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Matrix Diagonalization

Diagonalization Process

Matrix diagonalization is a process in linear algebra that involves transforming a square matrix into a diagonal matrix through a similarity transformation. Diagonalizing a matrix can simplify calculations and reveal important properties of the matrix. Here are the steps to diagonalize a matrix:

  1. 1.Find the eigenvalues of the matrix: Start by calculating the eigenvalues of the matrix. The eigenvalues are the values \(\lambda\) that satisfy the equation \(Av = \lambda v\), where \(A\) is the matrix, \(v\) is the eigenvector, and \(\lambda\) is the eigenvalue.

  2. 2.Find the corresponding eigenvectors: For each eigenvalue, find the corresponding eigenvectors by solving the equation \((A - \lambda I)v = 0\), where \(I\) is the identity matrix. These eigenvectors form a set of linearly independent vectors.

  3. 3.Form the matrix of eigenvectors: Arrange the eigenvectors as columns in a matrix called \(P\). The matrix \(P\) should have the same size as the original matrix \(A\).

  4. 4.Form the diagonal matrix: Create a diagonal matrix \(D\) by placing the eigenvalues along the main diagonal of the matrix, with zeros in the off-diagonal entries.

  5. 5.Calculate the inverse of \(P\): If the eigenvectors in matrix \(P\) are linearly independent, then \(P\) is invertible. Calculate the inverse of \(P\) and denote it as \(P^{-1}\).

  6. 6.Diagonalize the matrix: The diagonalized form of the matrix \(A\) is given by \(A = PDP^{-1}\).

Diagonalizing a matrix allows us to express it in terms of its eigenvalues and eigenvectors, which simplifies calculations such as matrix powers. It also provides insight into the behaviour and properties of the matrix.

Diagonalizable Matrices

A matrix is diagonalizable if and only if for each eigenvalue, the dimension of the eigenspace is equal to the multiplicity of the eigenvalue. The term 'multiplicity' of an eigenvalue \(e\) refers to the power to which \((\lambda - e)\) divides the characteristic polynomial of the given matrix.


Click on any example to see how Arfulus works!

  • Diagonalize the matrix $$\begin{pmatrix}2&7&6\\9&5&1\\4&3&8\end{pmatrix}$$