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Concept# Krull dimension

Summary

In commutative algebra, the Krull dimension of a commutative ring R, named after Wolfgang Krull, is the supremum of the lengths of all chains of prime ideals. The Krull dimension need not be finite even for a Noetherian ring. More generally the Krull dimension can be defined for modules over possibly non-commutative rings as the deviation of the poset of submodules.
The Krull dimension was introduced to provide an algebraic definition of the dimension of an algebraic variety: the dimension of the affine variety defined by an ideal I in a polynomial ring R is the Krull dimension of R/I.
A field k has Krull dimension 0; more generally, k[x1, ..., xn] has Krull dimension n. A principal ideal domain that is not a field has Krull dimension 1. A local ring has Krull dimension 0 if and only if every element of its maximal ideal is nilpotent.
There are several other ways that have been used to define the dimension of a ring. Most of them coincide with the Krull dimension for Noetherian rings, but can differ for non-Noetherian rings.
We say that a chain of prime ideals of the form
has length n. That is, the length is the number of strict inclusions, not the number of primes; these differ by 1. We define the Krull dimension of to be the supremum of the lengths of all chains of prime ideals in .
Given a prime ideal in R, we define the of , written , to be the supremum of the lengths of all chains of prime ideals contained in , meaning that . In other words, the height of is the Krull dimension of the localization of R at . A prime ideal has height zero if and only if it is a minimal prime ideal. The Krull dimension of a ring is the supremum of the heights of all maximal ideals, or those of all prime ideals. The height is also sometimes called the codimension, rank, or altitude of a prime ideal.
In a Noetherian ring, every prime ideal has finite height. Nonetheless, Nagata gave an example of a Noetherian ring of infinite Krull dimension.

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Krull dimension

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