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Anyone out there have Lawden's book, "An Introduction to Tensor Calculus, Relativity and Cosmology"? Expression 39.13 (on p 109) and the sentence that precedes it have me stumped. My understanding of what he's saying is that a symmetric quadratic form can always be diagonalized so that the coefficients are 1. I was not aware of this. It seems to me that's the same thing as saying all symmetric matrices are similar to the identity--that is, its eigenvalues are all 1. If someone could clear this up for me it would be awesome. By the way, I know this is more of a linear algebra question, but I mentioned it in here because I figured people in this forum might be familiar with the book.

thank you :)

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# Lawden's Book

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