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!

Proving a Matrix to be nonsingular

  1. Feb 3, 2015 #1

    B18

    User Avatar

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Prove that if A is an n x n diagonal matrix with nonzero main diagonal elements; that is a(subscript)ii≠0 for all
    1 ≤ i ≤ n, then A is nonsingular and find A(superscript)-1 (A inverse)

    2. Relevant equations
    AB=BA=I(subscript)n

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I first started out by stating that givens, such as A is an n x n diagonal matrix with nonzero diagonal elements. I then let B be an n x n matrix, and also stated that B is the inverse of A.

    Am I on the right track here? Can I prove that AB=I(sub)n or BA=I(sub)n??
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2015 #2
    What allows us to know whether a matrix has an inverse i.e. is nonsingular?

    Figuring out B should be easier than the proof itself.

    When you multiply two diagonal matrices, in this case A and B, the product is a diagonal matrix where each entry is the product of the corresponding entries.

    Use this and the fact that AB = I to determine B
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
  4. Feb 3, 2015 #3

    B18

    User Avatar

    The matrix must be square in order to have an inverse.
    There must exist an n x n matrix B such that AB=BA=In.
     
  5. Feb 3, 2015 #4
    You're on the right track. It has to be square and something else

    For ex, a 2x2 square matrix of all zeros doesn't have a inverse. Why?
     
  6. Feb 3, 2015 #5

    B18

    User Avatar

    If the matrix A has an inverse that inverse is unique.
     
  7. Feb 3, 2015 #6
    But how do we know it has an inverse in the first place? If I gave you a matrix
    [2 3]
    [1 4]
    How do you get its inverse?
     
  8. Feb 3, 2015 #7

    B18

    User Avatar

    If that is A: AB=In.
    [2 3][b11 b12] = [1 0]
    [1 4][b21 b22] [0 1]

    Then just multiply AB and set those equal to the identity matrix.
     
  9. Feb 3, 2015 #8

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    B18, you're not using a very important piece of the given information -- your matrix A is diagonal.
    You can't assume that B is the inverse of A; i.e., that B = A-1. You have to first show that A has an inverse; that is, is nonsingular. There is an important tool that can be used on square matrices to determine whether they are singular or nonsingular.
     
  10. Feb 3, 2015 #9
    As Mark said, you cannot assume that A has an inverse matrix and then set out on finding it. You need a way to see if it has an inverse before you can attempt to use your method to solve that example problem I gave you.
     
  11. Feb 4, 2015 #10

    B18

    User Avatar

    For a square matrix to be nonsingular the determinant cannot equal 0.
     
  12. Feb 4, 2015 #11

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    Bingo!

    And calculating the determinant of a diagonal matrix is very easy. For your matrix, aii ≠ 0, for i = 1, ..., n, so what is |A|?
     
  13. Feb 4, 2015 #12

    Ray Vickson

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    On the other hand, if you have some given matrix A and I hand you a matrix B and ask you if B is the inverse of A, you don't need to know if A has an inverse; you just need to check if AB = I. That could be the situation if I started blindly using a matrix-inversion algorithm on your A and it went all the way to the end without encountering any problems.
     
  14. Feb 4, 2015 #13

    B18

    User Avatar

    Well A should be: a11a22 if it were a 2x2 matrix.
     
  15. Feb 4, 2015 #14

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    Do you mean |A| -- the determinant of A? In any case, the given matrix is n x n.
     
  16. Feb 4, 2015 #15

    B18

    User Avatar

    Yes the determinant of A would be that. So in my proof I need to state that the determinant of A is not zero because it has nonzero diagonal values. Correct?
     
  17. Feb 4, 2015 #16

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    Instead of just stating that |A| ≠ 0, your proof would be more convincing if you showed that it was not zero. In your class have you spent any time on determinant properties and theorems?
     
  18. Feb 4, 2015 #17

    B18

    User Avatar

    Mark- We have not covered the determinant properties or theorems yet. They are in the next chapter. The chapter that this proof is from contains a small part on how the determinant cannot be 0 if the matrix has an inverse.
     
  19. Feb 4, 2015 #18

    B18

    User Avatar

    Am I going to need to write out the A and B matrices in order to prove this? All the proofs in this section thus far have been denoted by A,B, and C. I haven't yet done a proof where i needed to write out the matrix and fill in the entries.
     
  20. Feb 4, 2015 #19

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    What exactly does that part say? As you gave it here, it's of no use, since it starts with "if a matrix has an inverse" and you don't know that.
     
  21. Feb 4, 2015 #20

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    There is no matrix B given in this problem. All you have to go on is an n X n diagonal matrix A.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted