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1 Inverses of Matrices We have seen that many ideas from the world of numbers, such as addition and multiplication, have analogues in matrix theory The tables below summarizes these ideas: Real numbers Matrices Operation Outcome Operation Outcome Real number addition Real number Matrix addition Matrix Real number multiplication Real number Matrix multiplication Matrix Real numbers Matrices Object Importance Object Importance 0 (as a number) Additive identity 0 (matrix) Additive identity 1 Multiplicative identity I Multiplicative identity It turns out that there are more analogues between the real numbers and matrices For example, we know that most real numbers have a multiplicative inverse: for example, the multiplicative inverse of 5 is 1/5 since The numbers 5 and 1/5 are multiplicative inverses since their product is the multiplicative identity 1 (Question: which number(s) have no multiplicative inverse?) It turns out that there is an analogous idea for square matrices, as indicated by the following definition: Definition An n n matrix A has a multiplicative inverse B if For example, the matrix AB BA I n A has inverse B You should verify via multiplication that AB I

2 Remark A few quick notes here: If B is the multiplicative inverse of the n n matrix A, so that AB I n, then necessarily B must be n n If AB I, then it automatically follows that BA I Inverses are unique That is, if B and C are both inverses of A, then B C We prove this fact below Theorem Suppose that A is an n n matrix, and that B and C are both multiplicative inverses of A Then B C Proof Since B is an inverse of A, we know that Similarly, Clearly AB BA I AC CA I AB AC; multiplying both sides of this equation on the left by B, we see that B(AB) B(AC) (BA)B (BA)C IB IC B C Remark The theorem above is actually a cancellation law: if and A is invertible, then AB AC B C Note that this cancellation law is only guaranteed if A has an inverse We saw an example earlier where the cancellation law did not work: with A, B, and C,

3 it is easy to see that AB AC, but of course B C The reason that cancellation fails is that A is not invertible: the first row of A, which consists entirely of 0s, will force the first row of any product AB to consist entirely of 0s as well; so AB can never equal I A matrix A that has an inverse is called invertible or nonsingular, and we refer to its inverse using the notation A 1 Using the example above, we write A and A (Note: the notation A 1 does not refer to division in any way Indeed, we do not even have a definition for matrix division, nor will we see one!) Just as the number 0 has no multiplicative inverse, there are many matrices which do not have multiplicative inverses; for example, we saw above that 0 0 A 4 0 has no inverse A matrix which does not have inverse is called singular One important question that we will need to answer is this: how can we determine whether a specific matrix A is singular or nonsingular? The question has a surprising answer, which we will study in this and several later sections Finding Inverses of Matrices As indicated earlier, we would like to have a reliable method for 1 determining whether or not a specific matrix has an inverse, and finding inverses when they exist In general, it is quite simple to tell if a matrix is invertible or not, but much more difficult to find that inverse However, for the special case of matrices, calculating inverses is actually quite easy Thus we will focus on the case for now, and leave larger matrices for a later discussion Theorem (a) The matrix a b A c d 3

5 1 To determine if A is invertible, we need to calculate the number ad bc: with a b 4 10, we have ad bc c d 3 Since ad bc 8 0, this matrix is invertible; the formula from the theorem tells us that A Unlike the previous matrix, it is clear that 6 4 B is not invertible: in this case, ad bc Properties of Inverses We have yet to answer several important questions about the way that matrix inverses work We might wish to know the inverse of a product AB; the inverse of a power A r ; or the inverse of a transpose A We will answer these and several more related questions about inverses in the remainder of this section Inverses of Products If we know that A and B are invertible n n matrices with inverses A 1 and B 1, respectively, it seems reasonable to guess that the product AB also has an inverse Let s try to find a formula for the inverse (AB) 1 of AB: we want a matrix X so that (AB)X I, or A(BX) I Since we are trying to determine a value for X, let s just leave it as a blank: A(B ) I (1) 5

6 It seems reasonable to guess that A 1 and B 1 should play a roll in the desired formula In fact, we can quickly eliminate the factor of B in (1) using B 1 : A(BB 1 ) A(I ) A Of course, we still want A(BB 1 ) A I We ve certainly moved a bit closer to our goal all we need to do now is fill in the blank in a way that eliminates the factor of A Of course, we can do this easily: since AA 1 I, we know that A 1 is the missing factor Let s look at what we ve done: we filled in the blank in A(B ) I with B 1 A 1 Indeed, AB(B 1 A 1 ) A(B(B 1 A 1 )) A((BB 1 )A 1 ) A(IA 1 ) AA 1 I, so it is clear that Theorem If A and B are both invertible matrices, then (AB) 1 B 1 A 1 Remark We can actually generalize the theorem a bit: if each of A 1, A,, A n is invertible, then so is the product A 1 A A n, and (A 1 A A n ) 1 A 1 n A 1 A 1 1 In other words, the inverse of a product is the product of the inverses in reverse order 6

7 Inverses of Powers of Matrices We can define integer powers of a square matrix in a natural way, analogous to the way that powers of real numbers are defined: Definition If r is an integer, r > 0, and A is an n n matrix, then A r } A A {{ A} r factors We define A 0 to be A 0 I n It is quite easy to see that the usual rules for combining powers of real numbers also work for combining powers of matrices: Theorem If r and s are nonnegative real numbers, and A is square, then A r A s A r+s (A r ) s A rs Of course, if A is invertible, with inverse A 1, then we might wish to know the inverse of some power of A As an example, let s find a formula for the inverse of A 3 : we want A 3 I; of course, if we replace the blank with three copies of A 1, we should get the desired result Let s check: A 3 (A 1 ) 3 (A A A)(A 1 A 1 A 1 ) (A A) (A A 1 ) (A 1 A 1 ) (A A) I (A 1 A 1 ) (A A) (A 1 A 1 ) A (A A 1 ) A 1 A I A 1 A A 1 I Thus we have verified that (A 3 ) 1 (A 1 ) 3 ; in general, Theorem If A is an invertible n n matrix, r is a nonnegative integer, and k is a nonzero scalar, then 7

8 (A r ) 1 (A 1 ) r, (A 1 ) 1 A, and (ka) 1 k 1 A 1 Instead of using the clumsy notation (A 1 ) r, we use A r Key Point The notation A r indicates the matrix that is the inverse of A r Inverses of Transposes Recall that the transpose of a matrix A is the matrix A that we build by switching the rows and columns of A For example, if A, then A If A is a square invertible matrix, then we should be able to find a formula for the inverse (A ) 1 of A ; the following theorem provides us with that formula: Theorem If the n n matrix A is invertible, then so is A, and (A ) 1 (A 1 ) In other words, to find the inverse of the transpose of A, just calculate the inverse of A and take its transpose! Proof Since A is invertible, A 1 exists, and AA 1 I Taking transposes of both sides, we see that (AA 1 ) I (AA 1 ) I (A 1 ) A I; the last line guarantees that (A 1 ) is the unique inverse of A, and we have (A 1 ) (A ) 1 8

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