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55
votes
19answers
17k views

Why were matrix determinants once such a big deal?

I have been told that the study of matrix determinants once comprised the bulk of linear algebra. Today, few textbooks spend more than a few pages to define it and use it to compute a matrix inverse. ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Splitting the determinant polynomial into linear factors - a Dedekind problem

Here's the question in a nutshell. For some $n\in\mathbb N$, we consider the polynomial $\det\left(\left(X_{i,j}\right) _ {1\leq i\leq n,\ 1\leq j\leq n}\right)\in\mathbb Z\left[X_{i,j}\mid 1\leq ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

The Wronskian of sin(kx) and cos(kx), k=1…n

What is the determinant of the Wronskian of the functions $\{\cos\ x, \sin\ x, \cos\ 2x, \sin\ 2x,\ldots, \cos\ nx, \sin\ nx\}$? This determinant seems to be an integer, and the sequence starts with ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the applications of immanants?

Definitions of determinant: $det(A) = \sum_{\sigma \in S_n}(-1)^{\operatorname{sgn} \sigma}\prod_{i}a_{i, \sigma(i)}$ and permanent: $perm(A) = \sum_{\sigma \in S_n}\prod_{i}a_{i, \sigma(i)}$ ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Lifting matrices mod 2 to integers.

The following question was motivated by my research. Consider a $n\times n$ matrix whose elements are $0$'s or $1$'s such that the determinant is odd. The question is: is it possible to assign signs ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

How to show a certain determinant is non-zero

For any $n$ distinct points $x_1,x_2 , \ldots , x_n$ on the real line show that the matrix $M$ where $M(i,j) = e^{\lambda_j x_i} $ has non-zero determinant where $\lambda_1 \lt \lambda_2 \lt \ldots ...
15
votes
2answers
615 views

a determinantal identity

Dusan Pokorny and Jan Rataj have just posted a paper (http://arxiv.org/abs/1209.2305) in which they prove the identity $$ \det (A-B) = \frac 1{d!} \sum_{k=0}^d (-1)^k \binom dk \det((d-k)A + kB) $$ ...
13
votes
2answers
771 views

How to invert the matrix [n choose 2j - i] ?

In a certain model of a stat-physics type, one encounters a matrix $$ A_n:=\left[\binom{n}{2j-i}\right]_{i,j=1}^{n-1}. $$ The determinant of this matrix (equal to $2^{\binom n2}$) counts the number ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

determinant of the table of characters

I am certain that the answer to this question exists somewhere. It might be a classical exercise. Let $G$ be a finite group. Its table of characters is a square matrix, whose rows are indexed by the ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Determinants in Graph Theory

In graph theory, we work with adjacency matrices which define the connections between the vertices. These matrices have various properties in themselves. For example, their trace can be calculated (it ...
12
votes
0answers
584 views

slick-proof-of-trick-for-counting-domino-tilings

The trick for rewriting the number of domino tilings of a simply-connected finite lattice region as the absolute value of the determinant of a matrix (due I believe to Kasteleyn and Percus, but if ...
10
votes
2answers
505 views

A binomial determinant fomula

Is there an existing or elementary proof of the determinant identity $ \det_{1\le i,j\le n}\left( \binom{i}{2j}+ \binom{-i}{2j}\right)=1 $?
10
votes
2answers
387 views

Are bounds known for the maximum determinant of a (0,1)-matrix of specified size and with a specifed number of 1s?

The problems of determining the maximum determinant of an $n \times n$ $(0,1)$-matrix and the spectral problem of determining exactly which other determinants can possibly occur are both reasonably ...
10
votes
2answers
952 views

Determinant associated with a group action

Let $G$ be a finite group and $S$ be a finite set, with $G$ acting on $S$. I consider indeterminates $x_g$ indexed by $g\in G$ and form the matrix of the group action $A\in M_{S\times S}$. Its entries ...
10
votes
3answers
634 views

A class of matrix determinants between Wronskians and Vandermondes

Update: see below Let $M$ be an $n\times n$ matrix that's constructed as follows. Construct the right-most column of $M$ as $[\alpha_1(x_1),\cdots,\alpha_n(x_n)]^T$ for some class of fixed functions ...
10
votes
1answer
208 views

Factor a sum of products of cofactors

Let $M$ be any $n\times n$ matrix. We define the usual cofactors: $C_{i,j}$ is $(-1)^{i+j}$ times the determinant of the submatrix obtained by deleting row $i$ and column $j$ of $M$. We can write ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What are picard categories, where can I learn more about them, and why should I care to?

I have the category-theoretic background of the occasional stroll through Mac Lane's text, so excuse my ignorance in this regard. I was trying to learn all that I could on the subject of tensor ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Determinant of a 3x3 Magic Square

Hello guys. This is my first question with mathOverflow so I hope my etiquette is up to par here. My question is regarding a 3x3 magic square constructed using the la Loubere method (see la Loubere ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

When the determinant of a 2x2 polynomial matrix is a square?

Consider a 2x2 matrix $A$ with entries from $\mathbb{C}[x,y]$. Assume that $\mathrm{det} A$ is a square. Is it true that then $A$ can be represented as a noncomuting product $A=A_1 A_2 … A_{2n}$, in ...
9
votes
1answer
283 views

Why does this antisymmetric product factor out a determinant?

Consider a generic $n \times n$ matrix $M$. Define the $(n-1) \times n$ matrix $M_q$ to be $M$ with the $q$th row omitted, and assume that $M_q$ possesses a right inverse, $R_q$: $$R_q = M_q^T (M_q ...
9
votes
1answer
421 views

M-matrix plus S-matrix is P-matrix?

I am trying to prove that a mapping has a unique fixed-point by showing that its Jacobian is a P-matrix. In this particular case the Jacobian can be decomposed as the sum of two matrices and I would ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Sarrus rules for 4 times 4

This question is most probably not research level, but I thought that the MO folks might like it... Feel free to close. Here is the motivation: If you have ever teached a maths course for engineers ...
9
votes
2answers
842 views

Extremal properties of the determinant for matrices with entries in a fixed subset of $[-1,1]^{n^2}$?

Given a multiset $S\subset [-1,1]^{n^2}$, we set $$m(S)=\min\vert \det(M)\vert$$ where the minimum is over all matrices with entries forming the multiset $S$ and $$a(n)=\max m(S)$$ where the maximum ...
9
votes
1answer
303 views

Determinant of $V^* V$ where $V$ is rectangular Vandermonde matrix with nodes on unit circle

Let $z_{1},\dots,z_{k}$ be distinct complex numbers with $\left|z_{j}\right|=1,\;j=1,\dots,k$. For any natural $N\geqslant k$ consider the rectangular Vandermonde matrix $$ V_{N}=\begin{pmatrix}1 ...
8
votes
2answers
854 views

Integral representation of a determinant

In a paper by Mathai, he uses the following integral representation of a determinant, (or, really, what I give is a simple special case of what he gives), without any explication. All matrices are ...
8
votes
0answers
158 views

Sum over growing Young tableaux

Let $\lambda_0,\lambda_1,\lambda_2,\lambda_3,\ldots$ be a sequence of Young diagrams, such that each successive diagram is obtained from the prior by the addition of one box (don't forget that the row ...
7
votes
2answers
672 views

A Linear Algebra Question

Let $M$ be a symmetric square matrix with integer coefficients and $M_k$ the matrix obtained by deleting the k-th line and k-th column. If det(M)=0 does it follow that $\det(M_kM_j)$ is a square?
7
votes
2answers
380 views

Is this a metric on the Grassmannian Manifold?

Let $m>n$ and consider the Set $$S_{m,n}=\{A \in \mathbb{R}^{m \times n}\lvert A^TA=I_n \}.$$ Does the function $d\colon S_{m,n} \times S_{m,n} \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ defined by ...
7
votes
1answer
746 views

Appropriate journal to publish a determinantal inequality

I have recently made the following observation: Let $v_i := (v_{i1}, v_{i2})$, $1 \leq i \leq k$, be non-zero positive elements of $\mathbb{Q}^2$ such that no two of them are proportional. Let ...
7
votes
1answer
262 views

Block Matrix determinant

Consider the $k \times k$ block matrix: $ C = \left(\begin{array}{ccccc} A & B & B & \cdots & B \\ B & A & B &\cdots & B \\ \vdots & \vdots & \ddots & ...
7
votes
2answers
336 views

Computing determinants of matrices of linear forms

Suppose we have three $n \times n$ matrices $A$, $B$, $C$ with floating point entries. We would like to compute the polynomial $\det (xA+yB+zC)$. At least in Mathematica, and I think in all computer ...
7
votes
0answers
461 views

Can one give a “nice” expression for this determinant?

I am asking this question on behalf of a senior faculty member who is sometimes intimidated by computers. It is motivated by a problem in invariant theory. Unfortunately the question is a bit vague. ...
7
votes
1answer
466 views

Does this Linear Algebra Construction have a Name?

Let $\mathcal{R}$ be a ring and let $v^0,\ldots,v^{k-1}\in\mathcal{R}^m$ with $m \geq k$. Suppose we wish to find $w\in Span(v^0,\ldots,v^{k-1})$ such that $k-1$ specified coordinates of $w$ vanish ...
6
votes
3answers
364 views

An infinite product associated with random matrices

Motivation Let ${\mathbb F}_q$ be the field with $q$ (a power of some prime number) elements. Then the order of $GL_n({\mathbb F}_q)$ is $$(q^n-1)(q^n-q)\cdots(q^n-q^{n-1}).$$ The fact that this ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Sarrus determinant rule: references, extensions

SEEKING REFERENCES FOR SARRUS' RULE AND EXTENSIONS An undergraduate came to me with an identity for 4x4 determinants that is actually correct: $\det(A)=h(A)+h(RA)+h(R^{2}A)$ where R cyclically ...
6
votes
1answer
254 views

Has this generalization of a determinant (assigning multiplicities to the rows) been studied?

I'm working on some questions in tropical geometry, and my problem led me to create the following generalization of a determinant: Let $A$ be an $m \times n$ matrix with $m \le n$, and positive ...
6
votes
1answer
516 views

Determinantal formula for the nullspace of a singular matrix

In June 2012, Bill Press and Freeman Dyson published a remarkable paper on the iterated prisoner's dilemma. A key step in their derivation is a simple fact from linear algebra that I feel I should ...
6
votes
1answer
441 views

When is the determinant a Morse function?

This might be ridiculously obvious, but... For each $n \in \mathbb{N}$, let $M_n$ denote the manifold of $n \times n$ matrices with real entries. It is well known that the $n$-dimensional determinant ...
5
votes
2answers
484 views

Determinant of non-symmetric sum of matrices

Given three real, symmetric matrices $A\succ0$ and $B$, $C⪰ 0$. How can it be shown that: $$\det(A^2+AB+AC) \leq \det(A^2 +BA +AC+BC) ? \qquad (\star)$$ Where $A^2$ is symmetric and positive ...
5
votes
2answers
924 views

universal property of the determinant bundle

Let $X$ be a nontrivial ringed space (i.e. all stalks are nonzero). To every locally free module $M$ on $X$ of constant rank $n$ we can associated it's determinant $\det(M)$, which is a line bundle ...
5
votes
1answer
908 views

Sum of squares of determinants of principal minors

I am interested in computing the sum of squares of determinants of principal minors. Let $A$ be an $n\times n$ positive semidefinite matrix and $A_S$ be a principal minor of $A$ indexed by the set $S ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Proving a determinant = 0

The two most elementary ways to prove an N x N matrix's determinant = 0 are: A) Find a row or column that equals the 0 vector. B) Find a linear combination of rows or columns that equals the 0 ...
5
votes
1answer
254 views

Expected inverse determinant with independent rows

Let $a_1,a_2,\dots,a_n$ be independent identically distributed random vectors in $\mathbb R^n$. I need a bound for $E[|\det A|^{-1}]$, where $A$ is the matrix composed out of these vectors. More ...
5
votes
2answers
575 views

How can I write down a point in the Berezinian of a super vector space?

A vector space $V$ of dimension $n$ has an associated determinant line $Det(V)$. An element of $Det(V)$ is represented as a (formal limear combination) of expresstions of the form $v_1 \wedge ...
5
votes
1answer
397 views

Characteristic polynomials of certain random symmetric matrices and the complexity of random Morse functions

Investigations concerning random Morse functions led me to the following problem. Consider the classical GOE of $m\times m$ real symmetric matrices $A$ with independent Gaussian entries with ...
5
votes
1answer
535 views

Proving that the kernel of this matrix is of dimension 2

(Edit : see at the bottom of the question for an additional surprising possible hint.) Using a computational software program, I found that the kernel of the following matrix is of dimension 2 when ...
5
votes
0answers
350 views

Determine if a matrix is unimodular

Is deciding if an integer square matrix has determinant $\pm 1$ faster that calculating the determinant of the matrix?
4
votes
1answer
861 views

do you know this determinant (basic commutative algebra)?

Let $\ell_1,\dots,\ell_n$ be $d+1$-variate linear forms over complex numbers in variables $X=(X_0,\dots,X_d)$. Consider the $(n-d)$-fold products ...
4
votes
2answers
577 views

Is there a simple relation between the entropy of a matrix and its characteristic polynomial?

Assume $M$ is an invertible positive matrix of rank $N$. The Von Neumann entropy $H$ of a matrix $M$ with eigenvalues $\{ \lambda_n \}$ is $H[M] = -\sum_{n=1}^N \lambda_n \ln \lambda_n$. In ...
4
votes
1answer
207 views

Given a correlation matrix $B$. What correlation matrix A (maximizes / minimizes) the following: det(A+B)

Given correlation matrix $B$ (positive semi-definite with ones in the diagonal). 1)Find the correlation matrix $A$ which maximizes $\det\left(A+B\right)$. 2)Find the correlation matrix $A$ which ...