Krull's principal ideal theorem

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In commutative algebra, Krull's principal ideal theorem, named after Wolfgang Krull (1899–1971), gives a bound on the height of a principal ideal in a Noetherian ring. The theorem is sometimes referred to by its German name, Krulls Hauptidealsatz (Satz meaning "proposition" or "theorem").

Formally, if R is a Noetherian ring and I is a principal, proper ideal of R, then I has height at most one.

This theorem can be generalized to ideals that are not principal, and the result is often called Krull's height theorem. This says that if R is a Noetherian ring and I is a proper ideal generated by n elements of R, then I has height at most n.

The principal ideal theorem and the generalization, the height theorem, both follow from the fundamental theorem of dimension theory. Bourbaki's Commutative Algebra gives a direct proof. Kaplansky's Commutative ring includes a proof due to David Rees.

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