Application of Matrix in Engineering
Concept of Matrix or Matrices
Let us now introduce the concept of a
. Consider a set of scalar quantities arranged in arectangular array containing
columns:This array will be called a
, or, briefly, an
matrix. Notevery rectangular array is a matrix; to qualify as such it must obey the operational rules discussed below.The quantities
are called the
of the matrix. Preference will be given tothe latter unless one is talking about the computer implementation. As in the case of vectors, theterm “matrix element” will be avoided to lessen the chance of confusion with finite elements. Thetwo subscripts identify the row and column, respectively.Matrices are conventionally identified by
letters such as
, etc. The entries of matrix
may be denoted as
, according to the intended use. Occassionally we shall usethe short-hand component notation
Where Do Matrices Come From?
Although we speak of “matrix algebra” as embodying vectors as special cases of matrices, in practice the quantities of primary interest to the structural engineer are vectors rather than matrices.For example, an engineer may be interested in displacement vectors, force vectors, vibrationeigenvectors, buckling eigenvectors. In finite element analysis even stresses and strains are oftenarrangedas vectors although they are really tensors.On the other hand, matrices are rarely the quantities of primary interest: they work silently in the background where they are normally engaged in operating on vectors.
Why use Matrices?