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Fibonacci and Lucas Series with explaination

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ALGEBRA

1. Powers of a matrix

ization. Recall that a square matrix A is dioganalizable if there is a non-singular

matrix S of the same size such that the matrix S 1 AS is diagonal. That means all

entries of S 1 AS except possibly diagonal entries are zeros. The numbers which

show up on the diagonal of S 1 AS are the eigenvalues of A. For a diagonal matrix,

it is very easy to calculate its powers.

Proposition 1. Let A a diaganalizable matrix of size m m, and assume that

1 0 ... 0

0 2 . . . 0

S 1 AS =

0 0 . . . m

for a non-singular matrix S.

Then for an integer n 0

n1 0 ... 0

0

n2 ... 0

n

1

A =S S .

0 0 ... nm

Proof. Denote the diagonal matrix by

1 0 ... 0

0 2 ... 0

= ,

0 0 ... m

and observe that, since it is very easy to multiply diagonal matrices, we have

n

1 0 ... 0

0

n2 . . . 0

n

(1) =

0 0 . . . nm

1

2

= S 1 AS,

we find that

n = (S 1 AS)n = S 1 AS S1AS . . . S 1 AS = S 1 An S

An = Sn S 1 ,

F0 = 0, and F1 = 1.

The sequence of Fibonacci numbers attract certain interest for various reasons

(see, for instance, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibonacci_number ).

In particular, Johannes Kepler (1571 1630) , one of the greatest astronomers in

the history, observed that the ratio of consecutive Fibonacci numbers converges to

the golden ratio.

Theorem (Kepler).

Fn+1 1+ 5

lim =

n Fn 2

In this note, we make use of linear algebra in order to find an explicit formula

for Fibonacci numbers, and derive Keplers observation from this formula. More

specifically, we will prove the following statement.

Proposition 2. For n 1

n

(1 + 5) (1 5)n

Fn = .

2n 5

We now show how to derive Keplers observation from Proposition 2.

3

Fn+1

lim

n Fn

n+1

(1 + 5) (1 5)n+1 2n 5

= lim

n 2n+1 5 (1 + 5)n (1 5)n

1 (1 + 5)n+1 (1 5)n+1

= lim

2 n (1 + 5)n (1 5)n

n

15

1 (1 + 5) 1+ 5

(1 5) 1+ 5

= lim n =

2 n 1 15 2

1+ 5

since !n

1 5

lim =0

n 1+ 5

as soon as

1 5

< 1.

1 + 5

The rest of the note is devoted to the proof of Proposition 2 with the help of

Linear Algebra, and Proposition 1 in particular.

1 1

A=

1 0

with respect to the standard basis of R2 . For any vector v = (x, y)T , we have that

1 1 x x+y

L(v) = = .

1 0 y x

In particular, for the vector uk whose coordinates are two consecutive Fibonacci

numbers (Fk , Fk1 )T , we have that

Fk 1 1 Fk Fk + Fk1 Fk+1

L(uk ) = A = = = uk+1 .

Fk1 1 0 Fk1 Fk Fk

Thus we can produce a vector whose coordinates are two consecutive Fibonacci

numbers by applying L many times to the vector u1 with coordinates (F1 , F0 )T =

(1, 0):

Fn+1 n 1

(2) =A

Fn 0

Equation 2 is nothing but a reformulation of the definition of Fibonacci numbers.

This equation, however, allows us to find an explicit formula for Fibonacci numbers

as soon as we know how to calculate the powers An of the matrix A with the help

of the diagonalization.

4

polynomial

1 1

p() = det(A I) = det = 2 1.

1 0

We make use of the quadratic formula to find the roots as

1+ 5 1 5

(3) 1 = and 2 = ,

2 2

and we conclude, since the two eigenvalues are real and distinct, that the matrix A

dioganalizable. In order to dioganalize it, we need to find a basis which consists of

eigenvectors of the linear operator L.

Let us find the eigenvectors from the equations

L(v1 ) = 1 v1 , and L(v2 ) = 2 v2

or, in coordinates with respect to the standard basis of R2 ,

1 1 x1 x1 1 1 x2 x2

= 1 , and = 2 .

1 0 y1 y1 1 0 y2 y2

We solve these equations and find eigenvectors:

x1 1 x2 2

= , and =

y1 1 y2 1

The transition matrices between the standard basis and the basis of eigenvectors is

thus

1 2

S=

1 1

and !

1 2

1 1 2

S = 1

1

1

2 2 1

1 =

2 1 1 2 1 2 1 1

We can now check that, as expected,

1 0

(4) S 1

AS = .

0 2

We are now in a position to prove Proposition 2 with the help of the dioganal-

ization (4).

Proof of Proposition 2. Proposition 1 now implies that

n

1 0

An = S S 1 ,

0 n2

and we combine this with equation (2) to obtain that

n

Fn+1 n 1 1 0 1 1

= A =S S

Fn 0 0 n2 0

n

1 1 2 1 0 1 2 1

=

1 2 1 1 0 n2 1 1 0

n+1 n+1

1 1 2

= .

1 2 n1 n2

5

Equating the entries of the vectors in the last formula we obtain in view of (3) that

n1 n2 (1 + 5)n (1 5)n

Fn = =

1 2 2n 5

as claimed in Proposition 2.

Remark 1. Using the explicit formula from Proposition 2 one may address some

other questions about Fibonacci numbers.

Remark 2. It was Linear Algebra, specifically the diagonalization procedure, which

allowed us to obtain the explicit formula in Proposition 2. This is not the only way

to prove the formula.

Remark 3. The sequence of Fibonacci is a very simple example of a sequence given

by a recursive relation. One may apply similar methods in order to investigate

other sequences given by recurrence relations.

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