Abstract algebra is the study of algebraic objects. Some of the more common algebraic objects are groups, rings, fields, vector spaces, modules, and other advanced topics.

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$\sqrt a$ is either an integer or an irrational number.

I got this interesting question in my mind: How do we prove that if $a \in \mathbb N$, then $\sqrt a$ is an integer or an irrational number? Can we extend this result? That is, can it be shown ...
42
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2answers
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The square roots of different primes are linearly independent over the field of rationals

I need to find a way of proving that the square roots of a finite set of different primes are linearly independent over the field of rationals. I've tried to solve the problem using ...
6
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4answers
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Comaximal ideals in a commutative ring

Let $R$ be a commutative ring and $I_1, \cdots, I_n$ pairwise comaximal ideals in $R$, e.g. $I_i + I_j = R$ for $i \neq j$. Why are the ideals $I_1^{n_1}, ... , I_r^{n_r}$ (for any $n_1,...,n_r ...
47
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1answer
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Is Lagrange's theorem the most basic result in finite group theory?

Motivated by this question, can one prove that the order of an element in a finite group divides the order of the group without using Lagrange's theorem? (Or, equivalently, that the order of the group ...
5
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2answers
942 views

Units and Nilpotents

If $ua = au$, where $u$ is a unit and $a$ is a nilpotent, show that $u+a$ is a unit. I've been working on this problem for an hour that I tried to construct an element $x \in R$ such that $x(u+a) ...
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3answers
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Characterizing units in polynomial rings $R[X]$

I am trying to prove a result, for which I have got one part, but I am not able to get the converse part. Theorem. Let $R$ be a commutative ring with $1$. Then $f(X)=a_{0}+a_{1}X+a_{2}X^{2} + \cdots ...
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3answers
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Motivation behind the definition of GCD and LCM

According to me, I can find the GCD of two integers (say $a$ and $b$) by finding all the common factors of them, and then finding the maximum of all these common factors. This also justifies the ...
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5answers
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Normal subgroup of prime index

Generalizing the case $p=2$ we would like to know if the statement below is true. Let $p$ the smallest prime dividing the order of $G$. If $H$ is a subgroup of $G$ with index $p$ then $H$ is normal. ...
31
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6answers
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Quotient ring of Gaussian integers

A very basic ring theory question, which I am not able to solve. How does one show that $\mathbb{Z}[i]/(3-i) \cong \mathbb{Z}/10\mathbb{Z}$. Extending the result: $\mathbb{Z}[i]/(a-ib) \cong ...
14
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2answers
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$|G|>2$ implies $G$ has non trivial automorphism

Well, this is an exercise problem from Herstein which sounds difficult: How does one prove that if $|G|>2$, then $G$ has non-trivial automorphism? The only thing, i know which connects a group ...
16
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5answers
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How do I prove that $x^p-x+a$ is irreducible in a field with $p$ elements when $a\neq 0$?

How do I prove that $x^p-x+a$ is irreducible in a field with $p$ elements when $a\neq 0$? Right now I'm able to prove that it has no roots and that it is separable, but I have not a clue as to ...
11
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1answer
903 views

$\operatorname{Aut}(V)$ is isomorphic to $S_3$

I'm currently working my way through Harvard's online abstract algebra lectures (if you're interested, you can find them here). The lectures come complete with notes and homework problems. Of ...
10
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3answers
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A vector space over $R$ is not a countable union of proper subspaces

I was looking for alternate proofs of the theorem that "a vector space $V$ of dimension greater than $1$ over an infinite field is not a union of fewer than $|\mathbf{F}|$ proper subspaces" and ...
8
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2answers
724 views

Finite group for which $|\{x:x^m=e\}|\leq m$ for all $m$ is cyclic.

Let $G$ be a finite group. For each positive integer $m$, if $x^{m}=e$ has at most $m$ solutions in $G$, $G$ is cyclic. What I have thought is that $n=\sum_{d\mid n}\phi(d)$ can be used to solve ...
15
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1answer
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Why is $\mathbb{Z}[\sqrt{-n}]$ not a UFD?

I'm considering the ring $\mathbb{Z}[\sqrt{-n}]$, where $n\ge 3$ and square free. I want to see why it's not an UFD. I defined a norm for the ring by $|a+b\sqrt{-n}|=a^2+nb^2$. Using this I was able ...
7
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4answers
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A ring is a field iff the only ideals are $(0)$ and $(1)$

Let $R$ be a commutative ring with identity. Show that $R$ is a field if and only if the only ideals of $R$ are $R$ itself and the zero ideal $(0)$. I can't figure out where to start other that I ...
20
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5answers
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Why can't the Polynomial Ring be a Field?

I'm currently studying Polynomial Rings, but I can't figure out why they are Rings, not Fields. In the definition of a Field, a Set builds a Commutative Group with Addition and Multiplication. This ...
15
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1answer
904 views

Proving that $\left(\mathbb Q[\sqrt p_1,\dots,\sqrt p_n]:\mathbb Q\right)=2^n$ for distinct primes $p_i$.

I have read the following theorem. If $p_1,p_2,\dots,p_n$ are distinct prime numbers, then$$\left(\mathbb Q\left[\sqrt p_1,\dots,\sqrt p_n\right]:\mathbb Q\right)=2^n.$$ I have tried to prove a ...
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Is $\mathbf{Q}(\sqrt{2}, \sqrt{3}) = \mathbf{Q}(\sqrt{2}+\sqrt{3})$?

Is $\mathbf{Q}(\sqrt{2}, \sqrt{3}) = \mathbf{Q}(\sqrt{2}+\sqrt{3})$ ? $$\mathbf{Q}(\sqrt{2},\sqrt{3})=\{a+b\sqrt{2}+c\sqrt{3}+d\sqrt{6} \mid a,b,c,d\in\mathbf{Q}\}$$ ...
8
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2answers
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Finite subgroups of the multiplicative group of a field are cyclic

In Grove's book Algebra, Proposition 3.7 at page 94 is the following If $G$ is a finite subgroup of the multiplicative group $F^*$ of a field $F$, then $G$ is cyclic. He starts the proof by ...
2
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1answer
535 views

If the order divides a prime P then the order is P (or 1)

I've just come up with this question as I'm studying for a number theory midterm. If $p$ and $q$ are different prime numbers, and it's known that $2^p \equiv 1 \bmod{q}$, then $q\equiv 1 \bmod{p}$. ...
11
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2answers
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$A^m\hookrightarrow A^n$ implies $m\leq n$ for a ring $A\neq 0$

I'm trying to prove that if $A\neq 0$ is a commutative ring and there is an injective $A$-module homomorphism $A^m\hookrightarrow A^n$ then $m\leq n$ must necessarily hold. This is exercise 2.11 ...
29
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1answer
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An example of a division ring $D$ that is **not** isomorphic to its opposite ring

I recall reading in an abstract algebra text two years ago (when I had the pleasure to learn this beautiful subject) that there exists a division ring $D$ that is not isomorphic to its opposite ring. ...
8
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2answers
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reducible polynomial modulo every prime

how to show that $x^4+1$ is irreducible in $\mathbb Z[x]$ but it is reducible modulo every prime $p$. For example i know that $\mod 2 $, $x^4+1=(x+1)^4$ . Also $\mod 3$,we have that $0,1,2$ are not ...
6
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3answers
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Is $\mathbb{Q}(\sqrt{2}) \cong \mathbb{Q}(\sqrt{3})$?

In this post we saw isomorphism of vector spaces over $\mathbb{Q}$. Just came across this question: Is $\mathbb{Q}(\sqrt{2}) \cong \mathbb{Q}(\sqrt{3})$? In know these as $\mathbb{Q}$-Vector ...
47
votes
5answers
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Why are the solutions of polynomial equations so unconstrained over the quaternions?

An $n$th-degree polynomial has at most $n$ distinct zeroes in the complex numbers. But it may have an uncountable set of zeroes in the quaternions. For example, $x^2+1$ has two zeroes in $\mathbb ...
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12answers
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Requesting abstract algebra book recommendations

I've taken up self-study of math. (How smart can that be?) I've just about finished a course in real analysis which spent a lot of time on metric spaces and some time revisiting calculus. I was ...
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3answers
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Problem from Herstein on group theory

The problem is: If $ G $ is a finite group with order not divisible by $ 3 $, and $ (ab)^{3} = a^{3} b^{3} $ for all $ a,b \in G $, then show that $ G $ is abelian. I have been trying this for a ...
3
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3answers
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How many irreducible polynomials of degree $n$ exist over $\mathbb{F}_p$?

I know that for every $n\in\mathbb{N}$, $n\ge 1$, there exists $p(x)\in\mathbb{F}_p[x]$ s.t. $\deg p(x)=n$ and $p(x)$ is irreducible over $\mathbb{F}_p$. I am interested in counting how many such ...
14
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2answers
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A subring of the field of fractions of a PID is a PID as well.

Let $A$ be a PID and $R$ a ring such that $A\subset R \subset \operatorname{Frac}(A)$, where $\operatorname{Frac}(A)$ denotes the field of fractions of $A$. How to show $R$ is also a PID? Any ...
15
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1answer
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Group of even order contains an element of order 2

I am working on the following problem from group theory: If $G$ is a group of order $2n$ (i.e., the cardinality of the set $G$ is $2n$), show that the number of elements of $G$ of order $2$ is odd. ...
6
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1answer
927 views

If a group is the union of two subgroups, is one subgroup the group itself?

"Let $G$ be a group, and suppose $G=H \cup K$, where $H$ and $K$ are subgroups. Show that either $H=G$ or $K=G$." Let $h \in H$ and $k \in K$. Then $hk \in H$ or $hk \in K$ (since every element of ...
6
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8answers
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Why is $\gcd(a,b)=\gcd(b,r)$ when $a = qb + r$?

Given: $a = qb + r$ Then it holds that $\gcd(a,b)=\gcd(b,r)$. That doesn't sound logical to me. Why is this so? Addendum by LePressentiment on 11/29/2013: (in the interest of ...
7
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2answers
614 views

The Center of $\operatorname{GL}(n,k)$

The given question: Let $k$ be a field and $n \in \mathbb{N}$. Show that the centre of $\operatorname{GL}(n, k)$ is $\lbrace\lambda I\mid λ ∈ k^∗\rbrace$. I have spent a while trying to prove this ...
5
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1answer
426 views

Integral domain with two elements that do not have a gcd

I have the following example of an integral domain with two elements that do not have a gcd from wikipedia: $R = \mathbb{Z}\left[\sqrt{-3}\,\,\right],\quad a = 4 = 2\cdot 2 = ...
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3answers
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Prove that if $g^2=e$ for all g in G then G is Abelian.

This question is from group theory in Abstract Algebra and no matter how many times my lecturer teaches it for some reason I can't seem to crack it. (please note that $e$ in the question is the ...
4
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4answers
695 views

Irreducibility of $X^{p-1} + \cdots + X+1$

Can someone give me a hint how to the irreducibility of $X^{p-1} + \cdots + X+1$, where $p$ is a prime, in $\mathbb{Z}[X]$ ? Our professor gave us already one, namely to substitute $X$ with ...
2
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2answers
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Greatest common divisor in the Gaussian Integers

Let $a$ and $b$ be integers. Prove that their greatest common divisor in the ring of integers is the as their greatest common divisor in the ring of Gaussian Integers. Ring of Gaussian Integers is: ...
46
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2answers
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Reference request for tricky problem in elementary group theory

The following could have shown up as an exercise in a basic Abstract Algebra text, and if anyone can give me a reference, I will be most grateful. Consider a set $X$ with an associative law of ...
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Polynomials irreducible over $\mathbb{Q}$ but reducible over $\mathbb{F}_p$ for every prime $p$

Let $f(x) \in \mathbb{Z}[x]$. If we reduce the coefficents of $f(x)$ modulo $p$, where $p$ is prime, we get a polynomial $f^*(x) \in \mathbb{F}_p[x]$. Then if $f^*(x)$ is irreducible and has the same ...
19
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2answers
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Why is the ring of matrices over a field simple?

Denote by $M_{n \times n}(k)$ the ring of $n$ by $n$ matrices with coefficients in the field $k$. Then why does this ring not contain any two-sided ideal? Thanks for any clarification, and this is ...
10
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3answers
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A ring that is not an Euclidean domain

Let $\alpha = \frac{1+\sqrt{-19}}{2}$. Let $A = \mathbb Z[\alpha]$. Let's assume that we know that its invertibles are $\{1,-1\}$. During an exercise we proved that: Lemma: If $(D,g)$ is an ...
28
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2answers
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Why are the only division algebras over the real numbers the real numbers, the complex numbers, and the quaternions?

Why are the only (associative) division algebras over the real numbers the real numbers, the complex numbers, and the quaternions? Here a division algebra is an associative algebra where every ...
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2answers
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Find all subrings Of $\mathbb{Z}^2$

This may be a simple question: Find all subrings of $\mathbb{Z}^2$.
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3answers
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Zero divisor in $R[x]$

Let $R$ be commutative ring with no (nonzero) nilpotent elements. If $f(x) = a_0+a_1x+\cdots+a_nx^n$ in $R[x]$ is a zero divisor, how do I show there's an element $b \ne 0$ in $R$ such that ...
4
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4answers
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The characteristic and minimal polynomial of a companion matrix

The companion matrix of a monic polynomial in 1 variable over a field $F$ plays an important role in understanding the structure of finite dimensional $F[x]$-modules. It is an important fact that the ...
41
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2answers
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Example of infinite field of characteristic $p\neq 0$

Can you give me an example of infinite field of characteristic $p\neq0$? Thanks.
37
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4answers
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linear algebra over a division ring vs. over a field

When I was studying linear algebra in the first year, from what I remember, vector spaces were always defined over a field, which was in every single concrete example equal to either $\mathbb{R}$ or ...
18
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7answers
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Good abstract algebra books for self study

Last semester I picked up an algebra course at my university, which unfortunately was scheduled during my exams of my major (I'm a computer science major). So I had to self study the material, ...
21
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5answers
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Examples and further results about the order of the product of two elements in a group

Let $G$ be a group and let $a,b$ be two elements of $G$. What can we say about the order of their product $ab$? Wikipedia says "not much": There is no general formula relating the order of a ...