Binary operation

1. Oct 30, 2008

sara_87

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

A binary operation is defined by:
the set of 2 x 2 matrices with real entries under matrix multiplication.
Find the identity element and the inverse.

2. Relevant equations

identity element: a$$\o$$e=e$$\o$$a=a

inverse: a$$\o$$b=b$$\o$$a=e

3. The attempt at a solution

I think that the identity element is a 2 x 2 matrix of zeroes with 1's along the diagonal. but how do i find the inverse b?
Thank you.

2. Oct 30, 2008

Office_Shredder

Staff Emeritus
In general A will not have an inverse B such that AB = Identity. The brute force method is try multiplying a matrix with elements a,b,c,d with a matrix with elements e,f,g,h such that the resulting matrix is the identity. Find e,f,g,h in terms of a,b,c,d. The hint is that ad-bc is going to have to be non-zero for you to be able to solve this equation (because you have to divide by ad-bc)

3. Oct 30, 2008

sara_87

so if i do this, i get:
ae+bg=1
cf+dh=1
af+bh=0
ce+dg=0
why do i divide by ad-bc?

4. Oct 30, 2008

Staff: Mentor

'cause you're not done yet. You have to find the numbers e, f, g, and h in order to say what the inverse is for a given matrix A.

Here are a couple of 2 x 2 matrices, one of which has an inverse and the other doesn't.

A = [1 1; 0 2] (listed by rows)

B = [1 2; 3 6] (ditto)

5. Oct 31, 2008

sara_87

ok i see what you mean, i found e, f, g, and h: