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Questions tagged [field-theory]

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 topic. Use (classical-mechanics), (electromagnetism), (general gravity) or (quantum-field-theory) for physical fields.

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129
votes
3answers
16k 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 ...
128
votes
6answers
30k views

Is there a quick proof as to why the vector space of $\mathbb{R}$ over $\mathbb{Q}$ is infinite-dimensional?

It would seem that one way of proving this would be to show the existence of non-algebraic numbers. Is there a simpler way to show this?
113
votes
2answers
23k views

Example of infinite field of characteristic $p\neq 0$

Can you give me an example of infinite field of characteristic $p\neq0$? Thanks.
89
votes
6answers
11k views

Continuity of the roots of a polynomial in terms of its coefficients

It's commonly stated that the roots of a polynomial are a continuous function of the coefficients. How is this statement formalized? I would assume it's by restricting to polynomials of a fixed ...
87
votes
3answers
30k views

How to find the Galois group of a polynomial?

I've been learning about Galois theory recently on my own, and I've been trying to solve tests from my university. Even though I understand all the theorems, I seem to be having some trouble with the ...
79
votes
12answers
24k views

Do groups, rings and fields have practical applications in CS? If so, what are some?

This is ONE thing about my undergraduate studies in computer science that I haven't been able to 'link' in my real life (academic and professional). Almost everything I studied I've observed be ...
73
votes
7answers
16k 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 ...
67
votes
5answers
33k views

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

Is $\mathbf{Q}(\sqrt{2}, \sqrt{3}) = \mathbf{Q}(\sqrt{2}+\sqrt{3})$ ? $$\mathbf{Q}(\sqrt{2},\sqrt{3})=\{a+b\sqrt{2}+c\sqrt{3}+d\sqrt{6} \mid a,b,c,d\in\mathbf{Q}\}$$ $$\mathbf{Q}(\sqrt{2}+\sqrt{3})...
64
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 ...
59
votes
1answer
7k views

How to solve fifth-degree equations by elliptic functions?

From F. Klein's books, It seems that one can find the roots of a quintic equation $$z^5+az^4+bz^3+cz^2+dz+e=0$$ (where $a,b,c,d,e\in\Bbb C$) by elliptic functions. How to get that?
56
votes
1answer
2k views

When are nonintersecting finite degree field extensions linearly disjoint?

Let $F$ be a field, and let $K,L$ be finite degree field extensions of $F$ inside a common algebraic closure. Consider the following two properties: (i) $K$ and $L$ are linearly disjoint over $F$: ...
50
votes
2answers
6k views

What kind of work do modern day algebraists do?

Often times in my studies I get the impression that algebra is just a tool to help with other branches of mathematics, like algebraic geometry, algebraic number theory, algebraic topology, etc. How ...
49
votes
9answers
3k views

If the field of a vector space weren't characteristic zero, then what would change in the theory?

In the book of Linear Algebra by Werner Greub, whenever we choose a field for our vector spaces, we always choose an arbitrary field $F$ of characteristic zero, but to understand the importance of the ...
49
votes
2answers
5k views

Is there a purely algebraic proof of the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra?

Among the many techniques available at our disposal to prove FTA, is there any purely algebraic proof of the theorem? That seems reasonably unexpected, because somehow or the other we are depending ...
49
votes
1answer
941 views

If polynomials are almost surjective over a field, is the field algebraically closed?

Let $K$ be a field. Say that polynomials are almost surjective over $K$ if for any nonconstant polynomial $f(x)\in K[x]$, the image of the map $f:K\to K$ contains all but finitely many points of $K$. ...
48
votes
3answers
46k 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 ...
45
votes
6answers
16k 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.
44
votes
6answers
4k views

In plain language, what's the significance of a field?

I just started Linear Algebra. Yesterday, I read about the ten properties of fields. As far as I can tell a field is a mathematical system that we can use to do common arithmetic. Is that correct?
43
votes
4answers
4k views

Intuitive reasoning why are quintics unsolvable

I know that quintics in general are unsolvable, whereas lower-degree equations are solvable and the formal explanation is very hard. I would like to have an intuitive reasoning of why it is so, ...
41
votes
6answers
8k views

Is $\{0\}$ a field?

Consider the set $F$ consisting of the single element $I$. Define addition and multiplication such that $I+I=I$ and $I \times I=I$ . This ring satisfies the field axioms: Closure under addition. ...
41
votes
4answers
13k 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 + \...
41
votes
2answers
987 views

Shortest irreducible polynomials over $\Bbb F_p$ of degree $n$

For any prime $p$, one can realize any finite field $\Bbb F_{p^n}$ as the quotient of the ring $\Bbb F_p[X]$ by the maximal ideal generated by an irreducible polynomial $f$ of degree $n$. By dividing ...
40
votes
7answers
18k views

What is Abstract Algebra essentially?

In the most basic sense, what is abstract algebra about? Wolfram Mathworld has the following definition: "Abstract algebra is the set of advanced topics of algebra that deal with abstract algebraic ...
40
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 ...
39
votes
5answers
7k views

What's so special about characteristic 2?

I've often read about things which do not work in a field with a characteristic $2$, mainly things which have to do with factoring, or similar things. I'm not exactly sure why, but the only example of ...
38
votes
2answers
8k views

Wild automorphisms of the complex numbers

I read about so called "wild" automorphisms of the field of complex numbers (i.e. not the identity nor the complex conjugation). I suppose they must be rather weird and I wonder whether someone could ...
36
votes
4answers
3k views

Fermat's Last Theorem and Kummer's Objection

In 1847 Lamé had announced that he had proven Fermat's Last Theorem. This "proof" was based on the unique factorization in $\mathbb{Z}[e^{2\pi i/p}]$. However, Kummer, proved that when $p=23$ we do ...
35
votes
6answers
4k views

Proof of Existence of Algebraic Closure: Too simple to be true?

Having read the classical proof of the existence of an Algebraic Closure (originally due to Artin), I wondered what is wrong with the following simplification (it must be wrong, otherwise why would we ...
34
votes
7answers
29k views

What is the main difference between a vector space and a field?

In my opinion both are almost same. However there should be some differenes like any two elements can be multiplied in a field but it is not allowed in vector space as only scalar multiplication is ...
33
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
33
votes
3answers
5k views

How to prove that $\mathbb{Q}[\sqrt{p_1}, \sqrt{p_2}, \ldots,\sqrt{p_n} ] = \mathbb{Q}[\sqrt{p_1}+ \sqrt{p_2}+\cdots + \sqrt{p_n}]$, for $p_i$ prime?

This is Exercise 18.14 from Algebra, Isaacs. $p_{1}\ ,\ p_{2}\ ,\ ... p_{n}$ are different prime numbers. How to show that $$\mathbb{Q}[\sqrt{p_{1}}, \sqrt{p_{2}}, \ldots, \sqrt{p_{n}} ] = \mathbb{Q}[...
33
votes
2answers
610 views

Is it true in an arbitrary field that $-1$ is a sum of two squares iff it is a sum of three squares?

Here's a statement from Lam's First Course in Noncommutative Rings. (Paraphrased) Let $k$ be a field. Then the following conditions are equivalent. $$(\forall a,b,c,d\in k)\;\;(a,b,c,d)\neq 0\...
32
votes
6answers
2k views

Why should I care about fields of positive characteristic?

This is what I know about why someone might care about fields of positive characteristic: they are useful for number theory in algebraic geometry, a theory of "geometry" can be developed over them, ...
31
votes
3answers
1k views

Trigonometric diophantine equation $8\sin^2\left(\frac{(k+1)\pi}{n}\right)=n\sin\left(\frac{2\pi}{n}\right)$

Background. I thought up the problem of finding a regular $n$-sided polygon that has a diagonal with length $d_k$ such that the area of the polygon equals ${d_k}^2$. (Let $d_k$ denote the length of a ...
31
votes
1answer
714 views

Rigidity of the category of fields

Let's call a category rigid if every self-equivalence is isomorphic to the identity. For example, $\mathsf{Set}$, $\mathsf{Grp}$, $\mathsf{Ab}$, $\mathsf{CRing}$ (MO/106838), $\mathsf{Top}$ (SE/450193)...
30
votes
3answers
530 views

$f(x) $ be the minimal polynomial of $a$ (algebraic element) over $\mathbb Q$ , let $b=f'(a) \in \mathbb Q(a)$ , then is $\mathbb Q(a)=\mathbb Q(b)$?

Let $a \in \mathbb C$ be algebraic over $\mathbb Q$ , let $f(x) \in \mathbb Q[x]$ be the minimal polynomial of $a$ over $\mathbb Q$ , let $b=f'(a) \in \mathbb Q(a)=\mathbb Q[a]$ , then is it true that ...
30
votes
4answers
3k views

Why isn't the inverse of the function $x\mapsto x+\sin(x)$ expressible in terms of “the functions one finds on a calculator”?

The function $f(x)=x+\sin(x)$ is easily checked to be a bijection from the reals to itself, and so it has a unique inverse $y\mapsto g(y)$ such that $f\circ g=g\circ f$ are both the identity map. ...
30
votes
1answer
379 views

Is a field determined by its family of general linear groups?

Assume that $K,L$ are fields such that there is an isomorphism of groups $\mathrm{GL}_n(K) \cong \mathrm{GL}_n(L)$ for all $n \in \mathbb{N}$. Does it follow that $K \cong L$? I am also interested in ...
29
votes
10answers
6k views

Proving $\sqrt 3$ is irrational.

There is a very simple proof by means of divisibility that $\sqrt 2$ is irrational. I have to prove that $\sqrt 3$ is irrational too, as a homework. I have done it as follows, ad absurdum: Suppose $$\...
29
votes
3answers
1k views

Generalisation of integers for infinite length?

As most people know, an integer can only be finite length when expressed in the form of a series of digits in some base. However, real numbers in general can be infinite length, so long as there is a "...
29
votes
5answers
972 views

Why $\sqrt[3]{3}\not\in \mathbb{Q}(\sqrt[3]{2})$?

We all know that $\sqrt[3]{3}\not\in \mathbb{Q}({\sqrt[3]{2}})$ intuitively. We even know that $\sqrt[3]{p}\not\in \mathbb{Q}(\sqrt[3]{q})$ for two distinct primes $p, q$. However, I don't know how to ...
28
votes
5answers
3k views

Why must be the additive and multiplicative identities in a field be different?

I was recently reading about fields like $\mathbb {Z}_p$ and I'm wondering what's the reason they can't be the same element. Is it about the additive identity being the only element with no ...
28
votes
3answers
2k views

Does every infinite field contain a countably infinite subfield?

Does every infinite field contain a countably infinite subfield? It's easy to see that every field $K$ contains either the rational numbers $\Bbb Q$ (when $K$ has characteristic $0$) or a finite ...
28
votes
6answers
3k views

Axiomatic characterization of the rational numbers

We have the well-known Peano axioms for the natural numbers and the real numbers can be characterized by demanding them to be a Dedekind-complete, totally ordered field (or some variation of this). ...
28
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the coproduct of fields, when it exists?

This is a slightly more advanced version of another question here. Let $\textbf{CRing}$ be the category of commutative rings with unit. Let $\textbf{Dom}$ be the category of integral domains – by ...
28
votes
2answers
1k views

Why algebraic closures?

Let me begin by summarizing the question: Why do we care about fields closed under rational exponentiation, and less about fields closed under other operations? Historically the solution for ...
28
votes
1answer
642 views

Prove that both $x+y$ and $xy$ are rational, under some conditions

As a result of the answer I got for this question - Irrational solutions to some equations in two variables - I was wondering if the next statement is always true: Let $x,y$ be real, irrational ...
27
votes
4answers
7k views

Do finite algebraically closed fields exist?

Let $K$ be an algebraically closed field ($\operatorname{char}K=p$). Denote $${\mathbb F}_{p^n}=\{x\in K\mid x^{p^n}-x=0\}.$$ It's easy to prove that ${\mathbb F}_{p^n}$ consists of exactly $p^n$ ...
27
votes
6answers
3k views

Is $\mathbf{C}$ the algebraic closure of any field other than $\mathbf{R}$?

It seems to me (intuitively) that there should be no other fields whose algebraic closure is $\mathbf{C}$, even though I have no reason to believe it. The facts I've been using to formulate an ...
27
votes
7answers
3k views

How to prove that a complex number is not a root of unity?

$\frac35+i\frac45$ is not a root of unity though its absolute value is $1$. Suppose I don't have a calculator to calculate out its argument then how do I prove it? Is there any approach from ...