Questions about the properties of vector spaces and linear transformations, including linear systems in general.

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35
votes
6answers
2k views

Is the non-triviality of the algebraic dual of an infinite-dimensional vector space equivalent to the axiom of choice?

If $V$ is given to be a vector space that is not finite-dimensional, it doesn't seem to be possible to exhibit an explicit non-zero linear functional on $V$ without further information about $V$. The ...
27
votes
4answers
31k views

Eigenvalues of Matrix Sums

Is there a relationship between the eigenvalues of individual matrices and the eigenvalues of their sum? What about the special case when they are Hermitian and positive-definite? I am investigating ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Dimension of infinite product of vector spaces

This question is motivated by the question link text, which compares the infinite direct sum and the infinite direct product of a ring. It is well-known that an infinite dimensional vector space is ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

Solving a quadratic matrix equation

This might be a well-known problem but I am having trouble to find this. For square matrices $X, A, B,$ how to obtain the general solution for $X$, for the quadratic matrix equation $X A X^{T} = B$ ? ...
169
votes
22answers
24k views

Geometric Interpretation of Trace

This afternoon I was speaking with some graduate students in the department and we came to the following quandry; Is there a geometric interpretation of the trace of a matrix? This question ...
31
votes
21answers
10k views

Why linear algebra is fun!(or ?)

Edit: the original poster is Menny, but the question is CW; the first-person pronoun refers to Menny, not to the most recent editor. I'm doing an introductory talk on linear algebra with the ...
51
votes
4answers
5k views

explicit big linearly independent sets

In the following, I use the word "explicit" in the following sense: No choices of bases (of vector spaces or field extensions), non-principal ultrafilters or alike which exist only by Zorn's Lemma (or ...
21
votes
1answer
4k views

Infinite Tensor Products

Let $A$ be a commutative ring and $M_i, i \in I$ be a infinite family of $A$-modules. Define their tensor product $\bigotimes_{i \in I} M_i$ to be a representing object of the functor of multilinear ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a useful generalization of the Schmidt decomposition to the tensoring together of 3 or more vector spaces?

I've rewritten the question in math notation, and I've left the old version in physics bra-ket notation here. Background A simple consequence of the singular value decomposition is that any vector ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Optimizing the condition number

Suppose I have a set $S$ of $N$ vectors in $W=\mathbb{R}^m,$ with $N \gg m.$ I want to choose a subset $\{v_1, \dots, v_m\}$ of $S$ in such a way that the condition number of the matrix with columns ...
66
votes
8answers
12k views

Should the formula for the inverse of a 2x2 matrix be obvious?

As every MO user knows, and can easily prove, the inverse of the matrix $\begin{pmatrix} a & b \\\ c & d \end{pmatrix}$ is $\frac{1}{ad - bc} \begin{pmatrix} d & -b \\\ -c & a ...
33
votes
17answers
8k views

Linear Algebra Proofs in Combinatorics?

Simple linear algebra methods are a surprisingly powerful tool to prove combinatorial results. Some examples of combinatorial theorems with linear algebra proofs are the (weak) perfect graph theorem, ...
54
votes
11answers
6k views

Why are matrices ubiquitous but hypermatrices rare?

I am puzzled by the amazing utility and therefore ubiquity of two-dimensional matrices in comparison to the relative paucity of multidimensional arrays of numbers, hypermatrices. Of course ...
32
votes
7answers
4k views

Is there a preferable convention for defining the wedge product?

There are different conventions for defininig the wedge product $\wedge$. In Kobayashi-Nomizu, there is $\alpha\wedge\beta:=Alt(\alpha\otimes\beta)$, in Spivak, we find ...
27
votes
7answers
5k views

“A gentleman never chooses a basis.”

Around these parts, the aphorism "A gentleman never chooses a basis," has become popular. Is there a gentlemanly way to prove that the natural map from V to V** is surjective if V is finite ...
37
votes
4answers
4k views

Does the fact that this vector space is not isomorphic to its double-dual require choice?

Let $V$ denote the vector space of sequences of real numbers that are eventually 0, and let $W$ denote the vector space of sequences of real numbers. Given $w \in W$ and $v \in V$, we can take their ...
25
votes
6answers
20k views

Determinant of sum of positive definite matrices

Say $A$ and $B$ are symmetric, positive definite matrices. I've proved that $\det(A+B) \ge \det(A) + \det(B)$ in the case that $A$ and $B$ are two dimensional. Is this true in general for ...
30
votes
2answers
2k views

The probability for a symmetric matrix to be positive definite

Let me give a reasonable model for the question in the title. In ${\rm Sym}_n({\mathbb R})$, the positive definite matrices form a convex cone $S_n^+$. The probability I have in mind is the ratio ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Number of unique determinants for an NxN (0,1)-matrix.

I'm interested in bounds for the number of unique determinants of NxN (0,1)-matrices. Obviously some of these matrices will be singular and therefore won't have a determinant. While it might also be ...
7
votes
1answer
759 views

A spectral inequality for positive-definite matrices

Question. Given a positive-definite $n \times n$ matrix $A = (a_{ij})$ with eigenvalues $$ \lambda_1 \leq \cdots \leq \lambda_n , $$ is there a sharp upper bound for the product $\lambda_2 \cdots ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

If $V$ is a vector space with a basis. $W\subseteq V$ has to have a basis too?

Suppose $V$ is a vector space, we say that $\mathcal B$ is a basis for $V$ if: Every $v\in V$ can be written as a linear combination of elements of $\mathcal B$; If $\sum\alpha_i b_i = 0$, where ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

Does Anyone Know Anything about the Determinant and/or Inverse of this Matrix?

The matrix I am inquiring about here is the $n \times n$ matrix where the entry $A_{ij}$ is $\frac{1}{(i+j-1)^2}$. The $2 \times 2$ matrix looks like $$ \begin{pmatrix} 1 & 1/4 \\ 1/4 & 1/9 ...
17
votes
8answers
2k views

Finitely presented sub-groups of GL(n,C)

Here are two questions about finitely generated and finitely presented groups (FP): 1) Is there an example of an FP group that does not admit a homomorphism to $GL(n,C)$ with trivial kernel for any ...
14
votes
4answers
965 views

Eigenvectors of a particular transition matrix

I am considering a Markov chain with $n$ states with a particularly nice structure. The transition matrix is as follows: \begin{equation}\mathbf{P}=\begin{pmatrix} 0 & 0& \dots&0 & 0 ...
5
votes
0answers
257 views

concentration for eigenvectors

I am interested in bounding from above the ratio between the maximum and minimum entries of a Perron vector. The only results that I found in the literature are from the classic masters (Ostrowski and ...
4
votes
2answers
903 views

Iterated calculation of determinants

Given a $4 \times 4$ matrix $S$ over a commutative ring $R$. I want to consider it as a $2\times 2$ matrix over $M_2(R)$. Lets say $S=\left(\begin{array}{cc} A&B \\\ C&D\end{array}\right)$ ...
15
votes
1answer
867 views

Sizes of bases of vector spaces without the axiom of choice

Assuming the axiom of choice does not hold we have that there is a vector space without a basis. The situation can be, in some sense, worse. It is consistent that there are vector spaces that have two ...
4
votes
1answer
334 views

The height of the Perron-Frobenius eigenvector

Does the height of a real symmetric matrix with non-negative entries control the height of its Perron-Frobenius eigenvector, under some reasonable definition of heights? Just as an example of what ...
10
votes
1answer
193 views

On Sampling rank $r$ matrices

Sample $n^2$ integers $a_{11},\dots,a_{nn}$ in $\{-d,\dots,-1,0,1\dots,d\}$ uniformly. What is the probability that the resulting matrix $[a_{ij}]$ has rank $r$? Is there a nice parametrization of ...
6
votes
2answers
158 views

Existence and characterization of transitive matrices?

We call a matrix $M \in \mathbb{R}^{d \times d}$ transitive if it satisfies the following: For any three vectors $u, v, w$ in $\mathbb{R}^d$. If $u^T M v > 0$ and $v^T M w > 0$ then $u^TMw ...
2
votes
0answers
410 views

On Eigenspace of a Bundle Map which is the horizontal part of a complex structure on $TM$

Let $(M^{n+m},g)$ be a Riemannian manifold and let $\mathcal{H}(TM) ‎‎\subseteq‎‎ TTM$ be the horizontal space associated to the Levi-Civita connection of $g$. ‎L‎‎et $\bar{J} : TTM \longrightarrow ...
1
vote
5answers
308 views

About adding a negative definite rank-1 matrix to a symmetric matrix

If $B$ is a symmetric matrix then how do its eigenvalues compare to the eigenvalues of $B - vv^T$? ( where $v$ is a vector of the same dimension as $B$) I guess that the eigenvalues of $B - vv^T$ ...
12
votes
5answers
900 views

Does k(X) have a k-basis for every set X, without AC?

This question is inspired by Pace Nielsen's recent question Does a left basis imply a right basis, without AC?. For any field $k$, the field $k(x)$ of rational functions in one variable has an ...
5
votes
1answer
386 views

“Orthogonal complement” in $\mathbb{Z}_q^n$

Let $W$ be the finite $\mathbb{Z}$-module obtained from $\mathbb{Z}_q^n$ with addition componentwise where $\mathbb{Z}_q$ is the integers mod $q$. Let $V$ be a submodule of $W$. Let $V^{\perp} = \{w ...
4
votes
2answers
764 views

How to calculate the square root of matrix $A+B$ perturbatively?

$A=diag\{\lambda_1,...,\lambda_n\}$ and $\lambda_i>0$, $B$ is a positive definite symmetric matrix and $max\{B_{ij} \}\ll min\{\lambda_i\}$ Note that the perturbative calculation of square root ...
3
votes
1answer
204 views

Reference for partial Hadamard matrices

Definition. An $m\times n$ matrix is said to be a partial Hadamard matrix (let's say PHM) if its entries are chosen from $\lbrace -1, 1 \rbrace$ such that the dot product of each pair of row vectors ...
2
votes
3answers
687 views

Continuous change of basis (and on the definition of determinant) [closed]

Let $(u_1, \ldots, u_n)$ and $(v_1, \ldots, v_n)$ be two ordered bases of $\mathbb R^n$. The orientation of the first basis is defined as the sign of the determinant of $[u_1 \cdots u_n]$, and ...
1
vote
1answer
209 views

A geometric property of singular matrices

Let $S\subset M_{n}(\mathbb{R})$ be the singular points of the equation $Det=0$. That is $S$ is the critical points of the determinant function. What matrices belongs to $S$, precisely? Let ...
65
votes
3answers
12k views

Slick proof?: A vector space has the same dimension as its dual if and only if it is finite dimensional

A very important theorem in linear algebra that is rarely taught is: A vector space has the same dimension as its dual if and only if it is finite dimensional. I have seen a total of one proof ...
60
votes
19answers
23k 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. ...
40
votes
18answers
37k views

Linear Algebra Texts?

Can anyone suggest a relatively gentle linear algebra text that integrates vector spaces and matrix algebra right from the start? I've found in the past that students react in very negative ways to ...
38
votes
19answers
8k views

Wonderful applications of the Vandermonde determinant

This semester I am assisting my mentor teaching a first-year undergraduate course on linear algebra in Peking University, China. And now we have come to the famous Vandermonde determinant, which has ...
54
votes
11answers
6k views

Geometric proof of the Vandermonde determinant?

The Vandermonde matrix is the $n\times n$ matrix whose $(i,j)$-th component is $x_j^{i-1}$, where the $x_j$ are indeterminates. It is well known that the determinant of this matrix is $$\prod_{1\leq ...
53
votes
3answers
3k views

Does linearization of categories reflect isomorphism?

Given a category $C$ and a commutative ring $R$, denote by $RC$ the $R$-linearization: this is the category enriched over $R$-modules which has the same objects as $C$, but the morphism module between ...
31
votes
4answers
3k views

Using linear algebra to classify vector bundles over P^1

There is a theorem of Grothendieck stating that a vector bundle of rank $r$ over the projective line $\mathbb{P}^1$ can be decomposed into $r$ line bundles uniquely up to isomorphism. If we let ...
49
votes
7answers
4k views

How to prove this determinant is positive?

Given the matrices $ A_i= \biggl(\begin{matrix} 0 & B_i \\ B_i^T & 0 \end{matrix} \biggr) $, where $B_i$ are real matrices and $i=1,2,\ldots,N$, how to prove that $\det(I + ...
32
votes
9answers
8k views

Can a vector space over an infinite field be a finite union of proper subspaces?

Can a (possibly infinite-dimensional) vector space ever be a finite union of proper subspaces? If the ground field is finite, then any finite-dimensional vector space is finite as a set, so there are ...
33
votes
10answers
8k views

real symmetric matrix has real eigenvalues - elementary proof

Every real symmetric matrix has at least one real eigenvalue. Does anyone know how to prove this elementary, that is without the notion of complex numbers?
31
votes
3answers
3k views

A curious determinantal inequality

In my study, I come across the following curious inequality, which I do not know a proof yet (so I am asking it here). Let $A, B$ be $n\times n$ (Hermitian) positive definite matrices. It is very ...
27
votes
9answers
12k views

Fast Matrix Multiplication

Suppose we have two $n$ by $n$ matrices over particular ring. We want to multiply them as fast as possible. According to wikipedia there is an algorithm of Coppersmith and Winograd that can do it in ...