Definition 15.40.1. A ring map $R \to \Lambda $ is *regular* if it is flat and for every prime $\mathfrak p \subset R$ the fibre ring

is Noetherian and geometrically regular over $\kappa (\mathfrak p)$.

Let $k$ be a field. Recall that a Noetherian $k$-algebra $A$ is said to be *geometrically regular* over $k$ if and only if $A \otimes _ k k'$ is regular for all finite purely inseparable extensions $k'$ of $k$, see Algebra, Definition 10.160.2. Moreover, if this is the case then $A \otimes _ k k'$ is regular for every finitely generated field extension $k \subset k'$, see Algebra, Lemma 10.160.1. We use this notion in the following definition.

Definition 15.40.1. A ring map $R \to \Lambda $ is *regular* if it is flat and for every prime $\mathfrak p \subset R$ the fibre ring

\[ \Lambda \otimes _ R \kappa (\mathfrak p) = \Lambda _\mathfrak p/\mathfrak p\Lambda _\mathfrak p \]

is Noetherian and geometrically regular over $\kappa (\mathfrak p)$.

If $R \to \Lambda $ is a ring map with $\Lambda $ Noetherian, then the fibre rings are always Noetherian.

Lemma 15.40.2 (Regular is a local property). Let $R \to \Lambda $ be a ring map with $\Lambda $ Noetherian. The following are equivalent

$R \to \Lambda $ is regular,

$R_\mathfrak p \to \Lambda _\mathfrak q$ is regular for all $\mathfrak q \subset \Lambda $ lying over $\mathfrak p \subset R$, and

$R_\mathfrak m \to \Lambda _{\mathfrak m'}$ is regular for all maximal ideals $\mathfrak m' \subset \Lambda $ lying over $\mathfrak m$ in $R$.

**Proof.**
This is true because a Noetherian ring is regular if and only if all the local rings are regular local rings, see Algebra, Definition 10.109.7 and a ring map is flat if and only if all the induced maps of local rings are flat, see Algebra, Lemma 10.38.19.
$\square$

Lemma 15.40.3 (Regular maps and base change). Let $R \to \Lambda $ be a regular ring map. For any finite type ring map $R \to R'$ the base change $R' \to \Lambda \otimes _ R R'$ is regular too.

**Proof.**
Flatness is preserved under any base change, see Algebra, Lemma 10.38.7. Consider a prime $\mathfrak p' \subset R'$ lying over $\mathfrak p \subset R$. The residue field extension $\kappa (\mathfrak p) \subset \kappa (\mathfrak p')$ is finitely generated as $R'$ is of finite type over $R$. Hence the fibre ring

\[ (\Lambda \otimes _ R R') \otimes _{R'} \kappa (\mathfrak p') = \Lambda \otimes _ R \kappa (\mathfrak p) \otimes _{\kappa (\mathfrak p)} \kappa (\mathfrak p') \]

is Noetherian by Algebra, Lemma 10.30.8 and the assumption on the fibre rings of $R \to \Lambda $. Geometric regularity of the fibres is preserved by Algebra, Lemma 10.160.1. $\square$

Lemma 15.40.4 (Composition of regular maps). Let $A \to B \to C$ be regular ring maps. If the fibre rings of $A \to C$ are Noetherian, then $A \to C$ is regular.

**Proof.**
Let $\mathfrak p \subset A$ be a prime. Let $\kappa (\mathfrak p) \subset k$ be a finite purely inseparable extension. We have to show that $C \otimes _ A k$ is regular. By Lemma 15.40.3 we may assume that $A = k$ and we reduce to proving that $C$ is regular. The assumption is that $B$ is regular and that $B \to C$ is flat with regular fibres. Then $C$ is regular by Algebra, Lemma 10.111.8. Some details omitted.
$\square$

Lemma 15.40.5. Let $R$ be a ring. Let $(A_ i, \varphi _{ii'})$ be a directed system of smooth $R$-algebras. Set $\Lambda = \mathop{\mathrm{colim}}\nolimits A_ i$. If the fibre rings $\Lambda \otimes _ R \kappa (\mathfrak p)$ are Noetherian for all $\mathfrak p \subset R$, then $R \to \Lambda $ is regular.

**Proof.**
Note that $\Lambda $ is flat over $R$ by Algebra, Lemmas 10.38.3 and 10.135.10. Let $\kappa (\mathfrak p) \subset k$ be a finite purely inseparable extension. Note that

\[ \Lambda \otimes _ R \kappa (\mathfrak p) \otimes _{\kappa (\mathfrak p)} k = \Lambda \otimes _ R k = \mathop{\mathrm{colim}}\nolimits A_ i \otimes _ R k \]

is a colimit of smooth $k$-algebras, see Algebra, Lemma 10.135.4. Since each local ring of a smooth $k$-algebra is regular by Algebra, Lemma 10.138.3 we conclude that all local rings of $\Lambda \otimes _ R k$ are regular by Algebra, Lemma 10.105.8. This proves the lemma. $\square$

Let's see when a field extension defines a regular ring map.

Lemma 15.40.6. Let $k \subset K$ be a field extension. Then $k \to K$ is a regular ring map if and only if $K$ is a separable field extension of $k$.

**Proof.**
If $k \to K$ is regular, then $K$ is geometrically reduced over $k$, hence $K$ is separable over $k$ by Algebra, Proposition 10.152.9. Conversely, if $K/k$ is separable, then $K$ is a colimit of smooth $k$-algebras, see Algebra, Lemma 10.152.11 hence is regular by Lemma 15.40.5.
$\square$

Lemma 15.40.7. Let $A \to B \to C$ be ring maps. If $A \to C$ is regular and $B \to C$ is flat and surjective on spectra, then $A \to B$ is regular.

**Proof.**
By Algebra, Lemma 10.38.10 we see that $A \to B$ is flat. Let $\mathfrak p \subset A$ be a prime. The ring map $B \otimes _ A \kappa (\mathfrak p) \to C \otimes _ A \kappa (\mathfrak p)$ is flat and surjective on spectra. Hence $B \otimes _ A \kappa (\mathfrak p)$ is geometrically regular by Algebra, Lemma 10.160.3.
$\square$

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