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More Dimensions

We are now prepared to move on to spaces of dimension greater than three. These

spaces are a straightforward generalization of our Euclidean space of three dimensions. Let

n be a positive integer. The n-dimensional Euclidean space R n is simply the set of

all ordered n-tuples of real numbers x = ( x1 , x 2 ,K , x n ) . Thus R 1 is simply the real

numbers, R 2 is the plane, and R 3 is Euclidean three-space. These ordered n-tuples are

called points, or vectors. This definition does not contradict our previous definition of a

vector in case n =3 in that we identified each vector with an ordered triple ( x1 , x2 , x3 ) and

spoke of the triple as being a vector.

We now define various arithmetic operations on R n in the obvious way. If we

have vectors x = ( x1 , x 2 ,K , x n ) and y = ( y1 , y 2 ,K , y n ) in R n , the sum x + y is defined

by

x + y = ( x 1 + y1 , x 2 + y 2 , K, x n + yn ) ,

Again we see that these definitions are entirely consistent with what we have done

in dimensions 1, 2, and 3-there is nothing to unlearn. Continuing, we define the length,

or norm of a vector x in the obvious manner

5.1

n

x ⋅ y = x1 y1 + x 2 y 2 +K+ x n y n = ∑ x i y i .

i =1

| x| 2 = x ⋅ x ≥ 0,

| ax| =| a || x|,

x ⋅ y = y⋅x ,

x ⋅ ( y + z) = x ⋅ y + x ⋅ z , and

(ax ) ⋅ y = a ( x ⋅ y ) .

dimensions; thus we speak of the “length” of an n-tuple of numbers. In fact, we also speak

of d( x , y ) = | x − y| as the distance between x and y . We can, of course, no longer rely

on our vast knowledge of Euclidean geometry in our reasoning about R n when n > 3.

Thus for n ≤ 3 , the fact that | x + y | ≤ | x | + | y| for any vectors x and y was a simple

consequence of the fact that the sum of the lengths of two sides of a triangle is at least as

big as the length of the third side. This inequality remains true in higher dimensions, and,

in fact, is called the triangle inequality, but requires an essentially algebraic proof.

Let’s see if we can prove it.

Let x = ( x1 , x 2 ,K , x n ) and y = ( y1 , y 2 ,K , y n ) . Then if a is a scalar, we have

Thus,

(ax + y ) ⋅ ( ax + y ) = a 2 x ⋅ x + 2ax ⋅ y + y ⋅ y ≥ 0.

This is a quadratic function in a and is never negative; it must therefore be true that

4( x ⋅ y ) 2 − 4( x ⋅ x )( y ⋅ y ) ≤ 0 , or

| x ⋅ y | ≤| x|| y| .

is exactly the ingredient we need to prove the triangle inequality.

5.2

| x + y |2 = ( x + y ) ⋅ ( x + y) = x ⋅ x + 2 x ⋅ y + y ⋅ y .

| x + y |2 ≤| x| 2 + 2| x || y|+ | y| 2 = (| x|+ | y |) 2 , or

| x + y | ≤ | x | + | y| .

e1 , e 2 ,K , e n are defined in R n by

e1 = (10, ,00, ,K ,0)

e2 = (0,1,0 ,0 ,K ,0)

e3 = ( 0,0 ,1,0 ,K,0) ,

M

en = (0,00

, ,K ,01

,)

n

x = ∑ x i ei .

i= 1

Exercises

x ⋅ y = 0. (Adopting more geometric language from three space, we say that x and y

are perpendicular or orthogonal if x ⋅ y = 0.)

a)| x + y |2 − | x − y| 2 = 4 x ⋅ y .

5.3

3 . Let x and y be two vectors in R n . Prove that | | x| − | y | | ≤ | x |+| y| .

3x1 + 5x 2 − 2x 3 + x 4 = 15 .

a)Find an equation in x 1 , x 2 , K, and x n such that x = ( x1 , x 2 ,K , x n ) ∈ P if and only if

the coordinates of x satisfy the equation.

b)Describe the set P be in case n = 3. Describe it in case n =2.

[The set P is called a hyperplane through a.]

5.2 Functions

We now consider functions F: R n → R p . Note that when n = p = 1, we have the

usual grammar school calculus functions, and when n = 1 and p = 2 or 3, we have the

vector valued functions of the previous chapter. Note also that except for very special

circumstances, graphs of functions will not play a big role in our understanding. The set of

points ( x, F ( x)) resides in R n+ p since x ∈ R n and F ( x) ∈ R p ; this is difficult to “see”

unless n + p ≤ 3 .

We begin with a very special kind of functions, the so-called linear functions. A

function F: R n → R p is said to be a linear function if

Example

Let n = p = 1, and define F by F ( x ) = 3x . Then

F ( x + y ) = 3( x + y ) = 3x + 3 y = F ( x ) + F ( y ) and

F (ax ) = 3(ax ) = a3 x = aF ( x ) .

This F is a linear function.

5.4

Another Example

Let F: R → R 3 be defined by F (t ) = t i + 2tj − 7tk = (t ,2t ,−7t ) . Then

F (t + s) = (t + s) i + 2( t + s) j − 7 (t + s)k

= [ti + 2tj − 7tk ] + [ si + 2sj − 7 sk ]

= F (t ) + F ( s )

Also,

F (at ) = ati + 2 atj − 7at k

= a[ ti + 2t j − 7t k ] = aF (t )

We see yet another linear function.

Let F: R 3 → R 4 be defined by

F (( x1 , x 2 , x 3 )) = (2 x1 − x 2 + 3 x3 , x1 + 4 x 2 − 5x 3 , − x 1 + 2 x2 + x 3 , x 1 + x 3 ) .

A translation is a function T:R p → R p such that T( x ) = a + x , where a is a

translation is called an affine function. An affine function F thus has the form

F ( x) = a + L( x) , where L is a linear function.

Example

Let F: R → R 3 be defined by F (t ) = (2 + t , 4t − 3, t ) . Then F is affine. Let

a = (2 ,4 ,0) and L(t ) = (t , 4t , t ) . Clearly F (t ) = a + L(t ) .

Exercises

6 . Which of the following functions are linear? Explain your answers.

a) f ( x) = −7 x b) g ( x ) = 2 x − 5

c) F ( x1 , x 2 ) = (2 x 1 + x2 , x 1 − x 2 , 3 x1 , 5 x1 − 2 x 2 , x1 )

d) G( x1 , x 2 , x 3 ) = x 1 x 2 + x3 e) F (t ) = (2t , t , 0, − 2t )

f) h( x1 , x 2 , x 3 , x 4 ) = (1, 0, 0) g) f ( x) = sin x

5.5

7 . a)Describe the graph of a linear function from R to R.

b)Describe the graph of an affine function from R to R.

5.6

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