THEOREM

If the number of equations is greater than or equal to the number of variables
in a linear system, then one of the following is true:
1) The system has no solution.
2) The system has exactly one solution
3) The system has infinitely many solutions.
Example 1: Equal number of equations and variables but system has no
solution
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
− · + +
· − −
· + +
1 5 5
4 3
1
z y x
z y x
z y x

1
1
1
]
1

¸

− −
1
4
1
5 5 1
1 1 3
1 1 1
----PERFORM ROW OPERATIONS---->
1
1
1
]
1

¸

− −
1
1
1
0 0 0
4 4 0
1 1 1
Observe in the third row of the final augmented matrix: 0 = -1!
Therefore, we conclude that the system is inconsistent and has no solution.
Example 2: Equal number of equations and variables and has many solutions
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
− · − +
· − −
− · − +
3 5 3 2
1 2 3
2 3 2
z y x
z y x
z y x

1
1
1
]
1

¸


− −

3
1
2
5 3 2
2 1 3
3 2 1
---PERFORM ROW OPERATIONS--->
1
1
1
]
1

¸



0
1
0
0 0 0
1 1 0
1 0 1
From the last augmented matrix, we will get a new system of x – z = 0 and y
– z = -1. We can assign any real number to either x or z. Thus, there will be
many sets of x, y and z values.
Therefore, we conclude that the system has infinitely many solutions.
Example 3: More equations than variables but system has no solution
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
· +
· −
· +
12 3 4
0 2
4 2
y x
y x
y x

1
1
1
]
1

¸


12
0
4
3 4
2 1
2 1
----PERFORM ROW OPERATIONS---->
1
1
1
]
1

¸

1
1
2
0 0
1 0
0 1
Observe in the third row of the final augmented matrix: 0 = -1!
Therefore, we conclude that the system has no solution.
THEOREM
If there are fewer equations than variables in a linear system, then the system
either has no solution or it has infinitely many solutions.
Example 4: Fewer equations than variables and has many solutions
¹
¹
¹
'
¹
− · + − +
· − − −
− · + − +
3 5 3 2
1 4 2 3
2 3 2
w z y x
w z y x
w z y x

1
1
1
]
1

¸


− − −

3
1
2
1 5 3 2
4 2 1 3
1 3 2 1
--PERFORM ROW OPERATIONS-->
1
1
1
]
1

¸


− −
0
1
0
0 0 0 0
1 1 1 0
1 1 0 1
From the last augmented matrix, we will get a new system:
¹
'
¹
− · + −
· − −
1
0
w z y
w z x
We can assign any real number to either x or z. Thus, there will be many sets
of w, x, y and z values. Therefore, we conclude that the system has infinitely
many solutions.

we conclude that the system has infinitely many solutions. Thus. there will be many sets of w. Therefore. Example 4: Fewer equations than variables and has many solutions  x + 2 y − 3 z + w = −2   3x − y − 2 z − 4 w = 1  2 x + 3 y − 5 z + w = −3  1 2 − 3 1 − 2  3 − 1 − 2 − 4 1    --PERFORM ROW OPERATIONS-->  2 3 − 5 1 − 3   1 0 − 1 − 1 0  0 1 − 1 1 − 1   0 0 0 0 0    x−z−w=0 From the last augmented matrix. we conclude that the system has no solution.Observe in the third row of the final augmented matrix: 0 = -1! Therefore. x. . we will get a new system:   y − z + w = −1 We can assign any real number to either x or z. THEOREM If there are fewer equations than variables in a linear system. then the system either has no solution or it has infinitely many solutions. y and z values.

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