# 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. 1.

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

2. 2.

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

3. 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 ideal11By “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.

 Title valuation Canonical name Valuation Date of creation 2013-03-22 12:35:07 Last modified on 2013-03-22 12:35:07 Owner djao (24) Last modified by djao (24) Numerical id 17 Author djao (24) Entry type Definition Classification msc 13F30 Classification msc 13A18 Classification msc 12J20 Classification msc 11R99 Synonym absolute value Related topic DiscreteValuationRing Related topic DiscreteValuation Related topic Ultrametric Related topic HenselianField Defines infinite prime Defines finite prime Defines archimedean Defines non-archimedean Defines real prime Defines complex prime Defines prime