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Quantum List of Special Matrices?

  1. Sep 27, 2015 #1


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    Is there any chart/graph/website online or in a ebook that has a clear concise list of special matrices used in physics?

    I'm just getting into an intro to quantum mechanics class and we are going over all types of matrices, Identity, hermitian, diagonal, transpose, unitary, and so on.

    I want to make a poster for my room of all the different types so I understand them well, but I can't seem to find a decent and clear list of most of the special matrices used.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 27, 2015 #2


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    What matrices you list aren't that special. Some are matrices, some are matrix operations, some are types of matrices ...

    A diagonal matrix is a square matrix where the only non-zero entries are located on the main diagonal.

    The identity matrix is a special diagonal matrix where all of the non-zero entries are 1.

    The transpose of a matrix is taking all the rows of a given matrix and writing them as the corresponding columns.

    Hermitian and unitary matrices you can look up the definition.

    A lot of LA facts are given in Math Handbooks. These are a good tool to have, just like having a Physics or Chemistry handbook.
  4. Sep 28, 2015 #3
    If you can get your hands on Arfken's book, his chapter on linear algebra (I think that's what its called) will mention all the types of matrices you've mentioned in considerable detail.
  5. Oct 4, 2015 #4
    Those are the matrices you'd find in the first 40 pages of any Linear Algebra introductory book (shorter if it doesn't have rigorous proofs). Anything will do as long as it's readable.
  6. Oct 4, 2015 #5


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    Excellent suggestion with the linear algebra book. I think that may end up being where I need to take this info.
  7. Oct 4, 2015 #6
  8. Oct 5, 2015 #7
    If you need a linear algebra book, I have 2 recommendations. Friedberg and Anton. Friedberg is for a second semester, but is readable. (easier than say Apostol and Spivak Calculus). Anton is a bit easier to read than fried berg, but does not go into much detail. Both books can be found for under 12 shipped for both.
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