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MODULE VERSUS VECTOR SPACE
Definition : (Left Module) Let M be a nonempty set. Then M is said to be a left R-module over a ring R if (M , + ) is an abelian group together with a scalar multiplication R × M  M defined by ( r, x) → r x , ∀ r ∈R , x∈M such that (i) r( x + y ) = r x + r y ( ii ) (r + s) x= r x + s x (iii ) ( rs) x = r ( s x ) , ∀ r , s ∈R and x , y ∈ M The elements of R are called scalars. Similarly, we can define Right module. Definition : (Right Module) Let M be a nonempty set. Then M is said to be a right R-module over a ring R if (M , + ) is an abelian group together with a scalar multiplication R × M  M defined by ( x, r) → x r ,∀ r ∈R , x∈M Such that (i) ( x + y )r = xr + yr ( ii ) x (r + s) = xr + x s (iii ) x( rs) = ( x r) s , ∀ r , s ∈R and x , y ∈ M Remark (1) When R is a commutative ring then the concept of left Rmodule and right R-module coincide and in that case , we simply say , M is R-module . (2) It should be noted that the distinction between a left R-module and a right R-module is merely that of notation. The theory of right R-module can be developed in the same manner as the theory of left R-modules. But this does not mean that the study of all left modules over a particular ring R is equivalent to the study of all right modules over R. Definition : ( Unitary R-module ) If R is a ring with unity 1, then a left Rmodule M is said to be unitary R-module if 1. x = x , ∀ x∈M Remark : (i) If R is a division ring , then Left R-module = Left Vector space over R Right R-module = Right Vector space over R (ii) If R is a Field , then R-module M = Vector space M over R

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Examples of Modules Example 1. Every abelian group G is a module over the ring of integer Z under the scalar multiplication defined by ( n , x) → n x = x + x + x +……….+ x ( n times if n > 0 ) 0 ( if n = 0 ) -x - x - x - ………- x ( n times if n < 0 )

Remark : In the above example G is a unitary Z - module as 1 is the unity of Z and 1.x = x , for all x ∈ G . Example 2. Every ring R is itself is an R-module over itself with usual multiplication in R as the scalar multiplication. We generally denote RR for left R-module R and RR for right R-module R Example 3. Let S be a sub- ring of the ring R, then R can be regarded as a left (right ) S-module in a natural way, namely w.r.t. multiplication in R. Remark: Since R can be regarded as a set of all constant polynomials in R[x] , is a sub-ring of R[x] . Thus R[x] is R-module . Example 4. Every ideal I of a ring R is an R-module under the scalar multiplication defined by ( a , x )  a x , for all a ∈ I and x ∈ R. Example 5. Let R be a ring with unity and n is a positive integer . Then the abelian group ( Rn , + ) ( under component wise addition ) is a left (right) R-module under the external law of composition R × Rn  Rn , defined by r( x1 , x2 , ……., xn ) = ( r x1 , r x2 , ……., r xn ) , for all r ∈ R , and ( x1 , x2 , ……., xn ) ∈ Rn . Remark : If R = F ( field ), then F n is a vector space over F. Example 6. Let M be the set of all m × n matrices over a ring R . Then the abelian group (M , + ) under the matrix addition can be regarded as left R-module under the scalar multiplication defined by r ( ai j )  ( r ai j ) , for all r ∈ R and ( ai j ) ∈ M .

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These are some of the examples of a module over a ring and we notice that the concept of modules goes in a similar fashion as that of a vector space over a field . We can also defined Sub-module , Quotient module , Direct sum of sub-modules , Module Homomorphism etc. The concept of “ linearly independence” and “ basis ” for vector space can be carried over to the modules over commutative ring without change with only difference , in case of module we talk of rank and in case of vector space we call it as dimension Definition : (Free module ) An R-module M is said to be a free module if and only if it has a basis . Definition : ( Rank of a free module) Let M be a free module over a commutative ring R, then the number of elements in the basis of M is called the rank of M and is denoted by rankR(M) . Examples of Free modules Example 1 . If R is commutative ring with unity 1 , then as a module over itself R admits a basis , consisting of its unity element 1 or { u } , where u be any unit in R . Thus RR ( or RR ) is a free module of rank 1. Example 2. If R be a commutative ring with unity 1 , then Rn = R × R ×………× R ( n- times) , is a free module of rank n and the set S = { e1 , e2 , ….., ei , ……., en } , where ei = ( 0 , 0,…, 0 , 1 , 0, …,0)

( i-th place) be the R- basis of R .
n

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Some Pathologies We know that the following results hold in case of a Vector space V over a field F (1) Every vector space has a basis (2) Every L.I. subset of V can be extended to form a basis for V. In particular , every non-zero vector can be extended to form a basis for V. (3) Every subset which span V contains a basis of V . (4) Any two basis of V are either both finite or both infinite and their cardinalities are equal and this common value is called the dimension of V and is denoted by dimF( V ). (5) If W be a subspace of a finite dimensional vector space V over a field F, then W is also finite dimensional. (6) Every subspace of a vector space is a direct summand of V , i.e. if W1 is any subspace of the vector space V ,then there exist a unique subspace W2 of V such that V = W1 ⊕ W2 . The subspace W2 is called the complement of W1 in V. Thus , in vector space the complement of every subspace exist and it is unique . It is natural to ask to what extent these results holds for (1) modules over arbitrary ring (2) free modules over arbitrary ring and (3) free modules over commutative ring ( I ) First of all , we show that not all modules are free module Example 1( i ) Any finite abelian group G is not a free Z- module. Solution : Let M be a finite abelian group. Then M is a Z -module . If possible ,let M be a free module and let S be a basis for M over Z. Let x ≠ 0 be any element of M such that n x = o , for some n ∈ ¥ . [ Q M is a finite abelian group ∴ order of every element of M exist ] ∴ m x ≠ 0 for any m < n and n ≥ 2 Now , we have x = n1s1 + n2 s2 + ……….+ nr sr , for some s1 , s2 , …,sr ∈ S and n1 , n2 , ……., nr ∈ Z 0 = n x = n (n1s1 + n2 s2 + ……….+ nr sr ) = (nn1)s1+(nn2)s2+….+(nnr)sr But S is L.I. set ⇒ nn1 = nn2 = ……..= nnr = 0 ⇒ n1 = n2 = …….= nr =0 ⇒ x = 0 , a contradiction . Hence M has no basis and so is not a free module.

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Remark : In fact any abelian group M which has a non-trivial element of finite order cannot be a free module Example 1(ii) The module Q over Z is not a free module .i.e. Q is not a free Z -module. Solution : Let q (≠ 0 ) ∈ Q be any rational number . Then n. q =0
p p

p

n=0

,

where n ∈ Z .

∴ singleton set { q } is L.I. over Z Now , we show that any set containing two (or more ) rational no’s are L.D. Let q , be any two different rational numbers. Then we have s (rq) . q − (ps) . = 0 , where rq , ps ∈ Z s ⇒ { q , } is L.D. over Z . s Now , we show that no singleton set can generate Q . To show this , let { p } , where p is a prime number generate Q
1 1 1 1 ∈ Q ∴ ∃ n ∈ Z such that n. p = 2 p ⇒ n= 2 2 1 But ∉ Z . Thus no singleton set in Q can generate Q. 2 1 p r p r p r

As

Hence , we see that Q admits no basis over Z and so Q is not a free Z -module . ( 2 ) Next , we give an example to show that a free module has a L.I. set which cannot be extended to a basis. Example Let R = Z = M . As a Z - module , Z has a free basis {1} or {-1} Now, {2} is L.I. over Z . As n.2 = 0 ⇒ n = 0 , where n ∈ Z. Also , we note that 2 cannot generate Z over Z ∴ if at all there is a basis S containing 2 . Then S must have atleast one more element (say ) s . But, then we have s.2 − 2.s = 0 . i.e. {2 , s } is L.D. subset of S and hence of Z ,which is absurd.

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( 3 ) Next , we give an example to show that a free module has a subset S which span M but S do-not contain a basis of M. Example : Let R = Z = M and S = { m , n } with m and n non-unit and (m , n) =1 [ for example , S = {2 , 3 } ] . Then ∴ for any x ∈ Z , we have x = x.1 = x .( a m + bn ) = (x a) m + (x b)n ⇒ Z =mZ +nZ i.e. S span M . Also , we know that S is L.D. [ Q 2.3 − 3.2 = 0 ] ∴ S is not a basis for Z . Moreover , m Z ≠ Z ⇒ S do-not contain any basis for Z.
∃ a , b ∈ Z such that 1 = a m + bn

and

nZ ≠Z

( 4 ) Next , we give an example to show that a free module has different basis having different cardinalities . Example : Let M be a vector space of countably infinte dimension over a division ring D. Let R = EndR( M ) . Then R is a free module over R with basis { 1R } . We shall show that for a given positive integer n ( say ) there is an R-basis Sn = { s1 , s2 , ….., sn } for R having n elements . Let S = { ek : k = 1 , 2 , 3 , ……} be a basis of M over D. Define s1 , s2 , ……., sn ∈R . By specifying their values on S as in the table below :

.

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s1 e1 e2 : : en en +1 en +2 : : e2n : : : ekn +1 ekn +2 : : e(k+1)n : : : e1 0 : : 0 e2 0 : : 0 : : : ek+1 0 : : 0 : : :

s2 0 e1 : : 0 0 e2 : : 0 : : : 0 ek+1 : : 0 : : :
n

s3 0 0 : : 0 0 0 : : 0 : : : 0 0 : : 0 : : :

. .…………. sn . ………. … 0 . .. ………… 0 : : ………. ….. e1 . ………. …. 0 . .. ………… 0 : : ………. …. e2 …………… : …………… : ………….. : . ………. … 0 . .. ………… 0 : : ………. … ek+1 …………. : …………. : ……………. : = 0 , where α i ∈ R

Clearly , Sn is an R-basis of R . Also , if

∑α s
i =1

i i

Then evaluating on the successive blanks of n vectors namely , ekn +1 , ekn +2 , ……… , e(k +1)n , k = 0 , 1 , 2 , 3 ,……….., we get α i ( ek+1 ) = 0 , for all k and 1 ≤ i ≤ n i.e α i = 0 , for all i.

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⇒ Sn is linearly independent over R. Also , if s ∈ R , then s =

∑α s
i =1

n

i i

, where α i ∈ R

Are defined by their values on S as in the table above . Thus Sn is an R- module for R . We note that S1 = { 1R } which is a standard basis for R as R-module . ∴ For n ≠ 1 , we see that Sn be different basis for R-module R , whose cardinality is n where as S1 = { 1R } is also standard basis for R-module R whose cardinality is 1. Note : In the above example we notice that R is not commutative ring . ( 5 ) Next , we give an example to show that a finitely generated free module having a sub-module which is neither free nor finitely generated Example : Let K be a field and R = K[ X1 , X2 , ….. , Xn , ….]. Then R is a commutative ring . Now, let M = R , then M is a free module with basis { 1 } . Sub-modules of M are ideals of R . ∴ let N be the ideal of all polynomials with constant term Zero . i.e. N = < X1 , X2 , ….. , Xn , …. > . Now , we claim that N is not a finitely generated module . If possible , let N be finitely generated module as an ideal in R and let S = < s1 , s2 , …….., sr > be the generating set for N . It is clear that there exists a positive integer n ≥ 0 such that si ∈ K[ X1 , X2 , ….. , Xn , ….], which is a sub-ring of R . Since Xi ∈ N , for all i . ∴ we can write Xn+1 = i=1 , for some ai ∈ R Since all si’ s are without constant terms ∴ if we take X1 = X2 = ……= Xn = 0 , we get Xn+1 = =

∑a s
i

r

i

∑ a (0,0,...,0, X
i =1 i r i =1 i

r

n +1

,0,....) si (0,0,....,0) ,0,....).0

∑ a (0,0,...,0, X

n +1

=0

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which is absurd , as N is not finitely generated , it cannot be a principal ideal and hence it is not free because the only ideals of R which are free as Rmodules are non-zero principal ideals. (7) Next , we give an example to show that to show that every submodule of a module need not be a direct summand and also that if a sub-module is a direct summand then the supplement of it need not be unique . Example : ( i ) Consider the Z - module Z. A non-zero subgroup < n> of Z is a sub-module of Z , but it is not a direct summand because a supplement which is infinite cyclic group should be isomorphic to the quotient group Z / < n > ( ≅ Z n ) , which is not possible . Example : ( ii ) Let M = R2 = { ( x , y ) : x , y ∈ R } be a R -module . Let M1 = { ( x , x ) : x ∈ R } , M2 = { ( x , 2x ) : x ∈ R } , M3 = { ( x , 3x ) : x ∈ R } . Clearly, M1 , M2 , M3 are R -sub-modules of M . Also , M = M1 ⊕ M2 , for any element (x , y ) ∈ M can be written as ( x , y ) = ( x1 , x1) + ( x2 , 2x2 ) , where x1= 2x − y and x2 = y− x so that ( x1 , x1) ∈ M1 and ( x2 , 2x2 ) ∈ M2 . More over , M1 ∩ M2 = { 0M } . Similarly , we show that M = M1 ⊕ M3 . Thus , M = M1 ⊕ M2 and M = M1 ⊕ M3 i.e. M2 is a supplement of M1 in M , also M3 is a supplement of M1 in M . But M2 ≠ M3 . Thus if a sub-module N of a module M is a summand it supplement in M need not be unique. NOTE : All these pathologies can be removed for a free module M over a principal ideal domain R.

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