The operator . represents noncommutative multiplication and scalar product. When the operands are 1-column or 1-row matrices a and b, the expression a.b is equivalent to sum (a[i]*b[i], i, 1, length(a)). If a and b are not complex, this is the scalar product, also called the inner product or dot product, of a and b. The scalar product is defined as conjugate(a).b when a and b are complex; innerproduct in the eigen package provides the complex scalar product.
When the operands are more general matrices, the product is the matrix product a and b. The number of rows of b must equal the number of columns of a, and the result has number of rows equal to the number of rows of a and number of columns equal to the number of columns of b.
To distinguish . as an arithmetic operator from the decimal point in a floating point number, it may be necessary to leave spaces on either side. For example, 5.e3 is 5000.0 but 5 . e3 is 5 times e3.
There are several flags which govern the simplification of expressions involving ., namely dot, dot0nscsimp, dot0simp, dot1simp, dotassoc, dotconstrules, dotdistrib, dotexptsimp, dotident, and dotscrules.