Definition:Norm/Division Ring

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This page is about the norm on a division ring or a field. For other uses, see Definition:Norm.


Let $\struct {R, +, \circ}$ be a division ring whose zero is denoted $0_R$.

A (multiplicative) norm on $R$ is a mapping from $R$ to the non-negative reals:

$\norm {\,\cdot\,}: R \to \R_{\ge 0}$

satisfying the (ring) multiplicative norm axioms:

\((N1)\)   $:$   Positive Definiteness:      \(\displaystyle \forall x \in R:\)    \(\displaystyle \norm x = 0 \)   \(\displaystyle \iff \)   \(\displaystyle x = 0_R \)             
\((N2)\)   $:$   Multiplicativity:      \(\displaystyle \forall x, y \in R:\)    \(\displaystyle \norm {x \circ y} \)   \(\displaystyle = \)   \(\displaystyle \norm x \times \norm y \)             
\((N3)\)   $:$   Triangle Inequality:      \(\displaystyle \forall x, y \in R:\)    \(\displaystyle \norm {x + y} \)   \(\displaystyle \le \)   \(\displaystyle \norm x + \norm y \)             


In contrast to the definition of a norm on a division ring, a ring norm is always assumed to be a submultiplicative norm.

The reason for this is by Normed Vector Space Requires Multiplicative Norm on Division Ring, the norm on a division ring that is the scalar ring of a normed vector space must be a multiplicative norm.

By Ring with Multiplicative Norm has No Proper Zero Divisors it follows that a ring with zero divisors has no multiplicative norms, so a multiplicative norm is too restrictive for a general ring.

Also known as

Some authors refer to this concept as an (abstract) absolute value on $R$.

A field that is endowed with a norm is thereby referred as a valued field.

Also defined as

In the literature, it is common to define the norm only for subfields of the complex numbers.

However, the definition given here incorporates this approach.

Also see