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Problems from Abstract Algebra by Dummit and Foote

- Dummit and Foote - Abstract Algebra Third Edition
- Homework #8, Sec 12.3 and 13.1
- Homework #6, Sec 11.4 and 12.1
- Homework #5, Sec 11.3
- Solutions to Abstract Algebra - Chapter 1 (Dummit and Foote, 3e)
- Solutions to Abstract Algebra - Chapter 2 (Dummit and Foote, 3e)
- Homework #4, Sec 11.1 and 11.2
- Homework #6, Sec 11.4 and 12.1
- "Fuckin' Concrete Contemporary Abstract Algebra Introduction..." by Nicolas Bourbaki Junior
- Problems and Solutions to Abstract Algebra (Beachy, Blair)
- Homework #3, Sec 10.3
- Homework #9, Sec 13.2 and Sec 13.3
- Homework #2, Sec 10.2
- Dummit and Foote Soln
- Homework #1, Sec 10.1
- Part Solution of Dummit and Foote
- Solutions to Abstract Algebra - Chapter 1 (Dummit and Foote, 3e)
- Problem 1.1, Osaka City University, 1990
- Algebra Homework Set 8 Hung Tran. 9.4.2.c Reducing Mod 2
- Abstract Algebra Dummit Foote Chapter 13 Field Theory Solutions

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1. Prove that similar linear transformations of V (or n × n matrices) have the same charac-

teristic and the same minimal polynomials.

Proof. Let ϕ and ψ be similar transformations on V with representation matrices A and B,

resepectively. Then observe by assumption that there exists some invertible matrix T such

that

A = T −1 BT .

So for an indeterminate x

xI − A = xI − T −1 (B)T ⇒ xI − A = xT −1 T − T −1 (B)T

⇒ xI − A = T −1 (xI − B)T

and thus

det (xI − A) = det (T −1 (xI − B)T ) ⇒ det (xI − A) = det T (det T )−1 det (xI − B)

⇒ det (xI − A) = det (xI − B).

This shows that any similar linear transformations on V have the same characteristic polyno-

mial. Now let mϕ (x) be the minimal polynomial for the transformation ϕ, whose dimension

is m < n. By the division algorithm for polynomials there exist a unique pair of polynomials

q(x) adn r(x) such that

det (xI − B) = q(x)mϕ (x) + r(x),

where 0 ≤ deg r(x) ≤ m − 1. Since det (xI − A) = det (xI − B),

det (xI − A) = q(x)mϕ (x) + r(x).

By minimality of mϕ (x), r(x) is the zero polynomial. Moreover,

0 = det (BI − B) = q(B)mϕ (B)

and therefore mϕ (B) = 0 since F [x] is an integral domain. Hence mϕ (x) is also the minimal

polynomial for the transformation ψ.

3. Prove that two 2 × 2 matrices over F which are not scalar matrices are similar if and only

if they have the same characteristic polynomial.

Proof. (⇒) Suppose that 2 × 2 non-scalar matrices A and B are similar. Then by result

from Exercise 1, A and B share the common characteristic polynomial.

(⇐) Conversely suppose that A and B have the same characteristic polynomial p(x) of

degree 2, i.e. p(x) = x2 + ax + b, where a, b ∈ F . Observe that p(x) is not of the form

p(x) = (x − λ)2 , where λ ∈ F , since A and B are non-scalar matrices. Thus p(x) is also the

minimal polynomial. Therefore both A and B are similar to the companion matrix

0 −b

1 −a

and hence A and B are similar.

Section 12.2. Homework #7 Masaya Sato

4. Prove that two 3 × 3 matrices are similar if and only if they have the same characteristic

and same minimal polynomials. Give an explicit counterexample to this assertion for 4 × 4

matrices.

Proof. (⇒) Suppose that 3 × 3 matrices A and B are similar. So, similar to Exercise 3, A

and B have the same characteristic and minimal polynomials by result from Exercise 1.

(⇐) Conversely suppose that A and B have the same characteristic and minimal polynomials,

p(x) and m(x). Observe that deg p(x) = 3 and consider the following 3 cases.

Case 1. Suppose that deg m(x) = 1. Then m(x) = x − a and p(x) = (x − a)3 for some a ∈ F .

So invariant factors are ai (x) = x − a for i = 1, 2, 3.

Case 2. Suppose that deg m(x) = 2. Then there exists some linear factor a1 (x) = x − a,

where a ∈ F , such that (x − a)m(x) = p(x). Moreover a2 (x) = m(x).

Case 3. Suppose that deg m(x) = 3. Then a1 (x) = p(x) = m(x).

In any cases discussed above, the characteristic and minimal polynomial uniquely determine

invariant factors. Therefore A and B have the same rational canonical form and hence A

and B are similar.

In terms of a counterexample for 4 × 4 matrices, consider the following distinct lists of

invariant factors

Observe that both (i) and (ii) have the same characteristic and minimal polynomials x4 and

x2 , respectively. For (i), the matrix is given by

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 1 0

0 0 0 0

1 0 0 0

.

0 0 0 0

0 0 1 0

5. Prove directly from the fact that the collection of all linear transformations of an n

dimensional vector space V over F to itself form a vector space over F of dimension n2 that

the minimal polynomial of a linear transformation T has degree at most n2 .

Section 12.2. Homework #7 Masaya Sato

Proof. For an arbitrarily taken linear transformation ϕ on V , let A = (aij ) denote the

representation matrix for ϕ, where 1 ≤ i ≤ n and 1 ≤ j ≤ n. Moreover let Eij be an n × n

matrix defined by (

1 at the (i, j) entry

Eij =

0 elsewhere .

Then n

X

A= aij Eij

i,j=1

and thus A is generated by the set {Eij ∈ Mn×n (F )}ni,j=1 . Moreover for cij ∈ F the following

equation

Xn

cij Eij = 0,

i,j=1

where 0 is the zero matrix, has only the trivial solution since

n

X

cij Eij = 0 ⇒ C = 0 [∵ C = (cij )]

i,j=1

⇒ cij = 0

dent and a basis for a vector space of dimension n2 . This indicates that the characteristic

polynomial is of degree n2 and therefore the degree of its minimal polynomial is at most

n2 .

6. Prove that the constant term in the characteristic polynomial of the n × n matrix A is

(−1)n det A and that the coefficient of xn−1 is the negative of the sum of the diagonal entries

of A (the sum of the diagonal entries of A is called the trace of A). Prove that det A is the

product of the eigenvalues of A and that the trace of A is the sum of the eigenvalues of A.

Proof. For an n × n matrix A its characteristic polynomial is given by det (xI − A). Then

which is the monic polynomial of degree n. Evaluating the above identity in terms of the

indeterminate x at x = 0 ∈ F ,

X

det (xI − A) = (σ)(xδσ(1)1 − aσ(1)1 ) · · · (xδσ(n)n − aσ(n)n ),

σ∈Sn

Section 12.2. Homework #7 Masaya Sato

dn−1

where δij denotes the Kronecker delta. Moreover, applying nth derivative dxn−1

to both sides

of the identity and comparing the constant terms,

−((n − 1)!)a11 − · · · − ((n − 1)!)ann = ((n − 1)!)an−1 ⇒ −((n − 1)!)(Tr(A)) = ((n − 1)!)an−1

⇒ an−1 = −Tr(A).

The argument above implies that for eigenvalues λ1 , . . . , λn of A

det (λI − A) = xn + (λ1 + · · · + λn )xn−1 + · · · + a1 x + (λ1 · · · λn ).

Therefore n

X

Tr(A) = λi

i=1

and n

Y

det A = λi .

i=1

0 0 0 ··· 0 −a0

1 0 0 · · · 0 −a1

0 1 0 · · · 0 −a2

.. .. .. .. ..

. . . . .

0 0 0 ··· 1 −an−1

is

xn + an−1 xn−1 + · · · a1 x + a0 .

Proof. For an indeterminate x observe first that xI − A is given by

x 0 0 ··· 0 a0

−1 x 0 ··· 0 a1

0 −1 x ··· 0 a2

,

.. .. .. .. ..

. . . . .

0 0 0 · · · −1 x + an−1

where A denotes the companion matrix. By induction on the size n of the matrix, suppose

that n = 2. Then det (xI − A) = x2 + a1 x + a0 . So now suppose that the det (xI − A) has

the desired polynomial for n. Then for n + 1

x 0 0 ··· 0 a0

−1 x 0 · · · 0 a1

0 −1 x · · · 0 a2

.. .. .. .. ..

. . . . .

0 0 0 ··· x an−1

0 0 0 · · · −1 x + an

Section 12.2. Homework #7 Masaya Sato

and the expansion along the 1st column gives the determinant of minors, i.e.

To evaluate det Ã21 , keep expanding along the 1st column and then

det Ã21 = a0 .

11. Find all similarity classes of 6 × 6 matrices over C with characteristic polynomial

(x4 − 1)(x2 − 1).

Solution: Observe that the characteristic polynomial (x4 −1)(x2 −1) factors into irreducibles

in C[x] as (x − i)(x + i)(x − 1)2 (x + 1)2 . To find all similarity classes, consider their minimal

polynomials m(x). Since m(x) and (x4 − 1)(x2 − 1) have the same roots, the candidates for

m(x) are (x − i)(x + i)(x − 1)(x + 1), (x − i)(x + i)(x − 1)2 (x + 1), (x − i)(x + i)(x − 1)(x + 1)2 ,

and (x − i)(x + i)(x − 1)2 (x + 1)2 . So consider all 4 cases given above.

Case 1. Suppose that m(x) = (x − i)(x + i)(x − 1)(x + 1). Then the invariant factors are

a1 (x) = (x − 1)(x + 1) and a2 (x) = m(x).

Case 2. Suppose that m(x) = (x − i)(x + i)(x − 1)2 (x + 1). Then the invariant factors are

a1 (x) = x + 1 and a2 (x) = m(x).

Case 3. Suppose that m(x) = (x − i)(x + i)(x − 1)(x + 1)2 . Then the invariant factors are

a1 (x) = x − 1 and a2 (x) = m(x).

Case 4. Suppose that m(x) = (x − i)(x + i)(x − 1)2 (x + 1)2 . Then a1 (x) = m(x) is the only

invariant factor.

Therefore, according the classification discussed above, there are 4 similarity classes.

17. Determine representatives for the conjugacy classes for GL3 (F2 ). [Compare your answer

with Theorem 15 and Proposition 14 of Chapter 6.]

Solution: For F2 [x], since the only nonzero element in F2 is 1,

(i) F2 [x]/(x − 1) ⊕ F2 [x]/((x − 1)2 ),

For (i) and (ii), the corresponding matrices are given by

1 0 0 1 0 0

0 1 0 and 0 1 0 , respectively.

0 1 1 0 0 1

Section 12.2. Homework #7 Masaya Sato

0 0 1

1 0 −b .

0 1 −a

Classifying Q(x) as the product of primes factors, Q(x) has the following forms.

(1) x3 + x + 1,

(2) x3 + x2 + 1,

(4) (x − 1)3 .

0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0

1 0 1 , 1 0

0 , 0 0 1 , and 1 1 0 .

0 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1

18. Let V be a finite dimensional vector space over Q and suppose T is nonsingular linear

transformation of V such that T −1 = T 2 + T . Prove that the dimension of V is divisible by

3. If the dimension of V is precisely 3 prove that all such transformations T are similar.

Proof. Let V be an n dimensional vector space over Q. Observe that T −1 = T 2 + T implies

T 3 + T 2 − I = 0. So the minimal polynomial m(x) is given by

m(x) = x3 + x2 − 1,

V ∼

= Q[x]/(m(x)) ⊕ · · · ⊕ Q[x]/(m(x)),

where each quotient space is 3 dimensional. Hence the dimension of V is 3k for some k ∈ Z>0

as desired.

Now suppose that V is 3 dimensional. Then

V ∼

= Q[x]/(m(x)).

matrix because m(x) is also the characteristic polynomial for T . Thus all such T ’s are

similar.

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