From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Irreducible (mathematics))
In mathematics, the concept of irreducibility is used in several ways.
- In abstract algebra, irreducible can be an abbreviation for irreducible element of an integral domain; for example an irreducible polynomial.
- In representation theory, an irreducible representation is a nontrivial representation with no nontrivial proper subrepresentations. Similarly, an irreducible module is another name for a simple module.
- Absolutely irreducible is a term applied to mean irreducible, even after any finite extension of the field of coefficients. It applies in various situations, for example to irreducibility of a linear representation, or of an algebraic variety; where it means just the same as irreducible over an algebraic closure.
- In commutative algebra, a commutative ring R is irreducible if its prime spectrum, that is, the topological space Spec R, is an irreducible topological space.
- A matrix is irreducible if it is not similar via a permutation to a block upper triangular matrix (that has more than one block of positive size). (Replacing non-zero entries in the matrix by one, and viewing the matrix as the adjacency matrix of a directed graph, the matrix is irreducible if and only if such directed graph is strongly connected.)
- Also, a Markov chain is irreducible if there is a non-zero probability of transitioning (even if in more than one step) from any state to any other state.
- In the theory of manifolds, an n-manifold is irreducible if any embedded (n − 1)-sphere bounds an embedded n-ball. Implicit in this definition is the use of a suitable category, such as the category of differentiable manifolds or the category of piecewise-linear manifolds. The notions of irreducibility in algebra and manifold theory are related. An n-manifold is called prime, if it cannot be written as a connected sum of two n-manifolds (neither of which is an n-sphere). An irreducible manifold is thus prime, although the converse does not hold. From an algebraist's perspective, prime manifolds should be called "irreducible"; however, the topologist (in particular the 3-manifold topologist) finds the definition above more useful. The only compact, connected 3-manifolds that are prime but not irreducible are the trivial 2-sphere bundle over S1 and the twisted 2-sphere bundle over S1. See, for example, Prime decomposition (3-manifold).
- A topological space is irreducible if it is not the union of two proper closed subsets. This notion is used in algebraic geometry, where spaces are equipped with the Zariski topology; it is not of much significance for Hausdorff spaces. See also irreducible component, algebraic variety.
- In universal algebra, irreducible can refer to the inability to represent an algebraic structure as a composition of simpler structures using a product construction; for example subdirectly irreducible.
- A 3-manifold is P²-irreducible if it is irreducible and contains no 2-sided (real projective plane).
- An irreducible fraction (or fraction in lowest terms) is a vulgar fraction in which the numerator and denominator are smaller than those in any other equivalent fraction.
|This article includes a list of related items that share the same name (or similar names).
If an internal link incorrectly led you here, you may wish to change the link to point directly to the intended article.