What does it mean to say that a n x n orthogonal matrix has n(n-1)/2 independent parameters? And why is this so? Can this be shown using the equation the summation with respect to i of the product aij(aik)= bjk where j,k=1,2,3. And bjk has the property bjk=1 when j=k bjk=0 when j doesn't equal k And with this being said, why does n x n unitary matrix have n^2-1 independent parameters. Can someone help clear some stuff up?