# 4.2 Chain Conditions

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1 4.2 Chain Conditions Imposing chain conditions on the or on the poset of submodules of a module, poset of ideals of a ring, makes a module or ring more tractable and facilitates the proofs of deep theorems. 740

2 Proposition: Let Σ be a poset with respect to. TFAE (i) Every increasing sequence x 1 x 2... x n... in Σ is stationary, that is, ( n)( m n) x m = x n ; (ii) Every nonempty subset of Σ has a maximal element. 741

3 Proof: (i) = (ii): If (ii) is false, then there is a nonempty subset X of Σ with no maximal element, so x 1 X ; ( x 2 X) x 1 < x 2 ; ( x 3 X) x 1 < x 2 < x 3 ; so continuing, X contains x 1 < x 2 < x 3 <... < x n <... which is strictly increasing, so (i) fails. 742

4 (ii) = (i): If (ii) holds and x 1 x 2... x n... ( ) is an increasing sequence in Σ, then { x 1,..., x n,... } has a maximal element, say x k, so for every m k, x m x k x m, whence equality, proving ( ) is stationary, and (i) holds. 743

5 Let Σ be the set of submodules of a module M. Regarding Σ as a poset with respect to, we refer to and (i) as the ascending chain condition (a.c.c.) (ii) as the maximal condition. Any module satisfying the a.c.c. or equivalently the maximal condition is called Noetherian. 744

6 On the other hand regarding Σ as a poset with respect to, we refer to and (i) as the descending chain condition (d.c.c.) (ii) as the miminal condition. Any module satisfying the d.c.c. or equivalently the minimal condition is called Artinian. 745

7 Examples: (1) Any finite module satisfies both the a.c.c. and d.c.c. These include all finite abelian groups, regarded as Z-modules. (2) The ring Z (regarded as a Z-module) satisfies the a.c.c but not the d.c.c. This was proved in the Overview (page 18). 746

8 (3) Consider the group Q under addition. Then Z is a subgroup and we may form the quotient group Q/Z = { q + Z q Q }. Fix a prime number p, and put G = { a/p n + Z n 0, a Z } and, for i 0, G i = { a/p i + Z a Z }. Clearly G is a subgroup of Q/Z and each G i is a subgroup of G. 747

9 Moreover, G 0 G 1... G n... ( ) is a strictly increasing sequence, so, regarded as a Z-module, G does not satisfy the a.c.c. Exercise: Prove that the only subgroups of G are G and G i for i

10 By ( ) and this exercise, there are no infinite strictly descending chains of subgroups of G, so, as a Z-module, G satisfies the d.c.c. (4) Fix a prime number p and put H = { m/p n m Z, n 0 }. Then clearly H is a subgroup of Q and 0 Z H H/Z = G 0 749

11 is exact, where the second mapping is inclusion and G is the group of (3). Thus H doesn t satisfy the d.c.c. because it has a subgroup Z which doesn t, and H doesn t satisfy the a.c.c. because it has a quotient G which doesn t. 750

12 (5) The polynomial ring F[x], where F is a field, satisfies the a.c.c. but not the d.c.c. on ideals. The proof is left as an exercise, using the fact that F[x] is a PID, and copying the details of (2). (6) The polynomial ring F[x 1, x 2,... ] using infinitely many indeterminates does not satisfy the d.c.c. on ideals (as for (5)), 751

13 but also does not satisfy the a.c.c. since x 1 x 1, x 2... x 1,... x n... is an infinite strictly increasing chain of ideals. Proposition: Let M be an A-module. Then M is Noetherian iff every submodule of M is finitely generated. 752

14 Proof: (= ) Suppose M is Noetherian and let N be a submodule of M. Let Σ = { finitely generated submodules of N }. Then Σ has a maximal element N 0. If N N 0 then x N\N 0, so N 0 {x} is a finitely generated submodule of N bigger than N 0, contradicting maximality. Hence N 0 = N, so N is finitely generated. 753

15 ( =) Suppose all submodules of M are finitely generated. Let M 1 M 2... M n... ( ) be an ascending chain of submodules. Then is easily seen to be a submodule of M, i=1 M i so is generated by finitely many elements, say x 1,..., x r. 754

16 Then ( j = 1,...,r)( i j ) x j M ij. Put m = max { i 1,..., i r } so ( j) x j M m. But then M m M i, M i i=1 i=1 so equality holds, and ( ) is stationary. 755

17 Theorem: Let 0 M α M β M ; 0 be an exact sequence of A-modules. Then M is Noetherian [Artinian] iff M and M are. Proof: We prove the result for Noetherian, the argument for Artinian being similar. (= ) Suppose M is Noetherian. 756

18 Because α is injective, any ascending chain of submodules of M corresponds to an ascending chain of submodules of M, so the former is stationary, since the latter is. Hence M is Noetherian. Because β is surjective, M = M/ker β so that submodules of M correspond to submodules of M containing ker β, and the correspondence is inclusion preserving. 757

19 Hence any ascending chain of submodules of M corresponds to an ascending chain of submodules of M, so the former is stationary, since the latter is. Hence M is Noetherian. ( =) Suppose M, M are Noetherian. Let L 1 L 2... L n... ( ) be an ascending chain of submodules of M. Then α 1 (L 1 ) α 1 (L 2 )... α 1 (L n )

20 is an ascending chain of submodules of M, and β(l 1 ) β(l 2 )... β(l n )... is an ascending chain of submodules of M. Since these sequences are stationary, ( n 1 )( m n 1 ) α 1 (L m ) = α 1 (L n1 ) ( n 2 )( m n 2 ) β(l m ) = β(l n2 ) 759

21 Put n = max { n 1, n 2 }, so ( m n), α 1 (L m ) = α 1 (L n ) and β(l m ) = β(l n ). We will prove that ( m n) L m = L n. Let m n and x L m. Then β(x) β(l m ) = β(l n ), 760

22 so, for some exactness, y L n, β(x) = β(y), so, by x y ker β = im α. But L n L m, so x y L m, giving x y = α(z) ( z α 1 (L m ) ). But α 1 (L m ) = α 1 (L n ), so α(z) L n, giving x = y + α(z) L n. 761

23 Hence L m L n L m, whence equality. This proves ( ) is stationary, so M is Noetherian, and the Theorem is proved. Corollary: If M 1,..., M n are Noetherian [Artinian] A-modules then so is M 1... M n. 762

24 Proof: This follows by induction and the previous Theorem applied to the exact sequence 0 M n α n i=1 M i where β n 1 i=1 M i 0 α : x (0,...,0,x) β : (x 1,...,x n ) (x 1,...,x n 1 ). 763

25 Call a ring A Noetherian [Artinian] if it is so as an A-module, that is, if it satisfies the a.c.c. [d.c.c.] on ideals. Examples: (1) Any ring with only finitely many ideals (such as a finite ring or a field) is certainly both Noetherian and Artinian. (2) The ring Z is Noetherian but not Artinian. (3) Any PID is Noetherian (by the Proposition on page 752) since all ideals are finitely generated. 764

26 (4) The ring F[x 1,...,x n,...] where F is a field is neither Noetherian nor Artinian, but is an integral domain, so has a field of fractions, which is both Noetherian and Artinian. Thus subrings of Noetherian [Artinian] rings need not be Noetherian [Artinian]. However quotients are well-behaved. By the earlier Theorem (on page 756) we get immediately 765

27 Corollary: Any homomorphic image of a Noetherian [Artinian] ring is Noetherian [Artinian]. Ring and module properties can be linked: Theorem: Let A be a Noetherian [Artinian] ring and M a finitely generated A-module. Then M is Noetherian [Artinian]. 766

28 Proof: 324), By general theory (a Proposition on page M = A n / N for some n > 0 and some submodule N of A n. But A n is Noetherian [Artinian], being a direct sum of Noetherian [Artinian] modules. Hence, by the previous Corollary, M is Noetherian [Artinian]. 767

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