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Bases, Invertibility and Injectivity Query

  1. Mar 24, 2009 #1

    There are two things that are confusing me a bit, and was wondering if anyone could explain them.

    Firstly, if we let V1,V2,...,Vn be vectors in some field F^n and let P = {V1,V2,....,Vn},
    then the following are equivalent:

    (i) {V1,V2,....,Vn} is a basis for F^n ;
    (ii) P is invertible.

    Secondly, let T be a linear map. Then if T is invertible, then it is injective.

    Thanks for the hep in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2009 #2


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    I'm not quite sure what you mean by "P is invertible".
    As I see it, P is just a set (with n vectors as its elements). What does it mean for a set to be invertible? Or is there some definition / notation that is not generally used here?

    For the second one I can help you: to show that T is injective, you should have that whenever T(x) = T(y) (for arbitrary x and y in the domain), then x = y. This is almost trivial to prove: apply the inverse of T to both sides!
  4. Mar 24, 2009 #3
    I think Ad123q means that P is the matrix whose column vectors V1, V2, etc.

    If P is invertible then the V1, V2, etc must be linearly independent. Conversely, it is also true that if the V1, V2, etc are linearly independent, then the matrix P must be invertible.

    To get a feel for this, suppose two columns of a matrix were linearly dependent. (Say the ith and jth.) Then that would mean that two linearly independent vectors would be mapped by P onto the same line. (Specifically, the ith and jth standard basis vectors.) Speaking loosely, this destroys information about the vectors being multiplied by P, so you can't invert P.
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