Suppose you have a ring $(C[0,1],+,\cdot,0,1)$ of continuous real valued functions on $[0,1]$, with addition defined as $(f+g)(x)=f(x)+g(x)$ and multiplication defined as $(fg)(x)=f(x)g(x)$. I'm curious what the zero divisors are.
My hunch is that the zero divisors are precisely the functions whose zero set contains an open interval. My thinking is that if $f$ is a function which is at least zero on an open interval $(a,b)$, then there exists some function which is nonzero on $(a,b)$, but zero everywhere else on $[0,1]\setminus(a,b)$. Conversely, if $f$ is not zero on any open interval, then every zero is isolated in a sense. But if $fg=0$ for some $g$, then $g$ is zero everywhere except these isolated points, but continuity would imply that it is also zero at the zeros of $f$, but then $g=0$, so $f$ is not a zero divisor.
I have a hard time stating this formally though, since I'm only studying algebra, and not analysis. Is this intuition correct, and if so, how could it be rigorously expressed?