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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011

    I’ve made a few changes at flat module since I wanted to know what one was and the nLab page simply confused me further. It seemed to be saying that a module over a ring/algebra AA is flat if tensoring with AA is a flat functor. That seemed absurd so I changed it. The observation “everything happens for a reason” was a little curt so once I’d worked out what it meant I expanded it a bit and put in the analogy to bases. It wasn’t clear from the way that it was phrased whether this condition was due to Wraith and Blass or the fact that it can be put in a more general context. Lastly, the last sentence was originally in the same paragraph as the penultimate sentence where it didn’t seem to fit (or was at best ambiguous) and it also claimed that the module could be non-unital which seemed a little odd.

    If an expert could kindly check that I’ve done no lasting damage to the page, I’d be grateful.

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011

    I have tried to add some structure.

    That seemed absurd

    Do you really mean “absurd”? For one it explains the term “flat functor”. But of course it should be expanded on.

    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011
    • (edited Nov 7th 2011)

    I corrected it: tensoring with MM goes from AA-modules to kk-modules, not to AA-modules, as MM is not an AA-bimodule (it is a kk-MM-bimodule though). I agree with Urs that there is nothing absurd about it. Historically, maybe the case of modules was first to be characterized by the property of the tensoring (sends SES to SES) which we a posteriori call flat functor. But the definition is still that property, which is basic and categorical, so in a sense it is traditional, though the name flat is more generally and more primarily associated to the functor then to the way the functor is defined (via module).

    • CommentRowNumber4.
    • CommentAuthorTodd_Trimble
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011
    • (edited Nov 7th 2011)

    At flat module, to Andrew’s words

    The module MM being flat is equivalent to being able always to do this.

    I added

    After some unwinding, it means that a module is flat if and only if it is a filtered colimit of free modules.

    which is a bridge to the more general meanings of flat functor (filtered colimit of representables).

    Edit: By the way, what is this cryptic reference to Wraith and Blass?

    • CommentRowNumber5.
    • CommentAuthorTom Leinster
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011

    I thought Andrew’s use of “absurd” in comment 1 was simply because with should be over. Tensoring an AA-module with AA doesn’t do very much :-)

    • CommentRowNumber6.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011

    Tom’s right about my use of “absurd”. My apologies for not being clearer.

    • CommentRowNumber7.
    • CommentAuthorTodd_Trimble
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011

    Re #5: oh well, then it was more or less just a typo, wasn’t it? Tensoring with the module MM, not AA!

    • CommentRowNumber8.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011

    Yes, but a confusing typo! Particularly since MM wasn’t mentioned by name in the first paragraph. Since I’m not an expert in modules, flat or otherwise, I wanted to highlight the change so that the rest of you could check that it now made sense.

    • CommentRowNumber9.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011

    Surely with MM, that is why it does not end in AA-mod but in kk-mod. Regarding that it was written AA before, the codomain ended in a wrong category.

    • CommentRowNumber10.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeNov 8th 2011

    I did the unwinding and spelled out how one gets from the element characterisation to the filtered colimit of free modules.

    • CommentRowNumber11.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2012
    • (edited Oct 17th 2012)

    I have added various material to flat module. There is now characterization in terms of Tor-functors, a pointer to the source for Lazard’s criterion, discussion of the relation to projective and (locally) free modules and a discussion of the example of flat abelian groups .

    • CommentRowNumber12.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2012
    • (edited Oct 17th 2012)

    I have created a section Equivalent characterizations with some indications for why indeed – as claimed right at the beginning of the entry going back to #1 above – a module NN is flat precisely if every linear combination of 0 in NN comes from linear combinations of 0 in RR.

    This follows pretty directly from yet another equivalent characterization, namely that it is sufficient to check left exactness of () RN(-)\otimes_R N on ideal inclusions. And this implication I have now written out.

    However, that left exactness of () RN(-)\otimes_R N can be checked already on just ideal inclusions is a bit more work…

    • CommentRowNumber13.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2012
    • (edited Oct 18th 2012)

    I have edited the flow of the Definition section a bit more. Notably I made the immediate equivalent reformulations a list and pointed to the discussion of the not-so-immediate equivalent reformulations further below. Also I moved the remark that much of the definition works also over non-commutative and non-unital rings to further below.

    Those who care please check if they can live with the way it is now.

    • CommentRowNumber14.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2013

    added the definition of faithfully flat module

    • CommentRowNumber15.
    • CommentAuthorspitters
    • CommentTimeMar 28th 2018

    What is the reference to Blass and Wraith ?

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