- Primitive ring
In

mathematics , especially in the area ofabstract algebra known asring theory , the concept of**left primitive ring**generalizes that ofmatrix algebra . Every matrix ring is the endomorphism ring of a finite dimensional vector space, but a primitive ring is a special sort of subring of the endomorphism ring of a possibly infinite dimensional vector space. Many important rings are primitive, includenon-commutative polynomial ring s and simple artinian rings.**Definition**A ring "R" is said to be a

**left primitive ring**if and only if it has a faithful simple left "R"-module. A**right primitive ring**is defined similarly with right "R"-modules.By the

Jacobson density theorem , a ring is left primitive if and only if it is isomorphic to a dense ring of endomorphisms of a right vector space over a division ring.A

commutative ring is left primitive if and only if it is a field.A left

artinian ring is left primitive if and only if it is simple if and only if it is prime.A ring is left primitive if and only if it is prime and has a faithful left module of finite length.

**Examples**Many important rings are primitive, including

non-commutative polynomial ring s, and characteristic zeroWeyl algebra s.**Properties**Every

simple ring "R" is both left and right primitive. However, a simple non-unital ring, may not be primitive. To construct a faithful simple left "R"-module for a given simple ring "R", one first finds (usingZorn's lemma and the fact that "R" has a multiplicative identity) a maximal left ideal "M" in "R". Thequotient module "R"/"M" is a simple left "R"-module; its annihilator is a two-sided ideal in "R", and "R" being a simple ring implies that this annihilator is {0} and therefore "R"/"M" is a faithful left "R"-module.As a consequence of the

Jacobson Density Theorem , every primitive ring is a dense subring of the ring of linear transformations of avector space over adivision ring . For left primitive rings, these linear transformations act on the left, and for right primitive rings, they act on the right.Conversely, it is easy to see that every dense subring of the ring of linear transformations of a vector space over a division ring is primitive. Thus, the theorem completely characterizes primitive rings.

A ring theoretic characterization of left primitive rings is as follows: a ring is left primitive if and only if there is a maximal left ideal whose right core is zero. The dual definition is valid for right primitive rings.

There are primitive rings which are not simple. In particular, the ring of all linear transformations of an infinite dimensional vector space over a division ring is primitive, but is not simple as the set of finite rank linear transformations is a two sided ideal.

There are rings which are primitive on one side but not on the other. The first example was constructed by George M. Bergman in 1964.

**References*** Bergman, George M. "A ring primitive on the right but not on the left." Proc. Amer. Math. Soc.

**15**(1964) pp. 473-475. Errata in pp. 1000.

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