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Concept# Commutative algebra

Summary

Commutative algebra, first known as ideal theory, is the branch of algebra that studies commutative rings, their ideals, and modules over such rings. Both algebraic geometry and algebraic number theory build on commutative algebra. Prominent examples of commutative rings include polynomial rings; rings of algebraic integers, including the ordinary integers ; and p-adic integers.
Commutative algebra is the main technical tool in the local study of schemes.
The study of rings that are not necessarily commutative is known as noncommutative algebra; it includes ring theory, representation theory, and the theory of Banach algebras.
Commutative algebra is essentially the study of the rings occurring in algebraic number theory and algebraic geometry.
In algebraic number theory, the rings of algebraic integers are Dedekind rings, which constitute therefore an important class of commutative rings. Considerations related to modular arithmetic have led to the notion of a valuation ring. The restriction of algebraic field extensions to subrings has led to the notions of integral extensions and integrally closed domains as well as the notion of ramification of an extension of valuation rings.
The notion of localization of a ring (in particular the localization with respect to a prime ideal, the localization consisting in inverting a single element and the total quotient ring) is one of the main differences between commutative algebra and the theory of non-commutative rings. It leads to an important class of commutative rings, the local rings that have only one maximal ideal. The set of the prime ideals of a commutative ring is naturally equipped with a topology, the Zariski topology. All these notions are widely used in algebraic geometry and are the basic technical tools for the definition of scheme theory, a generalization of algebraic geometry introduced by Grothendieck.
Many other notions of commutative algebra are counterparts of geometrical notions occurring in algebraic geometry.

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In algebra, ring theory is the study of rings—algebraic structures in which addition and multiplication are defined and have similar properties to those operations defined for the integers. Ring theory studies the structure of rings, their representations, or, in different language, modules, special classes of rings (group rings, division rings, universal enveloping algebras), as well as an array of properties that proved to be of interest both within the theory itself and for its applications, such as homological properties and polynomial identities.

Polynomial ring

In mathematics, especially in the field of algebra, a polynomial ring or polynomial algebra is a ring (which is also a commutative algebra) formed from the set of polynomials in one or more indeterminates (traditionally also called variables) with coefficients in another ring, often a field. Often, the term "polynomial ring" refers implicitly to the special case of a polynomial ring in one indeterminate over a field. The importance of such polynomial rings relies on the high number of properties that they have in common with the ring of the integers.

I-adic topology

In commutative algebra, the mathematical study of commutative rings, adic topologies are a family of topologies on the underlying set of a module, generalizing the p-adic topologies on the integers. Let R be a commutative ring and M an R-module. Then each ideal a of R determines a topology on M called the a-adic topology, characterized by the pseudometric The family is a basis for this topology. With respect to the topology, the module operations of addition and scalar multiplication are continuous, so that M becomes a topological module.

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