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matrix




  1. general 3x3 matrix
    A general 3×3 matrix
    (MATH) A square or rectangular array of numbers, usually written enclosed in a large pair of parentheses. Matrices, which are added and multiplied using a special set of rules, are extremely useful for representing quantities, particularly in some branches of physics. A matrix can be thought of as a linear operator on vectors. Matrix-vector multiplication can be used to describe geometric transformations such as scaling, rotation, reflection, and translation.

    The first mathematical use of the word "matrix" was around 1850 by James Sylvester who saw a matrix as a way of obtaining determinants, but didn't fully appreciate their potential. Within a year of his first use of the term, he introduced the idea to Arthur Cayley who was the first to publish the inverse of a matrix and to treat matrices as purely abstract mathematical forms. The use of mathematical arrays to solve problems predates the application of the name by about 2000 years. Around 200 BC in the Chinese text Juizhang Suanshu (Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Arts) the author solves a system of three equations in three unknowns by placing the coefficients on a counting board and solving by a process that today would be called Gaussian elimination. "Matrix" comes from the same Latin root that gives us "mother", and was used to refer to the womb and to pregnant animals. It became generalized to mean any situation or substance that contributes to the origin of something.

    mxn matrix

    A is described as an m × n matrix over F, where F is a field, without characteristic, to which all of the mn elements of A belong. A is made up of m1 × n matrices (row vectors) and nm × 1 matrices (column vectors).


    Addition

    If two matrices A and B of F are both m × n, the result of their addition is defined to be the m × n matrix of which a typical element (aij + bij). Their addition is thus commutative and associative. Moreover, the set of m × n matrices of F forms an Abelian group under addition since it has an identity element (see group), O, the zero matrix whose elements are all zero, since A + O = A for all A, and since every A has an inverse = -A, whose typical element is (-aij), such that A + (-A) = O.


    Multiplication

    If l is an element of F, the product lA is defined as the matrix whose typical element is laij. Multiplication of one matrix by another is possible only if the first has the same number of columns as the second has rows. If A is an m × n and B an n × p matrix then their product AB is an m × p matrix with typical element
    ai1b1j + ai2b2j + ... + ainbnj
    Notice that, in this case, BA does not exist unless p = m since otherwise B does not have the same number of columns as A has rows.


    Transposition and symmetry

    The transpose of an m × n matrix A is an n × m matrix A', obtained by setting the row vectors of A as the column vectors of A', the column vectors of A as the row vectors of A'. Some basic results emerge:
    (A')' = A,
    (AB)' = B'A',
    and (kA + lB)' = kA' + lB',
    where k, l, are elements of F. A matrix A is termed symmetric when A = A' and skew-symmetric when A = -A': of course, only matrices where n = m can be symmetric or skew-symmetric. For symmetry the element aij in A must equal aji for all i, j; for skew-symmetry aij + aji = 0, for all i, j. See also determinant.

       • ALGEBRA


  2. (GEOLOGY) The solid matter in which a fossil or crystal is embedded. Also, a binding substance (e.g., cement in concrete).

       • GEOLOGY AND PLANETARY SCIENCE