1. LINEAR EQUATIONS. A linear equation in n unknowns x 1, x 2,, x n is an equation of the form

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1 1. LINEAR EQUATIONS A linear equation in n unknowns x 1, x 2,, x n is an equation of the form a 1 x 1 + a 2 x a n x n = b, where a 1, a 2,..., a n, b are given real numbers. For example, with x and y instead of x 1 and x 2, the linear equation 2x + 3y = 6 describes the line passing through the points (3, 0) and (0, 2). Similarly, with x, y and z instead of x 1, x 2 and x 3, the linear equation 2x + 3y + 4z = 12 describes the plane passing through the points (6, 0, 0), (0, 4, 0), (0, 0, 3). 1

2 A system of m linear equations in n unknowns x 1, x 2,, x n is a family of linear equations a 11 x 1 + a 12 x a 1n x n = b 1 a 21 x 1 + a 22 x a 2n x n = b 2. a m1 x 1 + a m2 x a mn x n = b m. We wish to determine if such a system has a solution, that is to find out if there exist numbers x 1, x 2,, x n which satisfy each of the equations simultaneously. We say that the system is consistent if it has a solution. Otherwise the system is called inconsistent. Note that the above system can be written concisely as n j=1 a ij x j = b i, i = 1, 2,, m. 2

3 The matrix a 11 a 12 a 1n a 21. a 22 a 2n. a m1 a m2 a mn is called the coefficient matrix of the system, while the matrix a 11 a 12 a 1n b 1 a 21. a 22 a 2n. b 2. a m1 a m2 a mn b m is called the augmented matrix of the system. Geometrically, solving a system of linear equations in two (or three) unknowns is equivalent to determining whether or not a family of lines (or planes) has a common point of intersection. 3

4 EXAMPLE. Solve the equation 2x + 3y = 6. SOLUTION. The equation 2x + 3y = 6 is equivalent to 2x = 6 3y or x = 3 3 2y, where y is arbitrary. So there are infinitely many solutions. EXAMPLE. Solve the system x + y + z = 1 x y + z = 0. SOLUTION. We subtract the second equation from the first, to get 2y = 1 and y = 2 1. Then x = y z = 1 2 z, where z is arbitrary. Again there are infinitely many solutions. 4

5 EXAMPLE. Find a polynomial of the form y = a 0 + a 1 x + a 2 x 2 + a 3 x 3 whose graph passes through the points ( 3, 2), ( 1, 2), (1, 5), (2, 1). SOLUTION. When x has the values 3, 1, 1, 2, then y takes corresponding values 2, 2, 5, 1 and we get four equations in the unknowns a 0, a 1, a 2, a 3 : a 0 3a 1 + 9a 2 27a 3 = 2 a 0 a 1 + a 2 a 3 = 2 a 0 + a 1 + a 2 + a 3 = 5 a 0 + 2a 1 + 4a 2 + 8a 3 = 1. This system has the unique solution a 0 = 93/20, a 1 = 221/120, a 2 = 23/20, a 3 = 41/120. So the required polynomial is y = x x x3. 5

6 Solving a system consisting of a single linear equation is easy. However if we are dealing with two or more equations, it is desirable to have a systematic method of determining if the system is consistent and to find all solutions. Instead of restricting ourselves to linear equations with rational or real coefficients, our theory goes over to the more general case where the coefficients belong to an arbitrary field. A field F is a set F which possesses operations of addition and multiplication which satisfy the familiar rules of rational arithmetic. The complex numbers C and Z p, the congruence classes mod p, where p is a prime, are useful fields. 6

7 2. THE GAUSS JORDAN ALGORITHM We show how to solve any system of linear equations over an arbitrary field, using the GAUSS JORDAN algorithm. We first need to define some terms. DEFINITION. (Row echelon form) A matrix is in row echelon form if (i) all zero rows (if any) are at the bottom of the matrix and (ii) if two successive rows are non zero, the second row starts with more zeros than the first (moving from left to right). 7

8 For example, the matrix is in row echelon form, whereas the matrix is not in row echelon form. The zero matrix of any size is always in row echelon form. 8

9 DEFINITION. (Reduced row echelon form) A matrix is in reduced row echelon form if 1. it is in row echelon form, 2. the leading (leftmost non zero) entry in each non zero row is 1, 3. all other elements of the column in which the leading entry 1 occurs are zeros. 9

10 For example the matrices [ ] and are in reduced row echelon form, whereas the matrices and are not in reduced row echelon form, but are in row echelon form. The zero matrix of any size is always in reduced row echelon form. 10

11 NOTATION. If a matrix A is in reduced row echelon form, it is useful to denote the column numbers in which the leading entries 1 occur, by c 1, c 2,..., c r, with the remaining column numbers being denoted by c r+1,..., c n, where r is the number of non zero rows of A. For example, in the 4 6 matrix above, we have r = 3, c 1 = 2, c 2 = 4, c 3 = 5, c 4 = 1, c 5 = 3, c 6 = 6. 11

12 The following operations are the ones used on systems of linear equations and do not change the solution set. DEFINITION. (Elementary row operations) There are three types of elementary row operations that can be performed on matrices: 1. Interchanging rows i and j: R i R j 2. Multiplying row i by a non zero number t: R i tr i 3. Adding t times row i to row j: R j R j + tr i DEFINITION (Row equivalence) Matrix A is row equivalent to matrix B if B is obtained from A by a sequence of elementary row operations. 12

13 EXAMPLE. Working from left to right, A = R 2 R 2 + 2R R 2 R = B. R 1 2R 1 Thus A is row equivalent to B. Clearly B is also row equivalent to A, by performing the inverse row operations R R 1, R 2 R 3, R 2 R 2 2R 3 on B. 13

14 It is not difficult to prove that if A and B are row equivalent augmented matrices of two systems of linear equations, then the two systems have the same solution sets a solution of the one system is a solution of the other. For example the systems whose augmented matrices are A and B in the above example are respectively x + 2y = 0 2x + y = 1 x y = 2 and 2x + 4y = 0 x y = 2 4x y = 5 and these systems have precisely the same solutions. 14

15 THE GAUSS JORDAN ALGORITHM. This is a process which starts with a given matrix A and produces a matrix B in reduced row echelon form, which is row equivalent to A. If A is the augmented matrix of a system of linear equations, then B will be a much simpler matrix than A from which the consistency or inconsistency of the corresponding system is immediately apparent and in fact the complete solution of the system can be read off. 15

16 STEP 1. Find the first non zero column moving from left to right, (column c 1 ) and select a non zero entry from this column. By interchanging rows, if necessary, ensure that the first entry in this column is non zero. Multiply row 1 by the multiplicative inverse of a 1c1 thereby converting a 1c1 to 1. For each non zero element a ic1, i > 1, (if any) in column c 1, add a ic1 times row 1 to row i, thereby ensuring that all elements in column c 1, apart from the first, are zero. 16

17 STEP 2. If the matrix obtained at Step 1 has its 2nd,..., mth rows all zero, the matrix is in reduced row echelon form. Otherwise suppose that the first column which has a non zero element in the rows below the first is column c 2. Then c 1 < c 2. By interchanging rows below the first, if necessary, ensure that a 2c2 is non zero. Then convert a 2c2 to 1 and by adding suitable multiples of row 2 to the remaing rows, where necessary, ensure that all remaining elements in column c 2 are zero. The process is repeated and will eventually stop after r steps, either because we run out of rows, or because we run out of non zero columns. In general, the final matrix will be in reduced row echelon form and will have r non zero rows, with leading entries 1 in columns c 1,..., c r, respectively. 17

18 EXAMPLE R 1 R R R R 3 R 3 5R R R 2 { R1 R 1 + R 2 R 3 R 3 4R

19 R R R 1 R R The last matrix is in reduced row echelon form. REMARK. It is possible to show that a given matrix over an arbitrary field is row equivalent to precisely one matrix which is in reduced row echelon form. 19

20 3. SYSTEMATIC SOLUTION OF LINEAR SYSTEMS Suppose a system of m linear equations in n unknowns x 1,, x n has augmented matrix A and that A is row equivalent to a matrix B which is in reduced row echelon form, via the Gauss Jordan algorithm. Then A and B are m (n + 1). Suppose that B has r non zero rows and that the leading entry 1 in row i occurs in column number c i, for 1 i r. Then 1 c 1 < c 2 <, < c r n + 1. Also assume that the remaining column numbers are c r+1,, c n+1, where 1 c r+1 < c r+2 < < c n n

21 Case 1: c r = n + 1. The system is inconsistent. For the last non zero row of B is [0, 0,, 1] and the corresponding equation is 0x 1 + 0x x n = 1, which has no solutions. Consequently the original system has no solutions. Case 2: c r n. The system of equations corresponding to the non zero rows of B is consistent. First notice that r n here. If r = n, then c 1 = 1, c 2 = 2,, c n = n and B = d d d n There is a unique solution x 1 = d 1, x 2 = d 2,, x n = d n.. 21

22 If r < n, there will be more than one solution (infinitely many if the field is infinite). For all solutions are obtained by taking the unknowns x c1,, x cr as dependent unknowns and using the r equations corresponding to the non zero rows of B to express these unknowns in terms of the remaining independent unknowns x cr+1,..., x cn, which can take on arbitrary values: x c1 = b 1 n+1 b 1cr+1 x cr+1 b 1cn x cn. x cr = b r n+1 b rcr+1 x cr+1 b rcn x cn. In particular, taking x cr+1 = 0,..., x cn 1 = 0 and x cn = 0, 1 respectively, produces at least two solutions. 22

23 EXAMPLE. Solve the system x + y = 0 x y = 1 4x + 2y = 1. SOLUTION. The augmented matrix of the system is A = which is row equivalent to B = We read off the unique solution x = 1 2, y = 1 2. (Here n = 2, r = 2, c 1 = 1, c 2 = 2. Also c r = c 2 = 2 < 3 = n + 1 and r = n.) 23

24 EXAMPLE. Solve the system 2x 1 + 2x 2 2x 3 = 5 7x 1 + 7x 2 + x 3 = 10 5x 1 + 5x 2 x 3 = 5. SOLUTION. The augmented matrix is A = which is row equivalent to B = We read off inconsistency for the original system. (Here n = 3, r = 3, c 1 = 1, c 2 = 3. Also c r = c 3 = 4 = n + 1.) 24

25 EXAMPLE, Solve the system x 1 x 2 + x 3 = 1 x 1 + x 2 x 3 = 2. Solution. The augmented matrix is [ ] A = which is row equivalent to [ B = ]. The complete solution is x 1 = 3 2, x 2 = x 3, with x 3 arbitrary. (Here n = 3, r = 2, c 1 = 1, c 2 = 2. Also c r = c 2 = 2 < 4 = n + 1 and r < n.) 25

26 EXAMPLE. Solve the system 6x 3 + 2x 4 4x 5 8x 6 = 8 3x 3 + x 4 2x 5 4x 6 = 4 2x 1 3x 2 + x 3 + 4x 4 7x 5 + x 6 = 2 6x 1 9x x 4 19x 5 + 3x 6 = 1. SOLUTION. The augmented matrix is A = which is row equivalent to B =

27 The complete solution is x 1 = x x x 5, x 3 = x x 5, x 6 = 1 4, with x 2, x 4, x 5 arbitrary. (Here n = 6, r = 3, c 1 = 1, c 2 = 3, c 3 = 6; c r = c 3 = 6 < 7 = n + 1; r < n.) 27

28 4. HOMOGENEOUS SYSTEMS A system of homogeneous linear equations is a system of the form a 11 x 1 + a 12 x a 1n x n = 0 a 21 x 1 + a 22 x a 2n x n = 0. a m1 x 1 + a m2 x a mn x n = 0. Such a system is always consistent as x 1 = 0,, x n = 0 is a solution. This solution is called the trivial solution. Any other solution is called a non trivial solution. For example the homogeneous system x y = 0 x + y = 0 has only the trivial solution, whereas the homogeneous system x y + z = 0 x + y + z = 0 28

29 has the complete solution x = z, y = 0, z arbitrary. In particular, taking z = 1 gives the non trivial solution x = 1, y = 0, z = 1. There is a simple but fundamental theorem concerning homogeneous systems. THEOREM. A homogeneous system of m linear equations in n unknowns always has a non trivial solution if m < n. PROOF. Suppose that m < n and that the coefficient matrix of the system is row equivalent to B, a matrix in reduced row echelon form. Let r be the number of non zero rows in B. Then r m < n and hence n r > 0 and so the number n r of arbitrary unknowns is in fact positive. Taking one of these unknowns to be 1 gives a non trivial solution. 29

a 11 x 1 + a 12 x 2 + + a 1n x n = b 1 a 21 x 1 + a 22 x 2 + + a 2n x n = b 2.

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