In mathematics, the tensor product of two R-algebras is also an R-algebra. This gives us a tensor product of algebras. The special case R = Z gives us a tensor product of rings, since rings may be regarded as Z-algebras.
which is also an R-module. We can give the tensor product the structure of an algebra by defining the product on elements of the form a ⊗ b by
and then extending by linearity to all of A ⊗RB. This product is R-bilinear, associative, and unital with an identity element given by 1A ⊗ 1B, where 1A and 1B are the identities of A and B. If A and B are both commutative then the tensor product is commutative as well.
There are natural homomorphisms of A and B to A ⊗RB given by
These maps make the tensor product a coproduct in the category of commutative R-algebras. The tensor product is not the coproduct in the category of all R-algebras. There the coproduct is given by a more general free product of algebras. Nevertheless, the tensor product of non-commutative algebras can be described by an universal property similar to that of the coproduct:
The natural isomorphism is given by identifying a morphism on the left hand side with the pair of morphism on the right hand side where and similarly .