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A Ring is a commutative GrouP under an operation +, together with a second operation * s.t.

   a*(b*c) = (a*b)*c
   a*(b+c) = (a*b)+(a*c), (a+b)*c = (a*c)+(b*c)

Very often the definition of a ring is taken to require a multiplicative identity, or unity, denoted 1. Nearly all important rings actually satisfy this. It has the disadvantage, however, of making ring ideals not subrings, as compared with their group-analog, the normal subgroups.

Some important concepts: SubRings and ideals, ModulEs

A ring where no two non-zero elements multiply to give zero is called an IntegralDomain?. In such rings, multiplicative cancellation is possible. Of particular interest are FielDs, IntegralDomain?s where every non-zero element has a muliplicative inverse.

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Last edited January 29, 2001 5:39 am by JoshuaGrosse (diff)