extension fields question

Problem: If F is algebraic over K and D is an integral domain such that $K\subset D\subset F$, then D is a field.

Sketch of Proof: We want to show every element of D is a unit. Let u in D. Since F is a field, u^{-1} exists at least in F. Since F is algebraic over K, there exists f in K[x]\{0} such that f(u^{-1})=b_0+b_1u^{-1}+...+b_m u^{-m}=0. Now using a nonzero element of D (such as u^{m-1}) I want to be able to factor the last expression and divide by the nonzero element to obtain a polynomial expression for u^{-1} in K[u], which will complete the proof since K[u]\subset D.

Arlington

Re: extension fields question

why bother with taking f(u^{-1})? F is algebraic over K, and u is in F (since D is contained in F), so there is some polynomial f(x) in K[x]\{0} such that f(u) = 0.

say f(x) = b_{0} + b_{1}x + b_{2}x^{2} +...+ b_{n}x^{n}. we may without loss of generality assume f is irreducible over K

(since D is a domain, if f(x) = g(x)k(x), then 0 = f(u) = g(u)k(u), so either g(u) = 0, or k(u) = 0).

then since f(u) = 0:

b_{0} = -b_{1}u - b_{2}u^{2} - .... - b_{n}u^{n}.

if b_{0} = 0, then this contradicts the minimality of f, so b_{0} is non-zero, thus:

1 = [-(b_{1}/b_{0}) - (b_{2}/b_{0})u -...- (b_{n}/b_{0})u^{n-1}](u)

which shows u is a unit in D (since the left factor is in K[u], contained in D).