Is the Trace of the Transposed Matrix the Same as the Trace of the Matrix?
Let $A$ be an $n \times n$ matrix.
Is it true that $\tr ( A^\trans ) = \tr(A)$? If it is true, prove it. If not, give a counterexample.
Solution.
The answer is true. Recall that the transpose of a matrix is the sum of its diagonal entries. Also, note that the […]

If Two Matrices are Similar, then their Determinants are the Same
Prove that if $A$ and $B$ are similar matrices, then their determinants are the same.
Proof.
Suppose that $A$ and $B$ are similar. Then there exists a nonsingular matrix $S$ such that
\[S^{-1}AS=B\]
by definition.
Then we […]

Matrix $XY-YX$ Never Be the Identity Matrix
Let $I$ be the $n\times n$ identity matrix, where $n$ is a positive integer. Prove that there are no $n\times n$ matrices $X$ and $Y$ such that
\[XY-YX=I.\]
Hint.
Suppose that such matrices exist and consider the trace of the matrix $XY-YX$.
Recall that the trace of […]

Trace, Determinant, and Eigenvalue (Harvard University Exam Problem)
(a) A $2 \times 2$ matrix $A$ satisfies $\tr(A^2)=5$ and $\tr(A)=3$.
Find $\det(A)$.
(b) A $2 \times 2$ matrix has two parallel columns and $\tr(A)=5$. Find $\tr(A^2)$.
(c) A $2\times 2$ matrix $A$ has $\det(A)=5$ and positive integer eigenvalues. What is the trace of […]

If 2 by 2 Matrices Satisfy $A=AB-BA$, then $A^2$ is Zero Matrix
Let $A, B$ be complex $2\times 2$ matrices satisfying the relation
\[A=AB-BA.\]
Prove that $A^2=O$, where $O$ is the $2\times 2$ zero matrix.
Hint.
Find the trace of $A$.
Use the Cayley-Hamilton theorem
Proof.
We first calculate the […]

True or False: If $A, B$ are 2 by 2 Matrices such that $(AB)^2=O$, then $(BA)^2=O$
Let $A$ and $B$ be $2\times 2$ matrices such that $(AB)^2=O$, where $O$ is the $2\times 2$ zero matrix.
Determine whether $(BA)^2$ must be $O$ as well. If so, prove it. If not, give a counter example.
Proof.
It is true that the matrix $(BA)^2$ must be the zero […]

Determine Whether Given Matrices are Similar
(a) Is the matrix $A=\begin{bmatrix}
1 & 2\\
0& 3
\end{bmatrix}$ similar to the matrix $B=\begin{bmatrix}
3 & 0\\
1& 2
\end{bmatrix}$?
(b) Is the matrix $A=\begin{bmatrix}
0 & 1\\
5& 3
\end{bmatrix}$ similar to the matrix […]

The Vector Space Consisting of All Traceless Diagonal Matrices
Let $V$ be the set of all $n \times n$ diagonal matrices whose traces are zero.
That is,
\begin{equation*}
V:=\left\{ A=\begin{bmatrix}
a_{11} & 0 & \dots & 0 \\
0 &a_{22} & \dots & 0 \\
0 & 0 & \ddots & \vdots \\
0 & 0 & \dots & […]