Determine whether or not something is a subspace

  1. Mar 7, 2009 #1
    My understanding of the subspace still isn't solid enough, so I want to know what I know so far is at least correct.

    By definition, a set of vectors S of Rn is called a subspace of Rn iff for all vectors (I will call them x):
    1) (x+y) [tex]\in[/tex] S and
    2) kx [tex]\in[/tex] S.

    Also, the solution set of a homogeneous system is always a subspace.

    When I encounter problems such as determine whether or not {(x1,x2,x3)|x1x2=0} is a subspace of its corresponding Rn, I would approach this problem as such:

    Since the set has only three vectors, then it's in R3, first of all; then I check for 1): Suppose a set of vectors Y {(y1,y2,y3)|y1y2=0}, then (S+Y)=x1x2+y1y2=0+0=0; for 2): kS=(kx1)(kx2)=(k0)(k0)=0. Therefore it is a subspace of R3.

    Is my way of solving this problem correct?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2009 #2
    You are right in that you must check your the two conditions. But you must do it for arbitrary vectors, you didn't seem to do this correctly. Consider

    [tex] (1,0,0), (0,1,0) \in \{(x_{1},x_{2},x_{3})|x_{1}x_{2}=0\}. [/tex]

    If you add them you obtain [tex] (1,1,0) [/tex] which clearly does not have [tex] x_{1}x_{2} = 0 [/tex]. Also the way you present your vectors doesn't seem standard.
     
  4. Mar 7, 2009 #3
    That was a nice attempt but your steps were wrong.
    {(x1,x2,x3)|x1x2=0} is a subset of [tex]\mathbb{R}^3\[tex] which satisfies the property that x1x2 = 0. but since x1, x2 are in [tex]\mathbb{R}[tex], then either x1=0 or x2=0 or both equal zero.
    To proof that it is a subspace, let y and s be vectors in {(x1,x2,x3)|x1x2=0} such that y = (y1,y2,y3) and s = (s1,s2,s3), then
    y+s = (y1+s1,y2+s2,y3+s3)
    check (y1+s1)(y2+s2) = y1y2+y1s2+s1y2+s1s2= y1s2+s1y2 (since y1y2=0 and s1s2=0
    clear in general; y1s2+s1y2 is not equal to zero. this implies that it does not satisfy the property x1x2 = 0. Hence the set {(x1,x2,x3)|x1x2=0} is not a subspace of [tex]\mathbb{R}^3\[tex]. we don't need to proof the second property
     
  5. Mar 7, 2009 #4
    That was a nice attempt but your steps were wrong.
    {(x1,x2,x3)|x1x2=0} is a subset of R3 which satisfies the property that x1x2 = 0. but since x1, x2 are in R3 then either x1=0 or x2=0 or both equal zero.
    To proof that it is a subspace, let y and s be vectors in {(x1,x2,x3)|x1x2=0} such that y = (y1,y2,y3) and s = (s1,s2,s3), then
    y+s = (y1+s1,y2+s2,y3+s3)
    check (y1+s1)(y2+s2) = y1y2+y1s2+s1y2+s1s2= y1s2+s1y2 (since y1y2=0 and s1s2=0
    clear in general; y1s2+s1y2 is not equal to zero. this implies that it does not satisfy the property x1x2 = 0. Hence the set {(x1,x2,x3)|x1x2=0} is not a subspace of R3. we don't need to proof the second property
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?