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I've read some notes online and I learned so far:

  • $\{\overset{\displaystyle\ldots}\ldots$ Systems of Two Linear Equations

  • $\rlap{\require{cancel}{\rlap{\Huge\times}\cancel{\color{white}h}}}{\begin{bmatrix}\quad\end{bmatrix}}\,\,$ Gaussian Elimination

  • $\left[\vdots\,\vdots\,\vdots\right]$ Matrices

  • $(\square^{-1})$ The Inverse of a Square Matrix (and also how to solve $\sf Ax=B$)

  • $\left|\,\overset{\overset{\displaystyle\cdot}{}}.\,\overset{\overset{\displaystyle\cdot}{}}.\right|$ Determinants and Cramer’s Rule

Is this enough to start reading the celebrated book Linear Algebra Done Right by the author Sheldon Axler?

I will in the future study topics in physics like advanced electrodynamics, classical field theory, general relativity, quantum mechanics and a lot of particle physics. (i heard that there were a lot of "matrix" stuff there but idk), so will Axler's book be sufficient for those?

Thanks for your answer.

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    $\begingroup$ Axler's book is essentially self-contained, so yes, your background is enough in terms of content. More important is certain "mathematical maturity", as the book is fairly theoretical rather than computationally oriented, and you need to be comfortable with proofs. Whether the book will prepare you for later courses is hard to say exactly. You probably want to complement it with another text where there is more emphasis on computational aspects of matrix theory. $\endgroup$ – Andrés E. Caicedo Dec 24 '14 at 21:25
  • $\begingroup$ If you have a grasp of the topics you've mentioned, any linear algebra book should be readable because you essentially revisit them, albeit with a more precise language. As for the second part, I think that Linear Algebra will be necessary, but certainly not sufficient. $\endgroup$ – GPerez Dec 24 '14 at 21:27
  • $\begingroup$ @AndresCaicedo For proofs I've read A Transition to Advanced Mathematics by authors Douglas Smith, Maurice Eggen and Richard St. Andre. I will also try to read Introduction to matrix analysis by Bellman. Will it be sufficient? Do you have any other alternatives? $\endgroup$ – user153330 Dec 24 '14 at 21:28
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    $\begingroup$ I think you will be fine. As for future courses, they may emphasize the infinite dimensional theory (usually covered in functional analysis courses). Axler does not really touch this topic. $\endgroup$ – Andrés E. Caicedo Dec 24 '14 at 21:40
  • $\begingroup$ @AndresCaicedo Thanks for your comments, the question is solved, please write them as an answer so that I accept it. $\endgroup$ – user153330 Dec 24 '14 at 21:43
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I've used Axler's book in the past as textbook in linear algebra courses I've taught, and I'm familiar with its content. The book is essentially self-contained, so yes, your background should be enough in terms of prerequisites and pace.

More important is certain "mathematical maturity", as the book is fairly theoretical rather than computationally oriented, and you need to be comfortable with proofs. Whether the book will prepare you for later courses is hard to say exactly. You probably want to complement it with another text where there is more emphasis on computational aspects of matrix theory.

In particular, topics that numerical analysts consider fundamental, such as the singular value decomposition of a matrix, or the $QR$ (Francis) algorithm for computing eigenvalues are not really treated by Axler. The key contribution of the book is the development of the basic theory without needing to appeal to the determinant. I believe this is important to actually understand the content of some of the key results. That said, the determinant is an important tool in computations, and this is something Axler does not treat in appropriate depth.

If you are interested in applications of linear algebra beyond the real or complex settings, applications where now the underlying field may be finite, you will need a different book, since Axler does not mention these topics. A sugestion here is Linear Algebra Methods in Combinatorics. With Applications to Geometry and Computer Science, by László Babai, and Péter Frankl. The book was never published, but preliminary notes are available from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Chicago, or elsewhere on the internet.

One last comment: In some of the (future) courses you have mentioned, the linear algebra one encounters takes place on infinite dimensional spaces, where the theory also requires ideas of topology and continuity. The appropriate setting for these topics is a course on functional analysis.

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