# Polynomial Rings. i=0. i=0. n+m. i=0. k=0

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1 Polynomial Rings 1. Definitions and Basic Properties For convenience, the ring will always be a commutative ring with identity. Basic Properties The polynomial ring R[x] in the indeterminate x with coefficients from R is the set of all formal sums a n x n + a n 1 x n a 1 x + a 0 with n 0 and each a i R. Addition of polynomials is componentwise: n n n a i x i + b i x i = (a i + b i )x i. Multiplication is performed by first defining (ax i )(bx j ) = abx i+j and then extending to all polynomials by the distributive laws so that in general ( n ) ( m ) ( n+m k a i x i b i x i = a i b k i )x k. In this way R[x] is a commutative ring with identity (the identity 1 from R) in which we identify R with the subring of constant polynomials. k=0 Proposition 1: Let R be an integral domain. Then (1) degree p(x)q(x) = degree p(x) + degree q(x) if p(x), q(x) are nonzero (2) the units of R[x] are just the units of R (3) R[x] is an integral domain. Proof : 1. If R has no zero divisors then neither does R[x]; if p(x) and q(x) are polynomials with leading terms a n x n and b m x m, respectively, then the leading term of p(x)q(x) is a n b m x n+m, and a n b m 0. (This also proves (3)). 2. If p(x) is a unit, say p(x)q(x) = 1 in R[x], then degree p(x) + degree q(x) = 0, so both p(x) and q(x) are elements of R, hence are units in R since their product is Since R is an integral domain, it is in particular a commutative ring with identity. From the definition of multiplication in R[x], it follows very easily that R[x] is also a commutative with identity 1 R[x] = 1 R. By proof of induction on degree n you can show that the product of nonzero polynomials in R[x] is nonzero. Therefore, R[x] is an integral domain. Proposition 2: Let I be an ideal of ring R and let (I) = I[x] denote the ideal of R[x] generated by I. Then R[x]/(I) = (R/I)[x]. In particular, if I is a prime ideal of R then (I) is a prime ideal of R[x]. Proof : There is a natural map ϕ : R[x] (R/I)[x] given be reducing each of the coefficients of a polynomial modulo I. Show that ϕ is a ring homomorphism, and ker ϕ = I[x] = (I). By Proposition 1, I is a prime ideal in R R/I and (R/I)[X] are integral domains. 1

2 2 The next definition, is one we looked at in class last week, which is the description of the natural extension to polynomial rings in several variables. Definition 3: The polynomial ring in the variables x 1, x 2,..., x n with coefficients in R, denoted R[x 1, x 2,..., x n ] = R[x 1, x 2,..., x n 1 ][x n ] Example 4: Let p(x, y, z) = 2x 2 y 3xy 3 z + 4y 2 z 5 and q(x, y, z) = 7x 2 + 5x 2 y 3 z 4 3x 2 z 3 be polynomials in Z[x, y, z]. Note: The polynomial ring Z[x, y, z] in three variables x, y and z with integers coefficients consists of all finite sums of monomial terms of the form ax i y j z k (of degree i + j + k). sage: R1 = QQ[ x,y,z ] sage: (x,y,z) = R1.gens() sage: px = 2*x^2*y-3*x*y^3*z+4*y^2*z^5; sage: qx = 7*x^2+5*x^2*y^3*z^4-3*x^2*z^3; (a) Write each of p and q as a polynomial in x with coefficients in Z[y, z]. sage: R2 = QQ[ y,z ][ x ] sage: R2(px) (2*y)*x^2 - (3*y^3*z)*x + 4*y^2*z^5 sage: R2(qx) (5*y^3*z^4-3*z^3 + 7)*x^2 (b) Find the degree of p and q. sage: px.degree() 7 sage: qx.degree() 9 (c) Find the degree of p and q in each of the three variables x, y and z. sage: px.exponents() [(0, 2, 5), (1, 3, 1), (2, 1, 0)] sage: qx.exponents() [(2, 3, 4), (2, 0, 3), (2, 0, 0)] (d) Compute pq and find the degree of pq in each of the three variables x, y and z. sage: rx = px*qx; rx 20*x^2*y^5*z^9-15*x^3*y^6*z^5 + 10*x^4*y^4*z^4-12*x^2*y^2*z^8 + 9*x^3*y^3*z^4 + 28*x^2*y^2*z^5-6*x^4*y*z^3-21*x^3*y^3*z + 14*x^4*y sage: rx.degree() 16 sage: rx.exponents() [(2, 5, 9), (3, 6, 5), (4, 4, 4), (2, 2, 8), (3, 3, 4), (2, 2, 5), (4, 1, 3), (3, 3, 1), (4, 1, 0)] (e) Write pq as a polynomial in the variable z with coefficients in Z[x, y]. sage: R3 = QQ[ x,y ][ z ] sage: R3(rx) 20*x^2*y^5*z^9-12*x^2*y^2*z^8 + (-15*x^3*y^6 + 28*x^2*y^2)*z^5 + (10*x^4*y^4 + 9*x^3*y^3)*z^4-6*x^4*y*z^3-21*x^3*y^3*z + 14*x^4*y

3 3 2. Polynomial Rings over Fields I Theorem 5: (Division Algorithm) Let F be a field. The polynomial F [x] is a Euclidean Domain. Specifically, if a(x) and b(x) are two polynomials in F [x] with b(x) nonzero, then there are unique q(x) and r(x) in F [x] such that a(x) = q(x)b(x) + r(x) with r(x) = 0 or degree r(x) < degree b(x). Proof : If a(x) is the zero polynomial then take q(x) = r(x) = 0. We may therefore assume a(x) 0 and prove the existence of q(x) and r(x) by induction on n = degree a(x). As for the uniqueness, suppose q 1 (x) and r 1 (x) also satisfied the conditions of the theorem. a(x) q(x)b(x) < m and a(x) q 1 (x)b(x) < m b(q(x) q 1 (x)) < m hence q(x) q 1 (x) must be 0, that is, q(x) = q 1 (x) r(x) = r 1 (x). Example 6: Determine the greatest common divisor of a(x) = x and b(x) = x 2 + 2x + 1 in Q[x]. x = (x 2 + 2x + 1)(Ax + B) + Cx + D = Ax 3 + (2A + B)x 2 + (A + 2B + C)x + (B + D) A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, D = 3 x =(x 2 + 2x + 1)(x 2) + 3(x + 1) x 2 + 2x + 1 =(x + 1)(x + 1) + 0 Thus, gcd(x 3 + 1, x 2 + 2x + 1) = x + 1. Definition 7: Principal Ideal Domain (PID) A principal ideal domain is an integral domain R in which every ideal has the form for some a in R. (a) = {ra r R} Definition 8: Unique Factorization Domain (UFD) An integral domain D is a unique factorization domain if (1) every nonzero element of D that is not a unit can be written as a product of irreducibles of D; and (2) the factorization into irreducibles is unique up to associates and the order in which the factors appear. Exercise 9: Show that if F is a field, then F [x] is a Principal Ideal Domain and a Unique Factorization Domain. Corollary 10: If R is any commutative ring such that the polynomial ring R[x] is a Principal Ideal Domain, then R is necessarily a field. Proof : Assume R[x] is a Principal Ideal Domain. Since R is a subring of R[x] then R must be an integral domain (recall that R[x] has an identity if and only if R does). The ideal (x) is a nonzero prime ideal in R[x] because R[x]/(x) is isomorphic to the integral domain R. (x) is a maximal ideal, (since every nonzero prime ideal in a Principal Ideal Domain is a

4 4 maximal ideal), hence the quotient R is a field (since the ideal (x) is a maximal ideal if and only if the quotient ring R is a field). Example 11: The ring Z of integers is a Principal Ideal Domain, but the ring Z[x] is not a Principal Ideal Domain, since (2, x) is not principal in this ring. Proof : The ideal (p, x), where p Z is any prime, is a non-principal ideal (the only divisor of both p and x is 1). Suppose (x, 2)(p(x)), where p(x) Z[x]. If 2 (x, 2), then p(x) = c, where c { 2, 2}. Thus, (x, 2) = (p(x)) = (c), c { 2, 2}. Now for x (x, 2), there exists h(x) Z[x] such that x = h(x)c, where h(x) = ax, a Z. Therefore, x = h(x)c = axc, where a 0 and c 0. Then 1 = ac, c { 2, 2}. So c = 2 and a = 1 or c = 2 and a = 1 but a = ± 1 / Z then h(x) / Z, contradiction Thus, (x, 2) cannot be generated by a single polynomial p(x), and Z[x] is not a principal ideal domain. 3. Polynomial Rings that are Unique Factorization Domains Proposition 12: Let R be a Unique Factorization Domain. Suppose that g and h are elements of R[x] and let f(x) = g(x)h(x). Then the content of f is equal to the content of g times the content of h. Proof : It is clear that the content of g divides the content of f. Therefore we may assume that the content of g and h is one, and we only have to prove that the same is true for f. However, let s assume this not true. Since R is a Unique Factorization Domain, it follows that there is a prime p that divides the content of f. We may write g(x) = a n x n + a n 1 x n a 0 and h(x) = b n x n + b n 1 x n b 0. As the content of g is one, at least one coefficient of g is not divisible by p. Let i be the first such, so that p divides a k, for k < i whilst p does not divide a i. Similarly pick j so that p divides b k, for k < j, whilst p does not divide b j. Consider the coefficient of x i+j in f. This is equal to a 0 b i+j + a 1 b i+j a i 1 bj a i b j + a i+1 b j a i+j b 0. Note that p divides every term of this sum, except the middle one a i b j. Thus p does not divide the coefficient of x i+j. But this contradicts the definition of the content. Proposition 13: (Gauss Lemma) Let R be a Unique Factorization Domain with field of fractions F and let p(x) R[x]. If p(x) is reducible in F [x] then p(x) is reducible in R[x]. More precisely, if p(x) = A(x)B(x) for some non-constant polynomials A(x), B(x) F [x], then there are nonzero elements r, s F such that ra(x) = a(x) and sb(x) = b(x) both lie in R[x] and p(x) = a(x)b(x) is a factorization in R[x]. Proof : The coefficients of the polynomials on the right hand side of the equation p(x) = A(x)B(x) are elements in the field F, hence are quotients of elements from the Unique Factorization Domains R. Multiplying through by a common denominator for all these coefficients, we obtain dp(x) = a (x)b (x), where now a (x) and b (x) are elements of R[x] and d in a nonzero element of R. Now write a (x) = ra(x) and b (x) = sb(x).

5 We get dp(x) = rsa(x)b(x). By the proposition above, d divides rs, rs = dγ, where γ R. Thus, replacing a(x) with γa(x), we have p(x) = a(x)b(x). 5 Example 14: Prove that if f(x) and g(x) are polynomials with rational coefficients whose product f(x)g(x) has integer coefficients, then the product of any coefficient of g(x) with any coefficient of f(x) is an integer. Note that f(x)g(x) has integer coefficients, Z[x], and factors with rational coefficients, Q[x]. By Gauss Lemma, there exists r, s Q such that rf, sg Z[x] and (rf)(sg) = fg. Since Q is an integral domain, in fact rs = 1. Let f i and g i denote the coefficients of f and g, respectively; we have rf i Z and r 1 g i Z, so that f i g j Z for all i and j. Exercise 15: Prove that R is a Unique Factorization Domain if and only if R[x] is a Unique Factorization Domain. Corollary 16: If R is a Unique Factorization Domain, then a polynomial ring in any number of variables with coefficients in R is also a Unique Factorization Domain. Proof : For finitely many variables, this follows by induction from the theorem (exercise 14) above, since a polynomial ring in n variables can be consdered as a polynomial ring gin one variable with coefficients in a polynomial ring in n 1 variables. The general case follows from the definition of a polynomial ring in an arbitrary number of variables as the union of polynomial rings in finitely many variables. Example 17: Z[x], Z[x, y], etc. are Unique Factorization Domains. The ring Z[x] gives an example of a Unique Factorization Domain that is not a Principal Ideal Domain. Q[x], Q[x, y], etc. are Unique Factorization Domains. Proposition 18: 4. Irreducibility Criteria (a) Let F be a field and let p(x) F [x]. Then p(x) has a factor of degree one if and only if p(x) has a root in F, that is, there is an α F with p(α) = 0. Proof : If p(x) has a factor of degree one, then since F is a field, we may assume the factor is monic, i.e., is of the form (x α) for some α F. But then p(α) = 0. Conversely, suppose p(α) = 0. By the Division Algorithm in F [x] we amy write p(x) = q(x)(x α) + r where r is a constant. Since p(α) = 0, r must be 0, hence p(x) has (x α) as a factor.

6 6 (b) A polynomial of degree two or three over a field F is reducible if and only if it has a root in F. Proof : This follows immediately from the previous proposition, since a polynomial of degree two or three is reducible if and only if it has at least one linear factor. (c) Let p(x) = a n x n + a n 1 x n a 0 be a polynomial of degree n with integer coefficients. If r/s Q is in lowest terms (i.e., r and s are relatively prime integers) and r/s is a root of p(x), then r divides the constant term and s divides the leading coefficient of p(x): r a 0 and s a n. In particular, if p(x) is a monic polynomial with integer coefficients and p(d) 0 for all integers d dividing the constant term of p(x), then p(x) has no roots in Q. Proof : By hypothesis, p(r/s) = 0 = a n (r/s) n + a n 1 (r/s) n Multiplying through by s n gives 0 = a n r n + a n 1 r n 1 s + + a 0 s n. Thus a n r n = s( a n 1 r n 1 a 0 s n 1 ), so s divides a n r n. By assumption, s is relatively prime to r and it follows that s a n. Similarly, solving the equation for a 0 s n shows that r a 0. The last assertion of the proposition follows from the previous ones. Example 19: The polynomial p(x) = x 2 + x + 1 is irreducible in Z/2Z[x] since it does not have a root in Z/2Z[x]: = 1 and = 1. Proposition 20: Let I be a proper ideal in the integral domain R and let p(x) be a nonconstant monic polynomial in R[x]. If the image of p(x) in (R/I)[x] can t be factored in (R/I)[x] into two polynomials of smaller degree, then p(x) is irreducible in R[x]. Proof : Suppose p(x) cannot be factored in (R/I)[x] but that p(x) is reducible in R[x]. This means there are monic, non-constant polynomials a(x) and b(x) in R[x] such that p(x) = a(x)b(x). By Proposition 2, reducing the coefficients modulo I gives a factorization in (R/I)[x] with non-constant factors, a contradiction. Example 21: Consider the polynomial p(x) = x 2 +x+1 in Z[x]. Reducing modulo 2, we see from Example 19 above that p(x) is irreducible in Z[x]. Similarly, x 3 + x + 1 is irreducible in Z[x] because it is irreducible in Z[x]/2Z[x]. Exercise 22: Let f(x) Z[x]. Prove that if f(x) is reducible over Q, then it is reducible over Z. Corollary 23: (Eisenstein s Criterion for Z[x]) Let p be a prime in Z and let f(x) = x n + a n 1 x n a 1 x + a 0 Z[x], n 1. Suppose p divides a i for all i {0, 1, n 1} but that p 2 does not divide a 0. Then f(x) is irreducible in both Z[x] and Q[x]. Proof : Suppose f(x) is reducible over Z, then there exist elements g(x) and h(x) in Z[x] such that f(x) = g(x)h(x), 1 deg g(x), and 1 deg h(x) < n. Say g(x) = b r x r + + b 0 and h(x) = c s x s + + c 0. Then, since p a 0, p 2 a0, and a 0 = b 0 c 0, it follows that p divides one of b 0 and c 0 but not the other. Let us say p b 0 and p c 0. Also, since p a n = b r c s, we know that p b r. So, there is a least integer t such that p b t. Now, consider a t = b t c 0 + b t 1 c b 0 c t. By assumption, p divides a t and, by choice of t, every summand on the right after the first one is divisible by p. Clearly, this forces p to

7 divide b t c 0 as well. This is impossible, however, since p is prime and p divides neither b t nor c 0. 7 Example 24: Prove that the polynomial x 4 4x is irreducible in Z[x]. The polynomial x 4 4x is irreducible in Z[x] because 2 1 and 4 6 but 2 does divide -4, 0, and 6. Example 25: Let p be a prime, the p th cyclotomic polynomial Φ p (x) = xp 1 x 1 = xp 1 + x p x + 1 is irreducible over Z. Let f(x) = Φ p (x + 1) = (x+1)p 1 = (x+1) 1 xp 1 + ( ) p 1 x p 2 + ( ) p 2 x p ( p 1). Then, since every coefficient except that of x p 1 is divisible by p and the constant term is not divisible by p 2, by Eisenstein s Criterion, f(x) is irreducible over Z. So, if Φ p (x) = g(x)h(x) were a nontrivial factorization of Φ p (x) over Z, then f(x) = Φ p (x + 1) = g(x + 1) h(x + 1) would be a nontrivial factorization of f(x) over Z. Since this is impossible, we conclude that Φ p (x) is irreducible over Z.

8 8 Definition: (1) A commutative ring with identity 1 0 is called an integral domain if it has no zero divisors. (2) An ideal M in an arbitrary ring S is called a maximal ideal if M S and the only ideals containing M are M and S. (3) Assume R is commutative. An ideal P is called a prime ideal if P R and whenever the product ab of two elements a, b R is an element of P, then at least one of a and b is an element of P. (4) A principal ideal is an ideal I in a ring R that is generated by a single element a of R through multiplication by every element of R, (a) = {ra r R}. Propsition: (1) Every nonzero prime ideal in a Principal Ideal Domain is a maximal ideal. Proof : Let (p) be a nonzero prime ideal in the Principal Ideal Domain R and let I = (m) be any ideal containing (p). We must show that I = (p) or I = R. Now p (m) so p = rm for some r R. Since (p) is a prime ideal and rm (p), either r or m must lie in (p). If m (p) then (p) = (m) = I. If, on the other hand, r (p) write r = ps. In this case p = rm = psm, so sm = 1 (recall that R is an integral domain) and m is a unit so I = R. (2) Assume R is commutative. The ideal M is a maximal ideal if and only if the quotient ring R/M is a field. Proof : There are two things to be shown here. If M is a maximal ideal of R, then every non-zero element of R/M is a unit. A strategy for doing this is as follows: if a R does not belong to M (so a + M is not the zero element in R/M), then the fact that M is maximal as an ideal of R means that the only ideal of R that contains both M and the element a is R itself. In particular the only ideal of R that contains both M and the element a contains the identity element of R. If R/M is a field (i.e. if every non-zero element of R/M is a unit), then M is a maximal ideal of R. A useful strategy for doing this is to suppose that I is an ideal of R properly containing M, and try to show that I must be equal to R.

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