Questions about quadratic forms in many variables, for example $4x_1^2 + 3x_1x_2 + 5x_1x_3 - 8x_3^2$.

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30
votes
2answers
787 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) = ...
26
votes
2answers
840 views

Elementary proof that $2x^2+xy+3y^2$ represents infinitely many primes?

We did in class $x^2+y^2$, which was easy, and we had for homework $2x^2+2xy+3y^2$, which I did (its values (if not square) must be divisible by form primes, or of the form $x^2+5y^2$, and clearly ...
16
votes
5answers
862 views

Every integer vector in $\mathbb R^n$ with integer length is part of an orthogonal basis of $\mathbb R^n$

Suppose $\vec x$ is a (non-zero) vector with integer coordinates in $\mathbb R^n$ such that $\|\vec x\| \in \mathbb Z$. Is it true that there is an orthogonal basis of $\mathbb R^n$ containing $\vec ...
13
votes
1answer
521 views

Polarization: etymology question

The polarization identity expresses a symmetric bilinear form on a vector space in terms of its associated quadratic form: $$ \langle v,w\rangle = \frac{1}{2}(Q(v+w) - Q(v) - Q(w)), $$ where $Q(v) ...
12
votes
3answers
246 views

Are matrices best understood as linear maps?

Any linear map between finite-dimensional vector spaces may be represented by a matrix, and conversely. Matrix-matrix multiplication corresponds to map composition, and matrix-vector multiplication ...
12
votes
0answers
1k views

Proof of Legendre's theorem on the ternary quadratic form

Theorem (Legendre): Let $a,b,c$ coprime positive integers, then $ax^2 + by^2 = cz^2$ has a nontrivial solution in rationals $x,y,z$ iff ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

what would be the way to solve a system of equations like this one?

Solve: $xy=-30$ $x+y=13$ {15, -2} is a particular solution, but, how would I know if is the only solution, or what would be the way to solve this without "guessing" ?
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What's a BETTER way to see the Gauss's composition law for binary quadratic forms?

There is a group structure of binary quadratic forms of given discriminant $d$: Let $[f]=[(a,b,c)], [f']=[(a',b',c')],$ where $d=b^2-4 a c=b'^2-4 a' c'.$ The composition of two binary quadratic ...
9
votes
2answers
616 views

Proving an inequality with Cauchy-Schwarz

In the "User's guide to viscosity solutions" by Crandall, Ishii and Lions (link), they make the following claim (inequality (A.4) p. 58) : Given $x$, $\xi$ $\in \mathbb{R}^n$, $A \in \cal{S}(n)$ ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

sum of squares of dependent gaussian random variables

Ok, so the Chi-Squared distribution with n degrees of freedom is the sum of the squares of n independent gaussian random variables. The trouble is, my gaussian random variables are not independent. ...
9
votes
2answers
636 views

Generalizing the 290 theorem.

I have only just come across the remarkable theorem of Conway about universal quadratic forms over $\mathbb{Z}$; namely that in determining whether a integer coefficient, positive definite quadratic ...
9
votes
3answers
450 views

A Pell equation inside a Pell equation

While working on another problem (see http://mathoverflow.net/questions/143599/solving-the-quartic-equation-r4-4r3s-6r2s2-4rs3-s4-1), I found the following equation to be solved: $$ ...
9
votes
4answers
447 views

Representing a number as a sum of at most $k$ squares

Fix an integer $k >0 $ and would like to know the maximum number of different ways that a number $n$ can be expressed as a sum of $k$ squares, i.e. the number of integer solutions to $$ n = x_1^2 + ...
9
votes
0answers
197 views

What numbers are integrally represented by $4 x^2 + 2 x y + 7 y^2 - z^3$

EDIT: a selection of material relevant to this problem is available at INHOMOGENEOUS In December 2010 my question appeared in the M.A.A. Monthly, show that $4 x^2 + 2 x y + 7 y^2 - z^3 \neq \pm 2 ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Determining if a quadratic is always positive

Is there a quick and systematic method to find out if a quadratic equation is always positive or may have positive and negative or always negative for all values to its variables? Say for a quadratic ...
8
votes
1answer
164 views

construction of the Witt group

I've seen a couple of constructions of the so-called Witt group: it seems that most authors start with the commutative monoid of isometry classes of quadratic spaces under direct sum, pass to the ...
8
votes
2answers
192 views

How does the theory of the quadratic number fields relate to the quadratic forms?

As every one knows, the quadratic number fields shares a deep connection with the binary quadratic forms; I have been told this relation when I was a senior high, and now I, learning some difficult ...
8
votes
1answer
147 views

On the set of integer solutions of $x^2+y^2-z^2=-1$.

Let $$ \mathcal R=\{x=(x_1,x_2,x_3)\in\mathbb Z^3:x_1^2+x_2^2-x_3^2=-1\}. $$ The group $\Gamma= M_3(\mathbb Z)\cap O(2,1)$ acts on $\mathcal R$ by left multiplication. It's known that there is ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Show $15x^{2} - 7y^{2} = 9$ has no integer solutions

I'm trying to show the quadratic binary has no integer solution. I've used the following process to transform it into a Pell's equation of the form $x^{2} - Dy^{2} = M$ If there is a solution, then ...
7
votes
2answers
289 views

How find this matrix $A=(\sqrt{i^2+j^2})$ eigenvalue

let the matrix $$A=(a_{ij})_{n\times n}$$ where $$a_{ij}=\sqrt{i^2+j^2}$$ Question: Find the difference $sign{(A)}$ can see this define:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvester's_law_of_inertia My ...
7
votes
2answers
118 views

Question on quadratic forms

I know a theorem which says: If a non-singular quadratic form (homogeneous polynomials of degree $2$) over a field $K$ represents zero non-trivially (i.e., there is a nontrivial solution of the ...
6
votes
1answer
215 views

How to prove that $ E:=ABC D $ is also positive definite?

Now I think this is true: Let $A$, $B$, $C$ and $D$ be symmetric, positive definite matrices and suppose that $E:=ABCD $ is symmetric. How might I prove that $E$ is also positive definite? ...
6
votes
3answers
272 views

Factoring numbers “of the (binary quadratic) form” in two different ways

For some fixed $n$ define the quadratic form $$Q(x,y) = x^2 + n y^2.$$ I think that if $Q$ represents $m$ in two different ways then $m$ is composite. I can prove this for $n$ prime. I was hoping ...
6
votes
1answer
519 views

A good reference for Quadratic Forms

Can anyone recommend a good reference for brushing up on quadratic forms? They keep coming up (quite naturally of course) in the context of differential geometry and I find I am rustier than I ...
6
votes
1answer
141 views

Completing squares by symplectic transformations

A quadratic polynomial of $2n$ variables is given as $$ H = \sum_{i,j=1}^{2n} A_{ij} x_i x_j = x^T A x, $$ where $A$ is a symmetric matrix. I am looking for a symplectic transformation of these ...
6
votes
1answer
148 views

Expressing a quadratic form, $\mathbf{x}^TA\mathbf{x}$ in terms of $\lVert\mathbf{x}\rVert^2$, $A$

EDIT: This question is actually an attempt to solve this. Please take a look. Let $A$ be a symmetric postive-definite $n\times n$ matrix, i.e. $A\in\mathbb{S}_{++}^{n}$ Also, let ...
6
votes
1answer
191 views

Follow up on intersection forms

For which topological spaces $X$ can I define an intersection form $b(\cdot, \cdot)$? I know at least one example: If $X$ is a closed orientable $2n$-manifold then one can define an intersection ...
6
votes
2answers
453 views

Coercive bilinear form on Hilbert space

I need to show the two following results. If true, it must be a simple proof but I do not seem to be able to make it work. Thank you in advance. Consider a continuous symmetric bilinear form $B$ on a ...
6
votes
0answers
83 views

Official name of Fermat's $x^2+3y^2$ theorem?

One of Fermat's more well-known claims is that for any prime number $p$, $p=x^2+3y^2\iff p\equiv 1\pmod 3$. Does this have an "official" name? (Another one which goes $p=x^2+y^2\iff p\equiv 1\pmod 4$ ...
6
votes
0answers
140 views

Non-degenerate bilinear forms of Lie algebra with a degenerate Killing form

Definition: A Lie algebra is defined by: $$ [e_a,e_b]={f_{ab}}^ce_c $$ The Killing form is $$ g_{ab}=-{f_{ac}}^d {f_{bd}}^c $$ Set-Up: The type of Lie algebra of our interests (found out during a ...
6
votes
0answers
103 views

Proving the multiplicativity of a quaternary quadratic form

Consider the set $S$ of all integers of the form $f(x,y) + f(z,w)$, where $x,y,z,w$ are integers, $$ f(x,y) = a x^2 + b x y + a^2 y^2,$$ and $a,b$ are integers with $$a > 1, \; \; 0 < b < ...
5
votes
4answers
664 views

Applications of quadratic forms

It seems that a lot of great mathematicians spent quite a while of their time studying quadratic forms over $\mathbb{Z},\mathbb{Q},\mathbb{Q_p}$ etc. and there is indeed a vast and detailed theory of ...
5
votes
4answers
131 views

How to solve an equation with $x^4$?

Today, I had this question on a Maths test about Algebra. This was the equation I had to solve: $$(1-x)(x-5)^3=x-1$$ I worked away the brackets and subtracted $x-1$ from both sides and was left with ...
5
votes
3answers
854 views

Existence of solutions to diophantine quadratic form

Is there a general result about the existence of (non-trivial) solutions of the diophantine equation: $$Ax^2 + By^2 = Cz^2$$ for A,B,C known positive integers, pair-wise relatively prime? What if ...
5
votes
2answers
86 views

About integral binary quadratic forms fixed by $\operatorname{GL_2(\mathbb Z)}$ matrices of order $3$

I am reading this paper of Manjul Bhargava and Ariel Shnidman, and I want to prove this claim, which appear at the first paragraph of Theorem $14$: Up to $\operatorname{SL_2}(\mathbb Z)$ ...
5
votes
1answer
110 views

Why the Little Methuselah form is the “Little Methuselah”s form?

This is my first question on MathStackexchange. Let me know if I am violating rules, or my question is somewhat ugly. I am reading Conway's book "Sensual (Quadratic) Form". He introduces a tenary ...
5
votes
1answer
255 views

Question about $4$-manifolds and intersection forms

This is a question related to an earlier question of mine: I've been reading about topological invariants. Some of them are defined in terms of quadratic forms. My current understanding is: we can ...
5
votes
1answer
157 views

Is there a nice way to define the “maximum” of two quadratic forms?

Suppose I have two quadratic forms on $\mathbb R^n$, represented as symmetric matrices $A$ and $B$ on the usual basis. I am interested in approximating the function $x \mapsto \max(x^TAx, x^TBx)$ ...
5
votes
1answer
262 views

Universal quadratic forms

A quadratic form is a polynomial $p(x_1,\dots,x_n)$ of the form $$ p(x_1,\dots,x_n)=\sum_{i \leq j}a_{ij}x_ix_j. $$ For example, $p_1(x,y,z,w)=x^2+y^2+z^2+w^2$ and $3x^2-5y^2$ are quadratic forms. I'm ...
5
votes
3answers
409 views

Etymology of the word “isotropic”

Given a quadratic form $q : V \rightarrow k$, a nonzero vector $v \in V$ is said to be isotropic if $q(v) = 0$. Any subspace of $V$ containing such a vector is also said to be isotropic, and the ...
5
votes
2answers
132 views

How to reduce a quartic form to a quadratic form with equal roots

Given a polynomial in $n$ variables of the form $$P(x_1,x_2,\dots,x_n)=\left(\sum_{i,j}a_{ij}x_ix_j+\sum_{i}b_{i}x_i+c\right)^2$$ is there a way to find a polynomial also in $n$ variables of degree ...
5
votes
1answer
141 views

An argument from a blog article of Terence Tao

Let $A_1, A_2, A_3, \ldots , A_m$ be positive semi-definite Hermitian matrices and then consider the polynomial $p(z,z_1,z_2,\ldots,z_m) = \det(z+z_1A_1 + z_2A_2 + \cdots+z_mA_m)$ Now Tao argues that ...
5
votes
2answers
151 views

Why are quadratic forms so special and why not investigate in higher forms?

Ok, this is a soft question. If $K$ is a field of characteristic different from $2$, one can use the polarization identity to get a one-to-one correspondence between homogeneous polynomials of ...
5
votes
1answer
326 views

Map preserving indefinite scalar product must be linear

Let $V$ be a finite dimensional real vector space and $\langle\cdot,\cdot \rangle$ be a positive definite scalar product in $V$. It is well know that if a map $T:V \to V$ preserves ...
5
votes
0answers
97 views

Distribution for ratio of dependent quadratic forms.

Random vector $\mathbf{x}_{0}$ $\sim$ $\mathcal{N}\left(\boldsymbol{\mu}, \mathbf{\Sigma} \right)$ is a sum of two orthogonal random vectors: $\mathbf{x}_{0}$ = $\mathbf{x}_{1}$ + ...
5
votes
0answers
169 views

Solutions to equation in matrix form

Suppose $x=[x_1, x_2, \cdots, x_n]^t$, $b=[b_1,b_2,\cdots,b_n]^t$ with $b_i\in K$ and $A\in M_n(K)$, where $K$ is a field. There are well known criteria for the system of equations $Ax=b$, by ...
4
votes
5answers
197 views

Looking for proof of no solution to 4-variable quadratic diophantine equation

Show there are no integers $a,b,c,d$ such that $$\begin{cases}1=9ac+3ad+3bc-16bd \\ 1=3ad+3bc+2bd \end{cases}$$ Motivation: The ideal $I=(3,1+\sqrt{-17})$ in $R=\mathbb{Z}[\sqrt{-17}]$ has the ...
4
votes
2answers
439 views

Clifford Algebras

What would be the best source to learn Clifford Algebras from? Anything online would suffice or any textual sources for that matter.. I'm interested in doing a project in the subject, but I'm not ...
4
votes
3answers
204 views

The quadratic form $x^2 + ny^2$ via prime factors

Elementary algebra shows that the product of two numbers in the form $x^2 + ny^2$ again has the same form, since if $p = (a^2 + nb^2)$ and $q = (c^2 + nd^2)$, $$pq = (a^2 + nb^2)(c^2 + nd^2) = (ac ...
4
votes
2answers
325 views

Equivalence of quadratic forms over p-adic fields.

There is a theorem that states that two quadratic forms over $\mathbb{Q}_p$ are equivalent iff they have the same rank, discriminant and the same $\epsilon$ invariant. (The last is defined as ...