In mathematics, more specifically ring theory, a branch of abstract algebra, the Jacobson radical of a ring R is an ideal which consists of those elements in R which annihilate all simple right R-modules. It happens that substituting "left" in place of "right" in the definition yields the same ideal, and so the notion is left-right symmetric. The Jacobson radical of a ring is frequently denoted by J(R) or rad(R); however to avoid confusion with other radicals of rings, the former notation will be preferred in this article. The Jacobson radical is named after Nathan Jacobson, who was the first to study it for arbitrary rings in (Jacobson 1945).
The Jacobson radical of a ring has numerous internal characterizations, including a few definitions which successfully extend the notion to rings without unity. The radical of a module extends the definition of the Jacobson radical to include modules. The Jacobson radical plays a prominent role in many ring and module theoretic results, such as Nakayama's lemma.
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