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1 Math 516 Fall 2006 Radford Written Homework # 4 Solution 12/10/06 You may use results form the book in Chapters 1 6 of the text, from notes found on our course web page, and results of the previous homework. 1. (20 total) Let R be a ring with unity (identity). Show that every element of R is either a unit or a zero divisor if (a) (10) R is finite or Solution: Let 0 a R. Since R is finite the list 1 = a 0, a, a 2,... must contain a repetition. Thus a l = a n for some 0 l < n. We may assume that n is the smallest such integer. Note that n 1 0. Suppose l = 0. Then 1 = a 0 = a n = aa n 1 = a n 1 a which means a n 1 is an inverse for a. Suppose l > 0. Then 0 l 1 < n 1 and we deduce 0 = a(a n 1 a l 1 ) from a l = a n. But a l 1 a n 1 by the minimality of n; thus a n 1 a l 1 0. We have shown that a is a zero divisor. (Note that 0 = (a n 1 a l 1 )a also.) (b) (10) R = M n (k), where k is a field. Solution: Let 0 a R. Since R is finite-dimensional the set of vectors {1 = a 0, a, a 2,...} can not be independent. Since 1 0 there is a an n > 0 such that {1,..., a n 1 } is independent and {1, a,..., a n } is dependent. In particular α α n a n = 0, 1

2 where α 0,..., α n k and α n 0. Suppose that α 0 0. Since n 1 0 we can write a( α 1 0 (α α n a n 1 )) = 1 = ( α 1 0 (α α n a n 1 ))a. Thus a has an inverse. Suppose that α 0 = 0. Then a(α α n a n 1 ) = 0. Since {1,..., a n 1 } is independent and α n 0, α α n a n 1 0. We have shown that a is a zero divisor. (Note that (α α n a n 1 )a = 0 also.) [Hint: Let a R and consider the sequence 1, a, a 2, a 3,..., noting that its terms belong to a finite set or a finite-dimensional vector space.] 2. (20 total) Let R be a commutative ring with unity and let N be the set of nilpotent elements of R. (a) (8) Show that N is an ideal of R. [Hint: Let a, b R. You may assume that the binomial theorem holds for a, b and that (ab) n = a n b n for all n 0.] Solution: 0 N since 0 1 = 0. Thus N. Suppose that a N and r R. Since a n = 0 for some n > 0, the calculation (ra) n = r n a n = r n 0 = 0 shows that ar = ra N. It remains to show that N is an additive subgroup of R. Suppose b N also. Then b m = 0 for some m > 0. Now n + m 1 1 since n, m 1. By the binomial theorem (a b) n+m 1 = (a + ( b)) n+m 1 = n+m 1 where C n+m 1, l is some integer (binomial coefficient). C n+m 1, l ( 1) l a n+m 1 l b l, If 0 l < m then n+m 1 l > n 1 which implies n+m 1 l n. Thus in any event a n+m 1 l = 0 (when 0 l < m) or b l = 0 (when m l n + m 1.) Therefore (a b) n+m 1 = 0. We have shown a b N; thus N is an additive subgroup of R. (b) (7) Let U = {1 + n n N}. Show that U R. [Hint: Show that U = {1 n n N} also. If n l = 0 then 1 n l = 1.] 2

3 Solution: To show U R we need only show U R since R is commutative. 1 U since 1 = Suppose that u, u U. Then u = 1+n and u = 1+n for some n, n N. Thus uu = (1+n)(1+n ) = 1 + (n + n + nn ). Since N is an ideal (subring) n + n + nn N. Therefore uu U. Now n l = 0 for some l > 0. Since n l+1 = 0 we may assume l 2. Thus ( n) l = ( 1) l n l = ( 1) l 0 = 0. Since n = ( n), and R is commutative, the calculation (1 ( n))(1 + ( n) + ( n) ( n) l 1 ) = 1 ( n) l = 1 shows that 1+n has an inverse in R which is 1 n+n 2 +( 1) l 1 n l 1. Now n + n 2 + ( 1) l 1 n l 1 N since N is a subring of R. Therefore u 1 U. (c) (5) Find a ring with unity whose set of nilpotent elements is not an ideal. Justify your answer. [Hint: Consider M 2 (k) where k is a field.] 0 1 Solution: (5) Let A = and B =. Then A, B N since A 2 = 0 = B 2, and A + B =. Since (A + B) = I the sum A+B can not be nilpotent as (A+B) n = 0 implies 0 = (A+B) 2n = ((A + B) 2 ) n = I n = I, a contradiction. Thus N is not closed under addition, so N is not an ideal. 1 1 Another example. same A. Let C =. Then AC = 1 1 and (AC) 2 = AC. Thus 0 AC = (AC) n for all n > 0. Therefore AC N which means that N is not an ideal. Comment: For our examples k could be any commutative ring with unity. Why k a field? Two by two matrices over the real numbers is a very familiar object to explore. 3. (20 total) Let R be a commutative ring with unity and set R = R[[X]]. (a) (5) Show that f : R R defined by f( a n X n ) = a 0 is a ring homomorphism. 3

4 Solution: Follows directly from definitions and f( a n X n + b n X n ) = f( (a n + b n )X n ) = a 0 + b 0 = f( a n X n ) + f( b n X n ) f(( a n X n )( b n X n )) = f( ( a n l b l )X n ) = 0 a n l b l = a 0 b 0 = f( a n X n )f( b n X n ). Observe that f(1) = 1. (b) (10) Show that a n X n R if and only if a 0 R. Solution: Suppose A = a n X n R has inverse B R. Then by part (a) we have 1 = f(1) = f(ab) = f(a)f(b) = a 0 f(b). Since R is commutative a 0 has inverse f(b) R. Conversely, suppose that a 0 has an inverse in R. We wish to construct a power series inverse B = b n X n for A = a n X n. Since R is commutative, B is an inverse for A if and only if a n l b l = { 1 n = 0 0 n > 0 (1) since the identity element of R is 1 + 0X + 0X 2 +. We can find b 0, b 1,... by induction. Our induction hypothesis is for m 0 that (1) is satisfied for 0 n m. When m = 0 then n = 0 and the equation to solve is a 0 b 0 = 1. This has a solution b 0 = a 1 0 since a 0 has an inverse by assumption. 4

5 Suppose that m 0 and b 0,..., b m satisfy (1) for 0 n m. Then b 0,..., b m+1 satisfy (1) for all 0 n m + 1 provided b m+1 satisfies m a m+1 l b l + a 0 b m+1 = 0. Setting b m+1 = a 1 0 ( m a m+1 l b l ) does this. (c) (5) Show that R is an integral domain if and only if R is an integral domain. Solution: We may think of R as a subring of R via the identification r r + 0X + 0X 2 +. This map is an injection or rings with unity. Thus if R is an integral domain the subring R must be also. Conversely, suppose that R is an integral domain. Since R is a commutative ring with unity, we need only show that when f(x) = a n X n and g(x) = b n X n are not zero power series in R then f(x)g(x) is not 0. Since f(x), g(x) 0, each has a first non-zero coefficient a r, b s respectively. The coefficient of X r+s in the product f(x)g(x) is r+s r+s a r+s l b l = a r+s l b l = a r b s 0 since s < l implies r + s l < r. Thus f(x)g(x) 0. l=s 4. (20 total) Let R be ring with unity. (a) (10) Suppose that I is a non-empty family of ideals of R. Show that J = I I I is an ideal of R. (Since R is an ideal of R, it follows that any S subset of R is contained in a smallest ideal of R, namely the intersection of all ideals containing S. This ideal is denoted by (S) and is called the ideal of R generated by S.) Solution: From group theory we know that J is an additive subgroup of R. Let a J and r R. Since a I for all I I, and each I is an ideal, ra, ar I for all I I and hence ra, ar J. Therefore J is an ideal of R. Comment: No unity is required for part (a). 5

6 (b) (10) Suppose that R is commutative and S = {a 1,..., a r } is a finite subset of R. Show that (S) = Ra Ra r. Solution: Suppose I is an ideal of R with S I. Then ra i I for all r R, and I is closed under sums. Therefore Ra Ra r I. This means Ra Ra r (S). Conversely, a = 1a for all a R shows that S Ra Ra r. To complete the proof we need only show that (S) Ra Ra r ; that is I = Ra Ra r is an ideal of R. As 0 = 0a a r it follows that I. Let s 1 a s r a r, s 1a s ra r I. Since R is commutative (s 1 a 1 + s r a r ) (s 1a 1 + s ra r ) = (s 1 s 1)a (s r s r)a r I. Therefore I is an additive subgroup of R. For s R the calculation s(s 1 a 1 + s r a r ) = (ss 1 )a (ss r )a r I shows that I is a left ideal of R. Since R is commutative, I is an ideal of R. Comment: There is a better way of showing that I is an ideal from general principles. Show that Ra is a left ideal of any ring R for all a R. Show that the finite sum of left ideals of R is a left ideal of R by induction on the number; thus I is an ideal in our case since R is commutative. 5. (20 total) Let R by any ring with unity 1 and R = M n (R). Let J be an ideal of R. (a) (15) Show that M n (J) is an ideal of R and all ideals of R have this form. Solution: First note that E i j E k l = δ j k E i l for all 1 ı, j, k, l n. 6

7 Suppose that J is an ideal of R and set J = M n (J). Then J = since J. For A = (A i j ), B = (B i j ) J and C = (C i j ) R we have (A B) i j = A i j B i j, (CA) i j = C i l A l j, (AC) i j = A i l C l j J l=1 l=1 for all 1 i, j n since J is an ideal of R. Thus J is an ideal of R. Conversely, suppose that J is an ideal of R. Let A = n u,v=1 A u v E u v J, where A u v R. Since the elements of each E i j are in the center of R, for all 1 j, k n and 1 i, l n, the calculation E i j AE k l = A u v E i j E u v E k l = A u k E i j E u l u,v=1 u=1 shows that A j k E i l J. Let J be the set of all elements of R which appear as an entry in some element of R. We have shown that E i j J E k l = JE i l. Therefore, by adding, J = M n (J). It remains to show that J is an ideal of R. Since J = necessarily J. Suppose that a, b J and c R. Then ae 1 1, be 1 1 J and the calculations (a b)e 1 1 = ae 1 1 be 1 1, cae 1 1 = (ce 1 1 )(ae 1 1 ), ace 1 1 = (ae 1 1 )(ce 1 1 ) J show that a b, ca, ac J. Therefore J is an ideal of R. (b) (5) Show that R is simple if and only if R is simple. Solution: By part (a) there is a bijective correspondence between the ideals of R and R = M n (R). Thus R has 2 ideals if and only if R has 2 ideals. [Hint: { For part (a) let E i j M n (R) be defined by (E i j ) k l = δ i,k δ j,l, where 1 : u = v δ u,v = 0 : u v. Work out the formula for E i je k l. Show that any A = (A u v ) M n (R) can be written A = n u,v=1 A u v E u v and consider E i j AE k l.] Comment: Note that ideal in the preceding exercise can not be replaced by left ideal. Take R = k to be a field and n 2. Then R has 2 left ideals. For fixed 1 j n all matrices with entries zero outside the j th column form a left ideal of R. 7

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