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Subset span proof help

  1. Jul 27, 2005 #1
    show that a subset W of vector space V is a subspace of V iff span(W)=W

    Can anyone help guide me along in this proof?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 27, 2005 #2

    matt grime

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    Which of the directions of implication can you show, if any? The result follows from the definitions of all the words involved directly.
  4. Jul 27, 2005 #3
    i have sketched a couple ideas but i dont think they are legit...so i guess i cant show either direction, im sure one is far simpler than the other i just cant get a good start
  5. Jul 27, 2005 #4

    matt grime

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    What is (your) definition of a vector subspace? Mine is that W is a subspace if W is a subset of V and for all x and y in W and s and t in R (or whatever the underlying field is, perhaps C) the sx+ty is in W and 0 is in W. (note this is redundant by settinf s=t=0)
    What is the span of a subset? iti s the set of all combinations

    [tex]t_1x_1+\ldots t_nx_n[/tex]

    for t_i in R (or the underlying field) and x_i in W
    so W=span(W) means exactly that all finite combinations of elements of W are in W.

    so we are trying to show that

    W closed under combining (adding up) two elements of itself if and only if W is closed under combining a finite number of elements of itself.

    Obvioulsy one way is simple: if i can add up any number of combinations of elements then i can in particular add up two of them. Conversely...?
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