Submission: 2002, Mar 22
The hermitian level of composition algebras with involution over a ring is studied. In particular, it is shown that the hermitian level of a composition algebra with standard involution over a semilocal ring, where two is invertible, is always a power of two when finite. Furthermore, any power of two can occur as the hermitian level of a composition algebra with non-standard involution. Some bounds are obtained for the hermitian level of a composition algebra with involution of the second kind.
2000 Mathematics Subject Classification: 17A75, 16W10, 11E25
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