1. ## generators and relations

Here is the problem I'm working on, from an old qualifying exam:

Let M be the $\mathbb{Z}$-module generated by a, b, c with the relations $4a+3b+3c=2a-b+3c=0$. Express M as a direct sum of cyclic modules. What are the orders of these modules?

There's only two relations, so I'm guessing that one of the modules is going to be $\mathbb{Z}$. I managed to find a vector that is perpendicular to (4,3,3) and (2,-1,3), which is (6, -3, -5). I'm not sure what to do with it though, or if I'm even going in the right direction.

Thanks,
Hollywood

2. ## Re: generators and relations

I think I've made some progress on this problem.

$4a+3b+3c=0$
$2a-b+3c=0$

Subtracting twice the second from the first gives:

$2a-b+3c=0$
$5b-3c=0$

And now subtracting the second from the first gives:

$2a-6b+6c=0$
$5b-3c=0$

Let $e=a-3b+3c$, so $a=e+3b-3c$ gives:

$2e=0$
$5b-3c=0$

The first equation gives $\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z}$, and for the second, my reasoning is that $\mathbb{Z}\times\mathbb{Z}$ gets divided into cosets of $\{(3x,5x):x\in\mathbb{Z}\}$, and so that gives a factor of $\mathbb{Z}$. So the answer is $M\cong\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z}\times\mathbb{Z}$.

Is that correct?

- Hollywood