# Math Help - prove f(x) is a norm

1. ## prove f(x) is a norm

Hi!,
i'm having trouble to prove that $f(x)$ is a vector norm if and only if A is positive definite, in the property that says $||x + y|| \leq ||x|| + ||y||$.

$
f(x) = \frac{(x^t Ax)^\frac{1}{2}}{2}
$

Thanks in advance.

2. Originally Posted by redalert
I'm having trouble to prove that $f(x)$ is a vector norm if and only if A is positive definite, in the property that says $||x + y|| \leq ||x|| + ||y||$.

$
f(x) = \frac{(x^t Ax)^\frac{1}{2}}{2}
$
If A is not positive definite then $x^{\textsc t}Ax$ need not be positive, so $f(x)$ will not be positive-valued and hence will not be a norm.

If A is positive definite then it has a positive square root, say $A = S^{\textsc t}S$ for some positive definite matrix S. Then $f(x) = \tfrac12\|Sx\|$ (where $\|Sx\|$ means the euclidean norm of the vector Sx), and it is easy to check that this satisfies the properties for a norm.