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What a matrice is

  1. Sep 4, 2010 #1
    I have found out what a matrice is, but i cannot think wat an example of it would be, ive been thinkning and about it, would it have to be a 2-D number?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 4, 2010 #2
    Re: Matrices

    A matrix isn't a number, a matrix is more of a collection of numbers. For example, if want to keep track of the coordinates for a bunch of points on a graph, you can use a matrix with two rows and store the X coordinates in the first row, and the Y coordinates in the second. Matrices are useful for many things, including transformations and solving systems of equations. You will go more in depth with matrix algebra in math classes in school.
  4. Sep 5, 2010 #3


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    Re: Matrices

    You can think of a 2 by 2 matrix as a linear function from [itex]R^2[/itex] to [itex]R^2[/itex]. In general, it is better to think of matrices as (linear) functions rather than numbers.
  5. Sep 6, 2010 #4
    Re: Matrices

    One of the most powerful ways to use a matrix is as a transformation entity analogous to a function. A matrix transforms one vector [ 1 x n matrix] in to another vector in A x = b
    where x and b are vectors
    In this sense, a matrix acts as a multi-dimensional function, transforming a set of "n" variables/values in to another set of "n" variables/values.
  6. Sep 6, 2010 #5


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    Re: Matrices

    This is a matrix:

    [tex]\begin{bmatrix} 2 & 4 \\ 0 & 3 \end{bmatrix}[/tex]

    This particular matrix is a 2x2 matrix. That is; 2 rows and 2 columns. You could have any number of rows and columns. It is basically an array of numbers, and they can be integers, rational numbers, real numbers, or whatever you want.

    If you haven't seen examples of matrices seeing examples and manipulating matrices is definitely the best way to learn. You should try doing some basic operations like adding and subtracting on matrices of various sizes.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
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