# The Grothendienck Group

Free groupLet $A$ be an abelian group. Let $(e_i)_{i \in I}$ be a family of elements of $A$. We say that this family is a basis for $A$ if the family is not empty, and if every element of $A$ has a unique expression as a linear expression x = \sum_{i \in I} x_i e_iwhere $x_i \in \mathbb{Z}$ and almost all $x_i$ are equal to $0$. This means that the sum is actually finite. An abelian group is said to be free if it has a basis. Alternatively, we may write $A$ as a direct sum byA \cong \bigoplus_{i...