# Factorial ring

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A ring with unique decomposition into factors. More precisely, a factorial ring is an integral domain in which one can find a system of irreducible elements such that every non-zero element admits a unique representation where is invertible and the non-negative integral exponents are non-zero for only a finite number of elements . Here an element is called irreducible in if implies that either or is invertible in , and is not invertible in .

In a factorial ring there is a highest common divisor and a least common multiple of any two elements. A ring is factorial if and only if it is a Krull ring and satisfies one of the following equivalent conditions: 1) every divisorial ideal of is principal; 2) every prime ideal of height 1 is principal; and 3) every non-empty family of principal ideals has a maximal element, and the intersection of any two principal ideals is principal. Every principal ideal ring is factorial. A Dedekind ring is factorial only if it is a principal ideal ring. If is a multiplicative system in a factorial ring , then the ring of fractions is factorial. A Zariski ring is factorial if its completion is.

Subrings and quotient rings of a factorial ring need not be factorial. The ring of polynomials over a factorial ring and the ring of formal power series over a field or over a discretely-normed ring are factorial. But the ring of formal power series over a factorial ring need not be factorial.

An integral domain is factorial if and only if its multiplicative semi-group is Gaussian (see Gauss semi-group), and for this reason factorial rings are also called Gaussian rings or Gauss rings.

How to Cite This Entry:
Factorial ring. Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL: http://encyclopediaofmath.org/index.php?title=Factorial_ring&oldid=15956
This article was adapted from an original article by L.V. Kuz'min (originator), which appeared in Encyclopedia of Mathematics - ISBN 1402006098. See original article