I'm not sure which canonical form is required, since my book doesn't say. It just tells me to put those matrices into canonical form.
I know that λI is a canonical form for Jordan matrices and that
(λ 1 0 0)
(0 λ 1 0)
(0 0 λ 1)
(0 0 0 λ)
is another canonical form.
The thing is that I do not know what to do or where to start.
Well, from what you say it seems (just seems!) that they mean the Jordan Canonical Form (JCF), but
in order to be completely sure you must read the book before the part of that question.
And even if it actually is the JCF and you don't know about this, it is too involved a question to write
down an explanation in this forum. You better go to your instructor.
Since you mentioned the Jordan Canonical form.
The first thing you need is the characteristic polynomial
Putting back into the matrix gives
The dimension of the nullspace of this matrix is 2 so we need to find the Jordan cannonical form.
Note that the minimum polynomial must be of the form
because and have the same roots.
Since matrix the minimum polynomial cannot be Now try and check that this gives that
The degree of the minimum polynomial gives the size of the largest Jordan block. So the JCF has one 2 by 2 block and one 1 by 1 block. So the JCF is
Also do you need the matricies such that
where is the JCF?
See if you can do the next one!