# Difference between revisions of "Algebraic closure"

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− | A [[ | + | A [[Field (mathematics)|field]] F is '''algebraically closed''' if there is a solution to every [[polynomial]] over F in one variable. Every field is contained in an algebraically closed field and there is a minimal one, called the '''algebraic closure''' of F. This general fact uses [[Zorn's Lemma]], which is equivalent to the [[Axiom of Choice]] (AC). In specific cases AC may sometimes be avoided. |

The definition of algebraically closed has several other equivalent forms: | The definition of algebraically closed has several other equivalent forms: | ||

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<li> For every <math>a\in F</math> and every polynomial f(x), there is a <math>b\in F</math> such that <math>f(b)=a</math>. | <li> For every <math>a\in F</math> and every polynomial f(x), there is a <math>b\in F</math> such that <math>f(b)=a</math>. | ||

<li> The only irreducible polynomials in F[x] have degree 1. | <li> The only irreducible polynomials in F[x] have degree 1. | ||

− | <li> F has no finite [[ | + | <li> F has no finite [[Field extension|extensions]] other than itself. |

− | <li> F is a maximal field of its [[ | + | <li> F is a maximal field of its [[transcendence degree]]. |

− | <li> F is the union of all its [[ | + | <li> F is the union of all its [[finitely-generated]] [[Localization|localized]] [[Ring (mathematics)|subrings]]. |

− | <li> Every [[ | + | <li> Every [[algebraic variety]] defined over F has a [[point]]. |

− | <li> F is not finite and the [[ | + | <li> F is not finite and the [[automorphism]] group of F has [[cardinality]] strictly greater than the cardinality of F. |

</ol> | </ol> | ||

− | The [[ | + | The [[complex number]]s <math>\mathbb{C}</math> are algebraically closed by the [[Fundamental Theorem of Algebra]], however the [[rational number]]s <math>\mathbb{Q}</math> are not since x<sup>2</sup>+1 does not have a root. This same polynomial shows the [[real number]]s <math>\mathbb{R}</math> are also not algebraically closed, yielding as a [[corollary]] (by the equivalence) that <math>\textrm{Aut}(\mathbb{R})</math> has [[cardinality]] the [[continuum]]. |

The complex numbers are the algebraic closure of both the real numbers and the rational numbers. | The complex numbers are the algebraic closure of both the real numbers and the rational numbers. | ||

[[Category:Algebra]] | [[Category:Algebra]] |

## Latest revision as of 19:20, 12 July 2016

A field F is **algebraically closed** if there is a solution to every polynomial over F in one variable. Every field is contained in an algebraically closed field and there is a minimal one, called the **algebraic closure** of F. This general fact uses Zorn's Lemma, which is equivalent to the Axiom of Choice (AC). In specific cases AC may sometimes be avoided.

The definition of algebraically closed has several other equivalent forms:

- For every and every polynomial f(x), there is a such that .
- The only irreducible polynomials in F[x] have degree 1.
- F has no finite extensions other than itself.
- F is a maximal field of its transcendence degree.
- F is the union of all its finitely-generated localized subrings.
- Every algebraic variety defined over F has a point.
- F is not finite and the automorphism group of F has cardinality strictly greater than the cardinality of F.

The complex numbers are algebraically closed by the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra, however the rational numbers are not since x^{2}+1 does not have a root. This same polynomial shows the real numbers are also not algebraically closed, yielding as a corollary (by the equivalence) that has cardinality the continuum.

The complex numbers are the algebraic closure of both the real numbers and the rational numbers.