# Factoring of Prime Ideals in Extensions

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1 Chapter 4 Factoring of Prime Ideals in Extensions 4. Lifting of Prime Ideals Recall the basic AKLB setup: A is a Dedekind domain with fraction field K, L is a finite, separable extension of K of degree n, and B is the integral closure of A in L. If A = Z, then K = Q, L is a number field, and B is the ring of algebraic integers of L. 4.. Definitions and Comments Let P be a nonzero prime ideal of A. The lifting (also called the extension) ofp to B is the ideal PB. Although PB need not be a prime ideal of B, we can use the fact that B is a Dedekind domain [see (3..3)] and the unique factorization theorem (3.3.) to write PB = g i= where the P i are distinct prime ideals of B and the e i are positive integers [see (3.3.2)]. On the other hand, we can start with a nonzero prime ideal Q of B and form a prime ideal of A via P = Q A. We say that Q lies over P, or that P is the contraction of Q to A. Now suppose that we start with a nonzero prime ideal P of A and lift it to B. We will show that the prime ideals P,...,P g that appear in the prime factorization of PB are precisely the prime ideals of B that lie over P Proposition Let Q be a nonzero prime ideal of B. Then Q appears in the prime factorization of PB if and only if Q A = P. P ei i

2 2 CHAPTER 4. FACTORING OF PRIME IDEALS IN EXTENSIONS Proof. If Q A = P, then P Q, hence PB Q because Q is an ideal. By (3.3.5), Q divides PB. Conversely, assume that Q divides, hence contains, PB. Then P = P A PB A Q A. But in a Dedekind domain, every nonzero prime ideal is maximal, so P = Q A Ramification and Relative Degree If we lift P to B and factor PB as g i= P ei i, the positive integer e i is called the ramification index of P i over P (or over A). We say that P ramifies in B (or in L) ife i > for at least one i. We will prove in a moment that B/P i is a finite extension of the field A/P. The degree f i of this extension is called the relative degree (or the residue class degree, or the inertial degree) ofp i over P (or over A) Proposition We can identify A/P with a subfield of B/P i, and B/P i is a finite extension of A/P. Proof. The map from A/P to B/P i given by a + P a + P i is well-defined and injective, because P = P i A, and it is a homomorphism by direct verification. By (3..2), B is a finitely generated A-module, hence B/P i is a finitely generated A/P -module, that is, a finite-dimensional vector space over A/P Remarks The same argument, with P i replaced by PB, shows that B/PB is a finitely generated A/P -algebra, in particular, a finite-dimensional vector space over A/P. We will denote the dimension of this vector space by [B/PB : A/P ]. The numbers e i and f i are connected by an important identity, which does not seem to have a name in the literature. We will therefore christen it as follows Ram-Rel Identity g e i f i =[B/PB : A/P ]=n. i= Proof. To prove the first equality, consider the chain of ideals B P P 2 P e P e P 2 P e P 2 2 P e P e2 2 P e P eg g = PB. By unique factorization, there can be no ideals between consecutive terms in the sequence. (Any such ideal would contain, hence divide, PB.) Thus the quotient β/βp i of any two

3 4.. LIFTING OF PRIME IDEALS 3 consecutive terms is a one-dimensional vector space over B/P i, as there are no nontrivial proper subspaces. (It is a vector space over this field because it is annihilated by P i.) But, with notation as in (4..5), [B/P i : A/P ]=f i,so[β/βp i : A/P ]=f i. For each i, we have exactly e i consecutive quotients, each of dimension f i over A/P. Consequently, [B/PB : A/P ]= g i= e if i, as claimed. To prove the second equality, we first assume that B is a free A-module of rank n. By (2.3.8), this covers the case where A is a PID, in particular, when L is a number field. If x,...,x n is a basis for B over A, we can reduce mod PB to produce a basis for B/PB over A/P, and the result follows. Explicitly, suppose n i= (a i+p )(x i +PB)=0inB/PB. Then n i= a ix i belongs to PB, hence can be written as j b jy j with b j B,y j P. Since b j = k c jkx k with c jk A, we have a k = j c jky j P for all k. The general case is handled by localization. Let S = A\P, A = S A, B = S B.By (.2.6), (.2.9), and the Dedekind property (every nonzero prime ideal of A is maximal), it follows that A has exactly one nonzero prime ideal, namely P = PA. Moreover, P is principal, so A is a discrete valuation ring, that is, a local PID that is not a field. [By unique factorization, we can choose an element a P \(P ) 2,so(a) P but (a) (P ) 2. Since the only nonzero ideals of A are powers of P (unique factorization again), we have (a) =P.] Now B is the integral closure of A in L, sob is the integral closure of A in S L = L. [The idea is that we can go back and forth between an equation of integral dependence for b B and an equation of integral dependence for b/s B either by introducing or clearing denominators.] We have now reduced to the PID case already analyzed, and [B /P B : A /P A ]=n. Now PB = g i= P ei i, and P i is a nonzero prime ideal of B not meeting S. [If y P i S, then y P i A = P by (4..2). Thus y P S, a contradiction.] By the basic correspondence (.2.6), we have the factorization PB = g i= (P ib ) ei. By the PID case, n =[B /P B : A /P A ]= g e i [B /P i B : A /P A ]. We are finished if we can show that B /P i B = B/P i and A /P A = A/P. The statement of the appropriate lemma, and the proof in outline form, are given in the exercises. Problems For Section 4. We will fill in the gap at the end of the proof of the ram-rel identity. Let S be a multiplicative subset of the integral domain A, and let M be a maximal ideal of A disjoint from S. Consider the composite map A S A S A/MS A, where the first map is given by a a/ and the second by a/s (a/s)+ms A.. Show that the kernel of the map is M, so by the factor theorem, we have a monomorphism h : A/M S A/MS A. 2. Let a/s S A. Show that for some b A we have bs mod M. 3. Show that (a/s)+ms A = h(ab), so h is surjective and therefore an isomorphism. Consequently, S A/MS A = A/M, which is the result we need. i=

4 4 CHAPTER 4. FACTORING OF PRIME IDEALS IN EXTENSIONS 4.2 Norms of Ideals 4.2. Definitions and Comments We are familiar with the norm of an element of a field, and we are going to extend the idea to ideals. We assume the AKLB setup with A = Z, so that B is a number ring, that is, the ring of algebraic integers of a number field L. IfI is a nonzero ideal of B, we define the norm of I by N(I) = B/I. We will show that the norm is finite, so if P is a nonzero prime ideal of B, then B/P is a finite field. Also, N has a multiplicative property analogous to the formula N(xy) = N(x)N(y) for elements. [See (2..3), equation (2).] Proposition Let b be any nonzero element of the ideal I of B, and let m = N L/Q (b) Z. Then m I and B/mB = m n, where n =[L : Q]. Proof. By (2..6), m = bc where c is a product of conjugates of b. But a conjugate of an algebraic integer is an algebraic integer. (If a monomorphism is applied to an equation of integral dependence, the result is an equation of integral dependence.) Thus c B, and since b I, we have m I. Now by (2.3.9), B is the direct sum of n copies of Z, hence by the first isomorphism theorem, B/mB is the direct sum of n copies of Z/mZ. Consequently, B/mB = m n Corollary If I is any nonzero ideal of B, then N(I) is finite. In fact, if m is as in (4.2.2), then N(I) divides m n. Proof. Observe that (m) I, hence Corollary B/(m) B/I = I/(m). Every nonzero ideal I of B is a free abelian group of rank n. Proof. By the simultaneous basis theorem, we may represent B as the direct sum of n copies of Z, and I as the direct sum of a Z,...,a r Z, where r n and the a i are positive integers such that a i divides a i+ for all i. ThusB/I is the direct sum of r cyclic groups (whose orders are a,...,a r ) and n r copies of Z. Ifr<n, then at least one copy of Z appears, and B/I cannot be finite Computation of the Norm Suppose that {x,...,x n } is a Z-basis for B, and {z,...,z n } is a basis for I. Each z i is a linear combination of the x i with integer coefficients, in matrix form z = Cx. We claim that the norm of I is the absolute value of the determinant of C. To verify this, first look at the special case x i = y i and z i = a i y i, as in the proof of (4.2.4). Then C is a diagonal

5 4.2. NORMS OF IDEALS 5 matrix with entries a i, and the result follows. But the special case implies the general result, because any matrix corresponding to a change of basis of B or I is unimodular, in other words, has integer entries and determinant ±. [See (2.3.9) and (2.3.0).] Now with z = Cx as above, the discriminant of x is the field discriminant d, and the discriminant of z is D(z) = (det C) 2 d by (2.3.2). We have just seen that N(I) = det C, so we have the following formula for computing the norm of an ideal I. If z is a Z-basis for I, then N(I) = D(z) d There is a natural relation between the norm of a principal ideal and the norm of the corresponding element Proposition If I =(a) with a 0, then N(I) = N L/Q (a). Proof. If x is a Z-basis for B, then ax is a Z-basis for I. By (2.3.3), D(ax) is the square of the determinant whose ij entry is σ i (ax j )=σ i (a)σ i (x j ). By (4.2.5), the norm of I is σ (a) σ n (a) = N L/Q (a). In the proof of (4.2.6), we cannot invoke (2.3.2) to get D(ax,...,ax n )=(a n ) 2 D(x,...,x n ), because we need not have a Q. We now establish the multiplicative property of ideal norms Theorem If I and J are nonzero ideals of B, then N(IJ)=N(I)N(J). Proof. By unique factorization, we may assume without loss of generality that J is a prime ideal P. By the third isomorphism theorem, B/IP = B/I I/IP, sowemust show that I/IP is the norm of P, that is, B/P. But this has already been done in the first part of the proof of (4..6) Corollary Let I be a nonzero ideal of B. IfN(I) is prime, then I is a prime ideal. Proof. Suppose I is the product of two ideals I and I 2. By (4.2.7), N(I) =N(I )N(I 2 ), so by hypothesis, N(I )=orn(i 2 ) =. Thus either I or I 2 is the identity element of the ideal group, namely B. Therefore, the prime factorization of I is I itself, in other words, I is a prime ideal Proposition N(I) I, in other words, I divides N(I). [More precisely, I divides the principal ideal generated by N(I).] /2.

6 6 CHAPTER 4. FACTORING OF PRIME IDEALS IN EXTENSIONS Proof. Let N(I) = B/I = r. If x B, then r(x + I) is0inb/i, because the order of any element of a group divides the order of the group. Thus rx I, and in particular we may take x = to conclude that r I Corollary If I is a nonzero prime ideal of B, then I divides (equivalently, contains) exactly one rational prime p. Proof. By (4.2.9), I divides N(I) =p m p mt t,soi divides some p i. But if I divides two distinct primes p and q, then there exist integers u and v such that up +vq =. Thus I divides, so I = B, a contradiction. Therefore I divides exactly one p The Norm of a Prime Ideal If we can compute the norm of every nonzero prime ideal P, then by multiplicativity, we can calculate the norm of any nonzero ideal. Let p be the unique rational prime in P, and recall from (4..3) that the relative degree of P over p is f(p )=[B/P : Z/pZ]. Therefore N(P )= B/P = p f(p ). Note that by (4.2.6), the norm of the principal ideal (p) is N(p) = p n,son(p )=p m for some m n. This conclusion also follows from the above formula N(P )=p f(p ) and the ram-rel identity (4..6). Here are two other useful finiteness results Proposition A rational integer m can belong to only finitely many ideals of B. Proof. We have m I iff I divides (m), and by unique factorization, (m) has only finitely many divisors Corollary Only finitely many ideals can have a given norm. Proof. If N(I) =m, then by (4.2.9), m I, and the result follows from (4.2.2). Problems For Section 4.2 This problem set will give the proof that a rational prime p ramifies in the number field L if and only if p divides the field discriminant d = d L/Q.. Let (p) =pb have prime factorization i P ei i. Show that p ramifies if and only if the ring B/(p) has nonzero nilpotent elements. Now as in (2..), represent elements of B by matrices with respect to an integral basis ω,...,ω n of B. Reduction of the entries mod p gives matrices representing elements of B/(p). 2. Show that a nilpotent element (or matrix) has zero trace.

7 4.3. A PRACTICAL FACTORIZATION THEOREM 7 Suppose that A(β), the matrix representing the element β, is nilpotent mod p. Then A(βω i ) will be nilpotent mod p for all i, because βω i is nilpotent mod p. 3. By expressing β in terms of the ω i and computing the trace of A(βω j ), show that if β is nilpotent mod p and β/ (p), then d 0 mod p, hence p divides d. Now assume that p does not ramify. 4. Show that B/(p) is isomorphic to a finite product of finite fields F i of characteristic p. Let π i : B B/(p) F i be the composition of the canonical map from B onto B/(p) and the projection from B/(p) ontof i. 5. Show that the trace form T i (x, y) =T Fi/F p (π i (x)π i (y)) is nondegenerate, and conclude that i T i is also nondegenerate. We have d = det T (ω i ω j ), in other words, the determinant of the matrix of the bilinear form T (x, y) onb, with respect to the basis {ω,...,ω n }. Reducing the matrix entries mod p, we get the matrix of the reduced bilinear form T 0 on the F p -vector space B/(p). 6. Show that T 0 coincides with i T i, hence T 0 is nondegenerate. Therefore d 0 mod p, so p does not divide d. As a corollary, it follows that only finitely many primes can ramify in L. 4.3 A Practical Factorization Theorem The following result, usually credited to Kummer but sometimes attributed to Dedekind, allows, under certain conditions, an efficient factorization of a rational prime in a number field Theorem Let L be a number field of degree n over Q, and assume that the ring B of algebraic integers of L is Z[θ] for some θ B. Thus,θ,θ 2,...,θ n form an integral basis of B. Let p be a rational prime, and let f be the minimal polynomial of θ over Q. Reduce the coefficients of f modulo p to obtain f Z[X]. Suppose that the factorization of f into irreducible polynomials over F p is given by f = h e her r. Let f i be any polynomial in Z[X] whose reduction mod p is h i. Then the ideal P i =(p, f i (θ)) is prime, and the prime factorization of (p) inb is (p) =P e P er r. Proof. Adjoin a root θ i of h i to produce the field F p [θ i ] = F p [X]/h i (X). The assignment θ θ i extends by linearity (and reduction of coefficients mod p) to an epimorphism λ i : Z[θ] F p [θ i ]. Since F p [θ i ] is a field, the kernel of λ i is a maximal, hence prime, ideal of Z[θ] =B. Since λ i maps f i (θ) toh i (θ i ) = 0 and also maps p to 0, it follows that P i ker λ i. We claim that P i =kerλ i. To prove this, assume g(θ) ker λ i. With a

8 8 CHAPTER 4. FACTORING OF PRIME IDEALS IN EXTENSIONS subscript 0 indicating reduction of coefficients mod p, we have g 0 (θ i ) = 0, hence h i, the minimal polynomial of θ i, divides g 0.Ifg 0 = q 0 h i, then g qf i 0 mod p. Therefore g(θ) =[g(θ) q(θ)f i (θ)] + q(θ)f i (θ) so g(θ) is the sum of an element of (p) and an element of (f i (θ)). Thus ker λ i P i,so P i =kerλ i, a prime ideal. We now show that (p) divides P e er Pr. We use the identity (I+I )(I+I 2 ) I+I I 2, where I, I and I 2 are ideals. We begin with P =(p)+(f (θ)), and compute P 2 (p)+(f (θ)) 2,...,P e P er r (p)+(f (θ)) e (f r (θ)) er. But the product of the f i (θ) ei coincides mod p with r i= h i(θ) =f(θ) = 0. We conclude that r i= P ei i (p), as asserted. We now know that (p) = P k kr Pr with 0 k i e i. (Actually, k i > 0 since p ker λ i = P i,sop i divides (p). But we will not need this refinement.) By hypothesis, B/P i = Z[θ]/P i, which is isomorphic to F p [θ i ], as observed at the beginning of the proof. Thus the norm of P i is F p [θ i ] = p di, where d i is the degree of h i. By (4.2.6), (4.2.7) and equation (3) of (2..3), p n = N((p)) = r N(P i ) ki = i= hence n = d k + + d r k r. But n is the degree of the monic polynomial f, which is the same as deg f = d e + + d r e r. Since k i e i for every i, we have k i = e i for all i, and the result follows. r i= p diki Prime Factorization in Quadratic Fields We consider L = Q( m), where m is a square-free integer, and factor the ideal (p) in the ring B of algebraic integers of L. By the ram-rel identity (4..6), there will be three cases: () g =2,e = e 2 = f = f 2 =. Then (p) is the product of two distinct prime ideals P and P 2, and we say that p splits in L. (2) g =,e =,f = 2. Then (p) is a prime ideal of B, and we say that p remains prime in L or that p is inert. (3) g =,e =2,f =. Then (p) =P 2 for some prime ideal P, and we say that p ramifies in L. We will examine all possibilities systematically. (a) Assume p is an odd prime not dividing m. Then p does not divide the discriminant, so p does not ramify. (a) If m is a quadratic residue mod p, then p splits. Say m n 2 mod p. Then x 2 m factors mod p as (x + n)(x n), so (p) =(p, n + m)(p, n m). (a2) If m is not a quadratic residue mod p, then x 2 m cannot be the product of two linear factors, hence x 2 m is irreducible mod p and p remains prime.

9 4.3. A PRACTICAL FACTORIZATION THEOREM 9 (b) Let p be any prime dividing m. Then p divides the discriminant, hence p ramifies. Since x 2 m x 2 = xx mod p, we have (p) =(p, m) 2. This takes care of all odd primes, and also p = 2 with m even. (c) Assume p =2,modd. (c) Let m 3 mod 4. Then 2 divides the discriminant D =4m, so 2 ramifies. We have x 2 m (x +) 2 mod 2, so (2) = (2, + m) 2. (c2) Let m mod 8, hence m mod 4. An integral basis is {, ( + m)/2}, and the discriminant is D = m. Thus 2 does not divide D, so 2 does not ramify. We claim that (2) = (2, ( + m)/2) (2, ( m)/2). To verify this note that the right side is (2, m, + m, ( m)/4). This coincides with (2) because ( m)/4 isaneven integer and m ++ m =2. If m 3 or 7 mod 8, then m 3 mod 4, so there is only one remaining case. (c3) Let m 5 mod 8, hence m mod 4, so D = m and 2 does not ramify. Consider f(x) =x 2 x +( m)/4 over B/P, where P is any prime ideal lying over (2). The roots of f are ( ± m)/2, so f hasarootinb, hence in B/P. But there is no root in F 2, because ( m)/4 mod 2. Thus B/P and F 2 cannot be isomorphic. If (2) factors as Q Q 2, then the norm of (2) is 4, so Q and Q 2 have norm 2, so the B/Q i are isomorphic to F 2, which contradicts the argument just given. Therefore 2 remains prime. You probably noticed something suspicious in cases (a) and (b). In order to apply (4.3.), and m must form an integral basis, so m mod 4, as in (2.3.). But we can repair the damage. In (a), verify directly that the factorization of (p) is as given. The key point is that the ideal (p, n + m)(p, n m) contains p(n + m + n m)=2np, and if p divides n, then p divides (m n 2 )+n 2 = m, contradicting the assumption of case (a). Thus the greatest common divisor of p 2 and 2np is p, sop belongs to the ideal. Since every generator of the ideal is a multiple of p, the result follows. In (a2), suppose (p) =Q Q 2. Since the norm of p is p 2, each Q i has norm p, sob/q i must be isomorphic to F p. But m B, som has a square root in B/Q i [see (4..4)]. But case (a2) assumes that there is no square root of m in F p, a contradiction. Finally, case (b) is similar to case (a). We have p m, but p 2 does not divide the square-free integer m, so the greatest common divisor of p 2 and m is p. Problems For Section 4.3. In the exercises for Section 3.4, we factored (2) and (3) in the ring B of algebraic integers of L = Q( 5), using ad hoc techniques. Using the results of this section, derive the results rigorously. 2. Continuing Problem, factor (5), (7) and (). 3. Let L = Q( 3 2), and assume as known that the ring of algebraic integers is B = Z[ 3 2]. Find the prime factorization of (5).

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