# Algebra Review 2. 1 Fields. A field is an extension of the concept of a group.

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1 Algebra Review 2 1 Fields A field is an extension of the concept of a group. Definition 1. A field (F, +,, 0 F, 1 F ) is a set F together with two binary operations (+, ) on F such that the following conditions hold: 1. (F, +) is a commutative group, with identity the element 0 F. 2. The operation is associative, i.e., a (b c) = (a b) c for all a, b, c, F. 3. The operation is commutative, i.e., a b = b a for all a, b F. 4. The distributive law holds, i.e., a (b + c) = (a b) + (a c) for all a, b, c F. 5. The element 1 F is an identity for, i.e., 1 F a = a 1 F = a for all a F. 6. All nonzero element in F have an inverse under, i.e., for all a F, a 0 F, there exists an element a 1 F such that a a 1 = 1 F. Example 2. Q, R, C are fields, but Z is not a field. Example 3. The set Z 5 is a field, under addition and multiplication modulo 5. To see this, we already know that Z 5 is a group under addition. Furthermore, we can easily check that requirements 2 5 are satisfied. The non-trivial one to check is condition 6, but this can be verified on a caseby-case basis (i.e., the inverse of 2 is 3; 4 is its own inverse). However, the set Z 6 is not a field, because the element 4 has no multiplicative inverse (try to find one!). Theorem 4. Remark 5. Z p is a field under addition and multiplication modulo p if and only if p is prime. Some notations: 1. We sometimes abuse notation by writing 0 (resp. 1) instead of 0 F (resp. 1 F ) when explicit from the context. 2. We sometimes use ab instead of a b. 3. Subtraction a b is defined by a + ( b), and division a/b by ab 1 for b 0 F. m times m times {}}{{}}{ 4. We denote a + + a by ma for m N, and also a a by a m. When we write ma it means m( a), and a m means (a 1 ) m. 5. The value a 0 is defined to be 1 F, and 0a to be 0 F. 1

2 Lemma 6. Let F be a field. Then, for all a F, and n 1, n 2 Z, (a n 1 ) n 2 = a n 1n 2 a n 1 a n 2 = a n 1+n 2. Lemma 7. Let F be a field. If the elements a, b F are such that a 0 and b 0, then ab 0. Proof. Suppose towards contradiction that ab = 0. If a 0 then a has inverse. So we have 0 = a 1 0 = a 1 (ab) = (a 1 a)b = 1 b = b (contradiction). By symmetry, if b 0, then we have a = 0 (contradiction). When, however, F is not a field the above lemma no more holds. Consider 4 3 in Z Finding a multiplicative inverse in Z p As we saw in class, we often need the inverse of a number in Z p. Therefore, it is essential to have an efficient algorithm to find the inverse. Algorithm 1 Calcuate a 1 mod p. Input: (a, p) Output: a 1 mod p Compute x and y s.t. ax + py = 1. This can be efficiently computed because gcd(a, p) = 1. See Problem Set 1 for the details. return x mod p. 2 Polynomials Definition 8. If F is a field, then a polynomial in the indeterminate (or formal variable) x over the field F is an expression of the form f(x) = a n x n + + a 1 x 1 + a 0 where each a i F and n 0. - The element a i is called the coefficient of x i in f(x). - The largest integer m which a m 0 is called the degree of f(x), denoted deg(f(x)). - The element a m for m = deg(f(x)) is called the leading coefficient of f(x). - If f(x) = a 0 (a constant polynomial) and a 0 0, then deg(f(x)) is 0. 2

3 - If all the coefficients of f(x) are 0, then f(x) is called the zero polynomial, and deg(f(x)) =. - The polynomial f(x) is said to be monic if the leading coefficient is 1. Now we will define addition and multiplication of polynomials. For technical convenience, we will write polynomials as an infinite sum a ix i with only finite number of the coefficients being non-zero. Definition 9. Given the two polynomials f(x) = a i x i and g(x) = b i x i, the addition of f(x) and g(x) is defined as f(x) + g(x) = (a i + b i )x i, and the multiplication of f(x) and g(x) is defined as i f(x) g(x) = a j b i j x i. j=0 Definition 10. Let F be a field. The polynomial ring F [x] is the ring formed by the set of all polynomials in the indeterminate x having coefficient from F. The two operations are the polynomial addition and multiplication with coefficient arithmetic performed in the field F. The set (R, +,, 0 R, 1 R ) is called the ring when all the requirements of the Definition 1 except the 6-th item are satisfied. It is easy to see F [x] is a ring. Note 11. The indeterminate x in a polynomial f(x) F [x] is not an element of the field F. It is just a formal variable. So we must not treat f(x) as just a polynomial function. In particular, two polynomials are equal if and only if their coefficients are equal. Example 12. Consider the polynomials a(x) = x 2 + 3, b(x) = 4x 3 + 2x + 1, c(x) = 5 = 0, d(x) = 1 + x, e(x) = x, and f(x) = 4x 3 in Z 5 [x]. Then We have a(x) + b(x) = 4x 3 + x 2 + 2x + 4, a(x) b(x) = 4x 5 + 4x 3 + x 2 + x + 3, c(x) d(x) + e(x) f(x) = 4x 4. Lemma 13. Let f(x) and g(x) be polynomials in F [x] for a field F. Then, we have deg(f(x) + g(x)) max (deg(f(x)), deg(g(x))) deg(f(x) g(x)) = deg(f(x)) + deg(g(x)) 3

4 Theorem 14. If f(x), h(x) F [x] with h(x) 0, then polynomial division of f(x) by h(x) yields polynomial q(x), r(x) F [x] such that f(x) = q(x)h(x) + r(x), where deg(r(x)) < deg(h(x)). Moreover, q(x) and r(x) are unique. Definition 15. Let f(x) and h(x) be polynomials in F [x] for a field F. h(x) divides f(x), and we write h(x) f(x), if there exists a polynomial q(x) F [x] such that f(x) = q(x)h(x). Definition 16. For a polynomial f(x) = a n x n + + a 1 x + a 0 F [x] and an element α F, the evaluation of f(x) at α (or substituting α for x in f(x)) is f(α) = a n α n + + a 1 α + a 0. Evaluation is also denoted by f x=a. Note in the above definition that now we can do actual additions and multiplications in F, since α F. We have of course f(α) F. Also, we can see for any f, g F [x], α F (f + g)(α) = f(α) + g(α) and (f g)(α) = f(α) g(α). Definition 17. Let F be a field. An element α F is called a root of f(x) F [x] if f(α) = 0. Lemma 18. Let F be a field. For f(x) F [x] and α F, we have f(x) = (x α)q(x) + f(α). Proof. By Theorem 14, there exist unique polynomials q(x) and r(x) such that f(x) = (x α)q(x) + r(x) with deg(r(x)) < deg(x a) = 1. So, r(x) must be a constant β F. We find the exact value of β by substituting α for x: f(α) = (α α)q(α) + β = 0 + β = β. Corollary 19. Let F be a field. For f(x) F [x] and α F, (x α) divides f(x), if and only if α is a root of f(x) Example 20. Consider the polynomials f 1 (x) = x 6 + x 5 + x 3 + x 2 + x + 1, f 2 (x) = x 5 + x 3 + x + 1, and h(x) = x 4 + x in Z 2 [x]. Then, the divisions yield f 1 (x) = x 2 h(x) + (x 3 + x + 1) and f 2 (x) = (x + 1)h(x). Therefore, h(x) divides f 2 (x). The evaluations are: f 1 (0) = 1, f 1 (1) = 0, f 2 (0) = 1, f 2 (1) = 0. The element 1 is a root of f 1 and f 2. Theorem 21. Let f(x) be a nonzero polynomial in F [x] of degree d for a field F. Then f(x) has at most d distinct roots in F. 4

5 Proof. The proof proceeds by induction on d. The result is clearly true for d = 0. For d = 1, the polynomial will of the following form: ax + b = a(x + b/a), whose unique root is b/a. Assume now that d > 1 and that this theorem holds for all polynomials of degree less than d. Consider a polynomial f(x) of degree d. Let α be a root (if there is no root, then we are done). Then we have f(x) = (x α)q(x). The degree of q(x) is d 1 (by Lemma 13). Suppose we have another root γ α. Then we have f(γ) = (α γ)q(γ). Since (α γ) 0, q(γ) must be 0 (by Lemma 7). This means all the roots of f other than α are also the roots of q. Because, by induction, q has at most d 1 distinct roots, f(x) has 1 + (d 1) = d distinct roots. 5

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