# Matrices

• Oct 23rd 2008, 10:49 AM
Showcase_22
Matrices
Quote:

Suppose A and P are n x n matrices, and that P is invertible, and n is a positive integer. Show that $(P^{-1}AP)^n=P^{-1}A^n P$
I think i've sort of got this. I just want someone to check what i've done.

$P^{-1}AP=\begin{pmatrix}
{\lambda_1}&{0}\\
{0}&{\lambda_2}
\end{pmatrix}$

Where $\lambda_1$ and $\lambda_2$ are eigenvalues.

Therefore $(P^{-1}AP)^n=\begin{pmatrix}
{\lambda_1}&{0}\\
{0}&{\lambda_2}
\end{pmatrix}^n=\begin{pmatrix}
{\lambda_1^n}&{0}\\
{0}&{\lambda_2^n}
\end{pmatrix}$

$P^{-1}A^nP=\begin{pmatrix}
{\lambda_1^n}&{0}\\
{0}&{\lambda_2^n}
\end{pmatrix}$

and since they are the same then the proof is complete.

Is this right?
• Oct 23rd 2008, 10:56 AM
Moo
Hello !!
Quote:

Originally Posted by Showcase_22
$P^{-1}A^nP=\begin{pmatrix}
{\lambda_1^n}&{0}\\
{0}&{\lambda_2^n}
\end{pmatrix}$

And how do you know this ??

If it's not a formula from your notes, then you can prove it by induction :)

$P^{-1}A^{n+1}P=P^{-1}A^n AP=P^{-1}A^n \underbrace{P P^{-1}}_{=\text{Id}}A P=(P^{-1}A^nP)(P^{-1}AP)$

Otherwise, you can do it roughly from the formula $(P^{-1}AP)^n=P^{-1}APP^{-1}AP\dots P^{-1}AP$, because you're not told $P^{-1}AP$ will yield the matrix with the eigenvalues.
• Oct 24th 2008, 01:42 PM
Showcase_22
Great response as ever Moo!

I was reading ahead in my notes and couldn't remember how this bit worked. I just got shown today and thought it was pretty good.

Thanks!