1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
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: Linear algebra unique solutions

  1. Sep 9, 2012 #1
    This is just a general question.

    When a coefficient matrix for a linear system has a determinant equal to 0. That means the coefficient matrix does not have an inverse, thus the system does not have a unique solution.

    Is the above statement correct?

    What exact is a unique solution? Is it basically just one without free variables?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    That's essentially correct. Might be best though if you thought about why it's true so you can answer this yourself. If M is your coefficient matrix, then det(M)=0 means Mx=0 has a solution. So Mx=0 has an infinite number of solutions. And the solution not being unique could mean either you have an infinite number of solutions (i.e. free parameters) or you might have no solutions. Can you give an example?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook