7
votes
2answers
178 views

Why study integrality?

Here are a few of the basic definitions related to integrality. (1) A polynomial in $R[x]$ is monic if its leading coefficient is $1$. (2) An element is integral over a ring $R$ if it ...
8
votes
1answer
125 views

Geometric intuition behind the Hasse principle

Let $f(X,Y) \in \mathbb{Q}[X,Y]$ be a quadratic polynomial. The Hasse-Minkowski theorem says that $f(X,Y) = 0$ has a solution $(x,y) \in \mathbb{Q}^2$ iff it has a solution in $\mathbb{R}^2$ and ...
18
votes
1answer
305 views

Class group and factorizations

There is a common characterization of the class group ${\rm Cl}(R)$ as a kind of measure of how badly factorization fails to be unique. The most obvious justification for this sentiment is that the ...
3
votes
1answer
143 views

How can a subfield of an abelian extension fail to be cyclic when subjected to a norm-like condition. (How can I understand the supplied explanation)

I recently posted a question on MathOverflow (if you're interested it can be found here). While some answers were quickly produced there were a few points that I found confusing. I requested some ...
7
votes
3answers
519 views

Intuition regarding Chevalley-Warning Theorem

Three versions of the theorem are stated on pages 1-2 in these notes by Pete L. Clark: http://math.uga.edu/~pete/4400ChevalleyWarning.pdf Could anyone offer some intuitive way to think about this ...
15
votes
3answers
798 views

What is the intuition behind Gauss sums?

Let $ \chi $ be a character on the field $ F_p $, and fix some $a \in F_p $. We define a Gauss sum to be: $g_a (\chi) = \sum_{t\in F_p}\chi(t)\zeta^{at}$ where $\zeta$ is a primitive $p^{th}$ root of ...