For What Values of $a$, Is the Matrix Nonsingular?

Problem 670

Determine the values of a real number $a$ such that the matrix
\[A=\begin{bmatrix}
3 & 0 & a \\
2 &3 &0 \\
0 & 18a & a+1
\end{bmatrix}\]
is nonsingular.

From this, we see that the matrix $A$ is nonsingular if and only if the $(3, 3)$-entry $4a^2+a+1$ is not zero.
By the quadratic formula, we see that
\[a=\frac{-1\pm \sqrt{-15}}{8}\]
are solutions of $4a^2+a+1=0$.

Note that these are not real numbers. Thus, for any real number $a$, we have $4a^2+a+1\neq 0$.

Hence, we can divide the third row by this number, and eventually we can reduce it to the identity matrix.
So the rank of $A$ is $3$, and $A$ is nonsingular for any real number $a$.

Determine whether the Given 3 by 3 Matrices are Nonsingular
Determine whether the following matrices are nonsingular or not.
(a) $A=\begin{bmatrix}
1 & 0 & 1 \\
2 &1 &2 \\
1 & 0 & -1
\end{bmatrix}$.
(b) $B=\begin{bmatrix}
2 & 1 & 2 \\
1 &0 &1 \\
4 & 1 & 4
\end{bmatrix}$.
Solution.
Recall that […]

Find the Rank of a Matrix with a Parameter
Find the rank of the following real matrix.
\[ \begin{bmatrix}
a & 1 & 2 \\
1 &1 &1 \\
-1 & 1 & 1-a
\end{bmatrix},\]
where $a$ is a real number.
(Kyoto University, Linear Algebra Exam)
Solution.
The rank is the number of nonzero rows of a […]

Find a Row-Equivalent Matrix which is in Reduced Row Echelon Form and Determine the Rank
For each of the following matrices, find a row-equivalent matrix which is in reduced row echelon form. Then determine the rank of each matrix.
(a) $A = \begin{bmatrix} 1 & 3 \\ -2 & 2 \end{bmatrix}$.
(b) $B = \begin{bmatrix} 2 & 6 & -2 \\ 3 & -2 & 8 \end{bmatrix}$.
(c) $C […]

If Two Matrices Have the Same Rank, Are They Row-Equivalent?
If $A, B$ have the same rank, can we conclude that they are row-equivalent?
If so, then prove it. If not, then provide a counterexample.
Solution.
Having the same rank does not mean they are row-equivalent.
For a simple counterexample, consider $A = […]

Find the Rank of the Matrix $A+I$ if Eigenvalues of $A$ are $1, 2, 3, 4, 5$
Let $A$ be an $n$ by $n$ matrix with entries in complex numbers $\C$. Its only eigenvalues are $1,2,3,4,5$, possibly with multiplicities. What is the rank of the matrix $A+I_n$, where $I_n$ is the identity $n$ by $n$ matrix.
(UCB-University of California, Berkeley, […]

Find Values of $a$ so that the Matrix is Nonsingular
Let $A$ be the following $3 \times 3$ matrix.
\[A=\begin{bmatrix}
1 & 1 & -1 \\
0 &1 &2 \\
1 & 1 & a
\end{bmatrix}.\]
Determine the values of $a$ so that the matrix $A$ is nonsingular.
Solution.
We use the fact that a matrix is nonsingular if and only if […]

Quiz 7. Find a Basis of the Range, Rank, and Nullity of a Matrix
(a) Let $A=\begin{bmatrix}
1 & 3 & 0 & 0 \\
1 &3 & 1 & 2 \\
1 & 3 & 1 & 2
\end{bmatrix}$.
Find a basis for the range $\calR(A)$ of $A$ that consists of columns of $A$.
(b) Find the rank and nullity of the matrix $A$ in part (a).
Solution.
(a) […]

Find the Inverse Matrices if Matrices are Invertible by Elementary Row Operations
For each of the following $3\times 3$ matrices $A$, determine whether $A$ is invertible and find the inverse $A^{-1}$ if exists by computing the augmented matrix $[A|I]$, where $I$ is the $3\times 3$ identity matrix.
(a) $A=\begin{bmatrix}
1 & 3 & -2 \\
2 &3 &0 \\
[…]