# Linear independence of a vectors satisfying certain relationships with respect to a linear transformation

Let $V$ be a vector space, $T : V \to V$ a linear transformation, and $v_1, v_2, v_3$ be nonzero vectors in $V$ such that $T(v_1)=v_1, T(v_2)=v_1 + v_2, T(v_3)=v_2 + v_3.$ Prove that the vectors $v_1, v_2, v_3$ are linearly independent.

I'm confused as to where to start. Does it involve using the properties of a linear transformation?

A typical method for showing linear independence is to assume dependence and derive a contraction. Suppose the vectors are dependent, so that there are constants $\alpha_i$ not all zero so that $$\alpha_1 v_1 + \alpha_2 v_2 + \alpha_3 v_3 = 0 .$$ Now, apply $T$ and use linearity.
• You now have a system of two equations in $a_1, a_2, a_3$. Can you combine the equations to produce simpler one and deduce some information? (By the way, the second term in your first equation should be $\alpha_2 (v_1 + v_2)$.) – Travis Willse Mar 12 '17 at 23:46