Flat and projective

See the previous post for the notion of k-finitely presented modules.

Lemma. Let M be a 2-finitely presented flat module. Then M is projective.

Proof. For every prime \fr{p} \sbq R, the module M_{\fr{p}} is finitely presented and flat, hence free (use Nakayama). In particular, it is projective over R_{\fr{p}}, hence

    \[ \Ext{R_{\fr{p}}}{i}(M_{\fr{p}},-)=0 \]

for all i > 0. By our previous lemma, we conclude that

    \[ \Ext{R}{1}(M,N)_{\fr{p}} = \Ext{R_{\fr{p}}}{1}(M_{\fr{p}},N_{\fr{p}}) = 0 \]

for any R-module N, as M is 2-finitely presented. Since \fr{p} is arbitrary, this forces

    \[ \Ext{R}{1}(M,N) = 0 \]

for any R-module N. Hence M is projective. \qedsymbol

Remark. Using the equational criterion for flatness, one can in fact prove that any finitely presented flat module is projective. However, I thought the above proof was nice enough to make up for this slight loss of generality.

Remark. The Stacks project gives an example of a finitely generated (but not finitely presented) flat module that is not projective.

1 thought on “Flat and projective

  1. However, there are examples of finitely generated modules over a non-Noetherian ring which are locally free and not projective. Bass settled it for non-finitely generated modules and Quillen and Suslin independently and simultaneously treated the case of finitely generated modules.

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