Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 7


STPM 2014

Matrices are rectangular arrays of numbers, symbols, or expressions, arranged in rows and columns. The individual items in matrices are called its elements or entries. An example of matrices with 2 rows and 3 columns:

Matrices which have a single row are called row vectors whereas those have a single column are called column vectors. Matrices that have an equal number of rows and columns are the square matrices. Two matrices are equal if the order of matrices are the same and each corresponding element in the two matrices is equal. Addition and subtraction of matrices can be performed if and only if the matrices are of the same order. Multiplication of two matrices is possible if and only if the number of columns in the first matrix is equal to the number of rows in the second matrix. Other examples of square matrices are the identity matrix, the diagonal matrix and symmetric matrix. A null matrix if a matrix of any size where all the elements in it are zero

Description of problems: Investigating how elementary row operations can be performed to reduce matrices into row echelon form, under what mathematical condition for matrices to be reduced into row echelon form, how to determine the invertible of matrices and under what mathematical condition for pairs of matrices said to be row equivalent

History of matrices: Matrices have a long history of application in solving linear equations. The Chinese text titled The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art from between 300 BC and 200 A.D, is the first example of the use of matrices methods in solving simultaneous equations, including the concept of determinants. This was over 1000 years before its publication by the Japanese mathematician Seki Takakazu in 1683 and the German mathematician Leibniz in 1693. Cramer presented his mathematical rule in 1750. Early matrices theories emphasized determinants more than matrices and an independent matrices concept similar to the modern notion emerged only in 1858, with Arthur Cayleys Memoir on the theory of matrices The term matrix (Latin for womb) was coined by James Joseph Sylvester in 1850, who understood matrices give rise to a number of determinants todays called minors. Einstein also stated that matrices products do not obey commutative law. In the other hand, French mathematician Cauchy was the first to prove general statements about determinants. At the end of the 19th century, Carl Friedrich Gauss (aka the Prince of Mathematicians), a German mathematician and physical scientist proposed the Gaussian elimination (aka row reduction). It is a sequence of algorithm operations for solving systems of linear equation. This method can be used to find the rank of matrices, determinant of matrices, inverse of matrices as well as reducing matrices into row echelon form involving the elementary row operation. However, the method of Gaussian elimination appeared as early as in the Chapter Eight Rectangular Arrays of The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art. The inception of matrices mechanics by Heisenberg, Born and Jordan later led to studying matrices with infinitely many rows and columns. Matrices today: Matrices are widely used in branches in physics, including classical mechanics, optics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics in studying physical phenomena such as the motion of rigid bodies. Matrices are used to project a 3D image onto a 2D screen in computer graphics. In probability theory and statistics, stochastic matrices are used to describe sets of probabilities. Have you ever wonder how webpages are ranked in Google search? They are all due to the contribution of matrices!

Methodology To reduce matrices into row echelon form, elementary row operation is used. There are three types of the row operations: (a) Row switching (swap), that is interchanging all the elements in a row with all the correspond elements in another row

(b) Row multiplication(scale), that is multiplying all the elements in a row by a constant (non-zero number)

(c) Row addition(pivot), that is adding a multiple of the elements in a row to the correspond elements in another row

The elementary row operation (acronym ERO) can be used to simplify matrices operation because it preserves the properties of determinant of the matrices.

Matrix is reduced into the row echelon form if and only if it satisfies these conditions: (a) For each row which does not consists of only zero elements, the left-most non-zero element in the row (called the leading coefficient/pivot), is in a column to the right of the leading coefficient in the row above of it (b) For rows with all zero elements (if any), are below rows having at least one non-zero element An upper-triangular matrix (with all elements below major diagonal of square matrix are zero) always exist as row echelon form of matrix

Row echelon form of matrix is useful to represent a system of linear equations in a very simple form. It is used to determine the system whether they have a unique solution, infinitely many solutions or no solution The algebraic properties of matrix is then used to find the solution for the system using Gaussian elimination.

For a square matrix, it is possible to deduce some of its properties by computing its determinant. Determinant of a matrix, for instance matrix A is denoted by det A, |A| or . For a 2 x 2 matrix, the determinant of the matrix is ad-bc. For a 3 x 3 matrix, the determinant of the matrix can be determined as follow:

A matrix is invertible if and only if the determinant of the matrix to zero. Considering if the determinant = 0

is invalid. Hence, the matrix is non-invertible. Matrix with det = 0 is a nonsingular matrix whereas matrix with det 0 is a singular matrix Two matrices are row equivalent if one matrix can be changed to the other matrix by a sequence of elementary row operation

The result of an invertible matrix can be equated by using the elementary row operation. A matrix, for instance matrix A is expressed in augmented matrix of (A|I) apprehended by an identity matrix before undergo ERO to transform (A|I) to the form of (I| )

Conclusion The development of matrices which origin from the Chinese text The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art (Jiu Zhang Suan Shu) since 300 BC till now is due to the hard work and consistent researches by mathematicians and scientists. Today, the uses of matrices have been expanded into wide range of fields to solve various mathematical problems. In this coursework, I found out the importance of elementary row operations, that is to simplify matrices operations so that it would be easier for us to solve algorithmic mathematical problems. Elementary row operations includes row switching(swap), row multiplication(scale) and row addition(pivot). They are used in Gaussian elimination method to determine the solution for system of linear equations by reducing the matrix into its row echelon form. Besides, one of the special characteristics exhibits by the elementary row operations is that they could preserve the determinant of matrices. In find whether a matrix is invertible or not, the determinant of the matrix is equated. For matrix with determinant not equal to zero, it is proof to be invertible and such matrix is called a singular matrix. In the other hand, matrix with determinant equal to zero, the matrix is non-invertible and is called a non-singular matrix. Hence, elementary row operations are used not only to find the invertibility of matrix and also the row equivalent of pairs of matrices. When a matrix can be changed to the other matrix by sequences of elementary row operations, the matrices are said to be row equivalent.

Last but not least, the inverse of a matrix can be resolve easily all thanks to the elementary row operations. To search for the inverse of a matrix, simply augment the matrix with an identity matrix in the form of (A|I), then change the form to (I| ) using elementary row operations. To tie a knot, we should be grateful the elementary row operations are invented to solve complicated mathematical problems algorithmically.

References Lee Yoon Who, Tan Ah Geok, Tey Kim Soon (2013) STPM Text Mathematics (T) Term 1. Selangor Darul Ehsan, Penerbitan Pelangi Sdn. Bhd.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matrix_(mathematics)#Other_historical_usages_of_the_word_.E2.80.9 Cmatrix.E2.80.9D_in_mathematics