We introduce matrices, define matrix addition and scalar multiplication, and prove properties of those operations.

MAT-0010: Addition and Scalar Multiplication of Matrices

Introduction to Matrices

A matrix is a rectangular array of numbers. The plural form of matrix is matrices. You have encountered matrices before in the context of augmented matrices and coefficient matrices associate with linear systems.

Consider the matrix

The dimension of a matrix is defined as where is the number of rows and is the number of columns. The above matrix is a matrix because there are three rows and four columns.

A column vector in is an matrix. A row vector in is a matrix.

The individual entries in the matrix are identified according to their position. The -entry of a matrix is the entry in the row and column. For example, in matrix above, is called the -entry because it is in the second row and the third column.

We denote the entry in the row and the column of matrix by , and write in terms of its entries as .

We denote the column of a matrix by and write

A matrix which has size is called a square matrix. In other words, is a square matrix if it has the same number of rows and columns. In a square matrix, entries of the form are said to lie on the main diagonal. For example, if then the main diagonal consists of entries , and .

There are various operations which are done on matrices of appropriate sizes. Matrices can be added to and subtracted from other matrices, multiplied by a scalar, and multiplied by other matrices. We will never divide a matrix by another matrix, but we will see later how matrix inverses play a similar role.

In doing arithmetic with matrices, we often define the action by what happens in terms of the entries (or components) of the matrices. Before looking at these operations in depth, consider a few general definitions.

Addition of Matrices

Given two matrices of the same dimensions, we can add them together by adding their corresponding entries.

Going forward, whenever we write it will be assumed that the two matrices are of equal size and addition is possible.

We will prove Properties item:mataddcomm and item:mataddinv. The remaining properties are left as exercises.

Proof of Property item:mataddcomm:
The -entry of is given by

The -entry of is given by

Since , for all , , we conclude that .

Proof of Property item:mataddinv:
Let be defined by Then .

You will recognize the zero matrix of Theorem th:propertiesofadditionitem:mataddid as the zero matrix of Definition def:zeromatrix.

Scalar Multiplication of Matrices

When a matrix is multiplied by a scalar, the new matrix is obtained by multiplying every entry of the original matrix by the given scalar.

The proof of this theorem is similar to the proof of Theorem th:propertiesofaddition and is left as an exercise.

Practice Problems

If then

Prove properties item:mataddass and item:mataddid of Theorem th:propertiesofaddition.
Prove Theorem th:propertiesscalarmult.

Text Source

The text in this module is an adaptation of Section 2.1 of Ken Kuttler’s A First Course in Linear Algebra. (CC-BY)

Ken Kuttler, A First Course in Linear Algebra, Lyryx 2017, Open Edition, p. 53-58.