

Matrix Definitions  In mathematics, a matrix (plural matrices, or less commonly matrixes) is a rectangular array of numbers, as shown at the right. One use of matrices is to keep track of the coefficients in a system of linear equations. Matrices can also represent linear transformations, which are higherdimensional analogs of linear functions of the form f(x) = cx, where c is a constant. They can be added and subtracted entrywise, and multiplied according to a rule corresponding to composition of linear transformations. These operations satisfy the usual identities, except that matrix multiplication is not commutative: the identity AB=BA can fail. For a square matrix, the determinant and inverse matrix (when it exists) govern the behavior of solutions to the corresponding system of linear equations, and eigenvalues and eigenvectors provide insight into the geometry of the associated linear transformation.
Matrices find many applications. Physics makes use of them in various domains, for example in geometrical optics and matrix mechanics. The latter also led to studying in more detail matrices with an infinite number of rows and columns. Matrices encoding distances of knot points in a graph, such as cities connected by roads, are used in graph theory, and computer graphics use matrices to encode projections of threedimensional space onto a twodimensional screen. Matrix calculus generalizes classical analytical notions such as derivatives of functions or exponentials to matrices. The latter is a recurring need in solving ordinary differential equations. Serialism and dodecaphonism are musical mouvements of the 20th century that utilize a square mathematical matrix (music) to determine the pattern of music intervals.  Wikipedia  






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