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*}

Taken from an unpublished note of Lenstra and de Smit.

Lemma 10.95.5. Let $R$ be a ring. Let $I \subset R$ be an ideal. Let $M$ be an $R$-module. Denote $K_ n = \mathop{\mathrm{Ker}}(M^\wedge \to M/I^ nM)$. Then $M^\wedge $ is $I$-adically complete if and only if $K_ n$ is equal to $I^ nM^\wedge $ for all $n \geq 1$.

Proof. The module $I^ n M^\wedge $ is contained in $K_ n$. Thus for each $n \geq 1$ there is a canonical exact sequence

\[ 0 \to K_ n/I^ nM^\wedge \to M^\wedge /I^ nM^\wedge \to M/I^ nM \to 0. \]

As $I^ nM^\wedge $ maps onto $I^ nM/I^{n + 1}M$ we see that $K_{n + 1} + I^ n M^\wedge = K_ n$. Thus the inverse system $\{ K_ n/I^ n M^\wedge \} _{n \geq 1}$ has surjective transition maps. By Lemma 10.86.1 we see that there is a short exact sequence

\[ 0 \to \mathop{\mathrm{lim}}\nolimits _ n K_ n/I^ n M^\wedge \to (M^\wedge )^\wedge \to M^\wedge \to 0 \]

Hence $M^\wedge $ is complete if and only if $K_ n/I^ n M^\wedge = 0$ for all $n \geq 1$. $\square$


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