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NEW RESULTS ON POWER-ASSOCIATIVE ALGEBRAS^) BY

LOUIS A. KOKORIS

1. Introduction. Many of the results concerning power-associative com- mutative rings and algebras carry the restriction that the characteristic be prime to 30 [l; 2; 3](2). We shall study the cases where the characteristic is 3 or 5 and shall show that the results are those of the general case if we make a slight modification of the definition of power-associativity. However, our proofs require the use of the associativity of fourth, fifth, and sixth powers, while the results for characteristic prime to 30 use only the associativity of fourth powers.

It is known that there exist simple commutative power-associative alge- bras of degree two and characteristic p>5 which are not Jordan algebras [4; 5]. We shall obtain the important property of algebras of degree two and characteristic zero given in Theorem 6. It is hoped that this result may lead to a proof of the conjecture that a simple power-associative commutative algebra of degree two and characteristic zero is necessarily a Jordan algebra.

We shall assume from the outset that the system under consideration is commutative and has characteristic not two.

2. Definitions and identities. If xaxß = xa+ß for every x of 21 and integers a and ß, then (x+-'Ky)a(x+-'Ky)ß = (x+-\y)a+ß for all x and y in 21, where X is any integer in case 21 is a ring, and X is any element of the base field if 21 is an algebra. The result obtained by this substitution is a polynomial Zííf A^«' = 0 in X. Each Ai is called an attached polynomial of 21 and further lineariza- tion yields other attached polynomials. We use these facts in the following definitions.

Definition 1. A commutative ring 21 will be said to be strictly power- associative if xaxß — xa+ß for every x of 21 and all integers a and ß and if every attached polynomial of 21 is zero.

When 21 is an algebra, Definition 1 is equivalent to Definition 2. A commutative algebra 21 over a field % is called strictly

power-associative if x"xß = xa+ß for all positive integers a and ß, and every x of 2Ijf where $ is any scalar extension of fj.

Let us now consider the associativity of fourth powers; that is, the identity A(x)=x2xi— (x2x)x = 0. Linearization of A(x) gives the identity

(1) 4(xy)xi = 2[(xy)x]x + (x2y)x + x3y

Presented to the Society, December 27, 1951; received by the editors December 29, 1952. (') This work was carried out in part with the aid of the Office of Naval Research. (2) Numbers in brackets refer to the bibliography at the end of the paper.

363 License or copyright restrictions may apply to redistribution; see https://www.ams.org/journal-terms-of-use

364 L. A. KOKORIS [November

for a ring 21 whose characteristic is greater than 3 and for an algebra 21 over a field % whose characteristic is 3 and which contains more than three elements. We also obtain

(2)

and

4(yz)x2 + 8(xy)(xz) = 2[(yz)x]x + 2[(xy)z]x + 2[(xy)x]z

+ 2[(xz)y]x + 2[(xz)x]y + (x2y)z + (x2z)y

(3)

4[(xy)(zw) + (xz)(yw) + (xw)(yz)]

= x[y(zw) + z(wy) + w(yz)] + y[x(zw) + z(wx) + w(xz)]

+ z[x(yw) + y(wx) + w(xy)] + w[x(yz) + v(zx) + z(xy)]

without any restrictions on the ring 21. At this point we note that when the characteristic is prime to 30, strict

power-associativity is equivalent to power-associativity. This follows from the fact that associativity of fourth powers implies the associativity of all higher powers [l ], and fourth power associativity is equivalent to the multi- linear identity (3).

To show that strict power-associativity is not equivalent to power- associativity we consider the commutative free algebra 2Í of all polynomials in x and y over the field g of three elements. Restrict 21 by defining all prod- ucts to be zero except x, x2, x3, y, y2, yz, xy, (xy)x, (xy)y, x2y, y2x, (y2x)y, x3y, and let (y2x)y= — xsy. Computation shows that 21 is power-associative, but, since (1) is not satisfied, is not strictly power-associative.

The assumption of the associativity of fifth powers gives the identity

2[(xy)x]x2 + (x2y)x2 + 2(xy)x3 (4)

= xiy + (x3y)x + [(x2y)x]x + 2{ [(xy)x]x}x

under the restrictions that applied to relation (1). Relation (4) yields

2[(xy)z + (yz)x + (zx)y]x2 + 2[2(xy)x + x2y](xz)

+ 2[2(xz)x + x2z](xy) + 2(yz)x3

(5) = {2[(xy)z + (yz)x + (xz)y]x + [2(xz)x + x2z]y

+ [2(xy)x + x2y]z}x+ {2 [(xz)x]x + (x2z)x + x3z}y

+ {2[(xy)x]x + (x2y)x + x3y}z

and a relation which may be summarized by

(6) Z [(*i*2)*3](*4*b) = Z { [(xiX2)x3]x4}xs

with two factors of each summand equal to x and the remaining factors one each to y, z, and w.

It will be necessary to use an identity derived from the equality x4x2 = x6x. This identity is obtained with the same restrictions that apply to (1) and

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1954] NEW RESULTS ON POWER-ASSOCIATIVE ALGEBRAS 365

may be written as

(7) Z { [(*1*2)X3]X4}(X5X6) = Z ({ [(.XiXi)x3]xi}x6)Xt

with three factors of each summand equal to x and the remaining factors one each to y, z, and w.

3. Conditions for the associativity of powers. Albert has shown [l] that the associativity of fourth powers implies the associativity of all higher powers in a commutative ring whose characteristic is prime to 30. Further- more he has given examples of commutative rings of characteristic 3 and of characteristic 5 which satisfy x2x2 = x3x but with not all higher powers associa- tive. The additional conditions which must be imposed on rings of character- istic 3 or 5 are given in the following two theorems.

Theorem 1. Let 21 be a commutative algebra over afield $ whose character- istic is 3, g have more than three elements, and x2x2 = x3x, x3x2 = x4x/or every x in 21. Then 21 is power-associative.

For proof we first observe that the hypotheses imply (2), (4), and (5). Now let y = x*-1 and z = x"_*~1 in (2) for k = 2, 3 and obtain, after using xxx" = xx+" for X+ji¿

366 L. A. KOKORIS [November

fourth powers implies the associativity of fifth powers in a commutative ring whose characteristic is 5. If we set « = 6 in (9), 2x4x2 = 4x6x + 3x3x3, and our hypothesis on sixth powers implies the associativity of all sixth powers. We now have xxx" = xx+f' for \-\-¡i

1954] NEW RESULTS ON POWER-ASSOCIATIVE ALGEBRAS 367

The substitution x = e, ze=\z, ye = \iy in (5) results in a relation which, after writing x for z, is

(xy) [2R.I + (2X + 2ß - 2)r\ + (2x' + 2// - X - n - 2)7?, (J-^J ^ ^ 2 2 2 2

+ (2X + 2u + X + m + X + m - 4X ju - 4\¡i - 4XM)7] = 0.

When X=m = 1, (14) and (15) become (xy) [27?2-2/] = (xy) [27?e3 + 27?^-4J] = 0. By (19), R3e=Re so (xy) [R2-l] = (xy) [R2e+Re+l] =0. Consequently (xy) [Re — I] =0 and 2L(1) is a subring of 21. The values X=ju = 0 in (15) yield (xy) [27?3-27?2-27?e] =0 = (xy)7?2 and therefore 21,(0) is a subring of 21. Next letX = 0, ju= 1 in (14) and (15) to obtain (xy) [27c2-27?e] = (xy) [2R3e-Re+4l] = 0. It follows that (xy) [Re+l] =0, (xy) [R2e+-Re] =0 and, since (xy) [7?2-7?e] = 0, (xy)7?e = 0. Thus (xy)J = 0; that is, 2I8(1) and 2L(0) are orthogonal.

Let 21 have characteristic 5. It is only necessary to show the orthogonality of 2Ie(l) and 2L(0). To this end set w = x = e, ye=y, ze = 0 in (7) and so obtain (xy) [2Rt+R2-Re] =0 where we have replaced z by x. By (12), 2R*e=R2+R, so (xy)7?2 = 0, (xy)7?e = 0. If X=0, m = 1 in (14), (xy)[2R2e-2Re+3l]=0 and consequently xy = 0 as desired.

5. On certain mappings and their properties. The purpose of the next part of our work is to show that the results of [3 ] on certain mappings hold for rings and algebras of characteristic 3 or 5. The statements of the results are exactly those given for rings or algebras with characteristic prime to 30, ex- cept that we shall be working with strictly power-associative systems. How- ever, some of the proofs given in [3] are not valid when the characteristic is 3 or 5, and we shall concern ourselves with furnishing proofs in these cases. Furthermore, we shall adopt the notations of [3].

Much of our work will depend on the mappings So(xi), Si/i(xi), Ti(x0), and ri/2(xo) defined in [3] and relations (5), (6), (7), and (8) of [3]. Of these relations the first of (5), the first of (6), and all of (8) must be shown for a ring whose characteristic is 3. Also, (7) must be proved when the character- istic is 5.

These relations are obtained in a straightforward manner from the identities of §2, so there is no need to give details. The substitution x — u = u2, y=yi, z = zi, w = ww in (6), where a\ is in 2IU(X), gives the following pair of relations when the characteristic is 3.

,_, SU2(ziyi) = 5i/2(zi)5,i/2(yi) + 5,i/2(yi)5i/2(zi), (1°)

So(ziyi) = 2S1/2(z1)S0(yi) + 2Si/2(yi)So(zi).

A corresponding pair of relations is obtained by setting x = w,y=y0,z = z0, and w = Wi/2 in (6). These are

Tifi(z0yo) = T,i/2(zo)7'i/2(3'o) + 7,i/2(yo)7,i/2(so),

7.\(z0yo) = 2TVÏ(za)Ti(y^) + 2Tín(ya)T1(za).

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368 L. A. KOKORIS [November

It is necessary to set x = u, y = ylt z = z0, w = wi/2 in both (6) and (7) to ob- tain the remaining relations for both characteristics 3 and 5. We write these as

(18) S1/2(y1)r1/2(zo) = r1/2(zo)51/2(yi),

[wuiTi(z0)]yi = 2wi/25i/8(yi)2,i(zo),

[w1/2S0(yi)]zo = 2w1/2T1/i(zo)S0(y1).

Relations (16) to (19) now hol