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MATH 103B Homework 2 - Solutions

Due April 12, 2013

Version April 12, 2013

Assigned reading: Chapters 12-13 of Gallian.

Recommended practice questions: Chapter 12 of Gallian, exercises
30, 31, 32, 33
Chapter 13 of Gallian, exercises
1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 15, 18
Assigned questions to hand in:
(1) (Gallian Chapter 12 # 43) Let R Z  Z  Z and S
or disprove that S is a subring of R.

a, b, c  R : a  b

c. Prove

Solution: We will prove that S is not a subring of R. Recall that the operations on the
external direct product are componentwise. Consider 1, 0, 1 and 0, 1, 1, both of which
are elements of S. Then multiplication gives

1, 0, 10, 1, 1 0, 0, 1  S

since 0  0 1. Thus, S is not closed under multiplication and hence is not a subring of R.
(2) (Gallian Chapter 12 #44, special case) Suppose that a2
ring. Show that
a a for all a in the ring.

a for all elements a of some

Solution: Let a be an element of the ring. Then so is a  a. By assumption,


a  a2 a  aa  a

a2  a2  a2  a2

Using cancellation for addition in the ring:


a  a,

that is,

a  a  a  a.


Alternate solution: Let a be an element in the ring. Then so is

a Thm 12.1.3 aa


a. By assumption,


This solution generalizes to prove the bonus once a general version of Theorem 12.1.3. is
(3) (Gallian Chapter 13 #10) Describe all zero-divisors and units of Z  Q  Z.

a, b, c  Z  Q  Z, x is a unit if and only if

Solution: We will prove that for x
a, c  1,
1 and b 0, and x is a zero divisor if and only if at least one of a, b, c is 0
(and not all of them are).
First, we prove that  1, b, 1 is a unit (for any choice of b 0) by finding its
multiplicative inverse. Note that the unity of this ring is 1, 1, 1. It is easy to verify that
1, b, 11 1, 1b , 1, 
1, b, 11 
1, 1b , 1,

1, b,
11 1, 1b ,

1, b,
1, 1b ,

We will show that if x is not of this form, it is not a unit:

Suppose x n, b, c with n 1,
1. Then n is not a unit in Z and so there is no
m  Z such that nm 1. But, if y m, d, e is the inverse of x in Z  Q  Z, then
xy 1, 1, 1 so in particular nm 1. Thus, no such y can exist.
Suppose x a, 0, c. Then for any y n, d, e, the second component of xy is 0 so
xy 1, 1, 1. Thus, x has no multiplicative inverse and is not a unit.
Similar to the first case.
a, 0, 0 for a 0. Then y 0, 1, 1 0, 0, 0 but xy 0, 0, 0.
Consider x
Similarly, if x has at least one zero component then we can find a nonzero element of
Z  Q  Z whose product with x is 0, 0, 0. Conversely, suppose x is a zero-divisor in
this ring. Then since multiplication is component-wise and Z and Q are each integral
domains, x must have at least one zero component.
(4) (Gallian Chapter 13 #28) Let R be the set of all real-valued functions defined for all real
numbers under function addition and multiplication.
(a) Determine all zero-divisors of R.
(c) Show that every nonzero elements is a zero-divisor or a unit.
(a) A function f : R R is a zero-divisor of R if and only if there is some x0  R such
0 if x x0
and notice that f g 0.
that f x 0. In this case, consider g x
1 if x x0
If f has no zeroes then any choice of g such that f g 0 would need f xg x 0
for each x, but f x  R and R is a field so no appropriate g x exists.
(c) Suppose f is a nonzero function and is not a zero-divisor. By part (a), that means
that f x 0 for each x  R. We will prove that f is a unit. Consider the
function g x
, a well-defined real-valued function by our assumption. Then,
f x

f gx

f xg x
Thus, f is a unit.

f x
f x

1 for all x  R and g is the multiplicative inverse of f .

(5) (Gallian Chapter 13 # 54) Let R be a ring with m elements. Show that the characteristic
of R divides m.
Solution: Let n be the characteristic of R. That is, it is the smallest positive integer
such that na 0 for each a  R. Since R is a finite group (under addition), Lagranges
theorem says that the order of each element of R divides m. In particular, for each a  R,

By the division theorem, let q
For each a  R,


 Z and 0  r  n be such that

m nq  r.

nq  ra nqa  ra

q na  ra

q  0  ra

0  ra


Thus, the rth multiple of each ring element vanishes. By definition of the characteristic
and since r  n, r cannot be positive. Therefore, r 0 and n divides m.
(6) (Gallian Chapter 13 #32) Let R
ulo 10. Prove that R is a field.

0, 2, 4, 6, 8 under addition and multiplication mod-

Solution: Addition and multiplication modulo 10 are associative and commutative operations, which also satisfy distributivity. Thus, it remains to prove the following:
R is closed under 10 , 10:
10 0 2 4 6 8
10 0 2 4 6 8
0 0 2 4 6 8
0 0 0 0 0 0
2 2 4 6 8 0
2 0 4 8 2 6
4 4 6 8 0 2
4 0 8 6 4 2
6 6 8 0 2 4
6 0 2 4 6 8
8 8 0 2 4 6
8 0 6 2 8 4
R has a unity: 6 acts as the unity of this ring.
Every nonzero element is a unit:








(7) (Gallian Chapter 13 #60) In a commutative ring of characteristic 2, prove that the idempotents form a subring. Recall (from question 18) that a is idempotent if a2 a.
Solution: We use the Subring Test.
Nonempty? The additive identity 0 is always idempotent, 0  0 0.
Closure under subtraction? Suppose a2 a and b2 b. Consider

b2 a

ba  a
b b2

Thm 12.1

But, in a ring of characteristic 2, x  x



ab  ab b2

0 for each x, so x



and we have proved that a

b is idempotent.
Closure under multiplication? Suppose a2 a and b2

ab2 Commutativity a2b2

and we have proved that ab is idempotent.


Char 2


a  b.

x for each x. Thus,

b. Consider