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2016 Chapter II. Vector Spaces over $\mathbb Q$, $\mathbb R$, and $\mathbb C$


This chapter introduces vector spaces and linear maps between them, and it goes on to develop certain constructions of new vector spaces out of old, as well as various properties of determinants.

Sections 1–2 define vector spaces, spanning, linear independence, bases, and dimension. The sections make use of row reduction to establish dimension formulas for certain vector spaces associated with matrices. They conclude by stressing methods of calculation that have quietly been developed in proofs.

Section 3 relates matrices and linear maps to each other, first in the case that the linear map carries column vectors to column vectors and then in the general finite-dimensional case. Techniques are developed for working with the matrix of a linear map relative to specified bases and for changing bases. The section concludes with a discussion of isomorphisms of vector spaces.

Sections 4–6 take up constructions of new vector spaces out of old ones, together with corresponding constructions for linear maps. The four constructions of vector spaces in these sections are those of the dual of a vector space, the quotient of two vector spaces, and the direct sum and direct product of two or more vector spaces.

Section 7 introduces determinants of square matrices, together with their calculation and properties. Some of the results that are established are expansion in cofactors, Cramer's rule, and the value of the determinant of a Vandermonde matrix. It is shown that the determinant function is well defined on any linear map from a finite-dimensional vector space to itself.

Section 8 introduces eigenvectors and eigenvalues for matrices, along with their computation. Also, in this section the characteristic polynomial and the trace of a square matrix are defined, and all these notions are reinterpreted in terms of linear maps.

Section 9 proves the existence of bases for infinite-dimensional vector spaces and discusses the extent to which the material of the first eight sections extends from the finite-dimensional case to be valid in the infinite-dimensional case.


Published: 1 January 2016
First available in Project Euclid: 18 July 2018

Digital Object Identifier: 10.3792/euclid/9781429799980-2

Rights: Copyright © 2016, Anthony W. Knapp


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