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Chapter 4.

Section 1 Page 1 of 2

Section 4.1 Eigenvalue Problem for 2x2 Matrix


Homework (pages 279-280) problems 1-16

The Problem: For an nxn matrix A, find all scalars so that Ax = x has a nonzero solution x . The scalar is called an eigenvalue of A, and any nonzero solution nx1 vector x is an eigenvector. The eigenvalue problem consists of two parts: o Find all scalars so that A I is singular. Note: ( A I ) x = 0 Ax = x o Given such a scalar , find all nonzero vectors x so that ( A I ) x = 0 Recall from Section 1.9 that an nxn matrix is nonsingular iff it is equivalent to I (also this is true if a b the determinant is zero, which we will study in section 4.2). Also, a 2x2 matrix is c d nonsingular iff ad bc is nonzero. 2 1 Exercise 2. Find the eigenvalues and eigenvectors for A = 0 1

2 2 Solution: A I = , and this is singular iff (2 )(1 + ) = 0, = 1, 2 1 0 1 0 2 0 1 . Therefore x2 = 0, and x is any multiple of . =2 0 0 1 0 0 1/ 3 3 1 . Therefore, 3x1 + 1x2 = 0, and x is any multiple of = 1 . 1 0 0 2 / 3 1 So the eigenvalues are 1, 2 and corresponding eigenvectors are a and a , a 0 1 0 1 2 Exercise 4. Find the eigenvalues and eigenvectors for A = 1 4 1 2 . Singular iff (1 )(4 ) + 2 = 6 5 + 2 = 0, = 2,3 Solution: A I = 4 1 2 1 2 1 2 . Therefore x1 = 2x2, and x is any multiple of . =2 1 1 2 0 0 1 2 2 1 1 . Therefore, x1 = x2, and x is any multiple of . =3 1 1 1 0 0 1 2 So the eigenvalues are 2, 3 and corresponding eigenvectors are a and a , a 0 1 1

C. Bellomo, revised 19-Mar-08

Chapter 4. Section 1 Page 2 of 2

b a b a In general, for a 2x2 matrix , A I = . This is singular iff d c d c (a )(d ) bc = 0 . Therefore, must solve 2 (a + d ) + ad bc = 0 . 3 2 Exercise 14. Show there are no real valued eigenvalues for A = 5 3 2 3 , Solution: A I = 3 5
and this is singular iff (3 )(3 ) + 10 = 2 + 1 = 0 . Complex eigenvalues.

C. Bellomo, revised 19-Mar-08