# I'm trying to prove that a linear map is injective

1. Dec 18, 2007

### catcherintherye

hello, i've been reading some proofs and in keep finding this same argument tyo prove that a linear map is injective viz, we suppose that t(a,c) = 0 and then we deduce that a,c = 0,0. is it the case that the only way a linear map could be non injective is if it took two elements to zero? i.e. t injective iff ker(t) not zero?

2. Dec 18, 2007

### HallsofIvy

Staff Emeritus
First, it's easy to prove that any linear map takes the 0 vector to 0. If a linear maps takes some non-zero vector to 0 also, then it clearly is not injective.

On the other hand, suppose the linear map T takes two vectors, u, v, with $u\ne v$, into the same thing. Then T(u- v)= T(u)- T(v)= 0 so T takes the non-zero vector u-v into 0.

However, your final statement is exactly reversed: t is injective if and only if ker(t) is {0}.

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