rst point satises, since every irre-
ducible element is prime.
To prove that the second statement also holds, let us take a strictly in-
creasing chain of principal ideals:
(a
1
) (a
2
) (a
3
) (a
n
)
It can be easily seen that (a
i
) = (a
i+1
) if and only if a
i
and a
i+1
are asso-
ciated. Hence (a
i
) (a
i+1
) if a
i+1
[ a
i
but they are not associated. By our
assumption a
i
can be factored into primes, and so the prime factorization
of a
i+1
is a part of the factorization of a
i
. It follows that a
i+1
contains less
factor than a
i
. Since originally a
1
contained nitely many factors (as every
element in an UFD), we have that the chain cannot be innite. Hence the
only if part is proved.
78 12. chapter. Commutative rings
Now we show that the two assumptions hold, the ring R is UFD. Let
us choose an element 0 ,= a R is a non-unit element. We prove that a
is a product of irreducible (hence prime) elements. If a is irreducible, we
are done. If not, then a = a
1
b
1
for some elements a
1
, b
1
R such that for
example a
1
is not unity and not associated to a. It follows that (a) (a
1
).
We continue with a
1
. It has the form a
1
= a
2
b
2
such that for example a
2
is
not unity and not associated to a
1
. We have that (a
1
) (a
2
). We continue
this process to get a chain
(a) (a
1
) (a
2
) (a
3
) (a
n
)
By our assumtion this chain stops after nitely many steps, so after a while we
have to reach a divisor of a, which is irreducible. Hence we have proven that
a has an irreducible divisor. Let this irreducible divisor p
1
. Then a = p
1
b
1
and (a) (b
1
). We continue this process with b
1
, so nally get a nite chain
(a) (b
1
) (b
2
) (b
n
).
This gives an irreducible (and hence prime) decomposition of a.
It can be easily seen that this decomposition is unique, up to unit multi-
plies.
12.3.3. Theorem. Every integrity domain which is principal ideal domain
is a UFD.
Proof. According to the previous theorem it is sucient to show that the
two properties satisfy. Let
(a
1
) (a
2
) (a
3
) (a
n
)
be an increasing chain of principal ideals. Moreover, let L be the union of
these ideals, so
L =

_
n=1
(a
i
).
L is an ideal, and because R is a principal ideal domain, L is a principal
ideal. For example, it has the form L = cR. Hence
c

_
n=1
(a
i
),
and it means that there is an m for which c (a
m
). It immediately yields
that L = (a
m
), so the chain stops after nite steps. The rst property hence
holds.
We also need to prove that every irreducible element is prime. Let p is
an irreducible elmenent such that p = ab. We suppose that p does not divide
a. It implies that their greatest common divisor is 1. p is a common divisor
of pb and ab, so b is the greatest common divisor of pb and ab. This means
that p b, so p is a prime.
12.4. Maximal and prime ideals 79
12.3.4. Corollary. Every euclidean ring is UFD.
Proof. By denition the euclidean rings are integrity domains. Theorem
12.2.5. says that they are also principal ideal domains. By the previous
theorem we can conclude the statement.
12.4 Maximal and prime ideals
The prime ideals and maximal ideals are important special ideals. In this
section we introduce these notions and investigate their basic properties.
12.4.1 Maximal ideals
12.4.1. Denition. The ideal M of the ring R is maximal if there is no
ideal I of R for which
M I R.
12.4.2. Theorem. Let R be a commutative ring with 1 R. The ideal M
is maximal if and only if R/M is a eld.
Proof. First let us suppose that M is a maximal ideal and a R M. Then
the ideal M + aR is an ideal of R such that M is a proper subset of it. By
denition, it means that M +Ra = R. Since R contains 1, we can write that
1 = m + ra for an m M and r R. Hence
1 + M = ra + m + M = ra + M = (r + M)(a + M),
by the denition of the multiplication of cosets. It follows that a + M is a
unit in the factor ring R/M. Since a was arbitrary, R/M is a eld.
Now let us suppose that R/M is a eld. Let I be an ideal of R such that
M I. Then we can form the factor ring I/M which is an ideal of R/M. If
a+M I/M and a ,= 0, then a+M is invertible, since R/M is a eld. Since
a+M is invertible, every element of I/M is invertible, so I/M = R/M. This
shows that M is indeed maximal.
12.4.2 Prime ideals
The denition of the prime ideals is similar to the denition of the prime
elements, if we substitute the division sign [ by the sign between ideals.
12.4.3. Denition. The ideal P of the ring R is called prime if AB P
holds if and only if A P or B P.
12.4.4. Lemma. The ideal P in the commutative ring R is prime ideal if
and only if from ab P it follows that a P or b P.
80 12. chapter. Commutative rings
Proof. Let P be a prime ideal, and a, b R such that ab P. The product
of the principal ideals (a) and (b) is (a)(b) = (ab) P. But, by the denition
of primality of ideals, (a) P or (b) P, so a P or b P.
The other direction can be proven as follows: let A and B two ideals such
that AB P. Let us suppose that A is not a subset of P, that is, AP ,= .
We choose an element A B. Then aB AB P. Since a , P every b B
is an element of P, that is, B P. Hence P is a prime ideal.
Now we present a test for primality of ideals.
12.4.5. Theorem. Let R be a commutative ring with 1 R. The ideal P
of R is a prime ideal if and only if R/P is an integrity domain.
Proof. Let P be a prime ideal in R, and we pick two elements in the factor
ring R/P such that their product is zero, that is, (a + P)(b + P) = 0 + P.
We prove that one of the elements a + P or b + P is zero, so R/P is indeed
an integrity domain. We know from our assumption that ab P. But this
means that a P or b P, since P is a prime ideal. Hence a+P = P = 0+P
or b + P = P = 0 + P, so R/P does not contain zero divisor, hence it is an
integrity domain.
The other direction comes. Let R/P be an integrity domain, and ab P.
Then (a+P)(b +P) = ab +P = P. Since R/P is an integrity domain, a+P
or b + P must be zero. This means that either a or b must be in P.
12.4.6. Corollary. The element p is prime in an integrity domain R if and
only if the principal ideal (p) is a prime ideal.
Hence, by this corollary, in Z the ideal P = (p) is prime ideal if an only
if p is a prime number.
Exercises
12.4.7. Exercise. Look for maximal ideals in Z
12
.
12.4.8. Exercise. Let R be a commutative ring. Prove that the ideal 0 is
a maximal ideal if and only if R is a eld.
12.4.9. Exercise. Let R be a commutative ring with 1 R. Prove that the
polynomial ring R[x] the ideal (x) is a prime ideal if and only if R is an
integrity domain.
12.4.10. Exercise. Let R = C[a, b], and we dene the ideals
I
c
=f R [ f(c) = 0,
I
c,d
=f R [ f(c) = f(d) = 0,
where c ,= dd are xed real numbers in [a, b]. Prove that I
a
is a prime ideal,
but I
a,b
is not.
Part IV
Modules
81
82
The topic of linear algebra is the vector space over a eld. In module the-
ory we generalize this notion, and we consider vector spaces over rings. This
structure will be called module. Module theory is useful in the investigation
of special rings.
13
Basic properties of modules
13.1 The notion of modules
13.1.1. Denition. Let (M, +) be an abelian group, and R be a ring with
1 R. Let us suppose that for any a M and r R the product ra M is
dened. If for any a, b M and r, s R the properties
1. r(a + b) = ra + rb,
2. (r + s)a = ra + sa,
3. (rs)a = r(sa),
4. 1 a = a
hold, we say that M is a left R-module or a left R-module over R. This
left R-module M is sometimes also denoted by
R
M. The right R-module is
dened similarly. A right R-module is denoted by M
R
.
We can see that the axioms the module has to satisfy are the axioms of
a vector space. The only one dierence is that R is not necessarily a eld.
13.1.2. Example. Every vector space over a eld K is a (K-)module.
13.1.3. Example. If we consider vectors with elements coming not from a
eld but from a ring R, we get a module. For example, the set
M = (v
1
, v
2
, . . . , v
n
) Z
n
4

is a Z
4
-module.
13.1.4. Example. Every group G is a module over the ring of integers Z.
This is so, because if we dene the product of r Z and a G as
ra =
_

_
a + a + + a
. .
n-times
r > 0,
0 r = 0,
(a) + (a) + + (a)
. .
n-times
r < 0
,
83
84 13. chapter. Basic properties of modules
then one can check that the axioms of left modules are satised.
13.1.5. Example. If in the previous example we choose G = (Z, +), we
have that Z is a module over itself. Similarly, every ring R is a module over
itself if 1 R. Moreover, R
n
is a module over itself. We dene the product
as r(v
1
, v
2
. . . , v
n
) = (rv
1
, rv
2
, . . . , rv
n
).
To close the section of the denition of modules, we show that comparing
to vector spaces modules can have unusual properties. For example, two
vector v, w in a vector space are linearly independent if
v + w = 0
if and only if = = 0. This can be dierent in a module. For example, let
us take the vectors
(2, 2) and (2, 2)
in Z
4Z
4
. Then
1(2, 2) + 1(2, 2) = (4, 0) = (0, 0).
Similarly,
2(2, 2) + 2(2, 2) = (8, 0) = (0, 0).
So these vectors are not linearly independent, however, they are independent
in the two dimensional euclidean vector space R R.
In contrary, the vectors
(1, 0) and (0, 1)
in are linearly independent, since
(1, 0) + (0, 1) = (, ) = (0, 0)
if and only if = = 0.
This example shows, that dimension of a module cannot be dened as for
vector spaces. The usual denition says that the dimension of a vector space
is the common cardinality of linearly independent systems.
To give a denition which works well, we need to dene new notions.
We turn back to the problem of dimension later. (We note that there is a
branch of mathematics, which deals with the problem of dening dimensions
of rings. This is called Dimension Theory.)
13.2 Submodule and factor module
13.2.1. Denition. The set N M is a submodule of the R-module M if
it is a R-module, too.
13.3. Homomorphisms of modules 85
If N is a submodule of the R-module M, then it is a normal subgroup
(since M is abelian). Then it is possible to dene the factor group M/N. To
dene the factor module we have to equip this group with the appropriate
properties to get a module. The factor group M/N ha elements of the form
a + N. We dene the product of this element by r R as
r(a + N) = ra + N.
Then it is straightforward to see that with this product the factor group
M/N becomes an R-module.
13.2.2. Denition. The above dened structure on M/N is called as factor
module of M by N.
As usually, we give a test which helps us to decide, whether a subset of a
module is a submodule.
13.2.3. Theorem. The subset L M is a submodule of the R-module M
if and only if for any a, b L and r R we have
a b L and ra L.
13.3 Homomorphisms of modules
We now dene the homomorphisms of modules, give some examples and
present the isomorphism theorems.
13.3.1. Denition. Let M and L be R-modules. The function : M L
is called R-homomorphism if is a homomorphism between the abelian
groups M and L, moreover
(ra) = r(a) (r R, a M).
If (M) = L, then is called R-epimorphism. If is bijective, it is called
isomorphism. In this case M and L are said to be isomorphic.
Moreover, we dene the kernel of as
ker = a M [ (a) = 0.
If ker = 0, we say that is an R-monomorphism.
13.3.2. Example. If V is a vector space of dimension n over the eld K,
then a linear transformation /
nn
(K) is a homomorphism. If for a
xed base det ,= 0, then this homomorphism is an isomorphism (from V to
V ).
86 13. chapter. Basic properties of modules
13.3.3. Example. If we take the poynomial ring R[x], then this is a module.
The derivation of polynomials

: R[x] R[x] is a homomorphism.
The next theorem is the Isomorphism Theorem for modules. Formally
this is the same as the Isomorphism Theorem for groups and rings. The proof
is also the same, so we will not present it.
13.3.4. Theorem. Let M and L be modules over the same ring R, and let
be a R-homomorphism between them. Then
M/ ker

= Im L.
14
Endomorphism ring of modu-
les - the Krull dimension
We have seen above that the dimension of modules cannot be dened as one
usually does in vector spaces, because the linear dependence does not work
as in vector spaces. To dene dimension on an appropriate way, we need
some preliminaries. In this section we build up the set of tools to present the
approach of Krull.
14.1 Endomorphism ring of abelian groups
Since a module is an abelian group as well, rst we dene the endomorphism
ring of an abelian group.
Let (M, +) be abelian group, and let
End(M) = : M M [ is a homomorphism
be the set of homomorphisms on M. We make this set to be a ring. To this
end we dene two operations, an addition and a multiplication.
Let , End(M) be two homomorphisms. We dene the sum of and
as
( + )(a) = (a) + (a) (a M).
Hence this is nothing else but the pointwise addition of the functions. This
denition for product is not working, since in M there is no product. Instead,
we dene the product between and as the composition:
( )(a) = ( )(a) (a M).
14.1.1. Denition. With these operations
(End(M), +, )
is a ring, which we call the endomorphism ring of M.
87
88 14. chapter. Endomorphism ring of modules - the Krull dimension
14.1.2. Example. If M = R
n
with the usual addition of vectors, then
End(M) = /
nn
(R),
the ring of the real matrices of dimension n n.
14.1.3. Example. Let M = (Z, +). Let us determine the endomorphism
ring End(Z).
To this end, let End(Z), and n Z. Then we know that (m) =
m(1), so is entirely determined by its value on the unity 1. To see how
the operations work in the endomorphism ring End(Z), we take another
homomorphism, End(Z). Then
( + )(1) = (1) + (1).
Similarly,
( )(1) = ( )(1) = ((1)) = (1)(1).
Since we can prescript (1) and (1) arbitrarily, we see that the addition
and multiplication on the set End(Z) works as addition and multiplication
among integers. Hence
End(Z) = (Z, +, ).
The endoorphism ring is important not just because we can dene dimen-
sion of modules with them, but also because we have an important theorem
with respect to unital rings.
14.1.4. Theorem. Let R be a ring with 1 R. Then R is isomorphic to a
subring of End(G) for some abelian group G.
Proof. Consider R just with the addition. This structure is an abelian group,
so End(R) is given. Dene f : R End(R) as
f(r) =
r
such that

r
(a) = ra (a R).
Then f is a ring homomorphism, since
(f(r+s))(a) =
r+s
(a) = (r+s)a = ra+sa =
r
(a)+
s
(a) = (f(r)+f(s))(a).
The same for multiplication. Also, f is injective, since if f(r) = 0 =
0
0,
this means that ra = 0 for all a R, so r = 0 is necessary what means that
ker f = 0. Hence the Isomorphism Theorem of rings gives that
R

= Imf End(R).
We remark that this theorem can be viewed as the parallel of Cayley
theorem of groups, which states that every group is isomorphic to a subgroup
of a symmetric group (see page 53.).
14.2. The endomorphism rings of modules 89
Exercises
14.1.5. Exercise. Prove that
End(Z
n
) = (Z
n
).
14.2 The endomorphism rings of modules
Since a module M is an abelian group, we already dened the End(M) endo-
morphism ring. We will be interested in a special substructure of End(M).
Let us dene the subset
End
R
(M) = End(M) [ (a) = ra for an r R and for all a M.
In other words, End
R
(M) is the subset of the endomorphism ring of M such
that the homomorphisms in End
R
(M) act as multiplication by an element
r R.
14.2.1. Theorem. For any R-module M, we have that
End
R
(M) = (End(M)).
Here (End(M)) is the centre of End(M).
Proof. Let
r
End
R
(M) and End(M). Then
(
r
)(a) = ((a)) = r(a).
On the other hand,
(
r
)(a) = (
r
(a)) = (ra) = r(a).
This latter equality holds, since is an R-homomorphism. Hence we see that
(
r
)(a) = (
r
)(a)
for any a M. Hence the statement is proved.
In place of End(M), we shall always consider End
R
(M), hence we give
the next denition.
14.2.2. Denition. The ring End
R
(M) is called the endomorphism ring of
M.
One can dene the homomorphism
: R End
R
(M) as (r) =
r
.
The kernel of this homomorphism plays an important role.
90 14. chapter. Endomorphism ring of modules - the Krull dimension
14.2.3. Denition. The kernel of the above dened homomorphism is
called the annihilator and denoted by Ann
R
(M).
If Ann
R
(M) = 0, then M is called faithful .
14.2.4. Example. The module Z
Z
is a faithful module over itself. The
homomorphism
: Z
Z
End
Z
(Z)
acts as
((r))(a) =
r
= ra.
The result ra = 0 for any a Z if and only if r = 0, so
ker = Ann
Z
(Z) = 0. (14.1)
This yields, by denition, that Z
Z
is a faithful module.
14.2.5. Example. The module Z
8
as a Z-module is not faithful, since ra
can be zero if neither a nor r is zero.
14.2.6. Example. We have seen that the endomorphism ring of R
n
is the
n n real matrix ring:
End(R
n
) = /
nn
(R).
The above theorem says that
End
R
(R
n
) = (/
nn
(R)).
It can be easily seen (see the exercises) that this centre is the subring of
diagonal matrices:
(/
nn
(R)) =
_

_
r
_
_
_
_
1 0 0
0 1 0

0 0 1
_
_
_
_

r R
_

_
.
This structure is isomorphic to R. Hence we have that the R-endomorphism
ring of an n-dimensional euclidean vector space is isomorphic to R:
End
R
(R
n
)

= R.
Exercises
14.2.7. Exercise. Prove that the annihilator Ann
R
(M) is always a two sided
ideal of R.
14.2.8. Exercise. Determine the annihilator Ann
Z
(/
22
(Z)).
14.2.9. Exercise. Determine the annihilator Ann
Z
8
(/
22
(Z
8
)) by computer.
14.2.10. Exercise. Show that
(/
nn
(R))

= (R, +).
14.3. The Krull dimension 91
14.3 The Krull dimension
14.3.1 The Krull dimension of commutative rings
Having the denition of the endomorphism ring of modules, we are able
to give the denition of the dimension of modules. But rst, we give the
denition of the dimension of a commutative ring R.
14.3.1. Denition. Let R be a commutative ring. If we have a strictly
increasing sequence of prime ideals, like
p
0
p
1
p
2
p
n
,
then we say that the length of this sequence is n (be careful, the sequence
contains n + 1 ideals!).
The Krull
1
dimension of the ring R is dened as the supremum of all
the lengths of strictly increasing sequence of prime ideals. It is denoted by
dim(R).
14.3.2. Example. Every eld K has Krull dimension zero. This is so, be-
cause K does not contain other prime ideal than (0). (K is an ideal, of
course, but it is not prime, since K/K = 0 is not an integrity domain,
because it does not contain unity.)
14.3.3. Example. The Krull dimension of Z is 1. This is so, because in
this ring an ideal is prime, if and only if it is generated by a prime number.
Moreover,
(p
1
) (p
2
)
means that p
2
divides p
1
which is not possible for primes. So all sequences
of prime ideals contain only two ideals, (0) = 0 and (p), so the Krull
dimension dim(Z) = 1. (The ideal (0) is prime, since Z/(0) = Z is an
integrity domain. See also Theorem 12.4.5.)
More generally, we have the next proposition.
14.3.4. Proposition. Every principal ideal domain has dimension 1.
We consider other examples.
14.3.5. Example. Let K be a eld, and let us consider the polynomial ring
of n variables: K[x
1
, . . . , x
n
]. This ring has dimension n, since one maximal
chain of prime ideals is
(x
1
) (x
1
, x
2
) (x
1
, x
2
, . . . , x
n
).
1
Wolfgang Krull (1899-1971) German mathematician.
92 14. chapter. Endomorphism ring of modules - the Krull dimension
All of these ideals are primes, since
K[x
1
, . . . , x
n
]/(x
1
, x
2
, . . . , x
k
)

= K[x
k+1
, x
k+2
, . . . , x
n
],
which is an integrity domain (for any k = 1, 2, . . . , n).
14.3.6. Example. We can prove that dim(Z
10
) = 0. To see this, we list all
the ideals:
(0) = 0 no prime ideal,
(1) = (7) = (9) = 0, 1, 2, . . . , 9 = Z
10
no prime ideals,
(2) = (4) = (6) = (8)0, 2, 4, 6, 8 prime ideals,
(3) = 0, 3, 6, 9 prime ideals,
(5) = 0, 5 prime ideal.
This list shows that all the chains of prime ideals have length 0, so
dim(Z
10
) = 0.
14.3.2 The Krull dimension of modules over commuta-
tive rings
14.3.7. Denition. Let R be a commutative ring and M be a module over
R. Then the Krull dimension of M is the dimension of the factor ring
R/ Ann
R
(M), where Ann
R
(M) is the annihilator of M. In notations,
dim(M) = dim(R/ Ann
R
(M)).
Immediately comes from the denition that for any R-module M,
dim(M) dim(R).
Because we have calculated a number of endomorphism rings and anni-
hilators in the previous section, we can have a list of examples now.
14.3.8. Example. The module Z
Z
has dimension 1. Since Ann
Z
(Z) = 0
(see (14.1), we have
dim(Z
Z
) = dim(Z/0) = dim(Z) = 1.
14.3.9. Example. The Z-module Z
n
has dimension n. A maximal chain of
prime ideals is
(0) (0) (0) (p
1
) (0) (0) (p
1
) (p
2
) (0) (0)
(p
1
) (p
2
) (p
n
).
14.3. The Krull dimension 93
14.3.10. Example. The above result does not hold, if we take the R-module
R
n
. This module (actually, a vector space) has dimension 1. There are two
approach, to see this. First, the chain in the above example stops imme-
diately, since as we have noted earlier , a eld K, and specially R does
not contain ideal greater than (0). This gives that a maximal chain of prime
ideals is
(0) (0) (0).
So the Krull dimension of R
n
is zero.
The other approach uses tha fact that
Ann
R
(R
n
)

= R,
so
dim(R
n
) = dim(R/R) = dim(0) = 0.
Exercises
14.3.11. Exercise. Look for all the prime ideals of Z
16
, and list all the
maximal chains of prime ideals. What is the Krull-dimension of Z
16
?
14.3.12. Exercise. Find the Krull dimension of Z
12
.
14.3.13. Exercise. Find
dim((/
22
(Z
8
))
Z
8
).
15
Cyclic and simple modules
15.1 Cyclic modules
The generating system of an R-module is dened as usually for groups and
rings.
15.1.1. Denition. Let A be a set of the R-module M. If the smallest
submodule of M which contains A is M itself, we say that M is generated
by A. In other words, A is a generating system of M. This fact is denoted
by M = A
R
.
The next denition is also familiar from us from group theory.
15.1.2. Denition. If the R-module M is generated by one element, or, in
other words, it possesses a generating system with one element, then we say
that M is cyclic.
It is obvious that M has the form
M = Ru
for an element u M. For this reason, Z is cyclic over itself. Similarly, the
cyclic group
C

= . . . , a
2
, a
1
, 1, a, a
2
, a
3
, . . .
is a cyclic module over Z with generator a:
C

= a
Z
.
Now we dene a class of modules which is similar to cyclicity but the two
classes are not the same.
15.1.3. Denition. The R-module M is called simple, if it does not contain
proper submodule.
94
15.1. Cyclic modules 95
15.1.4. Example. The one dimensional euclidean vector space R is simple,
since it does not contain proper submodule (sub-vectorspace). This module
is cyclic as well, since evry vector v = () can be expressed as (1), so in
this module (1) is a generator. Similarly, every vector () is a generator if
,= 0.
The vector space R
n
is not simple (as a module).
15.1.5. Theorem. Every simple module is cyclic.
Proof. It is obvious, that if we have an R-module M, then taking an element
u R, then Ru is a submodule of M. Since, by our assumption, M is simple,
Ru = M is necessary.
We remark that the reverse of the theorem does not hold: there are cyclic
modules which are not simples. As an easy example, we can take Z. This is
cyclic (Z = 1
Z
), but it is not simple. (2Z is a proper Z-submodule.)
The next theorem is due to Schur
1
.
15.1.6. Theorem (Schur). Let M be a simple R-module. Then in then
endomorphism ring End
R
(M) every element is invertible.
Proof. Let End
R
(M) arbitrary. Then ker() and Im() are submodules
of M. Since M does not contain proper submodules, so ker() = 0 and
Im() = M, if ,= 0. So is invertible.
Now we describe the structure of cyclic modules.
15.1.7. Theorem. The R-module is cyclic if and only if it is isomorphic to
R/I as a module for an ideal I if R.
Proof. First let us suppose that M is cyclic. Then, as we have seen, M = Ru
for some u M. If we dene the function f : R M as f(r) = ru, then
it is easy to see that f is a homomorphism. By the isomorphism theorem
R/ ker(f)

= Im(f). Since ker(f) is an ideal of R and Im(f) = M, we are
done.
Now let us suppose that M

= R/I for some ideal I in R. It is straight-
forward to see that 1 + I is a generator in R/I, so R/I is cyclic.
15.1.8. Remark. If the module M is a left module, then the ideal I is a
left ideal, and if M is a right module, then I is a right ideal.
The correct proof of the next theorem which classify the simple modules
would need a bit more work:
1
Issai Schur (1875-1941) Lithuanian-German-Israeli mathematician.
96 15. chapter. Cyclic and simple modules
15.1.9. Theorem. The R-module M is simple if and only if M

= R/I for
a maximal ideal I of R.
The theorem is straightforward intuitionally, since R/I cannot contain a
submodule if I is maximal. In contrary, let J J be an ideal containing I.
Then R/J is isomorphic with a submodule of R/I, so R/I cannot be simple.
The reverse statement also can be seen similarly.
Exercises
15.1.10. Exercise. Let us consider the Z-module /
22
(Z). Look for simple
and cyclic submodules of this module.
15.1.11. Exercise. Prove that
End
Z
(Z
n
, Z
m
) = Z
(n,m)
.
Here (n, m) is the maximal common divisor of n and m.
Part V
Finite elds
97
98
Finite elds are very important on their own. In addition, in eld ex-
tensions they play a fundamental role. These two reasons are enough to get
deeper knowledge on them. Up to now, we know several elds, like R, Q and
Z
p
, where p is a prime. We show how it is possible to construct nite elds
dierent from Z
p
.
16
Structure of nite elds
16.0.12. Denition. Let K be a eld. If there is a natural number n such
that
1 + 1 + 1 + + 1
. .
ntimes
= 0,
then we say that K has characteristic n. If there is no such a number n, we
say that K has characteristic zero. The characteristic is denoted by char(K).
16.0.13. Example. char(R) = char(Q) = 0, char(Z
p
) = p.
16.0.14. Lemma. The characteristic, if it is not zero, is always a prime.
Proof. Let us suppose that char(K) = n, where n > 0 is not a prime. Then
it has the form n
1
n
2
, and we have that
1 + 1 + 1 + + 1
. .
n
1
n
2
times
= 0,
so
(1 + 1 + 1 + + 1
. .
n
1
times
)(1 + 1 + 1 + + 1
. .
n
2
times
) = 0,
which means that K has zero divisors. This is impossible.
In the next we prove two fundamental properties of elds of characteristic
p.
One of them states that every eld of characteristic p contains a subeld
isomorphic to Z
p
. The other one states that every such eld has cardinality
p
n
.
16.0.15. Theorem. If the eld K has characteristic p, then Z
p
is a subeld
of K.
99
100 16. chapter. Structure of nite elds
Proof. Let L be the subeld of K generated by 1:
L = 1.
The map (n) = n 1 is a homomorphism from L to Z. The kernel of is
an ideal, and by the isomorphism theorem
Z/ ker

= L
1
L,
where L
1
is a subeld of L. Hence Z/ ker is isomorphic to a eld and it is
a factor ring of Z, so it must be isomorphic to Z
p
with some p. Substituting
this fact into the above isomorphism
Z
p

= L
1
L K,
so K contains a subeld isomorphic to Z
p
, indeed.
16.0.16. Theorem. There is only one eld (up to isomorphism) of cardi-
nality p
n
.
Proof. Let us consider Z
p
and the polynomial
p(x) := x
p
n
x Z
p
[x].
It is possible, that the roots of this polynomial are not contained in Z
p
, but
we can construct a greater eld K, containing Z
p
, which already contains all
the roots of x
p
n
x.
Now we prove that all of the roots of p(x) are dierent: since char(Z
p
) = p,
we have that
p

(x) = p
n
x
p
n
1
1 = 1.
This shows that the greatest common divisor of p(x) and p

(x) is 1. Hence
they could not have common roots.
In addition, p(x) has degree p
n
, so it has p
n
roots. If we can prove that
these roots form a eld, we also prove that K contains these roots and no
other elements, so K has cardinality p
n
. Let a and b be two roots of p(x).
Then a
p
n
= a and b
p
n
= b, and
(a b)
p
n
= a
p
n
b
p
n
= a b,
and also
_
a
b
_
p
n
=
a
p
n
b
p
n
=
a
b
.
These relations mean that if a and b are roots of p(x), then a b and
a
b
are
roots as well. By the construction it is obvious that this eld is unique and
contains p
n
elements.
17
Construction of nite elds
The proof of the above theorem already oer a construction of a nite eld.
But it is sometimes hard to nd the roots of a polynomial to construct the
eld in the above proof directly. But there is a sideway to nd K.
If we x the prime p and an irreducible polynomial p(x) of degree n, then
the factor ring
Z
p
[x]/(p(x)) = a
0
+ a
1
x + + a
n1
x
n1
[ a
0
, a
1
, . . . , a
n1
Z
p

has p
n
elements. Still we do not know that Z
p
[x]/(p(x)) is a eld. If it is,
then by the above theorem it must be isomorphic to the above constructed
K of p
n
elements.
That Z
p
[x]/(p(x)) is a eld can be seen by the maximality of the ideal
(p(x)). This ideal is indeed maximal, because if there is an other ideal (q(x)),
greater than (p(x)), that is,
(p(x)) (q(x)),
it would mean that q(x) divide p(x), which is impossible by the irreducibility
of p(x).
The result of the above considerations is that any eld of characteristic p
can be constructed a above. Hence we have the next theorem.
17.0.17. Theorem. Any eld of characteristic p has p
n
elements and it can
be constructed by an irreducible polynomial p(x) as
Z
p
[x]/(p(x)).
17.0.18. Example. Let us construct a eld of 4 = 2
2
elements. To this
end it is enough to nd an irreducible polynomial p(x) of order 2 which is
irreducible in Z
2
. Then our eld of four elements will be
Z
2
[x]/(p(x)).
The polynomial
p(x) = x
2
+ x + 1
101
102 17. chapter. Construction of nite elds
will be suitable, since p(0) = p(1) = 1 in Z
2
, so it is irreducible. Therefore
our eld of 4 elements is
K := Z
2
[x]/(x
2
+ x + 1) = a + bx [ a, b Z
2
.
More closely, this eld has the next four elements:
K = 0, 1, x, 1 + x.
(We can see that K contains Z
2
as a subeld, as it is necesary by Theorem
16.0.15.) For example, the inverse of x is 1 + x, since
x(1 + x) = x + x
2
= (x
2
+ x + 1) 1 = 0 1 = 1 = 1.
We close this short chapter with several additional easy observations on
elds.
17.0.19. Denition. A eld K is called prime if it does not contain non-
trivial subelds.
17.0.20. Example. The elds Q and Z
p
(p is a prime) are prime elds.
The proof is an easy exercise.
Exercises
17.0.21. Exercise. Construct a eld with 9 elements.
17.0.22. Exercise. Show that Q and Z
p
are prime elds.
Part VI
Field extensions
103
104
Field extensions are fundamental in the investigation of solvability of
equations. For this reason we now turn to the question: if we have a eld L,
how it is possible extend this eld to get K L. We connect this question
to polynomials and their roots. For example, if we consider the equation
x
2
2 = 0 over Z, it is obvious that the solutions are not elements of Z. An
extension of Z which already contains the roots are R. But, as we will see,
it is possible to construct a smaller eld between Z and R which is already
suitable for us.
18
Field extensions, algebraic and
transcendental elements
18.1 Algebraic and transcendent elements
18.1.1. Denition. Let L be a eld. If L is a subeld of K, we can also
say that K is a eld extension of L.
18.1.2. Example. R is an extension of Q.
18.1.3. Denition. Let K be an extension of L. Then we classify the ele-
ments of K to two classes as follows:
1. If a K and there is a polynomial in p(x) L[x] such that p(a) = 0,
then a is called algebraic element of K over L.
2. If a K is not algebraic, we say that it is transcendent element of K
over L.
18.1.4. Example. R is an extension of Q. The element a =

2 is algebraic
in R, because for p(x) = x
2
2 we have that p(a) = 0.
18.2 Field extensions
The elements and e are transcendental.
18.2.1. Denition. If every element of K is algebraic over L, then we say
that K is an algebraic extension of L.
18.2.2. Denition. If there is an element a K where K is an extension
of L such that
K = L, a,
then we say that K is a simple algebraic extension of L. This fact is denoted
by K = L(a). The element a is called primitive.
105
106 18. chapter. Field extensions, algebraic and transcendental elements
The next theorem is fundamental in the theory of eld extensions.
18.2.3. Theorem. Let K = L(a). Then
K

= L[x]/(f(x)),
where f(x) L[x] is an irreducible polynomial of minimal degree such that
f(a) = 0. Moreover, every element u in K has the form
u = u
0
+ u
1
a + u
2
a
2
+ + u
n
a
n
,
where n = deg(f) and u
i
L.
We see that K can be considered as a vector space over L.
18.2.4. Denition. This number n in the theorem is called the degree of
the extension, denoted by [K : L]. By the previous observation, [K : L] is
also the dimension of the vector space K over L.
Proof. Let us go back to the theorem. Let us consider the function
: L[x] L(a); (p(x)) = p(a).
The function is a homomorphism, as it can be easily seen. Its kernel
contains the polynomial f(x) in the statement of the theorem, since f(a) = 0.
Since ker() is an ideal, contains f(x) and f(x) has minimal degree, it follows
that
ker() = (f(x)).
By the isomorphism theorem
L[x]/ ker()

= L
1
L(a) = K.
By denition, L(a) is the minimal eld which contains all the elements of
L and the element a, it is necessary that L
1
= L(a) = K. (Note that
L[x]/ ker() = L[x]/(f(x)) is a eld, because f is irreducible.)
We now prove that every element of K has the form as in the theorem.
To see this, we pick an element u K and apply the homomorphism .
Then (g(x) + (f(x))) = u for some polynomial g L[x]. This polynomial
can be written as
g(x) = f(x)q(x) + u
0
+ u
1
x + u
2
x
2
+ + u
n
x
n
with coecients in L. Then applying :
u = f(a)q(a) +u
0
+u
1
a +u
2
a
2
+ +u
n
a
n
= u
0
+u
1
a +u
2
a
2
+ +u
n
a
n
,
since f(a) = 0.
18.2. Field extensions 107
18.2.5. Example. Now we take a concrete example to see what structure
have the eld extensions. To this end let K = Q and a =

2. Then
Q(

2) = a + b

2 [ a, b Q.
This is the smallest eld containing Q and

2.
Our theorem of simple eld extensions says that Q(

2) is isomorphic to a
the polynomial ring Q[x] factorized by an irreducible polynomial of minimal
degree which has a root in

2. A polynomial satisfying these claims is
p(x) = x
2
2.
Hence
Q(

2)

= Q[x]/(x
2
2).
Exercises
18.2.6. Exercise. Prove that
_
2

2 is an algebraic element of R over


Q.
18.2.7. Exercise. Look for a minimal degree polynomial which has the root

5, 1 +

7,

2 +

3,
3

2 +

2, respectively.
18.2.8. Exercise. Determine the degrees
[R(
4

5) : R], [Q(

2) : Q], [Q(

2,

3) : Q], [Q(1 + i) : Q].


19
Splitting elds
19.1 The denition of splitting elds
It can happen, that in a specic eld K, a polynomial p(x) does not split
to linear factors. This happens in the case, for example, when K = Q, and
p(x) = x
2
2. This polynomial does not split in Q, but it splits in Q(

2).
Moreover, this is the smallest eld in which p(x) splits to linear factors.
19.1.1. Denition. Let L be a eld, and p(x) L[x] is a polynomial. The
smallest extension of L for which p(x) can be decomposed to linear factors
is called the splitting eld of p(x).
In other words, a the splitting eld is the smallest eld which contains
every roots of the polynomial p(x).
19.1.2. Example. The splitting eld of x
2
1 Q[x] is Q itself.
19.1.3. Example. The splitting eld of x
2
2 Q[x] is Q(

2).
It is obvious that looking for a splitting eld, it is enough to consider
the irreducible factors of a polynomial. For irreducible polynomials, we have
already constructed the eld extension in theorem 18.2.3.. The eld K in
this theorem is a partial eld, which can be extended forward to append
all the roots of the polynomial. Hence, if the polynomial f(x) L[x] has
a
1
, a
2
, . . . , a
n
roots, then we can construct the chain of eld extensions
L L(a) (L(a
1
))(a
2
) ((L(a
1
)(a
2
)) )(a
n
).
The last eld in the chain is the splitting eld of f(x).
19.2 The eld of complex numbers
Here comes a very important eld extension (or a splitting eld). Let us
take the eld of real numbers. We know that the solution of the quadratic
108
19.2. The eld of complex numbers 109
equation
ax
2
+ bx + c = 0
is
x
1,2
=
b

b
2
4ac
2a
.
The equation has a solution in R if and only if the discriminant D := b
2

4ac 0. If this discriminant D is negative, it is possible to write it in the


form
0 > b
2
4ac = 1d,
where d > 0. Hence

D =

1. If we add the element



1 to the
eld R, we get that in this new eld every polynomial of degree at most two
splits. For this reason the next denition is essential
19.2.1. Denition. The eld R(

1) is called the eld of complex num-


bers, and it is denoted by C. The element

1 of C is denoted by i in the
following.
Theorem 18.2.3. says that
C

= R[x]/(f(x)),
where f(x) has

1 as a root, and of minimal degree irreducible. One can
see that we can choose f(x) as
f(x) = x
2
+ 1.
Hence we get the next result.
19.2.2. Proposition. We have the next isomorphism.
C

= R[x]/(x
2
+ 1).
By this, the elements of C can be written as
a + bi, (a, b R).
19.2.3. Example. Let us see how this eld works. Let us calculate the
product (1 + i)(3 i). We have that
(1 + i)(3 i) = 3 i + 3i + i(i) = 3 + 2i i
2
= 3 + 2i (1) = 4 + 2i.