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Math Help - Determinants

  1. #1
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    Determinants

    What is the best way to describe to a non math person what a determinant is and its possible uses?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Determinants

    If you have a matrix equation, the determinant is used to determine whether or not there are any solutions to the matrix equation - there will only be solutions when the determinant is not zero.
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    Re: Determinants

    Every SQUARE matrix can be associated to an expression or a number which is called its determinant. If A = [ aij] is a square matrix of order n, then the determinant of A is denoted by det A OR |A|
    Determinant is a way of expressing an expression. For example: a*d-b*c is defined as determinant which is written as
    |■(a&b@c&d)|
    The children may ask as to why do we need to express the expression as a determinant, the answer is that we need it for solving equations as well as it has other applications in geometry.
    A determinant of a matrix of order three is written as
    a b c
    d e f = a ( ei-hf) b(di-fg)+c(dh-eg) = aei +bfg + cdh ceg bdi - afh
    g h i
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