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Rank of a matrix and its submatrices

  1. Nov 11, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Let A be a nonzero matrix of size n. Let a k*k submatrix of A be defined as a matrix obtained by deleting any n-k rows and n-k columns of A. Let m denote the largest integer such that some m*m submatrix has a nonzero determinant. Prove that rank(A) = k.

    Now conversely suppose that rank(A) = m. Prove that some m*m submatrix has a nonzero determinant.

    2. Relevant equations
    Determinant formulas

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Not quite sure if I should proceed by examining the solution space of A or rather just do something clever with the determinants. I feel like there's a property of determinants that I'm missing that'd make this much easier.
  2. jcsd
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