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Math Help - Questions about concepts of linear algebra

  1. #1
    Newbie JCS007's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Questions about concepts of linear algebra

    1. What does it mean for a vector to form a basis of a subspace?

    2. What does it mean when a plane (or subspace) is spanned by a vector?

    3. What does it mean when a subspace has a basis?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member JaneBennet's Avatar
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    1. It means that the subspace it is in has dimension 1. Furthermore, the vector is nonzero every element in that subspace is a scalar multiple of that vector.
    2. Same as 1. Note that any nonzero vector is linearly independent by itself and so forms a basis for the subspace it spans.
    3. If you accept the axiom of choice (which most mathematicians do) – or rather, if you accept Zorn’s lemma, which is equivalent to the axiom of choice – then it follows that every vector space has a basis. A subspace of a vector space is itself a vector space and therefore has a basis.
    Last edited by JaneBennet; July 9th 2008 at 02:23 PM.
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