9.2 Basic definitions

Because we have placed this chapter before the chapter discussing commutative algebra we need to introduce some of the basic definitions here before we discuss these in greater detail in the algebra chapters.

Definition 9.2.1. A field is a nonzero ring where every nonzero element is invertible. Given a field a subfield is a subring that is itself a field.

For a field $k$, we write $k^*$ for the subset $k \setminus \{ 0\}$. This generalizes the usual notation $R^*$ that refers to the group of invertible elements in a ring $R$.

Definition 9.2.2. A domain or an integral domain is a nonzero ring where $0$ is the only zerodivisor.

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