Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Find a set of vectors that spans the subspace

  1. Sep 3, 2012 #1
    Find a set of vectors in [itex]\mathbb{R}^3[/itex] that spans the subspace
    S\,=\,\{\,u\,\in\,\mathbb{R}^3\,|\,u\cdot v\,=\,0\,\}
    where v=<1,2,3>

    Maybe 12 hours of studying is too much and I'm fried or, maybe I'm looking for excuses. Either way...

    To solve this I'm trying to set up a matrix multiplication and augment it at zero. But, I just get a single linear equation which tells me that the only way I can have a span of this subspace is if my other vector is the zero vector <0,0,0>. I don't think that's right.


    a & b & c






    Getting [itex]a+2b+3c=0[/itex]

    Where's my issue?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 4, 2012 #2
    Perhaps you should stop and think what it is you're calculating here. You are looking for a subspace which is perpendicular to a vector, so it's a plane. Maybe that will help you interpret your result.
  4. Sep 4, 2012 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    From a+ 2b+ 3c= 0, you have a= -2b- 3c so <a, b, c>= <-2b- 3c, b, c>.
  5. Sep 4, 2012 #4
    Thanks. I was looking at that and didn't take the next step of actually putting it into a vector form. Again, thanks.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook