In algebra, the center of a ring R is the subring consisting of the elements x such that xy = yx for all elements y in R. It is a commutative ring and is denoted as ; "Z" stands for the German word Zentrum, meaning "center".
If R is a ring, then R is an associative algebra over its center. Conversely, if R is an associative algebra over a commutative subring S, then S is a subring of the center of R, and if S happens to be the center of R, then the algebra R is called a central algebra.
- The center of a commutative ring R is R itself.
- The center of a skew-field is a field.
- The center of the (full) matrix ring with entries in a commutative ring R consists of R-scalar multiples of the identity matrix.
- Let F be a field extension of a field k, and R an algebra over k. Then
- The center of the universal enveloping algebra of a Lie algebra plays an important role in the representation theory of Lie algebras. For example, a Casimir element is an element of such a center that is used to analyze Lie algebra representations. See also: Harish-Chandra isomorphism.
- The center of a simple algebra is a field.
- "vector spaces - A linear operator commuting with all such operators is a scalar multiple of the identity. - Mathematics Stack Exchange". Math.stackexchange.com. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
- Bourbaki, Algebra.
- Richard S. Pierce. Associative algebras. Graduate texts in mathematics, Vol. 88, Springer-Verlag, 1982, ISBN 978-0-387-90693-5
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