## You are here

Homevaluation

## Primary tabs

# valuation

Let $K$ be a field. A *valuation* or *absolute value* on $K$ is a function $|\cdot|\colon K\to\mathbb{R}$ satisfying the properties:

1. $|x|\geq 0$ for all $x\in K$, with equality if and only if $x=0$

2. $|xy|=|x|\cdot|y|$ for all $x,y\in K$

3. $|x+y|\leq|x|+|y|$

If a valuation satisfies $|x+y|\leq\max(|x|,|y|)$, then we say that it is a *non-archimedean valuation*. Otherwise we say that it is an *archimedean valuation*.

Every valuation on $K$ defines a metric on $K$, given by $d(x,y):=|x-y|$. This metric is an ultrametric if and only if the valuation is non-archimedean. Two valuations are *equivalent* if their corresponding metrics induce the same topology on $K$. An equivalence class $v$ of valuations on $K$ is called a *prime* of $K$. If $v$ consists of archimedean valuations, we say that $v$ is an *infinite prime*, or *archimedean prime*. Otherwise, we say that $v$ is a *finite prime*, or *non-archimedean prime*.

In the case where $K$ is a number field, primes as defined above generalize the notion of prime ideals in the following way. Let $\mathfrak{p}\subset K$ be a nonzero prime ideal^{1}^{1}By “prime ideal” we mean “prime fractional ideal of $K$” or equivalently “prime ideal of the ring of integers of $K$”. We do not mean literally a prime ideal of the ring $K$, which would be the zero ideal., considered as a fractional ideal. For every nonzero element $x\in K$, let $r$ be the unique integer such that $x\in\mathfrak{p}^{r}$ but $x\notin\mathfrak{p}^{{r+1}}$. Define

$|x|_{\mathfrak{p}}:=\begin{cases}1/N(\mathfrak{p})^{r}&x\neq 0,\\ 0&x=0,\end{cases}$ |

where $N(\mathfrak{p})$ denotes the absolute norm of $\mathfrak{p}$. Then $|\cdot|_{\mathfrak{p}}$ is a non–archimedean valuation on $K$, and furthermore every non-archimedean valuation on $K$ is equivalent to $|\cdot|_{\mathfrak{p}}$ for some prime ideal $\mathfrak{p}$. Hence, the prime ideals of $K$ correspond bijectively with the finite primes of $K$, and it is in this sense that the notion of primes as valuations generalizes that of a prime ideal.

As for the archimedean valuations, when $K$ is a number field every embedding of $K$ into $\mathbb{R}$ or $\mathbb{C}$ yields a valuation of $K$ by way of the standard absolute value on $\mathbb{R}$ or $\mathbb{C}$, and one can show that every archimedean valuation of $K$ is equivalent to one arising in this way. Thus the infinite primes of $K$ correspond to embeddings of $K$ into $\mathbb{R}$ or $\mathbb{C}$. Such a prime is called real or complex according to whether the valuations comprising it arise from real or complex embeddings.

## Mathematics Subject Classification

13F30*no label found*13A18

*no label found*12J20

*no label found*11R99

*no label found*

- Forums
- Planetary Bugs
- HS/Secondary
- University/Tertiary
- Graduate/Advanced
- Industry/Practice
- Research Topics
- LaTeX help
- Math Comptetitions
- Math History
- Math Humor
- PlanetMath Comments
- PlanetMath System Updates and News
- PlanetMath help
- PlanetMath.ORG
- Strategic Communications Development
- The Math Pub
- Testing messages (ignore)

- Other useful stuff

## Recent Activity

new question: Prove a formula is part of the Gentzen System by LadyAnne

Mar 30

new question: A problem about Euler's totient function by mbhatia

new problem: Problem: Show that phi(a^n-1), (where phi is the Euler totient function), is divisible by n for any natural number n and any natural number a >1. by mbhatia

new problem: MSC browser just displays "No articles found. Up to ." by jaimeglz

Mar 26

new correction: Misspelled name by DavidSteinsaltz

Mar 21

new correction: underline-typo by Filipe

Mar 19

new correction: cocycle pro cocyle by pahio

Mar 7

new image: plot W(t) = P(waiting time <= t) (2nd attempt) by robert_dodier

new image: expected waiting time by robert_dodier

new image: plot W(t) = P(waiting time <= t) by robert_dodier