1. ## A^2+I=o

If $A$ is a n-rowed square matrices with real entries and satisfies the equation $A^2+I=O$,then compute value of $det(A)$.

I tried it out like this in two ways:

1.If given equation in $A$ is its characterstic equation then $det(A)=(-1)^n$(Product of eigenvalues) which gives the value of $det(A)=1$,which is the answer.

2.But is there some elementary explanation which does not use the concept of characterstic equation.I tried to do like this:
$A^2=-I$

$det(A^2)=det(-I)$

$(det(A))^2=(-1)^n$

Thus, $n$ must be even since $A$ is a square matrix with real entries

$(det(A))^2=1$

$(det(A))^2-1=0$

$(det(A)-1)(det(A)+1)=0$

$det(A)-1=0$ or $det(A)+1=0$

$det(A)=1$ or $-1$

How do I rule out the possibility of $det(A)=-1$

2. ## Re: A^2+I=o

Hey pankaj.

Could you consider the properties of the inverse for this question? Since A^2 = -I then (A^2)^(-1) = (-I)^(-1). Since the matrix is invertible, then this might add an extra constraint which eliminates one value (this is just a brain-storm session trying to look for answers).

3. ## Re: A^2+I=o

Also spitballing, but maybe prove that for n=2, the determinant cannot be -1, then use induction?