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General Form of 3x3 unitary matrix

  1. Feb 9, 2008 #1
    Hi,

    Does anyone know the general form of a 3x3 Unitary Matrix? I know for 2x2 it can be parametrized by 2 complex numbers. I remember once seeing a general form for the 3x3 in terms of 6, I think, complex numbers. Anyway, I'm having trouble finding that now...so if anyone could help me it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Eric
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 9, 2008 #2

    morphism

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    I'm not sure if this is what you mean, but any nxn unitary matrix is similar to a matrix of the form

    [tex]\left(\begin{array}{ccc} e^{i \theta_1} & & 0 \\ & \ddots & \\ 0 & & e^{i \theta_n} \end{array}\right)[/tex]

    This is because a unitary matrix is diagonalizable and its eigenvalues all lie on the unit circle (i.e. have absolute value 1).
     
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