The Zero is the only Nilpotent Element of the Quotient Ring by its Nilradical

Problem 725

Prove that if $R$ is a commutative ring and $\frakN(R)$ is its nilradical, then the zero is the only nilpotent element of $R/\frakN(R)$. That is, show that $\frakN(R/\frakN(R))=0$.

Let $r\in R$ and if $x:=r+\frakN(R) \in R/\frakN(R)$ is a nilpotent element of $R/\frakN(R)$, then there exists an integer $n$ such that
\[x^n=(r+\frakN(R))^n=r^n+\frakN(R)=\frakN(R).\]
Thus we have
\[r^n\in \frakN(R).\]

This means that $r^n$ is an nilpotent element of $R$, and hence there exists an integer $m$ such that
\[r^{nm}=(r^n)^m=0.\]

Therefore $r$ is an nilpotent element of $R$, that is $r\in \frakN(R)$ and we have $x=\frakN(R)$, which is the zero element in $R/\frakN(R)$.

Is the Set of Nilpotent Element an Ideal?
Is it true that a set of nilpotent elements in a ring $R$ is an ideal of $R$?
If so, prove it. Otherwise give a counterexample.
Proof.
We give a counterexample.
Let $R$ be the noncommutative ring of $2\times 2$ matrices with real […]

Boolean Rings Do Not Have Nonzero Nilpotent Elements
Let $R$ be a commutative ring with $1$ such that every element $x$ in $R$ is idempotent, that is, $x^2=x$. (Such a ring is called a Boolean ring.)
(a) Prove that $x^n=x$ for any positive integer $n$.
(b) Prove that $R$ does not have a nonzero nilpotent […]

Nilpotent Element a in a Ring and Unit Element $1-ab$
Let $R$ be a commutative ring with $1 \neq 0$.
An element $a\in R$ is called nilpotent if $a^n=0$ for some positive integer $n$.
Then prove that if $a$ is a nilpotent element of $R$, then $1-ab$ is a unit for all $b \in R$.
We give two proofs.
Proof 1.
Since $a$ […]

A Maximal Ideal in the Ring of Continuous Functions and a Quotient Ring
Let $R$ be the ring of all continuous functions on the interval $[0, 2]$.
Let $I$ be the subset of $R$ defined by
\[I:=\{ f(x) \in R \mid f(1)=0\}.\]
Then prove that $I$ is an ideal of the ring $R$.
Moreover, show that $I$ is maximal and determine […]

Every Prime Ideal of a Finite Commutative Ring is Maximal
Let $R$ be a finite commutative ring with identity $1$. Prove that every prime ideal of $R$ is a maximal ideal of $R$.
Proof.
We give two proofs. The first proof uses a result of a previous problem. The second proof is self-contained.
Proof 1.
Let $I$ be a prime ideal […]

Examples of Prime Ideals in Commutative Rings that are Not Maximal Ideals
Give an example of a commutative ring $R$ and a prime ideal $I$ of $R$ that is not a maximal ideal of $R$.
Solution.
We give several examples. The key facts are:
An ideal $I$ of $R$ is prime if and only if $R/I$ is an integral domain.
An ideal $I$ of […]

The Quotient Ring $\Z[i]/I$ is Finite for a Nonzero Ideal of the Ring of Gaussian Integers
Let $I$ be a nonzero ideal of the ring of Gaussian integers $\Z[i]$.
Prove that the quotient ring $\Z[i]/I$ is finite.
Proof.
Recall that the ring of Gaussian integers is a Euclidean Domain with respect to the norm
\[N(a+bi)=a^2+b^2\]
for $a+bi\in \Z[i]$.
In particular, […]

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Let $R$ be an integral domain and let $I$ be an ideal of $R$.
Is the quotient ring $R/I$ an integral domain?
Definition (Integral Domain).
Let $R$ be a commutative ring.
An element $a$ in $R$ is called a zero divisor if there exists $b\neq 0$ in $R$ such that […]