A commutative ring with identity and without divisors of zero (cf. Zero divisor). Any field, and also any ring with identity contained in a field, is an integral domain. Conversely, an integral domain can be imbedded in a field. Such an imbedding is given by the construction of the field of fractions.
If $A$ is an integral domain, then the ring of polynomials $A[X]$ and the ring of formal power series $A[[X]]$ over $A$ are also integral domains. If $A$ is a commutative ring with identity and $I$ is any ideal in $A$, then the ring $A/I$ is an integral domain if and only if $I$ is a prime ideal. A ring $A$ without nilpotents is an integral domain if and only if the spectrum of $A$ is an irreducible topological space (cf. Spectrum of a ring).
Sometimes commutativity of $A$ is not required in the definition of an integral domain. Skew-fields and subrings of a skew-field containing the identity are examples of non-commutative integral domains. However, it is not true, in general, that an arbitrary non-commutative integral domain can be imbedded in a skew-field (see , and Imbedding of rings).
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Integral domain. Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL: http://encyclopediaofmath.org/index.php?title=Integral_domain&oldid=39096