**Ideal (ring Theory)**

In ring theory, a branch of abstract algebra, an **ideal** is a special subset of a ring. Ideals generalize certain subsets of the integers, such as the even numbers or the multiples of 3. Addition and subtraction of even numbers preserves evenness, and multiplying an even number by any other integer results in another even number; these closure and absorption properties are the defining properties of an ideal.

Among the integers, the ideals correspond one-for-one with the non-negative integers: in this ring, every ideal is a principal ideal consisting of the multiples of a single non-negative number. However, in other rings, the ideals may be distinct from the ring elements, and certain properties of integers, when generalized to rings, attach more naturally to the ideals than to the elements of the ring. For instance, the prime ideals of a ring are analogous to prime numbers, and the Chinese remainder theorem can be generalized to ideals. There is a version of unique prime factorization for the ideals of a Dedekind domain (a type of ring important in number theory). An ideal can be used to construct a quotient ring similarly to the way that modular arithmetic can be defined from integer arithmetic, and also similarly to the way that, in group theory, a normal subgroup can be used to construct a quotient group.

The concept of an order ideal in order theory is derived from the notion of ideal in ring theory. A fractional ideal is a generalization of an ideal, and the usual ideals are sometimes called **integral ideals** for clarity.

Read more about Ideal (ring Theory): History, Definitions, Properties, Motivation, Examples, Ideal Generated By A Set, Types of Ideals, Further Properties, Ideal Operations, Ideals and Congruence Relations

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“The contest between the Future and the Past is one between Divinity entering, and Divinity departing. You are welcome to try your experiments, and, if you can, to displace the actual order by that *ideal* republic you announce, of nothing but God will expel God.”

—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)