For questions about vector spaces and their properties. More general questions about linear algebra belong under the [tag:linear-algebra] tag. A vector space is a space which consists of elements called "vectors", which can be added and multiplied by scalars. In other words, these are the spaces ...

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36
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3answers
3k views

Why are vector spaces not isomorphic to their duals?

Assuming the axiom of choice, set $\mathbb F$ to be some field (we can assume it has characteristics $0$). I was told, by more than one person, that if $\kappa$ is an infinite cardinal then the ...
33
votes
1answer
412 views

In categorical terms, why is there no canonical isomorphism from a finite dimensional vector space to its dual?

I've read in several places that one motivation for category theory was to be able to give precise meaning to statements like, "finite dimensional vector spaces are canonically isomorphic to their ...
25
votes
4answers
1k views

Given two basis sets for a finite Hilbert space, does an unbiased vector exist?

Let $\{A_n\}$ and $\{B_n\}$ be two bases for an $N$-dimensional Hilbert space. Does there exist a unit vector $V$ such that: $$(V\cdot A_j)\;(A_j\cdot V) = (V\cdot B_j)\;(B_j\cdot V) = 1/N\;\;\; \ ...
23
votes
2answers
3k views

Connections between metrics, norms and scalar products (for understanding e.g. Banach and Hilbert spaces)

I am trying to understand the differences between $$ \begin{array}{|l|l|l|} \textbf{vector space} & \textbf{general} & \textbf{+ completeness}\\\hline \text{metric}& \text{metric ...
21
votes
4answers
558 views

Proving an integer is non-negative by showing there is a vector space with it as its dimension.

The other day I attended a lecture on methods to show whether or not a number is an integer. We were given examples of showing it is the number of ways to count something, and to show there exist ...
19
votes
6answers
4k views

Is the vector cross product only defined for 3D?

Wikipedia introduces the vector product for two vectors $\vec a$ and $\vec b$ as $$ \vec a \times\vec b=(||\vec a||||\vec b||\sin\Theta)\vec n $$ It then mentions that $\vec n$ is the vector normal ...
18
votes
2answers
4k views

Difference between metric and norm made concrete: The case of Euclid

This is a follow-up question on this one. The answers to my questions made things a lot clearer to me (Thank you for that!), yet there is some point that still bothers me. This time I am making ...
18
votes
3answers
718 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!
18
votes
1answer
300 views

Count the number of bases in a subset

Consider $\mathbb{R}^n$ as a vector space over $\mathbb{R}$. Consider the subset $\mathrm{S}^n = \{(x_1,\ldots,x_n) \in \mathbb{R}^n | x_i = 0 \; \mathrm{or} \; 1\;\forall i = 1,\ldots,n\}$. How many ...
16
votes
1answer
532 views

Why is the inclusion of the tensor product of the duals into the dual of the tensor product not an isomorphism?

Let $V$ and $W$ be vector spaces (say over the reals). There is a linear injection $V^* \otimes W^* \to (V \otimes W)^*$ which sends $\sum_i f_i \otimes g_i \in V^* \otimes W^*$ to the unique ...
16
votes
1answer
207 views

Combinatorics in finite vector space

Let $q$ be a prime power and $V$ a finite $\mathbb F_q$-vector space with two subspaces $I$ and $J$. Let $k$, $a$ and $b$ be non-negative integers. Determine the number of subspaces $K$ of $V$ ...
15
votes
9answers
865 views

Motivation for linear transformations

Sometimes I hate classes for mathematicians. It is not their precision and formality in building the concepts, but they never give a motivation. So in the course my professor started right with the ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Is a vector space over a finite field always finite?

Definition of a vector space: Let $V$ be a set and $(\mathbb{K}, +, \cdot)$ a field. $V$ is called a vector space over the field $\mathbb{K}$ if: V1: $(V, +)$ is a commutative group V2: $\forall ...
15
votes
1answer
819 views

Cardinality of a Hamel basis

What is the cardinality of a Hamel basis of $\ell_1(\mathbb{R})$? Is it deducible in ZFC that it is seemingly continuum? Does it follow from this that each Banach space of density $\leqslant ...
15
votes
1answer
803 views

Prove $\mathbb{Z}$ is not a vector space over a field

This is an exercise from Chapter 3 of Golan's linear algebra book. Problem: Show $\mathbb{Z}$ is not a vector space over a field. Solution attempt: Suppose there is a such a field and proceed by ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Inner Product Spaces over Finite Fields

Inner product spaces are defined over a field $\mathbb{F}$ which is either $\mathbb{R}$ or $\mathbb{C}$. I want to know what happens if we try to define them over some finite field. Here's an ...
13
votes
6answers
315 views

Other guises for the vector space $\mathbb{R}^n$?

One way the vector space $\mathbb{R}^n$ can come up is as the space of polynomials over $\mathbb{R}$ of degree at most $(n-1)$ . Here we have the isomorphism: $$(a_0,a_1,\ldots,a_{n-1}) ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

What is an inner product space?

As I've understood it, what I've learned is that the dot product is just one of many possible "inner product spaces". Can someone explain this concept? When is it useful to define it as something ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Why is one proof for Cauchy-Schwarz inequality easy, but directly it is hard?

Let's say you are in $\mathbb{R}^n$ and you define the norm as $||x||=\sqrt{x_1^2+x_2^2...+x_n^2}$. This we recognize as the usual norm from the inner product: $||x|| = \sqrt{\langle x, x \rangle}$, ...
13
votes
3answers
470 views

Pathologies in module theory

Linear algebra is a very well-behaved part of mathematics. Soon after you have mastered the basics you got a good feeling for what kind of statements should be true -- even if you are not familiar ...
13
votes
3answers
6k views

How to find basis for intersection of two vector spaces

What is the general way of finding the basis for intersection of two vector spaces? Suppose I'm given the bases of two vector spaces U and W: $$ \mathrm{Base}(U)= \left\{ \left(1,1,0,-1\right), ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Understanding isomorphic equivalences of tensor product

I get some big picture of tensor and tensor product by reading their Wikipedia articles, and several questions and answers posted before by others. But I cannot figure out how to show the following ...
12
votes
2answers
313 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
259 views

Do you need the Axiom of Choice to assert that every real vector space has a norm?

Math people: This question is 95% answered (the first answer) at Does every $\mathbb{R},\mathbb{C}$ vector space have a norm? and Vector Spaces and AC . The questions, answers, and links found there ...
12
votes
1answer
763 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
251 views

Is every vector space basis for $\mathbb{R}$ over the field $\mathbb{Q}$ a nonmeasurable set?

The existence of subsets of the real line which are not Lebesgue measurable can be argued using the Axiom of Choice. For example, define an equivalence relation on $[0, 1]$ by $a \thicksim b$ if and ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

How to understand dot product is the angle's cosine?

How can one see that a dot product gives the angle's cosine between two vectors. (assuming they are normalized) Thinking about how to prove this in the most intuitive way resulted in proving a ...
11
votes
1answer
544 views

Vector Spaces and AC

I know that the proof that every vector space has a basis uses the Axiom of Choice, or Zorn's Lemma. If we consider an axiom system without the Axiom of Choice, are there vector spaces that provably ...
11
votes
7answers
17k views

Calculate Rotation Matrix to align Vector A to Vector B in 3d?

I have one triangle in 3d space that I am tracking in a simulation. Between time steps I have the the previous normal of the triangle and the current normal of the triangle along with both the current ...
11
votes
3answers
315 views

Dot Product Intuition

I'm searching to develop the intuition (rather than memorization) in relating the two forms of a dot product (by an angle theta between the vectors and by the components of the vector ). For ...
11
votes
1answer
152 views

Orientation on finite dimensional vector spaces over finite fields.

For finite-dimensional $\mathbb R$-vector spaces, we define an orientation to be an equivalence class of ordered bases, where $B_1 \sim B_2$ iff the change of basis matrix $A$ taking $B_{1}$ to ...
10
votes
7answers
909 views

A linear operator commuting with all such operators is a scalar multiple of the identity.

The question is from Axler's "Linear Algebra Done Right", which I'm using for self-study. We are given a linear operator $T$ over a finite dimensional vector space $V$. We have to show that $T$ is a ...
10
votes
3answers
286 views

square root of $1/2 + \sqrt3/2?$

Playing with Maple, I noticed that it gives the square root of $c = 1+\frac{\sqrt3}{2}$ as equal to $a = \frac{1}{2}+\frac{\sqrt3}{2}$. Indeed it checks out. But I got curious: how can I find that ...
10
votes
2answers
810 views

Why is cross product only defined in 3 and 7 dimensions? [duplicate]

Why $3$ and $7$? I know from some reading that Hurwitz's Theorem explains this, but can someone help me build some intuition behind this or perhaps provide a simpler explanation? It still seems ...
10
votes
3answers
234 views

What is the relationship between $(u\times v)\times w$ and $u\times(v\times w)$?

Given three vectors $u$, $v$, and $w$, $(u\times v)\times w\neq u\times(v\times w)$. This has been a stated fact in my recent class. But what is the ultimate relationship between them? I would presume ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Transpose of a linear mapping

There seems to be two kinds of transposes of a linear mapping: If $f: V→W$ is a linear map between vector spaces $V$ and $W$ with nondegenerate bilinear forms, we define the transpose of $f$ ...
9
votes
7answers
706 views

Why a subspace of a vector space is useful

I'm in a linear algebra class and am having a hard time wrapping my head around what subspaces of a vector space are useful for (among many other things!). My understanding of a vector space is that, ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Is Cross Product Defined on Vector Space?

In Wikipedia, a cross product between two "vectors" is defined in terms of the angle between the vectors and their magnitudes. As I learned cross product in linear algebra, which I understand to be ...
9
votes
2answers
205 views

If $V \times W$ with the product norm is complete, must $V$ and $W$ be complete?

Let $V,W$ be two normed vector spaces (over a field $K$). Then their product $V \times W$ with the norm $\|(x,y)\| = \|x\|_V + \|y\|_W$ is a normed space. Using this norm it's easy to show that if ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Question about basis and finite dimensional vector space

I have seen the statement "Every finite dimensional vector space has a basis." (Here on page 5) I'm confused about what this tells me. It seems to tell me nothing: by definition, the dimension of a ...
9
votes
2answers
997 views

How to prove $C_1 \|x\|_\infty \leq \|x\| \leq C_2 \|x\|_\infty$?

I want to prove the following theorem (no idea whether it has a name): Let $V = \mathbb{R}^n$ or $\mathbb{C}^n$ and $\|\cdot\|$ be a norm on $V$. Then, there exist $C_1, C_2 > 0$ such that for all ...
9
votes
2answers
755 views

Do I understand metric tensor correctly?

So I've been studying vectors and tensors, and I'm trying to understand metric tensors. As I understand them, besides a vast array of explanations, they provide an invariant distance between vectors ...
9
votes
1answer
187 views

Proof that multiplying by the scalar 1 does not change the vector in a normed vector space.

I'm beginning a self-study of functional analysis, and I seem to have come to a halt trying to solve the first problem in the first problem set, and was wondering if someone could give me a pointer. ...
9
votes
2answers
145 views

The Hairy ball theorem and Möbius transformations

I just came across a chapter in Needham's Visual complex analysis; in particular, these diagrams: (p. 153 - these happen to be on the cover as well) They represent families of Möbius ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

What are some examples of infinite dimensional vector spaces?

I would like to have some examples of infinite dimensional vector spaces that help me to break my habit of thinking of $R^n$ when thinking about vector spaces.
8
votes
3answers
24k views

How to tell if a set of vectors spans a space?

I want to know if the set $\{(1, 1, 1), (3, 2, 1), (1, 1, 0), (1, 0, 0)\}$ spans $\mathbb{R}^3$. I know that if it spans $\mathbb{R}^3$, then for any $x, y, z, \in \mathbb{R}$, there exist $c_1, c_2, ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Covectors and Vectors

I have a general question about vector/covectors: Background. A vector (for our purposes) is a physical object in each basis of $\mathbb{R}^3$ represented by three numbers such that these numbers ...
8
votes
6answers
873 views

Showing $1,e^{x}$ and $\sin{x}$ are linearly independent in $\mathcal{C}[0,1]$

How do i show that $f_{1}(x)=1$, $f_{2}(x)=e^{x}$ and $f_{3}(x)=\sin{x}$ are linearly independent, as elements of the vector space, of continuous functions $\mathcal{C}[0,1]$. So for showing these ...
8
votes
2answers
194 views

Can a basis for a vector space $V$ can be restricted to a basis for any subspace $W$?

I don't understand why this statement is wrong: $V$ is a vector space, and $W$ is a subspace of $V$. $K$ is a basis of $V$. We can manage to find a subset of $K$ that will be a basis of $W$. ...
8
votes
3answers
682 views

Can a vector space have more than one zero vector?

The question above is really it. The reason I ask is that my text says a vector space can have more than one zero vector (It's a true/false question: A vector space may have more than one zero ...