IMPORTANT CONCEPTS, FORMULAE AND THEOREMS
1. Singular Square Matrix: A = 0.
2. Nonsingular Square Matrix A ≠ ≠≠ ≠≠ 0.
3. Elementary Row Operations for Matrices
(a) Interchanging two rows
(b) Multiplying each element of a row by the same nonzero scalar quantity
(c) Adding or subtracting corresponding elements from those of another row. These operations
are called elementary row operations. There is a corresponding set of three elementary
column operations that can be used to form column equivalent matrices.
4. Consistency of a Set of n Equations in n Unknowns with Coefficient Matrix A and
Augmented Matrix A
b
.
(a) Consistent if rank of A = rank of A
b
.
(b) Inconsistent if rank of A < rank of A
b
.
5. Existence of Solution of a Non Homogeneous System of Linear Equation
Unique solution
( ) ( ) · ·
b
r A r A n
No solution
( ) ( )
b
r A r A ≠
Many solution
( ) ( )
b
r A r A n · <
Uniqueness of solutions n equations with m unknowns
(a) Rank of A = rank of A
b
= n ⇒ unique solutions
(b) Rank of A = rank of A
b
= m < n ⇒ infinite number of solutions
(c) Rank of A < rank of A
b
⇒ no solution
2 GATE Engineering Mathematics
6. Solution of Sets of Equations
(a) Inverse matrix method Ax = b; x =A
–1
b
To find A
–1
(i) Evaluate A
(ii) Form C, the matrix of cofactors of A
(iii) Write C
T
, the transpose of C
(iv)
–1
1
T
A C
A
·
, i.e
1
adj( )
det( )
A
A
A
−
·
(b) Row transformation method Ax = b; Ax = Ib
(i) Form the combined coefficient matrix
A z
x I ·
(ii) Row transformations to convert to [ ~] I A A ∼ , will be inverse of A.
(iii) Then solve x = A
–1
b.
(c) Gaussian elimination method Ax = b
(i) Form augmented matrix [Alb]
(ii) Operate on rows to convert to [U l b’] where U is the upper triangular matrix.
(iii) Expand from bottom row to obtain x.
(d) Triangular decomposition method Ax = b
Write A as the product of upper and lower triangular matrices.
A = LU, L(Ux) = b. Put U x–y .. Ly = b
(i) Solve Ly = b to obtain y.
(ii) Solve Ux = y to obtain x.
7. Matrix Polynomial
Let
1 2 1
0 1 2 1
( ) .......
n n n n
n n
f x a x a x a x a x a
− − −
−
·      be a polynomial and let A be a square
matrix of order n. Then
1 2 1
0 1 2 1
...
( )
n n n n
n n n
f A a A a A a A a A a I
− − −
−
·     
is called
matrix polynomial of A.
8. Characteristics Equation of a Matrix
Let A be A = (a
ij
)
n×n
be a square matrix. Then the matrix A – λΙ is called characteristic
polynomial of matrix A and A –λΙ = 0 and is called characteristic equation of A. The roots of
the characteristic equation are called eigenvalues of A.
Linear Algebra 3
Example: Find the eigenvalues of
1 2
0 3
A
(
·
(
¸ ¸
The characteristic polynomial is
2
1 2
– 4 3
0 3
A I
− λ
− λ · · λ λ 
− λ
The characteristic equation is
1 ë 2
ë 0
0 3 ë
A I
−
− · ·
−
Therefore, ë (1 ë)(3 ë) 0 A I − · − − ·
The eigenvalues are
1 2
ë 1, ë 3 · · .
9. Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors Ax = λ λλ λλx
Sets of equations of form Ax = ëx , where A = coefficient matrix,
x = Column matrix, λ = scalar quantity.
Equations become = ( A – λ I) x = 0.
For nontrivial solutions,  A – λ I = 0 is the characteristic equation and gives the eigenvalues
of A. Substitution of each eigenvalue gives a corresponding eigenvector.
10. The Cayley–Hamilton Theorem
State: Every square matrix satisfies its own characteristic equation.
Let P
n
(λ)be the characteristic polynomial of an arbitrary n × n square matrix A. Then A
satisfies its own characteristic equation, and so is a solution of the matrix polynomial equation
P
n
(A) = 0.
Let
1 2 1
0 1 2 1
( ) .......
n n n n
n n
f x a x a x a x a x a
− − −
−
·      be a polynomial and let A be a square
matrix of order n. Then
1 2 1
0 1 2 1
...
( )
n n n n
n n n
f A a A a A a A a A a I
− − −
−
·     
is called
matrix polynomial.
11. Nullity of a Matrix
If A is square matrix of order n and ρ (A) is rank of the matrix A. Then nullity of the matrix is
given by n – ρ (A).The nullity is denoted by N(A). i.e. N(A) = n – ρ (A).
Hence rank + nullity = n
12. Matrix Transformations
(a) U = TX, where T is a transformation matrix, transforms a vector in the xy plane to a
corresponding vector in the uv plane. Similarly, X = T
–1
U converts a vector in the uv
plane to a corresponding vector in the xy plane.
(b) Rotation of axes
4 GATE Engineering Mathematics
13. Idempotent and Nilpotent Matrices
A is idempotent if A
2
= A , and B is nilpotent if B
m
= O for some positive integer m.
14. Definition of Different Matrix and Nature of Eigenvalues
Matrix Definition Properties Eigenvalues
Symmetric
a
ij
= a
ji
Diagonal elements are non zero Purely real
Skew
Symmetric
a
ij
= – a
ji
Diagonal elements are zero Purely
imaginary or
zero
Hermitian
ij ji
a a ·
Diagonal elements are purely real Purely real
Skew
Hermitian
–
ij ji
a a ·
Diagonal elements are purely imaginary
or zero
Purely
imaginary
Orthogonal
T T
AA I A A · ·
If A, B are orthogonal matrices, then
–1
, , are
T
A A AB
–1
orthogonal,
T
A A ·
Real or
complex
conjugate in
pair and have
absolute value
1.
Unitary
T
T
AA I A A · ·
If A,B are unitary matrices, Then
–1
, , areorthogonal,
T
A A AB
–1 T
A A ·
Unit modulus
15. Properties of Eigenvalues
Let A be an n × n matrix with eigenvalues λ
i
, i = 1, 2, ..., n. Then
(i) Trace of A = λ
1
+ λ
2
+ ..... + λ
n
.
(ii) Determinant of A = λ
1
λ
2
.... λ
n
.
(iii) Eigenvalues of A
k
are
1 2 3
, , ,......., λ λ λ λ
k k k k
n
.
(iv) If A is Hermitian, every eigenvalue of A is purely real.
(v) If A is skew Hermitian, every eigenvalue of A is purely imaginary or zero.
(vi) Every eigenvalue of a Unitary matrix has absolute value  λ  = 1.
16. Rank of a Matrix
The highest order non zero minor is called the rank of a matrix i.e. the rank of a matrix A is the
maximum number of linearly independent row vectors of A. It is denoted by rank A or R (A).
The number r is called the rank of an m × n matrix A if
(i) Every square sub matrix of order r + 1 or more is singular.
(ii) There exist at least one sub matrix of r is non singular.
Thus, the rank of a matrix is the highest order non zero minor.
17. Properties of a Rank of a Matrix
(i) Only a null matrix has rank zero.
(ii) rank (A
m×n
) ≤ min (m, n).
Linear Algebra 5
(iii) If Det (A) = 0, then rank (A) ≥ 1
(iv) rank(A
m×n
) = n iff its columns are linearly independent.
(v) rank(A) = rank(A
T
)
(vi) rank(A) = maximum number of linearly independent columns (or rows) of A.
(vii) rank(A) is the dimension of the rank of A.
(viii) rank (A
n×n
) + nullity (A
n×n
) = n
(ix) det (A
n×n
) = 0 iff rank(A
n×n
) < n.
(x) rank(A + B) <= rank(A) + rank(B)
(xi) rank(AA
H
) = rank(A
H
A) = rank(A)
(xii) [X: nonsingular]: rank(XA) = rank(AX) = rank(A)
(xiii) rank (DIAG(A, B, ..., Z)) = sum(rank(A), rank(B), ..., rank(Z))
(xiv) If A
*
denotes the conjugate transpose of A (i.e., the adjoint of A), then
Rank (A) = Rank (A
T
) = Rank (A*) = Rank (AA
T
) = Rank (AA*)
18. Relation between Eigenvalues of A, A
2
, A
3
, .....
If λ
1
,
λ
2
,
λ
3
be the eigenvalues of a matrix A, then
Matrix Eigenvalues
A
1 2 3
, , λ λ λ
A
2
2 2
1 3
, ,
2
2
λ λ λ
A
n
1 2 3 , ,
n n n
λ λ λ
A
–1
–1 –1 –1
1 2 3
, , λ λ λ
A
T
1 2 3
, , λ λ λ
19. Some Important Results
(i) Every skew symmetric matrix of odd order is singular.
(ii) If A is skewsymmetric matrix then A
2
is symmetric.
(iii) A and its transpose A
T
have the same rank.
(iv) A homogeneous linear system with fewer equations than unknowns has always non
trivial solutions.
(v) The two eigenvalues of 2 × 2 matrices is
2
[( ) –4det]
2
trace trace
λ
±
·
(vi) The inverse matrix gives AA
–1
= I and A
–1
A = I
(vii) The Gauss = Jordon method solves AA
–1
= I to find the n column of A
–1
. The augmented
matrix [A I] is row reduced to [I A
–1
]
6 GATE Engineering Mathematics
(viii) The inverse of AB is the reverse product of B
–1
A
–1
and (ABC)
–1
= C
–1
B
–1
A
–1
(ix) For a given matrix A the solution set of the homogeneous system Ax = 0 is a vector
space, called the null space of A and its dimension is called the nullity of A.
The basic relation rank A + nullity A = Number of columns of A.
Properties of determinants
A determinant det A has the following properties:
(i) If any row or column of a determinant det A only contains zero elements, then determinants
det A = 0.
(ii) If A is a square matrix with the transpose A, then det A = det A.
(iii) If each element of a row or column of a square matrix A is multiplied by a constant k,
then the value of the determinant is k det A.
(iv) If two rows (or columns) of a square matrix are interchanged, the sign of the determinant
is changed.
(v) If any two rows or columns of a square matrix A are proportional, then det A = 0.
(vi) The addition of a multiple of a row (or column) of a determinant to another row (or
column) of the determinant leaves the value of the determinant unchanged.
(vii) Let A and B be two n × n matrix, then det(AB) = det A det B.
EXERCISES
1. Obtain the eigenvalues of the matrix:
1 2 34 49
0 2 43 94
0 0 2 104
0 0 0 1
A
(
(
(
·
( −
(
−
¸ ¸
(A) 1, 2, –2, –1 (B) 1, 2, 1, 2 (C) 0 (D) 3, 4, –3, 4
2. The distinct eigenvalues of the matrix
1 1 3
1 5 1
3 1 1
M
¸ ¸
(
·
(
¸ ,
are (MA11)
(A) 0 and 1 (B) 1 and –1 (C) 1 and 2 (D) 0 and 2
3. If the nullity of the matrix
1 2
1 1 2
1 1 4
k ¸ ¸
(
− −
(
¸ ,
is 1, then the value of k is
(A) –1 (B) 0 (C) 1 (D) 2
Linear Algebra 7
4. If 3×3 a real skew symmetric matrix has an eigenvalue 2i, then one of the remaining eigenvalues
is
(A)
1
2i
(B)
1
2i
−
(C) 1 (D) 0 (CS 10)
5. The eigenvalues of a 2 × 2 matrix are –2 and –3. The eigenvalues of the matrix (X + I)
–1
(X + 5I) is
(A) –3, –1 (B) –2, –4 (C) –1, –2 (D) –1, –3
6. If the product of two eigenvalues of a matrix
6 2 2
2 3 1
3 1 3
− ¸ ¸
(
− −
(
− ¸ ,
is 14, then the third eigenvalue is
(A) 1 (B) 2 (C) 3 (D) 4
7. Which of the following matrix is not diagonalizable?
(a)
1 1
1 2
¸ ¸
(
¸ ,
(b)
1 0
3 2
¸ ¸
(
¸ ,
(c)
0 1
1 0
− ¸ ¸
(
¸ ,
(d)
1 1
0 1
¸ ¸
(
¸ ,
(A) a, b, c (B) a, b (C) b, c (D) none
8. If
2 0 0
0 2 1
0 0 2
A
¸ ¸
(
· −
(
¸ ,
,
1 2 3
0 1 3
0 0 2
B
¸ ¸
(
·
(
¸ ,
, then determinant of AB is equals to
(A) 4 (B) 8 (C) 16 (D) 32
9. If
3 4
1 1
A
− ¸ ¸
·
(
− ¸ ,
, then A
n
is
(A)
1 2 4
1 2
n n
n n
 − ¸ ¸
(
− ¸ ,
(B)
( )
( )
3 4
1
n
n
n
n
¸ ¸
−
(
(
−
¸ ,
(C)
1 2 4
1 1
n n
n n
 − ¸ ¸
(
 − ¸ ,
(D)
1 2 4
1 1 2
n n
n n
 − ¸ ¸
(
 − ¸ ,
10. Let
3 4 0
4 3 0
0 0 1
N
− ¸ ¸
(
·
(
¸ ,
, then N is
(A) Non invertible (B) Symmetric (C) Skew symmetric (D) Orthogonal
8 GATE Engineering Mathematics
11. A matrix M has eigenvalue 1 and 4 with corresponding eigenvectors
(1, 1)
T
−
and
(2,1)
T
respectively. Then M is
(A)
4 8
5 9
− − ¸ ¸
(
¸ ,
(B)
9 8
5 4
− ¸ ¸
(
− ¸ ,
(C)
2 2
1 3
¸ ¸
(
¸ ,
(D)
3 2
1 2
¸ ¸
(
¸ ,
12. If A and B be real symmetric matrices of size n × n, then….....
(A)
1
A A
−
· (B) AB = BA (C) ( )
T
AB BA · (D)
T
AA I ·
13. If A and B are same matrices of size n × n then which of the following statement is not true?
(A) det(kA) = k
n
det(A) (B) det(AB) = det(A)det(B)
(C) det(A+B) = det(A) + det(B) (D) det(A
T
) = 1/det(A–1)
14. If A
T
= A
–1
, where A is a real matrix, then A is …
(A) Orthogonal (B) Symmetric (C) Normal (D) Hermitian
15. The system of equations, 2x + 4y = 10, 5x + 10y = 25
(A) Has only two solutions (B) Has infinite solutions
(C) Has only one solution (D) Has no unique solution
16. The eigenvector(s) of the matrix
0 0 á
0 0 0
0 0 0
¸ ¸
(
(
¸ ,
, α ≠ 0 is (are): (CS93)
(A) (0, 0, α) (B) (α, 0, 0) (C) (0, 0, 1) (D) (0, α, 0)
17. Let A and B be real symmetric matrices of size n × n. Then which one of the following is true?
(A) AA' = 1 (B) A = A
–1
(C) AB = BA (D) (AB)' = BA (CS94)
18. The rank of matrix
0 0 3
9 3 5
3 1 1
− (
(
(
(
¸ ¸
is (CS94)
(A) 0 (B) 1 (C) 2 (D) 3
19. If
1 0 0
1 3
0
2
1 3
0 1 2
2
i
A i
i
i
(
(
(
− 
(
·
(
(
− −
(

(
¸ ¸
, then the trace A
100
is
(A) 0 (B) 1 (C) 2 (D) 3
Linear Algebra 9
20. Consider the matrix
2
2
2
a ab ac
M ab b bc
ac bc c
(
(
( ·
(
(
¸ ¸
where a, b and c are nonzero real numbers, then
the matrix has
(A) Three nonzero real eigenvalues (B) Complex eigenvalues
(C) Two nonzero eigenvalues (D) Only one non zero eigenvalue
21. The rank of the following (n + 1) × (n + 1) matrix, where a is a real number is: (CS95)
2
2
2
1
1
1
n
n
n
a a a
a a a
a a a
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
¸ ¸
(A) 1 (B) 2
(C) n (D) Depends on the value of a
22. Let A be a 3×3 matrix. Suppose that the eigenvalues of A are –1, 1, 0 with respective eigenvectors
(1, –1, 0)
T
, (1, 1,–2)
T
, and (1, 1, 1)
T
. Then 6A equal to
(A)
1 5 2
5 1 2
2 2 2
− (
(
−
(
(
¸ ¸
(B)
1 0 0
0 1 0
0 0 0
(
(
−
(
(
¸ ¸
(C)
1 5 3
5 1 3
3 3 3
(
(
(
(
¸ ¸
(D)
3 9 0
9 3 0
0 0 6
− (
(
−
(
(
¸ ¸
23. Let A be n × n complex matrix having characteristic polynomial
1
1
( )
n n
n
f x x a x
−
−
·  
2
2 1 0
....
n
n
a x a x a
−
−
  
, then det A is
(A)
1 n
a
−
(B) a
0
(C)
( )
1
1
n
n
a
−
− (D)
( )
0
1
n
a −
24. The system
0 AX ≤
, where A is an n × n matrix find true statement
(A) May not have a nonzero solution
(B) Always has a nonzero solution
(C) Always has at least two linearly independent solutions
(D) Always has at least n linearly independent solutions
10 GATE Engineering Mathematics
25. The rank of matrix
1 1 0
–1 1 2
2 2 0
–1 0 1
(
(
(
(
(
(
¸ ¸
is:
(A) 3 (B) 4 (C) 2 (D) 1
26. Number of linearly independent eigenvectors of the matrix
2 2 0 0
2 1 0 0
0 0 3 0
0 0 1 4
¸ ¸
(
(
(
(
¸ ,
is:
(A) 1 (B) 2 (C) 3 (D) 4
27. The rank of matrix
1 1 0 0
0 0 1 1
1 0 1 0
0 1 0 1
M
¸ ¸
(
( ·
(
(
¸ ,
is:
(A) 1 (B) 2 (C) 3 (D) 4
28. Let A be n × n matrix which is both hermitian and unitary. Then
(A) A
2
= I
(B) A is real
(C) The eigenvalues of A are 0, –1,1
(D) Characteristic and minimal polynomials of A are the same.
29. Let M be a 3 × 3 complex hermitian matrix which is unitary. Then the distinct eigenvalues of
M are
(A)
i ±
(B)
1 i ±
(C)
1 ±
(D) ( )
1
1
2
i ±
30. Let M be a skew symmetric, orthogonal real matrix, then only possible eigenvalues are
(A) 1 ± (B)
i ±
(C) 0 (D) 1, i
31. If M is a 7 × 5 matrix of rank 3 and N is a 5 × 7 matrix of rank 5, then rank (MN) is
(A) 1 (B) 5 (C) 3 (D) 2
32. If P is a m × n matrix of rank n and Q is a n × p matrix of rank p, then rank (PQ) is
(A) n (B) p (C) np (D) n + p
Linear Algebra 11
33. Let P and Q be square matrices such that PQ = I, the identity matrix. Then zero is an eigen
(A) P but not of Q (B) Q but not of P (C) both P and Q (D) neither P nor Q
34. The rank of the matrix
1 1
0 0
¸ ¸
(
¸ ,
is
(A) 4 (B) 2 (C) 1 (D) 0 (IT04)
35. Consider the following system of linear equations
1 2 3 6
1 3 4 8
2 2 3 12
x
y
z
( ( (
( ( (
·
( ( (
( ( (
¸ ¸ ¸ ¸ ¸ ¸
. The solution of the above system is
(A) x = 5, y = 3, z = 3 (B) x = 6, y = 4, z = 3
(C) x = 6, y = 3, z = 2 (D) x = 6, y = 3, z = 3
36. Let A, B, C, D be n × n matrices, each with nonzero determinant. If ABCD = I,
then B
–1
is. (CS04)
(A) D
–1
C
–1
A
–1
(B) CDA
(C) ADC (D) Does not necessarily exist
37. How many solutions does the following system of linear equations have? (CS04)
–x + 5y = – 1 ; x – 5 = 2; x + 3y = 3
(A) Infinitely many (B) Two distinct solutions
(C) Unique (D) None
38. The following system of linear equations x + 2y = 4; 2x + y = 3; x + y = 1
(A) has unique solution (B) has no solution
(C) has many solutions (D) has finite solution
39. In an M × N matrix such that all nonzero entries die covered in n rows and b columns. Then
the maximum number of nonzero entries, such that no two are on the same row or column, is:
(CS04)
(A)
a b ≤ 
(B) ( ) max , a b ≤
(C) ( ) min , M a N b ≤ − − (D) ( ) min , a b ≤