# Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization

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1 Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Matthew Macauley Department of Mathematical Sciences Clemson University Math 4120, Summer I 2014 M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

2 Introduction A ring is in some sense, a generalization of the familiar number systems like Z, R, and C, where we are allowed to add, subtract, and multiply. Two key properties about these structures are: multiplication is commutative, there are no (nonzero) zero divisors. Blanket assumption Throughout this lecture, unless explicitly mentioned otherwise, R is assumed to be an integral domain, and we will define R := R \ {0}. The integers have several basic properties that we usually take for granted: every nonzero number can be factored uniquely into primes; any two numbers have a unique greatest common divisor and least common multiple; there is a Euclidean algorithm, which can find the gcd of two numbers. Surprisingly, these need not always hold in integrals domains! We would like to understand this better. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

3 Divisibility Definition If a, b R, say that a divides b, or b is a multiple of a if b = ac for some c R. We write a b. If a b and b a, then a and b are associates, written a b. Examples In Z: n and n are associates. In R[x]: f (x) and c f (x) are associates for any c 0. The only associate of 0 is itself. The associates of 1 are the units of R. Proposition (HW) Two elements a, b R are associates if and only if a = bu for some unit u U(R). This defines an equivalence relation on R, and partitions R into equivalence classes. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

4 Irreducibles and primes Note that units divide everything: if b R and u U(R), then u b. Definition If b R is not a unit, and the only divisors of b are units and associates of b, then b is irreducible. An element p R is prime if p is not a unit, and p ab implies p a or p b. Proposition If 0 p R is prime, then p is irreducible. Proof Suppose p is prime but not irreducible. Then p = ab with a, b U(R). Then (wlog) p a, so a = pc for some c R. Now, p = ab = (pc)b = p(cb). This means that cb = 1, and thus b U(R), a contradiction. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

5 Irreducibles and primes Caveat: Irreducible prime Consider the ring R 5 := {a + b 5 : a, b Z}. 3 (2 + 5)(2 5) = 9 = 3 3, but and Thus, 3 is irreducible in R 5 but not prime. When irreducibles fail to be prime, we can lose nice properties like unique factorization. Things can get really bad: not even the lengths of factorizations into irreducibles need be the same! For example, consider the ring R = Z[x 2, x 3 ]. Then x 6 = x 2 x 2 x 2 = x 3 x 3. The element x 2 R is not prime because x 2 x 3 x 3 yet x 2 x 3 in R (note: x R). M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

6 Principal ideal domains Fortunately, there is a type of ring where such bad things don t happen. Definition An ideal I generated by a single element a R is called a principal ideal. We denote this by I = (a). If every ideal of R is principal, then R is a principal ideal domain (PID). Examples The following are all PIDs (stated without proof): The ring of integers, Z. Any field F. The polynomial ring F [x] over a field. As we will see shortly, PIDs are nice rings. Here are some properties they enjoy: pairs of elements have a greatest common divisor & least common multiple ; irreducible prime; Every element factors uniquely into primes. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

7 Greatest common divisors & least common multiples Proposition If I Z is an ideal, and a I is its smallest positive element, then I = (a). Proof Pick any positive b I. Write b = aq + r, for q, r Z and 0 r < a. Then r = b aq I, so r = 0. Therefore, b = qa (a). Definition A common divisor of a, b R is an element d R such that d a and d b. Moreover, d is a greatest common divisor (GCD) if c d for all other common divisors c of a and b. A common multiple of a, b R is an element m R such that a m and b m. Moreover, m is a least common multiple (LCM) if m n for all other common multiples n of a and b. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

8 Nice properties of PIDs Proposition If R is a PID, then any a, b R have a GCD, d = gcd(a, b). It is unique up to associates, and can be written as d = xa + yb for some x, y R. Proof Existence. The ideal generated by a and b is I = (a, b) = {ua + vb : u, v R}. Since R is a PID, we can write I = (d) for some d I, and so d = xa + yb. Since a, b (d), both d a and d b hold. If c is a divisor of a & b, then c xa + yb = d, so d is a GCD for a and b. Uniqueness. If d is another GCD, then d d and d d, so d d. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

9 Nice properties of PIDs Corollary If R is a PID, then every irreducible element is prime. Proof Let p R be irreducible and suppose p ab for some a, b R. If p a, then gcd(p, a) = 1, so we may write 1 = xa + yp for some x, y R. Thus b = (xa + yp)b = x(ab) + (yb)p. Since p x(ab) and p (yb)p, then p x(ab) + (yb)p = b. Not surprisingly, least common multiples also have a nice characterization in PIDs. Proposition (HW) If R is a PID, then any a, b R have an LCM, m = lcm(a, b). It is unique up to associates, and can be characterized as a generator of the ideal I := (a) (b). M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

10 Unique factorization domains Definition An integral domain is a unique factorization domain (UFD) if: (i) Every nonzero element is a product of irreducible elements; (ii) Every irreducible element is prime. Examples 1. Z is a UFD: Every integer n Z can be uniquely factored as a product of irreducibles (primes): n = p d 1 1 pd 2 2 pd k k. This is the fundamental theorem of arithmetic. 2. The ring Z[x] is a UFD, because every polynomial can be factored into irreducibles. But it is not a PID because the following ideal is not principal: (2, x) = {f (x) : the constant term is even}. 3. The ring R 5 is not a UFD because 9 = 3 3 = (2 + 5)(2 5). 4. We ve shown that (ii) holds for PIDs. Next, we will see that (i) holds as well. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

11 Unique factorization domains Theorem If R is a PID, then R is a UFD. Proof We need to show Condition (i) holds: every element is a product of irreducibles. A ring is Noetherian if every ascending chain of ideals I 1 I 2 I 3 stabilizes, meaning that I k = I k+1 = I k+2 = holds for some k. Suppose R is a PID. It is not hard to show that R is Noetherian (HW). Define X = {a R \ U(R) : a can t be written as a product of irreducibles}. If X, then pick a 1 X. Factor this as a 1 = a 2b, where a 2 X and b U(R). Then (a 1) (a 2) R, and repeat this process. We get an ascending chain (a 1) (a 2) (a 3) that does not stabilize. This is impossible in a PID, so X =. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

12 Summary of ring types all rings RG M n(r) commutative rings Z Z Z 6 integral domains Z[x 2, x 3 ] R 5 UFDs F [x, y] Z[x] H 2Z F [x] PIDs Z Z p fields C Q Z 2 [x]/(x 2 +x +1) R A F 256 R( π) Q( m) Q( 3 2, ζ) M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

13 The Euclidean algorithm Around 300 B.C., Euclid wrote his famous book, the Elements, in which he described what is now known as the Euclidean algorithm: Proposition VII.2 (Euclid s Elements) Given two numbers not prime to one another, to find their greatest common measure. The algorithm works due to two key observations: If a b, then gcd(a, b) = a; If a = bq + r, then gcd(a, b) = gcd(b, r). This is best seen by an example: Let a = 654 and b = = gcd(654, 360) = gcd(360, 294) 360 = gcd(360, 294) = gcd(294, 66) 294 = gcd(294, 66) = gcd(66, 30) 66 = gcd(66, 30) = gcd(30, 6) 30 = 6 5 gcd(30, 6) = 6. We conclude that gcd(654, 360) = 6. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

14 Euclidean domains Loosely speaking, a Euclidean domain is any ring for which the Euclidean algorithm still works. Definition An integral domain R is Euclidean if it has a degree function d : R Z satisfying: (i) non-negativity: d(r) 0 r R. (ii) monotonicity: d(a) d(ab) for all a, b R. (iii) division-with-remainder property: For all a, b R, b 0, there are q, r R such that a = bq + r with r = 0 or d(r) < d(b). Note that Property (ii) could be restated to say: If a b, then d(a) d(b); Examples R = Z is Euclidean. Define d(r) = r. R = F [x] is Euclidean if F is a field. Define d(f (x)) = deg f (x). The Gaussian integers R 1 = Z[ 1] = {a + bi : a, b Z} is Euclidean with degree function d(a + bi) = a 2 + b 2. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

15 Euclidean domains Proposition If R is Euclidean, then U(R) = {x R : d(x) = d(1)}. Proof : First, we ll show that associates have the same degree. Take a b in R : a b = d(a) d(b) b a = d(b) d(a) = d(a) = d(b). If u U(R), then u 1, and so d(u) = d(1). : Suppose x R and d(x) = d(1). Then 1 = qx + r for some q R with either r = 0 or d(r) < d(x) = d(1). If r 0, then d(1) d(r) since 1 r. Thus, r = 0, and so qx = 1, hence x U(R). M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

16 Euclidean domains Proposition If R is Euclidean, then R is a PID. Proof Let I 0 be an ideal and pick some b I with d(b) minimal. Pick a I, and write a = bq + r with either r = 0, or d(r) < d(b). This latter case is impossible: r = a bq I, and by minimality, d(b) d(r). Therefore, r = 0, which means a = bq (b). Since a was arbitrary, I = (b). Exercises. (i) The ideal I = (3, 2 + 5) is not principal in R 5. (ii) If R is an integral domain, then I = (x, y) is not principal in R[x, y]. Corollary The rings R 5 (not a PID or UFD) and R[x, y] (not a PID) are not Euclidean. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

17 Algebraic integers The algebraic integers are the roots of monic polynomials in Z[x]. This is a subring of the algebraic numbers (roots of all polynomials in Z[x]). Assume m Z is square-free with m 0, 1. Recall the quadratic field Definition Q( m) = { p + q m p, q Q }. The ring R m is the set of algebraic integers in Q( m), i.e., the subring consisting of those numbers that are roots of monic quadratic polynomials x 2 + cx + d Z[x]. Facts R m is an integral domain with 1. Since m is square-free, m 0 (mod 4). For the other three cases: Z[ m] = { a + b m : a, b Z } m 2 or 3 (mod 4) R m = Z [ 1+ ] { ( m 2 = a + b 1+ m ) : a, b Z } m 1 (mod 4) 2 R 1 is the Gaussian integers, which is a PID. (easy) R 19 is a PID. (hard) M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

18 Algebraic integers Definition For x = r + s m Q( m), define the norm of x to be N(x) = (r + s m)(r s m) = r 2 ms 2. R m is norm-euclidean if it is a Euclidean domain with d(x) = N(x). Note that the norm is multiplicative: N(xy) = N(x)N(y). Exercises Assume m Z is square-free, with m 0, 1. u U(R m) iff N(u) = 1. If m 2, then U(R m) is infinite. U(R 1) = {±1, ±i} and U(R 3) = { } ± 1, ± 1± 3 2. If m = 2 or m < 3, then U(R m) = {±1}. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

19 Euclidean domains and algebraic integers Theorem R m is norm-euclidean iff m { 11, 7, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 21, 29, 33, 37, 41, 57, 73}. Theorem (D.A. Clark, 1994) The ring R 69 is a Euclidean domain that is not norm-euclidean. Let α = (1 + 69)/2 and c > 25 be an integer. Then the following degree function works for R 69, defined on the prime elements: { N(p) if p α d(p) = c if p = α Theorem If m < 0 and m { 11, 7, 3, 2, 1}, then R m is not Euclidean. Open problem Classify which R m s are PIDs, and which are Euclidean. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

20 PIDs that are not Euclidean Theorem If m < 0, then R m is a PID iff m { 1, 2, 3, 7, 11, 19, 43, 67, 163}. }{{} Euclidean Recall that R m is norm-euclidean iff m { 11, 7, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 21, 29, 33, 37, 41, 57, 73}. Corollary If m < 0, then R m is a PID that is not Euclidean iff m { 19, 43, 67, 163}. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

21 Algebraic integers Figure: Algebraic numbers in the complex plane. Colors indicate the coefficient of the leading term: red = 1 (algebraic integer), green = 2, blue = 3, yellow = 4. Large dots mean fewer terms and smaller coefficients. Image from Wikipedia (made by Stephen J. Brooks). M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

22 Algebraic integers Figure: Algebraic integers in the complex plane. Each red dot is the root of a monic polynomial of degree 7 with coefficients from {0, ±1, ±2, ±3, ±4, ±5}. From Wikipedia. M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

23 Summary of ring types (refined) all rings RG M n(r) commutative rings H Z Z Z 6 integral domains Z[x 2, x 3 ] R 5 2Z UFDs F [x, y] Z[x] R 43 PIDs R 67 R 19 Euclidean domains R 163 Z F [x] fields C Z p R 1 A Q R F 69 p n R( π, i) R Q( m) M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 14: Divisibility and factorization Math 4120, Summer I / 23

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