Number Theory (MAGIC072)
There are no announcements
This course is part of the MAGIC core.
We all know how indispensable it is to extend R to C. Often it is better to start with Q and make a finite extension, to get a number field, but there are many more ways to do this-the Galois group of the algebraic closure of Q is immensely complicated. The elements of a number field are algebraic numbers, satisfying monic polynomial equations with coefficients in Q. Among these are the algebraic integers, satisfying monic polynomial equations with coefficients in Z, and they form a subring, the ring of integers. When the number field is Q, this subring is just Z. This course is about number fields and especially their rings of integers. In general these are not unique factorisation domains, but we shall see how unique factorisation can be restored by using ideals rather than elements. We are led naturally to consideration of the ideal class group and the unit group. This is not just a branch of algebra. We shall use also the geometry of numbers, and some analytic functions, recognising the fact that an algebraic number can be thought of as an element of C, and has a size.
Spring 2015 (Monday, January 19 to Friday, March 27)
Elementary number theory (primes, linear congruences). Rings and groups, including irreducibles, units, Euclidean domains, quotient groups, First Isomorphism Theorem, and preferably the quotient of a ring by an ideal, and finitely generated abelian groups. Field extensions, including the degree of an extension, irreducible polynomials, and preferably Eisenstein's criterion. Galois theory may be mentioned in passing, or in an exercise, but is not essential.
Finite extensions of Q. Norms, traces and discriminants. Proof that the subset of algebraic integers is a subring. Existence of an integral basis for the ring of integers. Ideals, principal ideals, the ideal class group and its finiteness. Unique factorisation of ideals. Explicit factorisation of rational primes in rings of integers of number fields. Minkowski's constant, calculating the ideal class group. Quadratic examples and applications to diophantine equations. Units. The logarithmic embedding, statement of Dirichlet's unit theorem. Formula for counting ideals of bounded norm, rough idea of proof. Dedekind zeta function and Dirichlet's class number formula.
Clicking on the link for a book will take you to the relevant Google Book Search page. You may be able to preview the book there. On the right hand side you will see links to places where you can buy the book. There is also link marked 'Find this book in a library'. This sometimes works well, but not always. (You will need to enter your location, but it will be saved after you do that for the first time.)
The assessment for this course will be via a single take-home paper in April with 2 weeks to complete and submit online. There will be 3 questions, and a pass will be awarded if your script is judged to be correct on at least half of the material set.
Magc 072 take home exam
Files marked L are intended to be displayed on the main screen during lectures.
Please log in to view lecture recordings.