In mathematics, differential rings, differential fields, and differential algebras are rings, fields, and algebras equipped with finitely many derivations, which are unary functions that are linear and satisfy the Leibniz product rule. A natural example of a differential field is the field of rational functions in one variable over the complex numbers, , where the derivation is differentiation with respect to t.
Differential algebra refers also to the area of mathematics consisting in the study of these algebraic objects and their use for an algebraic study of the differential equations. Differential algebra was introduced by Joseph Ritt in 1950.^{[1]}
Differential ring
A differential ring is a ring R equipped with one or more derivations, that are homomorphisms of additive groups
such that each derivation ∂ satisfies the Leibniz product rule
for every . Note that the ring could be noncommutative, so the somewhat standard d(xy) = xdy + ydx form of the product rule in commutative settings may be false. If is multiplication on the ring, the product rule is the identity
where means the function which maps a pair to the pair .
Note that a differential ring is a (not necessarily graded) differential algebra.
Differential field
A differential field is a commutative field K equipped with derivations.
The wellknown formula for differentiating fractions
follows from the product rule. Indeed, we must have
By the product rule, we then have
Solving with respect to , we obtain the sought identity.
If K is a differential field then the field of constants of K is
A differential algebra over a field K is a Kalgebra A wherein the derivation(s) commutes with the scalar multiplication. That is, for all and one has
If is the ring homomorphism to the center of A defining scalar multiplication on the algebra, one has
As above, the derivation must obey the Leibniz rule over the algebra multiplication, and must be linear over addition. Thus, for all and one has
and
Derivation on a Lie algebra
A derivation on a Lie algebra is a linear map satisfying the Leibniz rule:
For any , ad(a) is a derivation on , which follows from the Jacobi identity. Any such derivation is called an inner derivation. This derivation extends to the universal enveloping algebra of the Lie algebra.
Examples
If A is unital, then ∂(1) = 0 since ∂(1) = ∂(1 × 1) = ∂(1) + ∂(1). For example, in a differential field of characteristic zero , the rationals are always a subfield of the field of constants of .
Any ring is a differential ring with respect to the trivial derivation which maps any ring element to zero.
The field Q(t) has a unique structure as a differential field, determined by setting ∂(t) = 1: the field axioms along with the axioms for derivations ensure that the derivation is differentiation with respect to t. For example, by commutativity of multiplication and the Leibniz law one has that ∂(u^{2}) =��u ∂(u) + ∂(u)u = 2u∂(u).
The differential field Q(t) fails to have a solution to the differential equation
but expands to a larger differential field including the function e^{t} which does have a solution to this equation. A differential field with solutions to all systems of differential equations is called a differentially closed field. Such fields exist, although they do not appear as natural algebraic or geometric objects. All differential fields (of bounded cardinality) embed into a large differentially closed field. Differential fields are the objects of study in differential Galois theory.
Naturally occurring examples of derivations are partial derivatives, Lie derivatives, the Pincherle derivative, and the commutator with respect to an element of an algebra.
Ring of pseudodifferential operators
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Differential rings and differential algebras are often studied by means of the ring of pseudodifferential operators on them.
This is the set of formal infinite sums
where means that the sum runs on all integers that are not greater than a fixed (finite) value.
This set is made a ring with the multiplication defined by linearly extending the following formula for "monomials":
where is the binomial coefficient. (If the sum is finite, as the terms with are all equal to zero.) In particular, one has
for r = 1, m = –1, and n = 0, and using the identity
See also
 Differential Galois theory
 Kähler differential
 Differentially closed field
 A Dmodule is an algebraic structure with several differential operators acting on it.
 A differential graded algebra is a differential algebra with an additional grading.
 Arithmetic derivative
 Differential calculus over commutative algebras
 Difference algebra
 Differential algebraic geometry
 Picard–Vessiot theory
 Hardy field
References
 ^ Ritt, Joseph Fels (1950). Differential Algebra. AMS Colloquium Publications. 33. American Mathematical Society. ISBN 9780821846384.
 Buium, Alexandru (1994). Differential algebra and diophantine geometry. Hermann. ISBN 9782705662264.
 Kaplansky, Irving (1976). An introduction to differential algebra (2nd ed.). Hermann. ISBN 9782705612511.
 Kolchin, Ellis (1973). Differential Algebra & Algebraic Groups. Academic Press. ISBN 9780080873695.
 Marker, David (2017) [1996]. "Model theory of differential fields". In Marker, David; Messmer, Margit; Pillay, Anand (eds.). Model Theory of Fields. Lecture notes in Logic. 5. Cambridge University Press. pp. 38–113. ISBN 9781107168077. As PDF
 Magid, Andy R. (1994). Lectures on Differential Galois Theory. University lecture series. 7. American Mathematical Society. ISBN 9780821870044.
External links
 David Marker's home page has several online surveys discussing differential fields.