I would like to know, why $ \mathfrak{p} A_{\mathfrak{p}} $ is the maximal ideal of the local ring $ A_{\mathfrak{p}} $, where $ \mathfrak{p} $ is a prime ideal of $ A $ and $ A_{\mathfrak{p}} $ is the localization of the ring $ A $ with respect to the multiplicative set $ S = A -\mathfrak{p} $ ? Thanks a lot.

N.B. : I have to tell you that I'm not very good at Algebra, so please, be more kind and generous in your explanation, and give me a lot of details about this subject please. Thank you.


The localization $A_\mathfrak{p}$ is given by all fractions $\frac{a}{b}$ with $a\in R$ and $b\in R\setminus\mathfrak{p}$. So $\mathfrak{p}A_\mathfrak{p}$ consists of all fractions $\frac{a}{b}$ with $a\in\mathfrak{p}$ and $b\in R\setminus\mathfrak{p}$.

To show that $\mathfrak{p}A_\mathfrak{p}$ is the unique maximal ideal in $A_\mathfrak{p}$, let $I$ be an ideal in $A_\mathfrak{p}$ with $I\not\subseteq\mathfrak{p}A_\mathfrak{p}$. Then there is an element $\frac{a}{b}\in I$ with $a,b\in R\setminus\mathfrak{p}$. So $\frac{b}{a}$ is an element of $A_\mathfrak{p}$, and from $\frac{a}{b}\cdot\frac{b}{a} = 1$ we get that $I$ contains the invertible element $\frac{a}{b}$. Therefore, $I = A_\mathfrak{p}$.

  • $\begingroup$ How to write the elements of $ I $ ideal of $ A_{\mathfrak{p}} $, in général ? Thanks. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Feb 11 '13 at 19:42
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    $\begingroup$ An ideal $I$ of $A_\mathfrak{p}$ is a subset of $A_\mathfrak{p}$. So the elements of $I$ consist of a selection of elements of $A_\mathfrak{p}$, which have the form $\frac{a}{b}$ with $a\in R$ and $b\in R\setminus\mathfrak{p}$. BTW, if my above answer was helpful, feel free to upvote! $\endgroup$ – azimut Feb 11 '13 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for this answear, but if we have an ideal in $ R $, How to write his image in $ A_{\mathfrak{p}} $. I'm not certain to be clear. What is $ J $ ideal in $ A_{\mathfrak{p}} $ such that $ i^{-1} ( J ) $ is an ideal in $ R $ ? $ i $ is the map : $ i : R \to A_{\mathfrak{p}} $ such that $ i ( a ) = \frac{a}{1} $. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Feb 11 '13 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ Hi all, I am reading this answer because I also had the same question as OP, but I'm slightly confused as to the notation $\mathfrak{p}A_{\mathfrak{p}}$ since it seems to suggest the product of the prime ideal from the ring $A$, with the localized ring, how are we interpreting this operation since the elements aren't compatible? $\endgroup$ – Prince M Apr 12 '17 at 19:56
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    $\begingroup$ @PrinceM: As usual, $R$ is seen as a subset of $A_{\mathfrak{p}}$ by identifying an element $a\in R$ with the fraction $\frac{a}{1}$ (which is $(a,1)$ in the pair notation). Thus the ideal $\mathfrak{p}$ is identified with the set $\frac{p}{1}$ with $p\in\mathfrak{p}$. Therefore, indeed $\mathfrak{p}A_{\mathfrak{p}} = \{\frac{p}{1} \cdot \frac{a}{b} \mid p\in\mathfrak{p}, a\in R, b\in A\setminus\mathfrak{p}\} = \{\frac{pa}{b} \mid p\in\mathfrak{p}, a\in R, b\in A\setminus\mathfrak{p}\}= \{\frac{p}{b} \mid p\in\mathfrak{p}, b\in A\setminus\mathfrak{p}\}$. $\endgroup$ – azimut Apr 21 '17 at 20:02

Basically what you need to know is how the units in $A_\mathfrak{p}$ look like. More precisely, an element in the localization, say $\dfrac{a}{b} \in A_\mathfrak{p}$ is a unit if and only if $a \in A \setminus \mathfrak{p}$. Then what this tells you is that the set of non-units of $A_\mathfrak{p}$ is $\mathfrak{p}A_\mathfrak{p}$.

Therefore now if you want to see why this shows that $\mathfrak{p}A_\mathfrak{p}$ is a maximal ideal, suppose that $I$ is an ideal in $A_\mathfrak{p}$ with $\mathfrak{p}A_\mathfrak{p} \subsetneq I$. Then $I$ must contain a unit, and therefore $I = A_\mathfrak{p}$, so $\mathfrak{p}A_\mathfrak{p}$ is indeed a maximal ideal.

Finally, you need to make sure that you understand why the characterization of $\mathfrak{p}A_\mathfrak{p}$ as the set of non-units in $A_\mathfrak{p}$ implies that it is the unique maximal ideal in $A_\mathfrak{p}$. Well, any proper ideal $\mathfrak{m} \subsetneq A_\mathfrak{p}$ would have to be contained in the set of non-units (since otherwise it would contain a unit and that would imply that the ideal is the whole ring), i.e. $\mathfrak{m} \subseteq \mathfrak{p}A_\mathfrak{p}$, so if $\mathfrak{m}$ is maximal, this implies that $\mathfrak{m} = \mathfrak{p}A_\mathfrak{p}$.

Thus $\mathfrak{p}A_\mathfrak{p}$ is the unique maximal ideal, and hence $A_\mathfrak{p}$ is a local ring.

  • $\begingroup$ @Bryan I'm glad to help =) $\endgroup$ – Adrián Barquero Feb 11 '13 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ How can we prove your claim in the beginning? Thanks. $\endgroup$ – Ninja Dec 11 '17 at 11:47
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    $\begingroup$ This is a VERY nice explanation! Thanks! $\endgroup$ – learner Feb 4 at 10:21

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