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submodules of M . Prove that i=1 Mi is a submodule of M .

S∞

Solution:

S∞ It is clear that 0 ∈ i=1 Mi , and so the union is nonempty. Let x, y ∈

i=1 Mi , and let r ∈ R. Then there exist positive integers n, k such that x ∈ Mn and

y ∈ Mk . If n ≤ k,Sthen x, y ∈ Mk , so x + y ∈ Mk and rx ∈ Mk , and therefore x + y

∞

and rx belong to i=1 Mi . This shows that the union is a submodule of M .

14. Let R M be a left R-module, with submodules N and K. Show that if N ∪ K is a

submodule of M , then either N ⊆ K or K ⊆ N .

Solution: If N ⊆ K we are done. If not, there exists x ∈ N with x 6∈ K. We will show

that K ⊆ N . Let y ∈ K. Since N ∪ K is a submodule, either x + y ∈ K or x + y ∈ N .

The first cannot happen, since x + y ∈ K implies x = (x + y) − y ∈ K, a contradiction.

Therefore we must have x + y ∈ N , so y = (x + y) − x ∈ N .

15. Let R be a commutative ring, and let X be a subset of R that contains 1 and is closed

under products. Show that if I is any ideal of R with I ∩ X = ∅, then there exists a

prime ideal P of R with I ⊆ P and P ∩ X = ∅.

Solution: Let P be the ideal of R whose existence is guaranteed by Lemma 2.1.13.

Using Proposition 1.3.2, to show that P is a prime ideal it suffices to show that if A

and B are ideals that properly contain P , then AB is not contained in P . If A and B

properly contain P , then by the construction of P there exist x1 , x2 ∈ X with x1 ∈ A

and x2 ∈ B. Since X is closed under multiplication, x1 x2 ∈ X, and so x1 x2 6∈ P , and

therefore AB is not contained in P .

16. An module homomorphism f : M → N is called a monomorphism if it satisfies the

following condition: if g, h : X → M are homomorphisms with f g = f h, then g = h.

Prove that f is a monomorphism if and only if it is one-to-one.

Solution: If f is one-to-one, it is clear that it is a monomorphism. Conversely, if f is

a monomorphism, choose X = ker(f ), let g : ker(f ) → M be the inclusion mapping,

and let h be the zero mapping. Then f g = 0 = f h, so the assumption that f is a

monomorphism forces g = 0, showing that ker(f ) = (0), and hence f is one-to-one.

17. An module homomorphism f : M → N is called an epimorphism if it satisfies the

following condition: if g, h : N → Y are homomorphisms with gf = hf , then g = h.

Prove that f is an epimorphism if and only if it is onto.

Solution: If f is onto, it is clear that it is an epimorphism. Conversely, if f is an

epimorphism, choose Y = N/ Im(f ), let g : N → Y be the natural projection, and

let h be the zero mapping. Then gf = 0 = hf , so the assumption that f is an

epimorphism forces g = 0, showing that Im(f ) = N , and hence f is onto.

18. Show that if p, q are distinct prime numbers, then there exists a short exact sequence

f g

0 - Zp - Zpq - Zq - 0

of Z-modules.

Solution: Let f : Zp → Zpq be defined by f ([x]p ) = [qx]pq , for all x ∈ Z. This is

well-defined since if x ≡ y (mod p), then p | (x − y), and hence pq | (qx − qy), showing

2 Introductory Lectures on Rings and Modules

that f ([x]p ) = f ([y]p ). It is clear that f is one-to-one. Let g : Zpq → Zq be the natural

projection, which is certainly onto. Then ker(g) is the set of multiples of q in Zpq ,

which is precisely the image of f .

19. In the following diagram, assume that the first square is a commutative diagram, and

that both rows form exact sequences. Prove that there is a unique R-homomorphism

h2 : M2 → N2 such that h2 f1 = g1 h1 (making the second square commutative).

f0 f1

M0 - M1 - M2 - 0

··

··

h0 h1 ·· h2

? ? ?

N0 - N1 - N2 - 0

g0 g1

the fact that g1 g0 = 0 because the bottom row is exact. This shows that ker(f1 ) =

Im(f0 ) ⊆ ker(g1 h1 ). We define h2 : M2 → N2 as follows: given x ∈ M2 there

exists x1 ∈ M1 with x = f1 (x1 ), since f1 is onto, and so we can define h2 (x) =

g1 h1 (x2 ). The mapping h2 is well-defined since if x = f1 (x01 ), then x1 − x01 ∈ ker(f1 ),

so x1 − x01 ∈ ker(g1 h1 ), and therefore h2 (x2 ) = h2 (x02 ). It is easy to check that h2 is

an R-homomorphism. Finally, uniqueness follows immediately from the fact that f1

is an epimorphism (see Problem 17).

20. Let I be an ideal of the ring R such that I n = (0), and let M, N be left R-modules

with an R-homomorphism f : M → N .

(a) Prove that f induces an R-homomorphism f 0 : M/IM → N/IN .

Pn

Solution: If xP∈ IM , then x = i=1 ai mi , for elements ai ∈ I and mi ∈ M . It follows

n

that f (x) = i=1 ai f (mi ), and so f (x) ∈ IN . We define f 0 : M/IM → N/IN by

0

f (x + IM ) = f (x) + IN . This is a well-defined function since if x1 + IM = x2 + IM ,

then x1 −x2 ∈ IM , and so f (x1 −x2 ) ∈ IN , which shows that f (x1 )+IN = f (x2 )+IN .

It is then easy to check that f 0 is an R-homomorphism.

(b) Prove that if f 0 is onto, then f is onto.

Solution: It follows, as in part (a), that f (I 2 M ) ⊆ I 2 N , so there is also an induced

R-homomorphism f 00 : M/I 2 M → N/I 2 N . We claim that if f 0 is onto, then so is f 00 .

If y ∈ N , then since f 0 is onto, there exists x ∈ M with y + IM = f (x) Pn+ IN . Then

there exist a1 , . . . , an ∈ I and y1 , . . . , yn ∈ N such that y = f (x) + i=1 ai yi . We

can then do the same thing for each of the elements yi , so there exist x1 , . . . , xn ∈ M

with yi = f (xi ) + zi , where zi ∈ IN P. nIt follows that ai yi = f (ai xi ) + ai zi , and then

a substitution gives us y = f (x + i=1 ai xi ) + z, where z ∈ I 2 N . Continuing this

argument inductively, we see that f = f (n) maps M = M/I n M onto N = N/I n N .

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