# Thread: A Problem with a Norm of a Matrix

1. ## A Problem with a Norm of a Matrix

Hi,
I am working on a Linear Algebra problem set and am running into a problem (which is probably basic, I just forget how the operator works).

Here is the question:#1 Show that norm of the following expression is equal to 1.
Where the Capital X denotes a matrix.

What I am confused on is how to deal with the matrix which is raised to the exponent 1/2. Do I treat this as a regular exponent? Or, is there another way to treat these exponents for matrices?

2. ## Re: A Problem with a Norm of a Matrix

I think there is something wrong with what you have written because expressions like $X^T X$ usually work for vector norms. Using a square matrix of any size $2\times 2$ will give you a vector back. Indeed, if $X^T = \begin{bmatrix}x_1 \dots x_n\end{bmatrix}$, then

$X^T X = X\cdot X = x_1^2+\dots x_n^2$

and taking the square root gives you the norm of the vector. Since you only have one index in the sum, I would assume you are talking about vectors $X$. In that case you simply have that $X/||X||$ is a unit vector.

More generally, if $||\cdot||$ is some norm (vector or matrix, if doesn't matter), then you have

$||kA|| = |k| ||A||$

Since $||X||$ is a constant, you have

$\left|\left|\frac{X}{||X||} \right|\right| = \frac{1}{||X||}||X|| = 1$

You should check exactly what the question is asking you.

Now, if you are interested in the square roots of matrices, they are not numbers. If $A$ is a square matrix, we seek to find a matrix $B$ such that $B^2 = A$ and we call $B = \sqrt{A}$. In general, $B$ is not unique. You may read more about it here Square root of a matrix - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia