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

Broadly speaking, abstract algebra is the study of algebraic objects: sets endowed with one or more operations on the elements of those sets. In particular the study of abstract algebra considers the algebraic structures and properties such operations induce. It can be considered as generalizing the study of the algebraic structure of the integers and real numbers (arithmetic), or the study of matrices and vector spaces (linear algebra).

Some algebraic objects are monoids, groups, rings, fields, vector spaces, modules, algebras, and categories, among many other less prominent objects.

Examples

  1. The set of non-negative integers $\mathbb{N} = \{0,1,2,3,\dotsc\}$ is a monoid under the operation $+$.

  2. The integers $\mathbb{Z} = \{\dotsc,-1,0,1,\dotsc\}$ under the binary operation of $+$ form a group.

  3. Furthermore, $\mathbb{Z}$ has the structure of a ring when you consider it as being equipped with both addition and multiplication.

  4. The real numbers $\mathbb{R}$ with their usual addition and multiplication form a field.

  5. The set of $n\times n$ matrices with entries in $\mathbb{R}$ with matrix addition and multiplication form a ring.

  6. The set of $1\times n$ vectors over the real numbers, with vector addition, and multiplication by elements of the $n\times n$ real matrices on the right are an example of a module for the ring of matrices.

In addition to studying the objects themselves, abstract algebra considers homomorphisms between the objects and various constructions and tools, which are useful for studying the objects.