# Definition:Principal Ideal of Ring

## Definition

Let $\struct {R, +, \circ}$ be a ring with unity.

Let $a \in R$.

We define:

- $\ideal a = \ds \set {\sum_{i \mathop = 1}^n r_i \circ a \circ s_i: n \in \N, r_i, s_i \in R}$

The ideal $\ideal a$ is called the **principal ideal of $R$ generated by $a$**.

## Notation

From Principal Ideal of Commutative Ring the notions of principal left ideal, principal right ideal and **principal ideal** coincide.

So often, in some sources, a **principal ideal** of a commutative ring with unity is denoted as $aR$.

This is done most often in the case where it is important to identify the ring that the **principal ideal** belongs to.

The notation $aR$ is often used when the ring $R$ in question is the integers $\Z$ or the $p$-adic integers $\Z_p$. So it is common for $n\Z$ to denote the **principal ideal of $\Z$ generated by $n$** and $p^k\Z_p$ to denote the **principal ideal of $\Z_p$ generated by $p^k$**.

## Also see

- Principal Ideal is Ideal: $\ideal a$ is a
**principal ideal**if $\gen a$ is the ideal generated by $a$.

- Results about
**principal ideals**can be found here.

## Sources

- 1965: Seth Warner:
*Modern Algebra*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text {IV}$: Rings and Fields: $22$. New Rings from Old - 1969: C.R.J. Clapham:
*Introduction to Abstract Algebra*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $5$: Rings: $\S 21$. Ideals - 1972: A.G. Howson:
*A Handbook of Terms used in Algebra and Analysis*... (previous) ... (next): $\S 6$: Rings and fields - 1978: Thomas A. Whitelaw:
*An Introduction to Abstract Algebra*... (previous) ... (next): $\S 59$. Principal ideals in a commutative ring with a one