Question about determinants, computation or theory. If $E$ is a vector space of dimension $d$, then we can compute the determinant of a $d$-uple $(v_1,\ldots,v_d)$ with respect to a basis.

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364
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10answers
57k views

What's an intuitive way to think about the determinant?

In my linear algebra class, we just talked about determinants. So far I’ve been understanding the material okay, but now I’m very confused. I get that when the determinant is zero, the matrix doesn’t ...
72
votes
3answers
3k views

Cute Determinant Question

I stumbled across the following problem and found it cute. Problem: We are given that $19$ divides $23028$, $31882$, $86469$, $6327$, and $61902$. Show that $19$ divides the following determinant: ...
39
votes
5answers
2k views

Why is the determinant defined in terms of permutations?

Where does the definition of the determinant come from, and is the definition in terms of permutations the first and basic one? What is the deep reason for giving such a definition in terms of ...
37
votes
2answers
3k views

Development of the Idea of the Determinant

While I basically understand what a determinant is, I wonder how this idea was developed? What was the principal idea behind its origination? I would like to know this so that I can have a better ...
34
votes
3answers
20k views

Determinant of a non-square matrix

I wrote an answer to this question based on determinants, but subsequently deleted it because the OP is interested in non-square matrices, which effectively blocks the use of determinants and thereby ...
32
votes
2answers
1k views

Meaning of the identity $\det(A+B)+\text{tr}(AB) = \det(A)+\det(B) + \text{tr}(A)\text{tr}(B)$ (in dimension $2$)

Throughout, $A$ and $B$ denote $n \times n$ matrices over $\mathbb{C}$. Everyone knows that the determinant is multiplicative, and the trace is additive (actually linear). \begin{align*} \det(AB) = \...
31
votes
9answers
30k views

How to show that $\det(AB) =\det(A)\det(B)$

Given two square matrices $A$ and $B$, how do you show that $\det(AB) = \det(A)\det(B)$, where $\det(\cdot)$ is the determinant of the matrix?
31
votes
3answers
2k views

How to find the determinant of this matrix?

Today at my linear algebra exam, there was this question that I couldn't solve. There was a matrix $A$ $$A=\begin{bmatrix} n^{2} & (n+1)^{2} &(n+2)^{2} \\ (n+1)^{2} &(n+2)^{2} & (...
30
votes
1answer
853 views

How prove this matrix $\det (A)=\left(\frac{1}{\ln{(a_{i}+a_{j})}}\right)_{n\times n}\neq 0$

Question: let $a_{i}>1,i=1,2,3,\cdots,n$,and such $a_{i}\neq a_{j}$,for any $i\neq j$ define the matrix $$A=\left(\dfrac{1}{\ln{(a_{i}+a_{j})}}\right)_{n\times n}$$ show that: $$\det(A)\...
28
votes
1answer
903 views

Prove the determinant of this matrix

We have an $n\times n$ square matrix $\left(a_{i,j}\right)_{1\leq i\leq n, \ 1\leq j\leq n}$ such that all elements on main diagonal are zero, whereas the other elements are defined as follows: $$a_{...
27
votes
3answers
589 views

Is this determinant always non-negative?

For any $(a_1,a_2,\cdots,a_n)\in\mathbb{R}^n$, a matrix $A$ is defined by $$A_{ij}=\frac1{1+|a_i-a_j|}$$ Is $\det(A)$ always non-negative? I did some numerical test and it seems to be true, but I've ...
26
votes
10answers
17k views

Is a matrix $A$ with an eigenvalue of $0$ invertible?

Just wanted some input to see if my proof is satisfactory or if it needs some cleaning up. Here is what I have. Proof Suppose $A$ is square matrix and invertible and, for the sake of ...
25
votes
6answers
119k views

What does it mean to have a determinant equal to zero?

After looking in my book for a couple of hours, I'm still confused about what it means for a $(n\times n)$-matrix $A$ to have a determinant equal to zero, $\det(A)=0$. I hope someone can explain this ...
25
votes
0answers
754 views

Is this determinant identity known?

Let $A$ be an $n \times n$ matrix that is 'almost upper triangular' in the following sense: entries on and above the main diagonal can be whatever they want, entries on the diagonal just below the ...
24
votes
4answers
2k views

Prove that the set of $n$-by-$n$ real matrices with positive determinant is connected

Math people: In the fourth edition of Strang's "Linear Algebra and its Applications", page 230, he poses the following problem (I have changed his wording): show that if $A \in \mathbf{R}^{n \times n}...
23
votes
2answers
11k views

Determinant of transpose?

$$\det(A^T) = \det(A)$$ Using the geometric definition of the determinant as the area spanned by the columns could someone give a geometric interpretation of the property? Thanks!
22
votes
3answers
878 views

If $\,A^k=0$ and $AB=BA$, then $\,\det(A+B)=\det B$

Assume that the matrices $A,\: B\in \mathbb{R}^{n\times n}$ satisfy $$ A^k=0,\,\, \text{for some $\,k\in \mathbb{Z^+}$}\quad\text{and}\quad AB=BA. $$ Prove that $$\det(A+B)=\det B.$$
22
votes
2answers
444 views

Showing $\prod\limits_{i<j} \frac{x_i-x_j}{i-j}$ is an integer

Let $x_1,...,x_n$ be distinct integers. Prove that $$\prod_{i<j} \frac{x_i-x_j}{i-j}\in \mathbb Z$$ I know there is a solution using determinant of a matrix, but I can't remember it now. Any ...
22
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the origin of the determinant in linear algebra?

We often learn in a standard linear algebra course that a determinant is a number associated with a square matrix. We can define the determinant also by saying that it is the sum of all the possible ...
20
votes
2answers
401 views

How find this determinant $\det(\cos^4{(i-j)})_{n\times n}$

Question: Define the matrix $A_{k}=(a^k_{ij})_{n\times n}\quad$where $a_{ij}=\cos{(i-j)},\quad n\ge 6$ Find the value $$\det(A_{4})=\:?$$ My try: since $$\det(A_{4})=\begin{vmatrix} 1&\...
19
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it always true that $\det(A^2+B^2)\geq0$?

Let $A$ and $B$ be real square matrices of the same size. Is it true that $$\det(A^2+B^2)\geq0\,?$$ If $AB=BA$ then the answer is positive: $$\det(A^2+B^2)=\det(A+iB)\det(A-iB)=\det(A+iB)\overline{\...
19
votes
4answers
283 views

A triangle determinant that is always zero

How do we prove, without actually expanding, that $$\begin{vmatrix} \sin {2A}& \sin {C}& \sin {B}\\ \sin{C}& \sin{2B}& \sin {A}\\ \sin{B}& \sin{A}& \sin{2C} \end{vmatrix}=0$$ ...
18
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2answers
2k views

Slick proof the determinant is an irreducible polynomial

A polynomial $p$ over a field $k$ is called irreducible if $p=fg$ for polynomials $f,g$ implies $f$ or $g$ are constant. One can consider the determinant of an $n\times n$ matrix to be a polynomial in ...
18
votes
2answers
789 views

Why is there no generalization of the determinant to infinite dimensional vector spaces?

This question is to add to my understanding why the concept of a determinant does not extend to an infinite dimensional vector space. I am already aware of a couple facts which hint why this is so: ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

A problem on condition $\det(A+B)=\det(A)+\det(B)$

Let $A$ be a matrix $n\times n$ matrix such that for any matrix $B$ we have $\det(A+B)=\det(A)+\det(B)$. Does this imply that $A=0$? or $\det(A)=0$?
17
votes
4answers
823 views

Determinant of a generalized Pascal matrix

Let $M$ denote the infinite matrix defined recursively by $$ M_{ij} = \begin{cases} 1, & \text{if } i=1 \text{ and } j=1; \\ aM_{i-1,j}+bM_{i,j-1}+cM_{i-1,j-1}, & \mbox{otherwise}.\...
17
votes
1answer
13k views

Effect of elementary row operations on determinant?

1) Switching two rows or columns causes the determinant to switch sign 2) Adding a multiple of one row to another causes the determinant to remain the same 3) Multiplying a row as a constant results ...
17
votes
0answers
614 views

Prove this determinant identity combinatorially

This is for those of you who understand the Lindstrom-Gessel-Viennot lemma. I am looking for a proof of the following identity using paths and such: Let $A$ be an $n\times n$ matrix, and for $i,j\in\{...
16
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9answers
1k views

Why do determinants have their particular form?

I know that for a matrix $A$, if $\det(A)=0$ then the matrix does not have an inverse, and hence the associated system of equations does not have a unique solution. However, why do the determinant ...
16
votes
2answers
695 views

Geometric interpretation of the cofactor expansion theorem

I find the geometric interpretation of determinants to be really intuitive - they are the "area" created by the column vectors of the matrix. Could someone give me a geometric interpretation of the ...
16
votes
2answers
851 views

easier way of calculating the determinant for this matrix

I have to calculate the determinant of this matrix: $$ \begin{pmatrix} a&b&c&d\\b&c&d&a\\c&d&a&b\\d&a&b&c \end{pmatrix} $$ Is there an easier way of ...
16
votes
1answer
326 views

What is the number of $n \times n$ binary matrices $A$ such that $\det(A) = \text{perm}(A)$?

Recall that the permanent is the 'positive analog' of the determinant whereby the signs in the cofactor expansion process are taken as positive. That is, the permanent is the immanant corresponding to ...
15
votes
7answers
1k views

Determinant of a specially structured matrix ($a$'s on the diagonal, all other entries equal to $b$)

I have the following $n\times n$ matrix: $$A=\begin{bmatrix} a & b & \ldots & b\\ b & a & \ldots & b\\ \vdots & \vdots & \ddots & \vdots\\ b & b & \ldots &...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Expected Value of a Determinant

Suppose that I construct an $n \times n$ matrix $A$ such that each entry of $A$ is a random integer in the range $[1, \, n]$. I'd like to calculate the expected value of $\det(A)$. My conjecture is ...
15
votes
3answers
293 views

If $A$ is positive definite, then $\int_{\mathbb{R}^n}\mathrm{e}^{-\langle Ax,x\rangle}\text{d}x=\left|\det\left({\pi}^{-1}A\right)\right|^{-1/2}$

Let $A$ be a positive definite real $n\times n$ matrix. How can I prove that $$ \int_{\mathbb{R}^n}\mathrm{e}^{-\langle Ax,x\rangle}\text{d}x=\left|\,\det\left(\pi^{-1}{A}\right)\right|^{-1/2}=\pi^{n/...
15
votes
1answer
219 views

Bound on the difference of two determinants

Let $A$ and $B$ be two real, $n\times n$ matrices. Using Hadamard's inequality, it is not hard to show that $$ \left|\det A - \det B \right| \leq \|A-B\|_{2} \frac{\|A\|_{2}^n -\|B\|_{2}^n}{\|A\|_2 -\|...
15
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2answers
269 views

Help deriving that $\mathrm{sign} : S_n\to \{\pm 1\}$ is multiplicative

$\def\sign{\operatorname{sign}}$ For homework, I am trying to show that $\sign:S_n \to \{\pm 1\}$ is multiplicative, i.e. that for any permutations $\sigma_1,\sigma_2$ we have $$\sign(\sigma_1 \...
14
votes
2answers
457 views

Any neat way to calculate this Vandermonde-like determinant?

Let $x_i,i\in\{1,\cdots,n\}$ be real numbers, and $s_k=x_1^k+\cdots+x_n^k$, I'm asked to calculate $$ |S|:= \begin{vmatrix} s_0 & s_1 & s_2 & \cdots & s_{n-1}\\ s_1 ...
14
votes
1answer
39k views

Using the Determinant to verify Linear Independence, Span and Basis

Can the determinant (assuming it's non-zero) be used to determine that the vectors given are linearly independent, span the subspace and are a basis of that subspace? (In other words assuming I have a ...
14
votes
2answers
189 views

Is a linear combination of minors irreducible?

Let $X=(X_{ij})_{1\le i,j\le n}$ be a matrix of indeterminates over $\mathbb C$. For choices $I,J\subseteq\{1,\ldots,n\}$ with $|I|=|J|=k$ denote by $X_{I\times J}$ the matrix $(X_{ij})_{i\in I,j\in J}...
14
votes
1answer
554 views

determinant of a standard magic square

What is the lowest positive, what the highest possible value for the determinant of a standard-magic-square-matrix of order n ? Are there singular standard-magic-square-matrices of any order greater ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Best way of introducing determinants in a linear algebra course

What is the best way of introducing determinants in a linear algebra course? I want to give real life examples of where the determinant is applied. It should have a real impact.
13
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3answers
6k views

why determinant is volume of parallelepiped in any dimensions

for $n = 2,$ I can visualize that the determinant $n \times n$ matrix is the area of the parallelograms by actually calculate the area by coordinates. But how can one easily realize that it is true ...
13
votes
4answers
7k views

What is the fastest way to find the characteristic polynomial of a matrix?

Finding the characteristic polynomial of a matrix of order $n$ is a tedious and boring task for $n > 2$. I know that: the coefficient of $\lambda^n$ is $(-1)^n$, the coefficient of $\lambda^{n-1}...
13
votes
1answer
199 views

Largest determinant of a real $3\times 3$-matrix

What is the largest determinant of a real $3\times 3$-matrix with entries from the interval $[-1,1]$ ? A result of John Williamson says that the largest value is equal to $4$, if the entries are just ...
13
votes
2answers
236 views

Evaluate the determinant $\det\left[ \binom{2n}{n+i-j} \right]_{i,j=0}^{n-1}$

I am trying to show that: \begin{equation} \det\left[ \binom{2n}{n+i-j} \right]_{i,j=0}^{n-1}=\prod_{i=0}^{n-1} \frac{\binom{2n+i}{n}}{\binom{n+i}{n}} \end{equation} I have tried playing with the ...
13
votes
4answers
274 views

Find the determinant of $A$ satisfying $A^{-1}=I-2A.$

I am stuck with the following problem: Let $A$ be a $3\times 3$ matrix over real numbers satisfying $A^{-1}=I-2A.$ Then find the value of det$(A).$ I do not know how to proceed. Can someone point me ...
13
votes
1answer
280 views

Compute $\det(A^n+B^n)$

Let $A, B $ be two real $3\times 3 $ matrices, $AB=BA$, and $ \det(A-B)=\det(A^2+B^2)=1,\det(A+B)=3, \det(B)=0 $, then, what is ? $$\det(A^n+B^n)$$ here $n$ is a positive integer. The problem ...
13
votes
3answers
535 views

when does $\det(AB^T+BA^T)\le \det(AA^T+BB^T)$ hold?

When does the following matrix inequality hold? $$\det(AB+B^TA^T)\le \det(AA^T+BB^T)$$ $A$ and $B$ are any real matrices. My reply gives a counter example. The question is under what condition ...
13
votes
1answer
628 views

Minimum and maximum determinant of a sudoku-matrix

Let $A$ be a sudoku-matrix. Assume that its determinant is positive. What is the lowest, what the highest possible value for the determinant of $A$ ? $A$ must have the dominant eigenvalue $45$, but ...