You are on page 1of 10

Determinants.CramersRule.

Determinants.

Let'sintroducedeterminants.

Anthorderdeterminantisanexpressionthatisalwaysassociatedwithanxnmatrix.

Note:thiswillbeasquarematrix!

Letusbeginwith2ndorderDeterminants.

AsecondorderdeterminantDmustbeassociatedtoa2x2matrixA:

If ,then

Note:WhiletheentriesofthematrixAarewrittenbetweenrectangularbrackets"["and"]",thesameentriesfor
thedeterminantDarewrittenbetweenbars

Wesay"entriesforthedeterminant",sincethedeterminantitselfisjustascalar:

Often,thedeterminantassociatedwithmatrixAiswrittenas inordertoexpressthisassociation!

Example:

Why?

AnotherExample:Useofdeterminantstosolvesystemsoflinearequations:

Thesystem

hasthesolutions(if )

,
,

Now,thisisnothingelsebut

with

Thisiscalled"Cramer'srule"

Let'sverifythis:

therefore

Conclusion:Wecanusedeterminantstosolvesystemsoflinearequations!

UseCramer'sruleinanexample:

(Theassociatedmatrixis ,thentheequationreads )
InordertogetD1,wereplacethefirstcolumnofDwiththevaluesofb:

And,inordertogetD2,wereplacethesecondcolumnofDwiththevaluesofb:

And,accordingtoCramer'srulewehavesolutions:

Sofarsecondorderdeterminants

3rdorderDeterminants:

Let'smoveuptothirdorderdeterminants.Associatedtoathirdorderdeterminanttherewillbea3x3matrix:

Againwewritetheentriesofabetweenbarstopointoutthisisadeterminant,notamatrix!Andhowdowe
calculatethevalueofa3rdorderdeterminant?

Weselect,forexample,thefirstrowofD.

Foreachentryofcolumn1,wefindthe"minor"determinant,thisisadeterminantconsistingonallremaining
entriesexcludingthosefromthefirstrowandthosefromtheparticularcolumn.

e.g.:

or

,etc.

Wethenmultiplyeachentryofcolumn1withit'sminorandaddthemup,usingalternatingsign:
Sinceallthreeminorsare2x2determinants,wecancalculatetheirvalueswithease.

NowweareabletoextendCramer'sruletolinearsystemswith3unknown

Forthesystem

Cramer'srulegivesussolutions

, ,and

with

and,ofcourse,

Wenowproceedandfindawaytoobtainthevaluesofdeterminantsofarbitraryordern.

ThiswillleadustoamethodtosolvesystemsofnequationsusingCramer'srule.

DeterminantsofOrdern

a)

forn=1theassociatedmatrixhasoneelementonly:Wedefinethedeterminantofsuchamatrixtobethevalue
ofthisentry.Farmoreinterestingaredeterminantsofhigherorder: .

Weareactuallyabletoformulateapreciserecipehowtoobtainthevalueofsuchadeterminantofordern:

b.Letbe

and
ThenDcanbeexpandedas

(wherejcanbeanyrowsubscriptbetween1andn)

oras

(wherekcanbeanycolumnsubscriptbetween1andn)

where

with beingthedeterminantofthesubmatrixofAobtainedbyeliminatingrowjandcolumnk(theminor).
isoftheordern1!

Thislooksmorecomplicatedasitis.

Wesimplypickaroworacolumnforwhichwewantto"expand"thedeterminant.

Thiscanbeanyroworcolumn.Itreallydoesn'tmatterwhichone!

Let'sselect,forexample,row"j"(markedinred):
Nowwehavetofindforeachentryfromrowjtheminorandmultiplyitwiththeentryandthefactor .

Thefirstentrywouldbe ,andtheassociatedminorwouldconsistontheentriesmarkedinblack(theseareall
entriesexceptthosefromcolumn1andfromrowj):

(Notethatcolumn1androwjaremissing)

Foranotherelementinthisrow,let'ssay ,weidentifytheentriesoftheminorasallthoseexcepttheonesin
rowjandcolumnk

and canbeobtainedas:
(Note:thistimetheentriesfromrowjandcolumnkarenotincluded)

(expandingbyrow)or

(expandingbycolumn)

Allwhat'slefttodoistodeterminethesignofeachtermthroughthefactor

Thisiseasy:

ifthesubscriptsbothareevenorodd,thefactorwillbe(+1)
ifonesubscriptisevenandtheotherisodd,thefactorwillbe(1)

thefactor leadstoacheckerboardpatternofsigns:

Let'stryasimpleexample:Determinantoftheorder3:

Example:

Expandby1strow:
Identifytheminors

To :

To

To

and,consequentlyweobtainthedeterminantas

Now,letsexpandthesamedeterminantbythe3rdcolumnafterallweclaimtheresultisalwaysthesame:

Expandby3rdcolumn:

Thethirdcolumnconsistsontheentries .Wehavetoidentifythecorrespondingminors:

To wealreadyfound :
To

Andto

soweget

Nomatterbywhichroworcolumnyouexpandthisdeterminant,theresultwillbealwaysthesame.Suchas
"12"inourexample.

Thisbehaviorofdeterminantsallowsustocomeupwithsomeshortcuts:

Shortcuts:

Ifpossible,expandbyarow/columnthatcontains0's

Theentriesoftherowbywhichyouexpandarethefactorsyouhavetomultiplytheminorswith.
Themoreofthesefactorsarezero,thelessoftheseproductswilloccurandthelessminorsyou
havetoexpand.Alwayslookforrows/columnsthatcontainalotofzeros!

Ifamatrixistriangular,it'sdeterminantisequaltotheproductofalldiagonalelements(entries):

Althoughthisisobviouswemightaddsomeexplanationtoit.Forexample,assumeadeterminant
thatisuppertriangular..e.g.thefollowing5thorderdeterminant:

Letusexpandthisdeterminantbythefirstcolumn.Thisgivesus:
Verysimilar,foralowertriangulardeterminant,wecandoanexpansionbythelastcolumn.
(Youmightwanttotrythisyourself).Againwewillfindthatthedeterminantwillbetheproductof
alldiagonalentries.

Youcanmakeanotherconclusionfromthis:Ifadeterminantistriangular,andifoneofthediagonal
entriesisequalzero,thenthedeterminantwillbezero!

Copyrights1999,2000byPeterDragovitschandBenA.Fusaro