Use this tag for questions about fields and field theory in abstract algebra. A field is, roughly speaking, an algebraic structure in which addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of elements are well-defined. Please use (galois-theory) instead for questions specifically about that ...

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16
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1answer
470 views

Is every rigid field perfect?

A field is rigid iff its automorphism group is trivial. A field $F$ is perfect iff all irreducibles in $F[x]$ are separable. Is every rigid field perfect?
16
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3answers
683 views

Finding the degree of a field extension over the rationals

Let $\alpha = \sqrt{\sqrt{2}+\root 4 \of 2}$, $\beta =\sqrt{\sqrt{2}- \root 4 \of 2}$, $\gamma = \sqrt{-\sqrt{2}+i\root 4 \of 2}$ and $\delta = \overline{\gamma}=\sqrt{-\sqrt{2}-i\root 4 \of 2}$. Let ...
16
votes
5answers
693 views

Why isn't the perfect closure separable?

Let $F\subset K$ be an algebraic extension of fields. By taking the separable closure $K_s$, we obtain a tower $F\subset K_s \subset K$ such that $F\subset K_s$ is separable and $K_s\subset K$ is ...
15
votes
3answers
13k views

what is difference between a ring and a field

The ring axioms require that addition is commutative, addition and multiplication are associative, multiplication distributes over addition. A field can be thought of as two groups with extra ...
15
votes
3answers
982 views

Are $\mathbb{R}$ and $\mathbb{Q}$ the only nontrivial subfields of $\mathbb{R}$?

I've been asked to prove that any subfield of $\mathbb{R}$ contains $\mathbb{Q}$, and I know how to do it, but it made me wonder if there were subfields of $\mathbb{R}$ that strictly contained ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Proving the “freshman's dream”

$(x+y)^p = x^p + y^p$ holds in any field of characteristic $p$. However all the proofs I have seen use induction and some relatively nasty algebra despite how fundamental this fact seems. What is the ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Basis of primitive nth Roots in a Cyclotomic Extension?

While reading one of Keith Conrad's great blurbs, Linear Independence of Characters, there is a footnote at the bottom of page 2 saying In general, the primitive $n$th roots of unity in the $n$th ...
15
votes
2answers
410 views

Is it actually incorrect to say $x/1 = x$?

The rational numbers $\mathbb{Q}$ are defined as the field of quotients of $\mathbb{Z}$ under the relation $(a, b) \sim (c , d) \iff$ $ad = bc$. There is an obvious isomorphism between the subring ...
15
votes
4answers
6k views

Finding the minimal polynomial of $\sqrt 2 + \sqrt[3] 2$ over $\mathbb Q$.

I have to find the minimal polynomial of $\sqrt 2 + \sqrt[3] 2$ over $\mathbb Q$. The suggested way of doing it is to prove that $\mathbb Q[\sqrt 2 + \sqrt[3] 2]=\mathbb Q[\sqrt 2,\sqrt[3] 2]$ first. ...
15
votes
1answer
373 views

Examples of non-isomorphic fields with isomorphic group of units and additive group structure

YACP mentions in a comment that: There are examples of non-isomorphic fields $K$ and $L$ with $(K,+)\cong (L,+)$ and $(K^{\times} ,\cdot)\cong (L^{\times},\cdot)$ Can someone provide an ...
15
votes
1answer
396 views

A *finite* first order theory whose finite models are exactly the $\Bbb F_p$?

Since this question turned out to be trivial, I'm now asking this strengthened version: Is there a finitely axiomatized first order theory $T$ in the language of rings such that its finite models ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

What is a field?

I've always wondered about what a field is meant to represent. For example, group automorphisns naturally represent symmetry in many areas. I'm not looking for a solid answer, just an idea.
14
votes
3answers
508 views

Why is the difference of distinct roots of irreducible $f(x)\in\mathbb{Q}[x]$ never rational?

The way I understand it, is that if $f(x)$ is an irreducible polynomial in $\mathbb{Q}[x]$ of degree at least 2, then a difference of distinct roots $a_i-a_j$ is never rational for any of the ...
14
votes
9answers
464 views

Prove that $f=x^4-4x^2+16\in\mathbb{Q}$ is irreducible

Prove that $f=x^4-4x^2+16\in\mathbb{Q}[x]$ is irreducible. I am trying to prove it with Eisenstein's criterion but without success: for p=2, it divides -4 and the constant coefficient 16, don't ...
14
votes
5answers
457 views

Why does $K \leadsto K(X)$ preserve the degree of field extensions?

The following is a problem in an algebra textbook, probably a well-known fact, but I just don't know how to Google it. Let $K/k$ be a finite field extension. Then $K(X)/k(X)$ is also finite with ...
14
votes
2answers
361 views

A sentence false in a field of characteristic $0$ but true in all fields of positive characteristic?

Consider the language $L=\{+,\cdot, 0, 1\}$ of rings. It is easy to show using compactness that if $\sigma$ is a sentence that holds in all fields of characteristic $0$, there is some $N\in \mathbb N$ ...
14
votes
4answers
960 views

Proving $\sqrt{a+\sqrt{b}}=\sqrt{m}+\sqrt{n}\iff a^{2}-b$ is a square

This is an exercise for the book Abstract Algebra by Dummit and Foote (pg. 530): Let $F$ be a field of characteristic $\neq2$ . Let $a,b\in F$ with $b$ not a square in $F$. Prove ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Inseparable, irreducible polynomials

The standard examples of irreducible, inseparable polynomials that one encounters in an introductory course on field theory all seem to have only a single root in an algebraic closure. Are there ...
14
votes
3answers
349 views

Is the Pythagorean closure of $\mathbb Q$ equal to the field of constructible numbers?

A Pythagorean field is one in which every sum of two squares is again a square. $\mathbb Q$ is not Pythagorean, which is easy to see. I have read a theorem online which says that every field has a ...
14
votes
3answers
417 views

Is $\bar{\mathbb{Q}}(x)\cap \mathbb{Q}((x))=\mathbb{Q}(x)$? [unsolved (even though we earlier thought it was)]

Fix the algebraic closure of $\mathbb{Q}((x))$ for this question to make sense. I know that $\mathbb{Q}((x)) \cap \overline{\mathbb{Q}(x)}$ has elements that are not in $\mathbb{Q}(x)$ (in analogy to ...
14
votes
2answers
221 views

Infinite direct product of fields.

Let $F$ be a field, and consider the infinite direct product$$F \times F \times F \times F \times \dots,$$i.e. $\prod_{i=0}^\infty F$, i.e. the direct product of a countable number of copies of $F$. ...
13
votes
4answers
500 views

A field of order $32$

I was working on this problem from an old qual exam and here is the question. In particular this is not for homework. True or False: There are no fields of order 32. Justify your answer. ...
13
votes
4answers
843 views

Why must a field with a cyclic group of units be finite?

Let $F$ be a field and $F^\times$ be its group of units. If $F^\times$ is cyclic show that $F$ is finite. I'm a bit stuck. I know that I can represent $F^\times = \langle u \rangle$ for some $u ...
13
votes
2answers
432 views

Is $\mathbb Q(\sqrt{2},\sqrt{3},\sqrt{5})=\mathbb Q(\sqrt{2}+\sqrt{3}+\sqrt{5})$.

Is $\mathbf Q(\sqrt 2,\sqrt 3,\sqrt 5)=\mathbf Q(\sqrt 2+\sqrt 3+\sqrt 5)$? Say $L=\mathbf Q(\sqrt 2,\sqrt 3,\sqrt 5)$ and $K=\mathbf Q(\sqrt 2+\sqrt 3+\sqrt 5)$. It is easy to show that ...
13
votes
3answers
601 views

Characterization of a subfield $K \varsubsetneq \mathbb {C}$ and $x\in \mathbb{R}$

Characterize $x \in \mathbb R$ such that there exist a subfield $K \varsubsetneq \mathbb C$ such that $K(x) = \mathbb C$. -All subfields $K$ of $\mathbb{C}$ contain $\mathbb Q$, then all $x\notin ...
13
votes
3answers
244 views

Can we construct $\Bbb C$ without first identifying $\Bbb R$?

Sometimes it is useful to consider $\Bbb C$ as our primitive and identify $\Bbb R$ as a subset of $\Bbb C$. Thus we can define $\Bbb R$ (or at least a set with all of the interesting properties of ...
13
votes
1answer
360 views

Why is $\mathbb{C}_p$ isomorphic to $\mathbb{C}$?

I know that two closed fields of caracteristic $0$ and uncountable are isomorphic iff they have the same cardinality. But I don't know why $\mathbb{C}_p$ has the same cardinality as $\mathbb{C}$. Can ...
13
votes
3answers
529 views

Fundamental Theorem of Algebra for fields other than $\Bbb{C}$, or how much does the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra depend on topology and analysis?

When proving the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra, we need to appeal to analytic and/or topological properties of $\Bbb{C}$ and $\Bbb{C}[z]$. Is this going to be necessary in general, and if so, to what ...
13
votes
1answer
832 views

Galois group of a reducible polynomial over $\mathbb {Q}$

Let $f \in\mathbb {Q}[X]$ be reducible - for the sake of simplicity, $ f = gh$ with $g,h \in\mathbb {Q}[X]$ irreducible. Let L be the splitting field of f. Does $Gal(f) \simeq Gal(g) \times Gal(h)$ ...
13
votes
1answer
594 views

what is a “dévissage” argument?

In Serre's "Local Fields" (Chapter 2, section 2, proposition 3) he proves something about field extensions which he breaks into parts: first he dealt with the separable case, and then with the ...
13
votes
1answer
346 views

Families of Polynomials Irreducible in $\mathbb{Z}$ but reducible in $\mathbb{Z}/p\mathbb{Z}$ for all primes $p$.

I am wondering if there exist classification of polynomials that are irreducible in $ \mathbb{Z}$ but reducible $\pmod p$ for all primes $p$. I am aware that $\Phi_n$ has this property if ...
13
votes
1answer
487 views

Topological Quantum Field theories

I was wondering about the following on TQFTs. It is said that TQFTs have vanishing Hamiltonians $\hat{\mathcal{H}}$. Firstly, I would like to ask: Why is this so? Secondly, consider the ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

$\mathbb R^3$ is not a field

I'm trying to prove that $\mathbb R^3$ is not a field with component-wise multiplication and sum defined. I think it's weird, because every properties of a field are inherit from $\mathbb R$. Anyone ...
12
votes
2answers
543 views

Is number rational?

How can we check if number $a=\frac{ \sqrt[4]{2}+\sqrt[3]{3}}{\sqrt[4]{2}+\sqrt[3]{3} +1}$ is rational? Is there any smart solution? Another assignment is to find $\left( ...
12
votes
2answers
850 views

How to transform a general higher degree five or higher equation to normal form?

This is a continuation of How to solve fifth-degree equations by elliptic functions? How to transform a general higher degree five or higher equation to normal form? For xeample, a quintic equation ...
12
votes
3answers
765 views

A question regarding the definition of Galois group

In my book, Galois group is defined to mean the set of automorphisms on $E/F$ that "leave alone" the elements in $F$. On Wikipedia it says: "If $E/F$ is a Galois extension, then $Aut(E/F)$ is called ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How to solve polynomial equations in a field and/or in a ring?

I'm studying for my exam, and I stuck on solving polynomials in a field and/or in a ring. Let me give you some examples: (1) Solve equation $x^2+4x+3=0$ in field $\mathbb{Z}_5$, $\mathbb{Z}_8$ and in ...
12
votes
2answers
244 views

Is it possible to construct an ordered field which is also algebraically closed?

It is well known that while the real numbers are totally ordered, they are not algebraically closed, and while the complex numbers are algebraically closed, they are not totally ordered. Is it ...
12
votes
2answers
420 views

Why should I consider the components $j^2$ and $k^2$ to be $=-1$ in the search for quaternions?

I'm reading a paper about Hamilton's discovery of quaternions and it explains why he failed in his 'theory of triplets' where he tried to make a vector with $3$ dimensions, as an analogy to the ...
12
votes
2answers
744 views

Why are there so many universal properties in math?

I don't really understand why there are so many universal properties in math or why they all need to be highlighted. For example, I'm studying some Algebra right now. I have found three universal ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Lüroth's Theorem

I have just begun to read Shafarevich's Basic Algebraic Geometry. In the first section of the first chapter, he quotes Lüroth's theorem, which states that any subfield of $k(x)$ that is not just $k$ ...
12
votes
1answer
130 views

Field Extensions and their dimensions

There is a powerful theorem with respect to a field $F$ extensions and their dimensions. $F<E<K \ \Rightarrow [K:F] = [K:E][E:F] $ This is analogous to the famous Lagrange's theorem with ...
12
votes
1answer
312 views

Is a field perfect iff the primitive element theorem holds for all extensions, and what about function fields

Let $L/K$ be a finite separable extension of fields. Then we have the primitive element theorem, i.e., there exists an $x$ in $L$ such that $L=K(x)$. In particular, the primitive element theorem ...
12
votes
1answer
255 views

Galois Group of $x^{4}+7$

I am trying to find the Galois group of $x^{4}+7$ over $\mathbb{Q}$ and all of the intermediate extensions between $\mathbb{Q}$ and the splitting field of this polynomial. I have found that the ...
12
votes
2answers
888 views

Grassmann numbers as eigenvalues of nilpotent operators?

The following question is motivated by the construction of the fermionic path/field integral, as done for example in Altland & Simons "Condensed Matter Field Theory". Consider the vector space ...
12
votes
1answer
149 views

Elliptic curve over algebraically closed field of characteristic $0$ has a non-torsion point

Let $E/k$ be an elliptic curve over an algebraically closed field $k$ of characteristic $0$. Can one prove that the abelian group $E(k)$ is non-torsion? Better yet, can one prove that $E(k) ...
12
votes
1answer
114 views

Numbers whose powers are almost integers

Some real numbers $\alpha$ have the property that their powers get ever closer to being integers -- more precisely, that $$ \lim_{n\to\infty} \alpha^n-[\alpha^n] = 0 $$ where $[\cdot]$ is the ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Galois closure of a $p$-extension is also a $p$-extension

I'm working on a problem in Dummit & Foote and I'm quite stumped. The problem reads: Let $p$ be a prime and let $F$ be a field. Let $K$ be a Galois extension of $F$ whose Galois group is a ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Recognizing when a tower of Galois extensions gives a Galois extension

For the easiest case, assume that $L/E$ is Galois and $E/K$ is Galois. Under what conditions can we conclude that $L/K$ is Galois? I guess the general case can be a bit tricky, but are there some ...
11
votes
3answers
554 views

Why doesn't stuff hold in characteristic non-zero?

There are a bunch of theorems in algebra that require the underlying field to be characteristic 0. I seem to remember that these all stemmed from one basic fundamental theorem that only holds in ...