TheInfoList

In
mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (cal ...
, a module is a generalization of the notion of
vector space In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...
, wherein the
field Field may refer to: Expanses of open ground * Field (agriculture), an area of land used for agricultural purposes * Airfield, an aerodrome that lacks the infrastructure of an airport * Battlefield * Lawn, an area of mowed grass * Meadow, a grassl ...
of scalars is replaced by a ring. The concept of ''module'' is also a generalization of the one of
abelian group In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no g ...
, since the abelian groups are exactly the modules over the ring of
integer An integer (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Re ...
s. Like a vector space, a module is an additive abelian group, and scalar multiplication is distributive over the operation of addition between elements of the ring or module and is
compatible Compatibility may refer to: Computing * Backward compatibility, in which newer devices can understand data generated by older devices * Compatibility card, an expansion card for hardware emulation of another device * Compatibility layer, compone ...
with the ring multiplication. Modules are very closely related to the
representation theory Representation theory is a branch of mathematics that studies abstract algebra, abstract algebraic structures by ''representing'' their element (set theory), elements as linear transformations of vector spaces, and studies Module (mathematics), ...
of
group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be represented in language with ...
s. They are also one of the central notions of
commutative algebra Commutative algebra is the branch of algebra Algebra (from ar, الجبر, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry ...
and
homological algebra Homological algebra is the branch of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and thei ...
, and are used widely in
algebraic geometry Algebraic geometry is a branch of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and thei ... and
algebraic topology Algebraic topology is a branch of mathematics that uses tools from abstract algebra to study topological spaces. The basic goal is to find algebraic invariant (mathematics), invariants that classification theorem, classify topological spaces up t ...
.

# Introduction and definition

## Motivation

In a vector space, the set of scalars is a
field Field may refer to: Expanses of open ground * Field (agriculture), an area of land used for agricultural purposes * Airfield, an aerodrome that lacks the infrastructure of an airport * Battlefield * Lawn, an area of mowed grass * Meadow, a grassl ...
and acts on the vectors by scalar multiplication, subject to certain axioms such as the
distributive law In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gen ...
. In a module, the scalars need only be a ring, so the module concept represents a significant generalization. In commutative algebra, both
ideals Ideal may refer to: Philosophy * Ideal (ethics), values that one actively pursues as goals * Platonic ideal, a philosophical idea of trueness of form, associated with Plato Mathematics * Ideal (ring theory), special subsets of a ring considered ...
and
quotient ring In ring theory In algebra, ring theory is the study of ring (mathematics), rings—algebraic structures in which addition and multiplication are defined and have similar properties to those operations defined for the integers. Ring theory studie ...
s are modules, so that many arguments about ideals or quotient rings can be combined into a single argument about modules. In non-commutative algebra, the distinction between left ideals, ideals, and modules becomes more pronounced, though some ring-theoretic conditions can be expressed either about left ideals or left modules. Much of the theory of modules consists of extending as many of the desirable properties of vector spaces as possible to the realm of modules over a "
well-behaved In mathematics, a pathological object is one which possesses deviant, irregular or counterintuitive property, in such a way that distinguishes it from what is conceived as a typical object in the same category. The opposite of pathological is ...
" ring, such as a
principal ideal domain In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and th ...
. However, modules can be quite a bit more complicated than vector spaces; for instance, not all modules have a
basis Basis may refer to: Finance and accounting *Adjusted basisIn tax accounting, adjusted basis is the net cost of an asset after adjusting for various tax-related items. Adjusted Basis or Adjusted Tax Basis refers to the original cost or other b ...
, and even those that do,
free module In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and th ... s, need not have a unique
rank Rank is the relative position, value, worth, complexity, power, importance, authority, level, etc. of a person or object within a ranking A ranking is a relationship between a set of items such that, for any two items, the first is either "rank ... if the underlying ring does not satisfy the
invariant basis number In mathematics, more specifically in the field of ring theory, a ring (mathematics), ring has the invariant basis number (IBN) property if all finitely generated free module, free left module (mathematics), modules over ''R'' have a well-defined ran ...
condition, unlike vector spaces, which always have a (possibly infinite) basis whose cardinality is then unique. (These last two assertions require the
axiom of choice In mathematics, the axiom of choice, or AC, is an axiom of set theory equivalent to the statement that ''a Cartesian product#Infinite Cartesian products, Cartesian product of a collection of non-empty sets is non-empty''. Informally put, the a ... in general, but not in the case of finite-dimensional spaces, or certain well-behaved infinite-dimensional spaces such as L''p'' spaces.)

## Formal definition

Suppose that ''R'' is a ring, and 1 is its multiplicative identity. A left ''R''-module ''M'' consists of an
abelian group In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no g ...
and an operation such that for all ''r'', ''s'' in ''R'' and ''x'', ''y'' in ''M'', we have #$r \cdot \left( x + y \right) = r \cdot x + r \cdot y$ #$\left( r + s \right) \cdot x = r \cdot x + s \cdot x$ #$\left( r s \right) \cdot x = r \cdot \left( s \cdot x \right)$ #$1 \cdot x = x .$ The operation ⋅ is called ''scalar multiplication''. Often the symbol ⋅ is omitted, but in this article we use it and reserve juxtaposition for multiplication in ''R''. One may write ''R''''M'' to emphasize that ''M'' is a left ''R''-module. A right ''R''-module ''M''''R'' is defined similarly in terms of an operation . Authors who do not require rings to be unital omit condition 4 in the definition above; they would call the structures defined above "unital left ''R''-modules". In this article, consistent with the
glossary of ring theory Ring theory In algebra, ring theory is the study of ring (mathematics), rings—algebraic structures in which addition and multiplication are defined and have similar properties to those operations defined for the integers. Ring theory studies th ...
, all rings and modules are assumed to be unital. An ''(R,S)''-
bimoduleIn abstract algebra In algebra, which is a broad division of mathematics, abstract algebra (occasionally called modern algebra) is the study of algebraic structures. Algebraic structures include group (mathematics), groups, ring (mathematics), ri ...
is an abelian group together with both a left scalar multiplication ⋅ by elements of ''R'' and a right scalar multiplication * by elements of ''S'', making it simultaneously a left ''R''-module and a right ''S''-module, satisfying the additional condition $\left(r \cdot x\right) \ast s = r \cdot \left( x \ast s \right)$ for all ''r'' in ''R'', ''x'' in ''M'', and ''s'' in ''S''. If ''R'' is
commutative In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...
, then left ''R''-modules are the same as right ''R''-modules and are simply called ''R''-modules.

# Examples

*If ''K'' is a
field Field may refer to: Expanses of open ground * Field (agriculture), an area of land used for agricultural purposes * Airfield, an aerodrome that lacks the infrastructure of an airport * Battlefield * Lawn, an area of mowed grass * Meadow, a grassl ...
, then ''K''-
vector space In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...
s (vector spaces over ''K'') and ''K''-modules are identical. *If ''K'' is a field, and ''K'' 'x''a univariate
polynomial ring In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...
, then a module.html" ;"title="'x'' module">'x'' module ''M'' is a ''K''-module with an additional action of ''x'' on ''M'' that commutes with the action of ''K'' on ''M''. In other words, a ''K''[''x'']-module is a ''K''-vector space ''M'' combined with a
linear map In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ... from ''M'' to ''M''. Applying the structure theorem for finitely generated modules over a principal ideal domain to this example shows the existence of the
rational Rationality is the quality or state of being rational – that is, being based on or agreeable to reason Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:λογι ...
and Jordan canonical forms. *The concept of a Z-module agrees with the notion of an abelian group. That is, every
abelian group In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no g ...
is a module over the ring of
integer An integer (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Re ...
s Z in a unique way. For , let (''n'' summands), , and . Such a module need not have a
basis Basis may refer to: Finance and accounting *Adjusted basisIn tax accounting, adjusted basis is the net cost of an asset after adjusting for various tax-related items. Adjusted Basis or Adjusted Tax Basis refers to the original cost or other b ...
—groups containing torsion elements do not. (For example, in the group of integers modulo 3, one cannot find even one element which satisfies the definition of a linearly independent set since when an integer such as 3 or 6 multiplies an element, the result is 0. However, if a
finite field In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...
is considered as a module over the same finite field taken as a ring, it is a vector space and does have a basis.) *The
decimal fractions The decimal numeral system (also called the base-ten positional numeral system, and occasionally called denary or decanary) is the standard system for denoting integer and non-integer numbers. It is the extension to non-integer numbers of the H ...
(including negative ones) form a module over the integers. Only singletons are linearly independent sets, but there is no singleton that can serve as a basis, so the module has no basis and no rank. *If ''R'' is any ring and ''n'' a
natural number In mathematics, the natural numbers are those numbers used for counting (as in "there are ''six'' coins on the table") and total order, ordering (as in "this is the ''third'' largest city in the country"). In common mathematical terminology, w ...
, then the
cartesian product In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...
''R''''n'' is both a left and right ''R''-module over ''R'' if we use the component-wise operations. Hence when , ''R'' is an ''R''-module, where the scalar multiplication is just ring multiplication. The case yields the trivial ''R''-module consisting only of its identity element. Modules of this type are called
free Free may refer to: Concept * Freedom, having the ability to act or change without constraint * Emancipate, to procure political rights, as for a disenfranchised group * Free will, control exercised by rational agents over their actions and decis ... and if ''R'' has
invariant basis number In mathematics, more specifically in the field of ring theory, a ring (mathematics), ring has the invariant basis number (IBN) property if all finitely generated free module, free left module (mathematics), modules over ''R'' have a well-defined ran ...
(e.g. any commutative ring or field) the number ''n'' is then the rank of the free module. *If M''n''(''R'') is the ring of
matrices Matrix or MATRIX may refer to: Science and mathematics * Matrix (mathematics) In mathematics, a matrix (plural matrices) is a rectangle, rectangular ''wikt:array, array'' or ''table'' of numbers, symbol (formal), symbols, or expression (mathema ...
over a ring ''R'', ''M'' is an M''n''(''R'')-module, and ''e''''i'' is the matrix with 1 in the -entry (and zeros elsewhere), then ''e''''i''''M'' is an ''R''-module, since . So ''M'' breaks up as the direct sum of ''R''-modules, . Conversely, given an ''R''-module ''M''0, then ''M''0⊕''n'' is an M''n''(''R'')-module. In fact, the category of ''R''-modules and the
category Category, plural categories, may refer to: Philosophy and general uses *Categorization Categorization is the ability and activity to recognize shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience of the world (such as O ...
of M''n''(''R'')-modules are
equivalent Equivalence or Equivalent may refer to: Arts and entertainment *Album-equivalent unit, a measurement unit in the music industry *Equivalence class (music) *''Equivalent VIII'', or ''The Bricks'', a minimalist sculpture by Carl Andre *''Equivalent ...
. The special case is that the module ''M'' is just ''R'' as a module over itself, then ''R''''n'' is an M''n''(''R'')-module. *If ''S'' is a
nonempty In mathematics, the empty set is the unique Set (mathematics), set having no Element (mathematics), elements; its size or cardinality (count of elements in a set) is 0, zero. Some axiomatic set theories ensure that the empty set exists by includ ... set, ''M'' is a left ''R''-module, and ''M''''S'' is the collection of all
function Function or functionality may refer to: Computing * Function key A function key is a key on a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern comp ...
s , then with addition and scalar multiplication in ''M''''S'' defined pointwise by and , ''M''''S'' is a left ''R''-module. The right ''R''-module case is analogous. In particular, if ''R'' is commutative then the collection of ''R-module homomorphisms'' (see below) is an ''R''-module (and in fact a ''submodule'' of ''N''''M''). *If ''X'' is a
smooth manifold In mathematics, a differentiable manifold (also differential manifold) is a type of manifold The real projective plane is a two-dimensional manifold that cannot be realized in three dimensions without self-intersection, shown here as Boy's s ...
, then the
smooth function In mathematical analysis Analysis is the branch of mathematics dealing with Limit (mathematics), limits and related theories, such as Derivative, differentiation, Integral, integration, Measure (mathematics), measure, sequences, Series (mat ... s from ''X'' to the
real number In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no g ...
s form a ring ''C''(''X''). The set of all smooth
vector field In vector calculus Vector calculus, or vector analysis, is concerned with differentiation Differentiation may refer to: Business * Differentiation (economics), the process of making a product different from other similar products * Product ... s defined on ''X'' form a module over ''C''(''X''), and so do the
tensor field In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and t ...
s and the
differential form In the mathematical Mathematics (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population ...
s on ''X''. More generally, the sections of any
vector bundle In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gen ... form a
projective module In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gener ... over ''C''(''X''), and by Swan's theorem, every projective module is isomorphic to the module of sections of some bundle; the
category Category, plural categories, may refer to: Philosophy and general uses *Categorization Categorization is the ability and activity to recognize shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience of the world (such as O ...
of ''C''(''X'')-modules and the category of vector bundles over ''X'' are
equivalent Equivalence or Equivalent may refer to: Arts and entertainment *Album-equivalent unit, a measurement unit in the music industry *Equivalence class (music) *''Equivalent VIII'', or ''The Bricks'', a minimalist sculpture by Carl Andre *''Equivalent ...
. *If ''R'' is any ring and ''I'' is any left ideal in ''R'', then ''I'' is a left ''R''-module, and analogously right ideals in ''R'' are right ''R''-modules. *If ''R'' is a ring, we can define the
opposite ring In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and the ...
''R''op which has the same
underlying set In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...
and the same addition operation, but the opposite multiplication: if in ''R'', then in ''R''op. Any ''left'' ''R''-module ''M'' can then be seen to be a ''right'' module over ''R''op, and any right module over ''R'' can be considered a left module over ''R''op. * Modules over a Lie algebra are (associative algebra) modules over its
universal enveloping algebra In mathematics, a universal enveloping algebra is the most general (unital algebra, unital, associative algebra, associative) algebra that contains all representation of a Lie algebra, representations of a Lie algebra. Universal enveloping algebras ...
. *If ''R'' and ''S'' are rings with a
ring homomorphism In ring theory, a branch of abstract algebra, a ring homomorphism is a structure-preserving function (mathematics), function between two ring (algebra), rings. More explicitly, if ''R'' and ''S'' are rings, then a ring homomorphism is a function s ...
''φ'' : ''R'' → ''S'', then every ''S''-module ''M'' is an ''R''-module by defining ''rm'' = ''φ''(''r'')''m''. In particular, ''S'' itself is such an ''R''-module.

# Submodules and homomorphisms

Suppose ''M'' is a left ''R''-module and ''N'' is a
subgroup In group theory, a branch of mathematics, given a group (mathematics), group ''G'' under a binary operation ∗, a subset ''H'' of ''G'' is called a subgroup of ''G'' if ''H'' also forms a group under the operation ∗. More precisely ...
of ''M''. Then ''N'' is a submodule (or more explicitly an ''R''-submodule) if for any ''n'' in ''N'' and any ''r'' in ''R'', the product (or for a right ''R''-module) is in ''N''. If ''X'' is any
subset In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities a ... of an ''R''-module, then the submodule spanned by ''X'' is defined to be $\langle X \rangle = \,\bigcap_ N$ where ''N'' runs over the submodules of ''M'' which contain ''X'', or explicitly $\left\$, which is important in the definition of tensor products. The set of submodules of a given module ''M'', together with the two binary operations + and ∩, forms a lattice which satisfies the modular law: Given submodules ''U'', ''N''1, ''N''2 of ''M'' such that , then the following two submodules are equal: . If ''M'' and ''N'' are left ''R''-modules, then a
map A map is a symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an , , or . Symbols allow people to go beyond what is n or seen by creating linkages between otherwise very different s and s. A ...
is a homomorphism of ''R''-modules if for any ''m'', ''n'' in ''M'' and ''r'', ''s'' in ''R'', :$f\left(r \cdot m + s \cdot n\right) = r \cdot f\left(m\right) + s \cdot f\left(n\right)$. This, like any
homomorphism In algebra Algebra (from ar, الجبر, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and mathematical analysis, analysis. I ...
of mathematical objects, is just a mapping which preserves the structure of the objects. Another name for a homomorphism of ''R''-modules is an ''R''-
linear map In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ... . A
bijective In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...
module homomorphism is called a module
isomorphism In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ... , and the two modules ''M'' and ''N'' are called isomorphic. Two isomorphic modules are identical for all practical purposes, differing solely in the notation for their elements. The
kernel Kernel may refer to: Computing * Kernel (operating system), the central component of most operating systems * Kernel (image processing), a matrix used for image convolution * Compute kernel, in GPGPU programming * Kernel method, in machine learnin ...
of a module homomorphism is the submodule of ''M'' consisting of all elements that are sent to zero by ''f'', and the
image An image (from la, imago) is an artifact that depicts visual perception Visual perception is the ability to interpret the surrounding environment (biophysical), environment through photopic vision (daytime vision), color vision, sco ...
of ''f'' is the submodule of ''N'' consisting of values ''f''(''m'') for all elements ''m'' of ''M''. The
isomorphism theorem In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It h ...
s familiar from groups and vector spaces are also valid for ''R''-modules. Given a ring ''R'', the set of all left ''R''-modules together with their module homomorphisms forms an
abelian category In mathematics, an abelian category is a Category (mathematics), category in which morphisms and Object (category theory), objects can be added and in which Kernel (category theory), kernels and cokernels exist and have desirable properties. The mo ...
, denoted by ''R''-Mod (see
category of modulesIn algebra Algebra (from ar, الجبر, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and mathematical analysis, analysis. In i ...
).

# Types of modules

; Finitely generated: An ''R''-module ''M'' is finitely generated if there exist finitely many elements ''x''1, ..., ''x''''n'' in ''M'' such that every element of ''M'' is a
linear combination In mathematics, a linear combination is an Expression (mathematics), expression constructed from a Set (mathematics), set of terms by multiplying each term by a constant and adding the results (e.g. a linear combination of ''x'' and ''y'' would be ...
of those elements with coefficients from the ring ''R''. ; Cyclic: A module is called a
cyclic module In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and the ...
if it is generated by one element. ; Free: A
free ''R''-module is a module that has a basis, or equivalently, one that is isomorphic to a
direct sum The direct sum is an operation from abstract algebra In algebra, which is a broad division of mathematics, abstract algebra (occasionally called modern algebra) is the study of algebraic structures. Algebraic structures include group (mathema ...
of copies of the ring ''R''. These are the modules that behave very much like vector spaces. ; Projective:
Projective module In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gener ... s are
direct summand The direct sum is an operation from abstract algebra, a branch of mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geome ...
s of free modules and share many of their desirable properties. ; Injective:
Injective module In mathematics, especially in the area of abstract algebra known as module theory, an injective module is a module (mathematics), module ''Q'' that shares certain desirable properties with the Z-module Q of all rational numbers. Specifically, if ''Q ... s are defined dually to projective modules. ; Flat: A module is called flat if taking the
tensor product In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ... of it with any
exact sequence An exact sequence is a sequence of morphisms between objects (for example, groups A group is a number of people or things that are located, gathered, or classed together. Groups of people * Cultural group, a group whose members share the same ...
of ''R''-modules preserves exactness. ; Torsionless: A module is called torsionless if it embeds into its algebraic dual. ; Simple: A
simple moduleIn mathematics, specifically in ring theory, the simple modules over a Ring (mathematics), ring ''R'' are the (left or right) module (mathematics), modules over ''R'' that are Zero_element#Zero_module, non-zero and have no non-zero proper submodules. ...
''S'' is a module that is not and whose only submodules are and ''S''. Simple modules are sometimes called ''irreducible''.Jacobson (1964)
p. 4
Def. 1;
; Semisimple: A
semisimple module In mathematics, especially in the area of abstract algebra known as module theory, a semisimple module or completely reducible module is a type of module that can be understood easily from its parts. A ring (mathematics), ring that is a semisimple ...
is a direct sum (finite or not) of simple modules. Historically these modules are also called ''completely reducible''. ; Indecomposable: An
indecomposable moduleIn abstract algebra In algebra, which is a broad division of mathematics, abstract algebra (occasionally called modern algebra) is the study of algebraic structures. Algebraic structures include group (mathematics), groups, ring (mathematics), ri ...
is a non-zero module that cannot be written as a
direct sum The direct sum is an operation from abstract algebra In algebra, which is a broad division of mathematics, abstract algebra (occasionally called modern algebra) is the study of algebraic structures. Algebraic structures include group (mathema ...
of two non-zero submodules. Every simple module is indecomposable, but there are indecomposable modules which are not simple (e.g. uniform modules). ; Faithful: A
faithful module In mathematics, the annihilator of a subset of a Module (mathematics), module over a ring (mathematics), ring is the ideal (ring theory), ideal formed by the elements of the ring that give always zero when multiplied by an element of . Over an ...
''M'' is one where the action of each in ''R'' on ''M'' is nontrivial (i.e. for some ''x'' in ''M''). Equivalently, the annihilator of ''M'' is the
zero ideal In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...
. ; Torsion-free: A
torsion-free module In abstract algebra, algebra, a torsion-free module is a module (mathematics), module over a Ring (mathematics), ring such that zero is the only element Absorbing element, annihilated by a zero-divisor, regular element (non zero-divisor) of the ring ...
is a module over a ring such that 0 is the only element annihilated by a regular element (non
zero-divisor In abstract algebra In algebra, which is a broad division of mathematics, abstract algebra (occasionally called modern algebra) is the study of algebraic structures. Algebraic structures include group (mathematics), groups, ring (mathematics), ...
) of the ring, equivalently $rm=0$ implies $r=0$ or $m=0$. ; Noetherian: A
Noetherian moduleIn abstract algebra, a Noetherian module is a module that satisfies the ascending chain condition on its submodule In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mat ...
is a module which satisfies the
ascending chain conditionIn mathematics, the ascending chain condition (ACC) and descending chain condition (DCC) are finiteness properties satisfied by some algebraic structures, most importantly Ideal (ring theory), ideals in certain commutative rings.Jacobson (2009), p. 1 ...
on submodules, that is, every increasing chain of submodules becomes stationary after finitely many steps. Equivalently, every submodule is finitely generated. ; Artinian: An
Artinian moduleIn abstract algebra, an Artinian module is a module (mathematics), module that satisfies the descending chain condition on its poset of submodules. They are for modules what Artinian rings are for rings, and a ring is Artinian if and only if it is an ...
is a module which satisfies the
descending chain conditionIn mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ha ...
on submodules, that is, every decreasing chain of submodules becomes stationary after finitely many steps. ; Graded: A
graded module In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It h ...
is a module with a decomposition as a direct sum over a
graded ring Grade or grading may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Grade (band) Grade is a melodic hardcore band from Canada, often credited as pioneers in blending metallic hardcore with the hon and melody of emo, and - most notably - the alternating scr ...
such that for all ''x'' and ''y''. ; Uniform: A uniform module is a module in which all pairs of nonzero submodules have nonzero intersection.

# Further notions

## Relation to representation theory

A representation of a group ''G'' over a field ''k'' is a module over the
group ring In algebra Algebra (from ar, الجبر, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and mathematical analysis, analysis. I ...
''k'' 'G'' If ''M'' is a left ''R''-module, then the ''action'' of an element ''r'' in ''R'' is defined to be the map that sends each ''x'' to ''rx'' (or ''xr'' in the case of a right module), and is necessarily a
group endomorphism of the abelian group . The set of all group endomorphisms of ''M'' is denoted EndZ(''M'') and forms a ring under addition and
composition Composition or Compositions may refer to: Arts * Composition (dance), practice and teaching of choreography * Composition (music), an original piece of music and its creation *Composition (visual arts) The term composition means "putting togethe ...
, and sending a ring element ''r'' of ''R'' to its action actually defines a
ring homomorphism In ring theory, a branch of abstract algebra, a ring homomorphism is a structure-preserving function (mathematics), function between two ring (algebra), rings. More explicitly, if ''R'' and ''S'' are rings, then a ring homomorphism is a function s ...
from ''R'' to EndZ(''M''). Such a ring homomorphism is called a ''representation'' of ''R'' over the abelian group ''M''; an alternative and equivalent way of defining left ''R''-modules is to say that a left ''R''-module is an abelian group ''M'' together with a representation of ''R'' over it. Such a representation may also be called a ''ring action'' of on . A representation is called ''faithful'' if and only if the map is
injective In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...
. In terms of modules, this means that if ''r'' is an element of ''R'' such that for all ''x'' in ''M'', then . Every abelian group is a faithful module over the
integer An integer (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Re ...
s or over some
modular arithmetic #REDIRECT Modular arithmetic #REDIRECT Modular arithmetic#REDIRECT Modular arithmetic In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure ( ...
Z/''n''Z.

## Generalizations

A ring ''R'' corresponds to a
preadditive category In mathematics, specifically in category theory, a preadditive category is another name for an Ab-category, i.e., a category (mathematics), category that is enriched category, enriched over the category of abelian groups, Ab. That is, an Ab-catego ...
R with a single
object Object may refer to: General meanings * Object (philosophy), a thing, being, or concept ** Entity, something that is tangible and within the grasp of the senses ** Object (abstract), an object which does not exist at any particular time or pl ...
. With this understanding, a left ''R''-module is just a covariant
additive functorIn mathematics, specifically in category theory, a preadditive category is another name for an Ab-category, i.e., a category (mathematics), category that is enriched category, enriched over the category of abelian groups, Ab. That is, an Ab-categor ...
from R to the category Ab of abelian groups, and right ''R''-modules are contravariant additive functors. This suggests that, if C is any preadditive category, a covariant additive functor from C to Ab should be considered a generalized left module over C. These functors form a
functor categoryIn category theory Category theory formalizes mathematical structure and its concepts in terms of a Graph labeling, labeled directed graph called a ''Category (mathematics), category'', whose nodes are called ''objects'', and whose labelled dire ...
C-Mod which is the natural generalization of the module category ''R''-Mod. Modules over ''commutative'' rings can be generalized in a different direction: take a
ringed spaceIn mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ha ...
(''X'', O''X'') and consider the sheaves of O''X''-modules (see sheaf of modules). These form a category O''X''-Mod, and play an important role in modern
algebraic geometry Algebraic geometry is a branch of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and thei ... . If ''X'' has only a single point, then this is a module category in the old sense over the commutative ring O''X''(''X''). One can also consider modules over a
semiring In abstract algebra In algebra, which is a broad division of mathematics, abstract algebra (occasionally called modern algebra) is the study of algebraic structures. Algebraic structures include group (mathematics), groups, ring (mathematics), ...
. Modules over rings are abelian groups, but modules over semirings are only
commutative In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...
monoid In abstract algebra In algebra, which is a broad division of mathematics, abstract algebra (occasionally called modern algebra) is the study of algebraic structures. Algebraic structures include group (mathematics), groups, ring (mathemati ...
s. Most applications of modules are still possible. In particular, for any
semiring In abstract algebra In algebra, which is a broad division of mathematics, abstract algebra (occasionally called modern algebra) is the study of algebraic structures. Algebraic structures include group (mathematics), groups, ring (mathematics), ...
''S'', the matrices over ''S'' form a semiring over which the tuples of elements from ''S'' are a module (in this generalized sense only). This allows a further generalization of the concept of
vector space In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...
incorporating the semirings from theoretical computer science. Over near-rings, one can consider near-ring modules, a nonabelian generalization of modules.

*
Group ring In algebra Algebra (from ar, الجبر, lit=reunion of broken parts, bonesetting, translit=al-jabr) is one of the areas of mathematics, broad areas of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and mathematical analysis, analysis. I ...
*
Algebra (ring theory) In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It ...
* Module (model theory) * Module spectrum * Annihilator

# References

* F.W. Anderson and K.R. Fuller: ''Rings and Categories of Modules'', Graduate Texts in Mathematics, Vol. 13, 2nd Ed., Springer-Verlag, New York, 1992, , *
Nathan Jacobson Nathan Jacobson (October 5, 1910 – December 5, 1999) was an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America ( ... . ''Structure of rings''. Colloquium publications, Vol. 37, 2nd Ed., AMS Bookstore, 1964,