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Questions tagged [abstract-algebra]

For questions about groups, rings, fields, vector spaces, modules and other algebraic objects. Associate with related tags like group-theory, ring-theory, modules, etc. to clarify which topic of abstract algebra is most related to your question and help other users when searching.

122
votes
3answers
15k views

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 elementary ...
57
votes
6answers
13k views

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 \mathbb{...
47
votes
2answers
37k views

If $G/Z(G)$ is cyclic, then $G$ is abelian

Continuing my work through Dummit & Foote's "Abstract Algebra", 3.1.36 asks the following (which is exactly the same as exercise 5 in this related MSE answer): Prove that if $G/Z(G)$ is cyclic, ...
56
votes
7answers
25k views

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.
38
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
24
votes
4answers
5k 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) = 1 ...
68
votes
7answers
15k views

How do I prove that $x^p-x+a$ is irreducible in a field with $p$ elements when $a\neq 0$?

Let $p$ be a prime. 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 ...
36
votes
2answers
6k views

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 $2n$, show that the number of elements of $G$ of order $2$ is odd. That is, for some integer $k$, there are $2k+...
39
votes
3answers
8k views

$|G|>2$ 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
6k views

Comaximal ideals in a commutative ring

Let $R$ be a commutative ring and $I_1, \dots, I_n$ pairwise comaximal ideals in $R$, i.e., $I_i + I_j = R$ for $i \neq j$. Why are the ideals $I_1^{n_1}, ... , I_r^{n_r}$ (for any $n_1,...,n_r \in\...
29
votes
3answers
8k views

Irreducible polynomial which is reducible 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 $x^4+1=(x+1)^4\bmod 2$. Also $\bmod 3$ we have that $0,1,2$ are not ...
38
votes
6answers
10k views

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 ...
36
votes
6answers
17k views

Every nonzero element in a finite ring is either a unit or a zero divisor

Let $R$ be a finite ring with unity. Prove that every nonzero element of $R$ is either a unit or a zero-divisor.
43
votes
3answers
15k views

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 ...
30
votes
8answers
13k views

Why $\gcd(qb+r,b)=\gcd(b,r)$?

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 http://meta.math....
61
votes
3answers
6k views

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 ...
44
votes
5answers
5k views

Similar matrices and field extensions

Given a field $F$ and a subfield $K$ of $F$. Let $A$, $B$ be $n\times n$ matrices such that all the entries of $A$ and $B$ are in $K$. Is it true that if $A$ is similar to $B$ in $F^{n\times n}$ then ...
50
votes
2answers
13k views

Why is $\mathbb{Z}[\sqrt{-n}], n\ge 3$ 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 a UFD. I defined a norm for the ring by $|a+b\sqrt{-n}|=a^2+nb^2$. Using this I was able ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

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 ...
29
votes
13answers
36k views

Prove that if $g^2=e$ for all $g$ in $G$ then $G$ is Abelian.

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 ...
62
votes
5answers
30k views

Is $\mathbf{Q}(\sqrt{2}, \sqrt{3}) = \mathbf{Q}(\sqrt{2}+\sqrt{3})$? [duplicate]

Is $\mathbf{Q}(\sqrt{2}, \sqrt{3}) = \mathbf{Q}(\sqrt{2}+\sqrt{3})$ ? $$\mathbf{Q}(\sqrt{2},\sqrt{3})=\{a+b\sqrt{2}+c\sqrt{3}+d\sqrt{6} \mid a,b,c,d\in\mathbf{Q}\}$$ $$\mathbf{Q}(\sqrt{2}+\sqrt{3})...
70
votes
1answer
4k views

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 ...
35
votes
2answers
12k views

Characterizing units in polynomial rings

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 +...
24
votes
5answers
13k views

Order of a product of subgroups. Prove that $o(HK) = \frac{o(H)o(K)}{o(H \cap K)}$.

Let $H$, $K$ be subgroups of $G$. Prove that $o(HK) = \frac{o(H)o(K)}{o(H \cap K)}$. I need this theorem to prove something.
78
votes
1answer
12k views

Classification of prime ideals of $\mathbb{Z}[X]$

Let $\mathbb{Z}[X]$ be the ring of polynomials in one variable over $\Bbb Z$. My question: Is every prime ideal of $\mathbb{Z}[X]$ one of following types? If yes, how would you prove this? ...
42
votes
6answers
15k views

Is an automorphism of the field of real numbers the identity map?

Is an automorphism of the field of real numbers $\mathbb{R}$ the identity map? If yes, how can we prove it? Remark An automorphism of $\mathbb{R}$ may not be continuous.
17
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
135
votes
5answers
20k views

An Introduction to Tensors

As a physics student, I've come across mathematical objects called tensors in several different contexts. Perhaps confusingly, I've also been given both the mathematician's and physicist's definition, ...
32
votes
4answers
7k views

Zero divisor in $R[x]$

Let $R$ be commutative ring with no (nonzero) nilpotents. If $f(x) = a_0+a_1x+\cdots+a_nx^n$ is a zero divisor in $R[x]$, how do I show there's an element $b \ne 0$ in $R$ such that $ba_0=ba_1=\cdots=...
26
votes
3answers
9k views

For what $n$ is $U_n$ cyclic?

When can we say a multiplicative group of integers modulo $n$, i.e., $U_n$ is cyclic? $$U_n=\{a \in\mathbb Z_n \mid \gcd(a,n)=1 \}$$ I searched the internet but did not get a clear idea.
22
votes
6answers
13k views

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 spaces, ...
59
votes
6answers
23k views

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 ...
28
votes
1answer
3k views

Why isn't an infinite direct product of copies of $\Bbb Z$ a free module?

Why isn't an infinite direct product of copies of $\Bbb Z$ a free module? Actually I was asked to show that it's not projective, but as $\Bbb{Z}$ is a PID, so it suffices to show it's not free. I ...
36
votes
4answers
32k views

A commutative 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How to prove that $z\gcd(a,b)=\gcd(za,zb)$

I need to prove that $z\gcd(a,b)=\gcd(za,zb)$. I tried a lot, for example, looking at set of common divisors of the two sides, but I can't conclude anything from that. Can you please give me some ...
37
votes
7answers
20k views

Show that $\langle 2,x \rangle$ is not a principal ideal in $\mathbb Z [x]$

Hi I don't know how to show that $\langle 2,x \rangle$ is not principal and the definition of a principal ideal is unclear to me. I need help on this, please. The ring that I am talking about is $\...
32
votes
3answers
30k views

Find all irreducible monic polynomials in $\mathbb{Z}/(2)[x]$ with degree equal or less than 5

Find all irreducible monic polynomials in $\mathbb{Z}/(2)[x]$ with degree equal or less than $5$. This is what I tried: It's evident that $x,x+1$ are irreducible. Then, use these to find all ...
11
votes
3answers
11k views

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 $...
24
votes
2answers
10k views

What are the left and right ideals of matrix ring? How about the two sided ideals?

What are the left and right ideals of matrix ring? How about the two sided ideals?
23
votes
3answers
3k views

$A^m\hookrightarrow A^n$ 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
7k views

The characteristic and minimal polynomial of a companion matrix

The companion matrix of a monic polynomial $f \in F\left[x\right]$ in 1 variable $x$ over a field $F$ plays an important role in understanding the structure of finite dimensional $F[x]$-modules. It ...
58
votes
10answers
74k views

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, however,...
30
votes
2answers
12k views

Order of general- and special linear groups over finite fields.

Let $\mathbb{F}_3$ be the field with three elements. Let $n\geq 1$. How many elements do the following groups have? $\text{GL}_n(\mathbb{F}_3)$ $\text{SL}_n(\mathbb{F}_3)$ Here GL is the general ...
37
votes
9answers
21k views

How to show that every Boolean ring is commutative?

A ring $R$ is a Boolean ring provided that $a^2=a$ for every $a \in R$. How can we show that every Boolean ring is commutative?
101
votes
5answers
6k views

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 $\mathbb C$,...
36
votes
4answers
12k views

How to prove that the sum and product of two algebraic numbers is algebraic?

Suppose $E/F$ is a field extension and $\alpha, \beta \in E$ are algebraic over $F$. Then it is not too hard to see that when $\alpha$ is nonzero, $1/\alpha$ is also algebraic. If $a_0 + a_1\alpha + \...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Why can we use the division algorithm for $x-a$?

In Theorem 5.2.3 in these notes, it is said that Since $x − a$ has leading coefficient $1$, which is a unit, we may use the Division Algorithm... Why is this true? I thought that the Division ...
38
votes
14answers
22k views

Requesting abstract algebra book recommendations [closed]

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 ...
42
votes
4answers
22k views

Why are two permutations conjugate iff they have the same cycle structure?

I have heard that two permutations are conjugate if they have the same cyclic structure. Is there an intuitive way to understand why this is?
28
votes
5answers
19k views

Subgroups of a cyclic group and their order.

Lemma $1.92$ in Rotman's textbook (Advanced Modern Algebra, second edition) states, Let $G = \langle a \rangle$ be a cyclic group. (i) Every subgroup $S$ of $G$ is cyclic. (ii) If $|G|=...