# Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors

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1 Chapter 6 Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors 6. Introduction to Eigenvalues Linear equations Ax D b come from steady state problems. Eigenvalues have their greatest importance in dynamic problems. The solution of du=dt D Au is changing with time growing or decaying or oscillating. We can t find it by elimination. This chapter enters a new part of linear algebra, based on Ax D x. All matrices in this chapter are square. A good model comes from the powers A; A ;A ; of a matrix. Suppose you need the hundredth power A 00. The starting matrix A becomes unrecognizable after a few steps, and A 00 is very close to Œ6 6I A A A A 00 A 00 was found by using the eigenvalues of A, not by multiplying 00 matrices. Those eigenvalues (here they are and =) are a new way to see into the heart of a matrix. To explain eigenvalues, we first explain eigenvectors. Almost all vectors change direction, when they are multiplied by A. Certain exceptional vectors x are in the same direction as Ax. Those are the eigenvectors. Multiply an eigenvector by A, and the vector Ax is a number times the original x. The basic equation is Ax D x. The number is an eigenvalue of A. The eigenvalue tells whether the special vector x is stretched or shrunk or reversed or left unchanged when it is multiplied by A. We may find D or or or. The eigenvalue could be zero! Then Ax D 0x means that this eigenvector x is in the nullspace. If A is the identity matrix, every vector has Ax D x. All vectors are eigenvectors of I. All eigenvalues lambda are D. This is unusual to say the least. Most by matrices have two eigenvector directions and two eigenvalues. We will show that det.a I / D 0. 8

2 84 Chapter 6. Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors This section will explain how to compute the x s and s. It can come early in the course because we only need the determinant of a by matrix. Let me use det.a I / D 0 to find the eigenvalues for this first example, and then derive it properly in equation (). Example The matrix A has two eigenvalues D and D =. Look at det.a I / 8 8 A D det D 7 7 C D. / I factored the quadratic into times, to see the two eigenvalues D and D. For those numbers, the matrix A I becomes singular (zero determinant). The eigenvectors x and x are in the nullspaces of A I and A I..A I/x D 0 is Ax D x and the first eigenvector is.6; 4/..A I/x D 0 is Ax D x and the second eigenvector is.; / 6 x D 4 x D and and 8 6 Ax D D x 7 4 (Ax D x means that D ) 8 5 Ax D D (this is 7 5 x so D ). If x is multiplied again by A, we still get x. Every power of A will give A n x D x. Multiplying x by A gave x, and if we multiply again we get. / times x. When A is squared, the eigenvectors stay the same. The eigenvalues are squared. This pattern keeps going, because the eigenvectors stay in their own directions (Figure 6.) and never get mixed. The eigenvectors of A 00 are the same x and x. The eigenvalues of A 00 are 00 D and. /00 D very small number. D D 5 Ax D x D 6 4 Ax D x D x D D D A x D./ x A x D.5/ x D Ax D x A x D x 5 5 Figure 6. The eigenvectors keep their directions. A has eigenvalues and.5/. Other vectors do change direction. But all other vectors are combinations of the two eigenvectors. The first column of A is the combination x C./x 8 6 Separate into eigenvectors D x C./x D C () 4

3 6.. Introduction to Eigenvalues 85 Multiplying by A gives.7; /, the first column of A. Do it separately for x and./x. Of course Ax D x. And A multiplies x by its eigenvalue 8 7 Multiply each x i by i A D is x C 6./x D C 4 Each eigenvector is multiplied by its eigenvalue, when we multiply by A. We didn t need these eigenvectors to find A. But it is the good way to do 99 multiplications. At every step x is unchanged and x is multiplied by. /,sowehave. /99 A 99 8 is really x C./. very 6 /99 x D C 4small 5 4 vector This is the first column of A 00. The number we originally wrote as 6000 was not exact. We left out./. /99 which wouldn t show up for 0 decimal places. The eigenvector x is a steady state that doesn t change (because D /. The eigenvector x is a decaying mode that virtually disappears (because D 5/. The higher the power of A, the closer its columns approach the steady state. We mention that this particular A is a Markov matrix. Its entries are positive and every column adds to. Those facts guarantee that the largest eigenvalue is D (as we found). Its eigenvector x D.6; 4/ is the steady state which all columns of A k will approach. Section 8. shows how Markov matrices appear in applications like Google. For projections we can spot the steady state. D / and the nullspace. D 0/. 5 5 Example The projection matrix P D has eigenvalues D and D Its eigenvectors are x D.; / and x D.; /. For those vectors, P x D x (steady state) and P x D 0 (nullspace). This example illustrates Markov matrices and singular matrices and (most important) symmetric matrices. All have special s and x s 5 5. Each column of P D adds to, so D is an eigenvalue P is singular,so D 0 is an eigenvalue.. P is symmetric, so its eigenvectors.; / and.; / are perpendicular. The only eigenvalues of a projection matrix are 0 and. The eigenvectors for D 0 (which means P x D 0x/ fill up the nullspace. The eigenvectors for D (which means P x D x/ fill up the column space. The nullspace is projected to zero. The column space projects onto itself. The projection keeps the column space and destroys the nullspace 0 Project each part v D C projects onto P v D C 0 Special properties of a matrix lead to special eigenvalues and eigenvectors. That is a major theme of this chapter (it is captured in a table at the very end).

4 86 Chapter 6. Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors Projections have D 0 and. Permutations have all jj D. The next matrix R (a reflection and at the same time a permutation) is also special. Example The reflection matrix R D 0 0 has eigenvalues and. The eigenvector.; / is unchanged by R. The second eigenvector is.; / its signs are reversed by R. A matrix with no negative entries can still have a negative eigenvalue! The eigenvectors for R are the same as for P, because reflection D.projection/ I R D P I 0 D () 0 Here is the point. If P x D x then P x D x. The eigenvalues are doubled when the matrix is doubled. Now subtract I x D x. The result is.p I/x D. /x. When a matrix is shifted by I, each is shifted by. No change in eigenvectors. Figure 6. Projections P have eigenvalues and 0. Reflections R have D and. A typical x changes direction, but not the eigenvectors x and x. Key idea The eigenvalues of R and P are related exactly as the matrices are related The eigenvalues of R D P I are./ D and.0/ D. The eigenvalues of R are. In this case R D I. Check./ D and. / D. The Equation for the Eigenvalues For projections and reflections we found s and x s by geometry P x D x;px D 0; Rx D x. Now we use determinants and linear algebra. This is the key calculation in the chapter almost every application starts by solving Ax D x. First move x to the left side. Write the equation Ax D x as.a I /x D 0. The matrix A I times the eigenvector x is the zero vector. The eigenvectors make up the nullspace of A I. When we know an eigenvalue, we find an eigenvector by solving.a I /x D 0. Eigenvalues first. If.A I /x D 0 has a nonzero solution, A I is not invertible. The determinant of A I must be zero. This is how to recognize an eigenvalue

5 6.. Introduction to Eigenvalues 87 Eigenvalues The number is an eigenvalue of A if and only if A I is singular det.a I / D 0 () This characteristic equation det.a I / D 0 involves only, not x. When A is n by n, the equation has degree n. Then A has n eigenvalues and each leads to x For each solve.a I /x D 0 or Ax D x to find an eigenvector x Example 4 A D is already singular (zero determinant). Find its s and x s. 4 When A is singular, D 0 is one of the eigenvalues. The equation Ax D 0x has solutions. They are the eigenvectors for D 0. But det.a I / D 0 is the way to find all s and x s. Always subtract I from A Subtract from the diagonal to find A I D (4) 4 Take the determinant ad bc of this by matrix. From times 4, the ad part is 5 C 4. The bc part, not containing, is times. det D. /.4 /././ D 4 5 (5) Set this determinant 5 to zero. One solution is D 0 (as expected, since A is singular). Factoring into times 5, the other root is D 5 det.a I / D 5 D 0 yields the eigenvalues D 0 and D 5 Now find the eigenvectors. Solve.A I /x D 0 separately for D 0 and D 5 y 0 y.a 0I /x D D yields an eigenvector D for 4 z 0 z D 0 4 y 0 y.a 5I /x D D yields an eigenvector D for z 0 z D 5 The matrices A 0I and A 5I are singular (because 0 and 5 are eigenvalues). The eigenvectors.; / and.; / are in the nullspaces.a I /x D 0 is Ax D x. We need to emphasize There is nothing exceptional about D 0. Like every other number, zero might be an eigenvalue and it might not. If A is singular, it is. The eigenvectors fill the nullspace Ax D 0x D 0. If A is invertible, zero is not an eigenvalue. We shift A by a multiple of I to make it singular. In the example, the shifted matrix A 5I is singular and 5 is the other eigenvalue.

6 88 Chapter 6. Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors Summary To solve the eigenvalue problem for an n by n matrix, follow these steps. Compute the determinant of A I. With subtracted along the diagonal, this determinant starts with n or n. It is a polynomial in of degree n.. Find the roots of this polynomial, by solving det.a I / D 0. The n roots are the n eigenvalues of A. They make A I singular.. For each eigenvalue, solve.a I /x D 0 to find an eigenvector x. A note on the eigenvectors of by matrices. When A I is singular, both rows are multiples of a vector.a; b/. The eigenvector is any multiple of.b; a/. The example had D 0 and D 5 D 0 W rows of A 0I in the direction.; /; eigenvector in the direction.; / D 5 W rows of A 5I in the direction. 4; /; eigenvector in the direction.; 4/ Previously we wrote that last eigenvector as.; /. Both.; / and.; 4/ are correct. There is a whole line of eigenvectors any nonzero multiple of x is as good as x. MATLAB s eig.a/ divides by the length, to make the eigenvector into a unit vector. We end with a warning. Some by matrices have only one line of eigenvectors. This can only happen when two eigenvalues are equal. (On the other hand A D I has equal eigenvalues and plenty of eigenvectors.) Similarly some n by n matrices don t have n independent eigenvectors. Without n eigenvectors, we don t have a basis. We can t write every v as a combination of eigenvectors. In the language of the next section, we can t diagonalize a matrix without n independent eigenvectors. Good News, Bad News Bad news first If you add a row of A to another row, or exchange rows, the eigenvalues usually change. Elimination does not preserve the s. The triangular U has its eigenvalues sitting along the diagonal they are the pivots. But they are not the eigenvalues of A! Eigenvalues are changed when row is added to row U D has D 0 and D ; A D has D 0 and D Good news second The product times and the sum C can be found quickly from the matrix. For this A, the product is 0 times 7. That agrees with the determinant (which is 0/. The sum of eigenvalues is 0 C 7. That agrees with the sum down the main diagonal (the trace is C 6/. These quick checks always work The product of the n eigenvalues equals the determinant. The sum of the n eigenvalues equals the sum of the n diagonal entries.

7 6.. Introduction to Eigenvalues 89 The sum of the entries on the main diagonal is called the trace of A C CC n D trace D a C a CCa nn (6) Those checks are very useful. They are proved in Problems 6 7 and again in the next section. They don t remove the pain of computing s. But when the computation is wrong, they generally tell us so. To compute the correct s, go back to det.a I / D 0. The determinant test makes the product of the s equal to the product of the pivots (assuming no row exchanges). But the sum of the s is not the sum of the pivots as the example showed. The individual s have almost nothing to do with the pivots. In this new part of linear algebra, the key equation is really nonlinear multiplies x. Why do the eigenvalues of a triangular matrix lie on its diagonal? Imaginary Eigenvalues One more bit of news (not too terrible). The eigenvalues might not be real numbers. Example 5 The 90 ı rotation QD 0 0 has no real eigenvectors. Its eigenvalues are D i and D i. Sum of s D trace D 0. Product D determinant D. After a rotation, no vector Qx stays in the same direction as x (except x D 0 which is useless). There cannot be an eigenvector, unless we go to imaginary numbers. Which we do. To see how i can help, look at Q which is I. If Q is rotation through 90 ı, then Q is rotation through 80 ı. Its eigenvalues are and. (Certainly I x D x.) Squaring Q will square each, so we must have D. The eigenvalues of the 90 ı rotation matrix Q are Ci and i, because i D. Those s come as usual from det.q I / D 0. This equation gives C D 0. Its roots are i and i. We meet the imaginary number i also in the eigenvectors Complex eigenvectors 0 D i 0 i i and 0 i i D i 0 Somehow these complex vectors x D.; i/ and x D.i; / keep their direction as they are rotated. Don t ask me how. This example makes the all-important point that real matrices can easily have complex eigenvalues and eigenvectors. The particular eigenvalues i and i also illustrate two special properties of Q. Q is an orthogonal matrix so the absolute value of each is jj D.. Q is a skew-symmetric matrix so each is pure imaginary.

8 90 Chapter 6. Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors A symmetric matrix.a T D A/ can be compared to a real number. A skew-symmetric matrix.a T D A/ can be compared to an imaginary number. An orthogonal matrix.a T A D I/can be compared to a complex number with jj D. For the eigenvalues those are more than analogies they are theorems to be proved in Section 64. The eigenvectors for all these special matrices are perpendicular. Somehow.i; / and.; i/ are perpendicular (Chapter 0 explains the dot product of complex vectors). Eigshow in MATLAB There is a MATLAB demo (just type eigshow), displaying the eigenvalue problem for a by matrix. It starts with the unit vector x D.; 0/. The mouse makes this vector move around the unit circle. At the same time the screen shows Ax, in color and also moving. Possibly Ax is ahead of x. Possibly Ax is behind x. Sometimes Ax is parallel to x. At that parallel moment, Ax D x (at x and x in the second figure). The eigenvalue is the length of Ax, when the unit eigenvector x lines up. The built-in choices for A illustrate three possibilities 0;, or directions where Ax crosses x. 0. There are no real eigenvectors. Ax stays behind or ahead of x. This means the eigenvalues and eigenvectors are complex, as they are for the rotation Q.. There is only one line of eigenvectors (unusual). The moving directions Ax and x touch but don t cross over. This happens for the last by matrix below.. There are eigenvectors in two independent directions. This is typical! Ax crosses x at the first eigenvector x, and it crosses back at the second eigenvector x. Then Ax and x cross again at x and x. You can mentally follow x and Ax for these five matrices. Under the matrices I will count their real eigenvectors. Can you see where Ax lines up with x? A D

9 6.. Introduction to Eigenvalues 9 When A is singular (rank one), its column space is a line. The vector Ax goes up and down that line while x circles around. One eigenvector x is along the line. Another eigenvector appears when Ax D 0. Zero is an eigenvalue of a singular matrix. REVIEW OF THE KEY IDEAS. Ax D x says that eigenvectors x keep the same direction when multiplied by A.. Ax D x also says that det.a I / D 0. This determines n eigenvalues.. The eigenvalues of A and A are and, with the same eigenvectors. 4. The sum of the s equals the sum down the main diagonal of A (the trace). The product of the s equals the determinant. 5. Projections P, reflections R, 90 ı rotations Q have special eigenvalues ; 0; ; i; i. Singular matrices have D 0. Triangular matrices have s on their diagonal. WORKED EXAMPLES 6. A Find the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of A and A and A and A C 4I A D and A 5 4 D 4 5 Check the trace C and the determinant for A and also A. Solution The eigenvalues of A come from det.a I / D 0 det.a I / D ˇ ˇ ˇ D 4 C D 0 This factors into. /. / D 0 so the eigenvalues of A are D and D. For the trace, the sum C agrees with C. The determinant agrees with the product D. The eigenvectors come separately by solving.a I /x D 0 which is Ax D x x 0 D.A I/x D D gives the eigenvector x y 0 D D x 0.A I /x D D y 0 gives the eigenvector x D

10 9 Chapter 6. Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors A and A and A C 4I keep the same eigenvectors as A. Their eigenvalues are and and C 4 A has eigenvalues D and D 9 A has and A C 4I has C 4 D 5 C 4 D 7 The trace of A is 5 C 5 which agrees with C 9. The determinant is 5 6 D 9. Notes for later sections A has orthogonal eigenvectors (Section 6.4 on symmetric matrices). A can be diagonalized since (Section 6.). A is similar to any by matrix with eigenvalues and (Section 6.6). A is a positive definite matrix (Section 6.5) since A D A T and the s are positive. 6. B Find the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of this by matrix A Symmetric matrix Singular matrix Trace C C D 4 0 A D Solution Since all rows of A add to zero, the vector x D.;;/gives Ax D 0. This is an eigenvector for the eigenvalue D 0. To find and I will compute the by determinant 0 D. /. /. /. / det.a I / D D. /Œ. /. / ˇ 0 ˇ D. /. /. / That factor confirms that D 0 is a root, and an eigenvalue of A. The other factors. / and. / give the other eigenvalues and, adding to 4 (the trace). Each eigenvalue 0; ; corresponds to an eigenvector x D 45 Ax D 0x x D 4 05 Ax D x x D 4 5 Ax D x I notice again that eigenvectors are perpendicular when A is symmetric. The by matrix produced a third-degree (cubic) polynomial for det.a I / D C 4. We were lucky to find simple roots D 0; ;. Normally we would use a command like eig.a/, and the computation will never even use determinants (Section 9. shows a better way for large matrices). The full command ŒS; D D eig.a/ will produce unit eigenvectors in the columns of the eigenvector matrix S. The first one happens to have three minus signs, reversed from.;;/and divided by p. The eigenvalues of A will be on the diagonal of the eigenvalue matrix (typed as D but soon called ƒ).

11 6.. Introduction to Eigenvalues 9 Problem Set 6. The example at the start of the chapter has powers of this matrix A 8 A D and A D and A 0 55 D Find the eigenvalues of these matrices. All powers have the same eigenvectors. (a) Show from A how a row exchange can produce different eigenvalues. (b) Why is a zero eigenvalue not changed by the steps of elimination? Find the eigenvalues and the eigenvectors of these two matrices 4 4 A D and A C I D 4 A C I has the eigenvectors as A. Its eigenvalues are by. Compute the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of A and A. Check the trace! 0 A D and A = D = 0 A has the eigenvectors as A. When A has eigenvalues and, its inverse has eigenvalues. 4 Compute the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of A and A A D and A 0 7 D 6 A has the same as A. When A has eigenvalues and, A has eigenvalues. In this example, why is C D? 5 Find the eigenvalues of A and B (easy for triangular matrices) and A C B 0 4 A D and B D and A C B D 0 4 Eigenvalues of A C B (are equal to)(are not equal to) eigenvalues of A plus eigenvalues of B. 6 Find the eigenvalues of A and B and AB and BA 0 A D and B D and AB D 0 and BA D (a) Are the eigenvalues of AB equal to eigenvalues of A times eigenvalues of B? (b) Are the eigenvalues of AB equal to the eigenvalues of BA?

12 94 Chapter 6. Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors 7 Elimination produces A D LU. The eigenvalues of U are on its diagonal; they are the. The eigenvalues of L are on its diagonal; they are all. The eigenvalues of A are not the same as. 8 (a) If you know that x is an eigenvector, the way to find is to. (b) If you know that is an eigenvalue, the way to find x is to. 9 What do you do to the equation Ax D x, in order to prove (a), (b), and (c)? (a) is an eigenvalue of A, as in Problem 4. (b) is an eigenvalue of A, as in Problem. (c) C is an eigenvalue of A C I, as in Problem. 0 Find the eigenvalues and eigenvectors for both of these Markov matrices A and A. Explain from those answers why A 00 is close to A A D and A D = = = = Here is a strange fact about by matrices with eigenvalues The columns of A I are multiples of the eigenvector x. Any idea why this should be? Find three eigenvectors for this matrix P (projection matrices have D and 0) Projection matrix 4 0 P D If two eigenvectors share the same, so do all their linear combinations. Find an eigenvector of P with no zero components. From the unit vector u D 6 ; 6 ; 6 ; 5 6 construct the rank one projection matrix P D uu T. This matrix has P D P because u T u D. (a) P udu comes from.uu T /udu. /. Then u is an eigenvector with D. (b) If v is perpendicular to u show that P v D 0. Then D 0. (c) Find three independent eigenvectors of P all with eigenvalue D 0. 4 Solve det.q I / D 0 by the quadratic formula to reach D cos i sin cos sin Q D rotates the xy plane by the angle. No real s. sin cos Find the eigenvectors of Q by solving.q I /x D 0. Use i D.

13 6.. Introduction to Eigenvalues 95 5 Every permutation matrix leaves x D.;; ;/ unchanged. Then D. Find two more s (possibly complex) for these permutations, from det.p I / D P D and P D The determinant of A equals the product n. Start with the polynomial det.a I / separated into its n factors (always possible). Then set D 0 det.a I / D. /. /. n / so det A D Check this rule in Example where the Markov matrix has D and. 7 The sum of the diagonal entries (the trace) equals the sum of the eigenvalues a b A D has det.a I / D.a C d/c ad bc D 0 c d The quadratic formula gives the eigenvalues D.aCd C p /= and D. Their sum is.ifa has D and D 4 then det.a I / D. 8 If A has D 4 and D 5 then det.a I / D. 4/. 5/ D 9 C 0. Find three matrices that have trace a C d D 9 and determinant 0 and D 4; 5. 9 A by matrix B is known to have eigenvalues 0; ;. This information is enough to find three of these (give the answers where possible) (a) the rank of B (b) the determinant of B T B (c) the eigenvalues of B T B (d) the eigenvalues of.b C I/. 0 Choose the last rows of A and C to give eigenvalues 4; 7 and ; ; Companion matrices A D C D The eigenvalues of A equal the eigenvalues of A T. This is because det.a I / equals det.a T I /. That is true because. Show by an example that the eigenvectors of A and A T are not the same. Construct any by Markov matrix M positive entries down each column add to. Show that M T.;;/ D.;;/. By Problem, D is also an eigenvalue of M. Challenge A by singular Markov matrix with trace has what s?

14 96 Chapter 6. Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors Find three by matrices that have D D 0. The trace is zero and the determinant is zero. A might not be the zero matrix but check that A D 0. 4 This matrix is singular with rank one. Find three s and three eigenvectors A D 45 D Suppose A and B have the same eigenvalues ;; n with the same independent eigenvectors x ; ;x n. Then A D B. Reason Any vector x is a combination c x CCc n x n. What is Ax? What is Bx? 6 The block B has eigenvalues ; and C has eigenvalues ; 4 and D has eigenvalues 5; 7. Find the eigenvalues of the 4 by 4 matrix A 0 0 B C A D D D Find the rank and the four eigenvalues of A and C 0 0 A D and C D Subtract I from the previous A. Find the s and then the determinants of 0 0 B D A I D and C D I A D (Review) Find the eigenvalues of A, B, and C 0 0 A D and B D and C D When a C b D c C d show that.; / is an eigenvector and find both eigenvalues a b A D c d

15 6.. Introduction to Eigenvalues 97 If we exchange rows and and columns and, the eigenvalues don t change. Find eigenvectors of A and B for D. Rank one gives D D 0. 6 A D and B D PAP T D Suppose A has eigenvalues 0; ; 5 with independent eigenvectors u; v; w. (a) Give a basis for the nullspace and a basis for the column space. (b) Find a particular solution to Ax D v C w. Find all solutions. (c) Ax Du has no solution. If it did then would be in the column space. Suppose u; v are orthonormal vectors in R, and A D uv T. Compute A D uv T uv T to discover the eigenvalues of A. Check that the trace of A agrees with C. 4 Find the eigenvalues of this permutation matrix P from det.p I / D 0. Which vectors are not changed by the permutation? They are eigenvectors for D. Can you find three more eigenvectors? P D Challenge Problems 5 There are six by permutation matrices P. What numbers can be the determinants of P? What numbers can be pivots? What numbers can be the trace of P? What four numbers can be eigenvalues of P, as in Problem 5? 6 Is there a real by matrix (other than I ) with A D I? Its eigenvalues must satisfy D. They can be e i= and e i=. What trace and determinant would this give? Construct a rotation matrix as A (which angle of rotation?). 7 (a) Find the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of A. They depend on c 4 c A D 6 c (b) Show that A has just one line of eigenvectors when c D 6. (c) This is a Markov matrix when c D8. Then A n will approach what matrix A?

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