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Lecture Notes compiled by Dr. Abhijit Kar Gupta, kg.abhi@gmail.


Introduction to Vector Space

Basic Concept:

A vector has components. Example: Position vector, ( A scalar has no components. Example: Mass,

Components of a vector are scalars; the scalars are some numbers that can be real or complex. Real numbers are drawn from a real field and the complex numbers are drawn from a complex field . Therefore, a vector is always defined over a field. The number of components (or tuples) of a vector corresponds to the dimension of the space, we define it later as vector space! In the beginning, as we wrote the components ( ), they are all real, so they belong to the real field. We write, . To construct a vector space, there are some axioms that have to be followed, that we describe later.
Why the study of Vector Space?

Many mathematical systems satisfy the vector space axioms. The set of all complex numbers and suitable sets of vectors, matrices, polynomials, functions all satisfy the structure of vector space. We should therefore, study the properties of the abstract vector space. in general. Then we can apply them to more specific mathematical systems representing specific physical problems. Examples from Physics: Fourier components, Special functions etc.
What is Field?

A field is a set in which all the mathematical operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are well defined among its members. Example: The set of rational numbers , the set of real numbers numbers . Note: The set of integer numbers is not a field. In general, we denote a field by the symbol . A field can be infinite or finite accordingly as its members.
To define a Field:

, the set of complex

A field is a non-empty set on which two operations, addition (+) and multiplication (.) are defined such that the following axioms hold for all members


Lecture Notes compiled by Dr. Abhijit Kar Gupta,

Addition: i. ii. iii. iv. v.

(closure property)
(Commutativity) ( ) ( ) (associativity) There exists 0 such that (identity) ( ) There exists an element so that


Multiplication: i. ii. iii. iv. v.

(closure property)
(Commutativity) ( ) ( ) (associativity) There exists 1 such that If , there exists an element (identity) such that


Next we define a Vector Space in terms of axioms. Vector Space: A non-empty set V is said to be a vector space over a field if for all the following axioms hold. Addition: i. ii. iii. iv. v. V (closure) (Commutativity) ( ) ( ) (associativity) There exists an element V, such that ( There exists an element V so that V and

(identity) (inverse)

Scalar Multiplication: i. ii. iii. iv. v. ( ( ( V (closure) ) (distributive over vector addition) ) (distributive over scalar addition) ) ( ) (associativity) (identity) is a vector space over the real field . Consider the vectors, ( . ) and so


on. Similarly, is a vector space over the complex field of dimension

Lecture Notes compiled by Dr. Abhijit Kar Gupta,

NOTE: In general,

is a vector space over the field where the vectors are n-tuples and the *(( )

elements are drawn from the field . We symbolically write,

+ .

Any set that is isomorphic to the vector space is also a vector space (with the operations defined).
What is isomorphism?

If there is a linear mapping, such that the two vector spaces we call them isomorphic. The mapping is then called isomorphism.


are one to one,

Note that isomorphism is invertible. This is a more precise way of saying equivalent.
When is a mapping linear?

The mapping is linear if it preserves the two basic operations of a vector space: vector addition and scalar multiplication such that the following laws hold. (i) (ii) V ( , V ( ) ) ( ) ( ) ( ) [Think as an operator.]

[We may study the mapping, its properties, in general and then there are the concepts of Image and kernel, we may look up any text book for definitions.]

Some Examples of Vector Space

# MATRICES: A matrix over a field , ( ), and each column as a vector

Each row in the above can be regarded as a vector ( -tuples) in ( -tuples) in .

Any operation defined for the vector space cane be applied to every row of the matrix . Similarly, any operation defined for the vector space can also be applied to every column of ) tuple of the matrix . Thus the rows and columns of cane be joined to give a ( elements in . Therefore, the set of all ( to . ) matrices over is a vector space isomorphic

Lecture Notes compiled by Dr. Abhijit Kar Gupta,

The operations of addition and scalar multiplication: ( ( Where (rows), ) ) , (columns), . is

Note: The vector space is isomorphic to the vector space if row vectors and isomorphic to vector space of column vectors. We can similarly construct the vector spaces with functions or polynomials etc. (More discussions on this, later.)

On Linear Dependence of Vectors

Linear combination: Let are elements of a vector space V over a field . A linear combination of the elements will be another element of V and is expressed as , where ,

Linear dependence: If the linear combination of the vectors, , and the coefficients ( ), at least one of them, is nonzero then the vectors are called linearly dependent. For example, for two vectors, , one is -times the other, . + in the vector space V over a field Linear Independence: The set of vectors * is linearly independent if and only if the solution of the following equation yields .

Examples: #1. Is the set of vectors {(1,1), (1,-1)} Ans. ( ) ( ) linearly independent? and

, So the vectors are linearly independent.

#2. The following set of vectors {(1, 0, 0), (0, 1, 0), (0, 0, 1)}

is linearly independent. Why?


Lecture Notes compiled by Dr. Abhijit Kar Gupta,



#3. How is about the following set of vectors {(1,1), (-1,-1)} Ans. ( ) ( )

, are they linearly dependent?

Here we find two solutions, However, if we consider vectors are linearly dependent.

and which implies no unique solution. , that can satisfy the above. Thus we can say, the

Books to Consult: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Linear Algebra Seymour Lipschutz (Schaums Outline Series) Linear Algebra - K. Hoffman, Ray Kunze (Prentice Hall) Linear Algebra Francis J. Wright (Lecture Notes) [] Linear Algebra and Matrices Martin Fluch (Deptt. of Maths, Univ. of Helsinki webpage) Linear Algebra Paul Dawkins (Lecture Notes in Berkley Lecture Notes Edward Carter Linear Algebra V.V. Voyevodin (Mir Pub, Moscow)