The Stacks project

\begin{equation*} \DeclareMathOperator\Coim{Coim} \DeclareMathOperator\Coker{Coker} \DeclareMathOperator\Ext{Ext} \DeclareMathOperator\Hom{Hom} \DeclareMathOperator\Im{Im} \DeclareMathOperator\Ker{Ker} \DeclareMathOperator\Mor{Mor} \DeclareMathOperator\Ob{Ob} \DeclareMathOperator\Sh{Sh} \DeclareMathOperator\SheafExt{\mathcal{E}\mathit{xt}} \DeclareMathOperator\SheafHom{\mathcal{H}\mathit{om}} \DeclareMathOperator\Spec{Spec} \newcommand\colim{\mathop{\mathrm{colim}}\nolimits} \newcommand\lim{\mathop{\mathrm{lim}}\nolimits} \newcommand\Qcoh{\mathit{Qcoh}} \newcommand\Sch{\mathit{Sch}} \newcommand\QCohstack{\mathcal{QC}\!\mathit{oh}} \newcommand\Cohstack{\mathcal{C}\!\mathit{oh}} \newcommand\Spacesstack{\mathcal{S}\!\mathit{paces}} \newcommand\Quotfunctor{\mathrm{Quot}} \newcommand\Hilbfunctor{\mathrm{Hilb}} \newcommand\Curvesstack{\mathcal{C}\!\mathit{urves}} \newcommand\Polarizedstack{\mathcal{P}\!\mathit{olarized}} \newcommand\Complexesstack{\mathcal{C}\!\mathit{omplexes}} \newcommand\Pic{\mathop{\mathrm{Pic}}\nolimits} \newcommand\Picardstack{\mathcal{P}\!\mathit{ic}} \newcommand\Picardfunctor{\mathrm{Pic}} \newcommand\Deformationcategory{\mathcal{D}\!\mathit{ef}} \end{equation*}

Lemma 10.105.4. Let $R$ be a regular local ring. Let $I \subset R$ be an ideal such that $R/I$ is a regular local ring as well. Then there exists a minimal set of generators $x_1, \ldots , x_ d$ for the maximal ideal $\mathfrak m$ of $R$ such that $I = (x_1, \ldots , x_ c)$ for some $0 \leq c \leq d$.

Proof. Say $\dim (R) = d$ and $\dim (R/I) = d - c$. Denote $\overline{\mathfrak m} = \mathfrak m/I$ the maximal ideal of $R/I$. Let $\kappa = R/\mathfrak m$. We have

\[ \dim _\kappa ((I + \mathfrak m^2)/\mathfrak m^2) = \dim _\kappa (\mathfrak m/\mathfrak m^2) - \dim (\overline{\mathfrak m}/\overline{\mathfrak m}^2) = d - (d - c) = c \]

by the definition of a regular local ring. Hence we can choose $x_1, \ldots , x_ c \in I$ whose images in $\mathfrak m/\mathfrak m^2$ are linearly independent and supplement with $x_{c + 1}, \ldots , x_ d$ to get a minimal system of generators of $\mathfrak m$. The induced map $R/(x_1, \ldots , x_ c) \to R/I$ is a surjection between regular local rings of the same dimension (Lemma 10.105.3). It follows that the kernel is zero, i.e., $I = (x_1, \ldots , x_ c)$. Namely, if not then we would have $\dim (R/I) < \dim (R/(x_1, \ldots , x_ c))$ by Lemmas 10.105.2 and 10.59.12. $\square$


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