# Standard matrix representation of a differentiation operator.

• Aug 13th 2008, 12:37 PM
Standard matrix representation of a differentiation operator.
q. let P sub 3 denote the subspace consisting of all polynomials of degree no greater than 3. Let E: P sub 3 ---> P sub 3 denote the differentiation operator on P sub 3. Write down the standard matrix representation of E?!
• Aug 14th 2008, 01:56 AM
flyingsquirrel
Hello,
Quote:

q. let P sub 3 denote the subspace consisting of all polynomials of degree no greater than 3. Let E: P sub 3 ---> P sub 3 denote the differentiation operator on P sub 3. Write down the standard matrix representation of E?!

Let $b=(v_1,v_2,v_3,v_4)$ be a basis of $P_3$. The four columns of the matrix representation of $E$ with respect to $b$ are $E(v_1), E(v_2),E(v_3)$ and $E(v_4)$. Usually, one works with $b=(1,X,X^2,X^3)$ so to find, say, the last column of the matrix, one has to compute $E(v_4)=E(X^3)$. As $E(X^3)=\frac{\mathrm{d}}{\mathrm{d}X}\left(X^3\rig ht)=3X^2=3v_3$ one has

$
B=\begin{bmatrix} .& . & . & 0\\
. & . & . & 0 \\
. & . & . & 3 \\
. & . & . & 0\\
\end{bmatrix}$

Does it help ?
• Aug 14th 2008, 02:27 AM
$A$ is a strictly triangular matrix so it is nilpotent. As nilpotent matrices are not diagonalizable, $A$ can't be diagonalizable.
If you're not supposed to know this result, let's show it using contradiction : assume that $A$ is diagonalizable. $A$ has one eigenvalue which is 0 and whose multiplicity is 4. (since the matrix is triangular and the four diagonal entries are 0) Let $E_0$ be the eigenspace associated to the eigenvalue 0. $E_0$ is the set $\{p\in P_3\,|\,Ap=0\cdot p=0\}$ so $E_0=\ker A$. For $A$ to be diagonalizable, we need to have $\dim E_0=\dim P_3$. I claim that this is impossible. Can you find out why?