A **multiplicative system** in a ring $R$ is a set $S\subset R$ which is a submonoid of the multiplicative monoid of $R$, i.e. $1\in S$ and if $a,b\in S$ then $a b\in S$.

If $R$ is commutative, then a multiplicative system is precisely what is necessary to construct the localization $R[S^{-1}]$ as formal ‘fractions’ in $R$. If $R$ is an integral domain, and $S=R\setminus \{0\}$, then $R[S^{-1}]$ is its field of fractions.

If $R$ is not commutative, then one generally needs extra conditions, such as the Ore condition, in order to construct a localization.

The term ‘multiplicative system’ is also sometimes used for a set of morphisms in a category admitting a calculus of fractions.

Last revised on April 23, 2009 at 21:14:15. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.