There are many way to think about determinants.
19.4.1 Combinatorial approach
We define the set as the set of bijective maps from .
The algebra is a group (where is the function composition operator).
Proof: function composition is associative (todo: link to proof) so all we must do is show that there exists a neutral element, which it is not unreasonable to guess would be the identity function (i.e. where for all ) and then prove that all permutations are invertible (which we get for free because we know that all are bijective, and thus are invertible).
To show that is a neutral element, consider some for which,
|As maps every function to the same point.||(19.115)|
The other way is proven in the same way.
The length of a permutation is the number of \sayinversions in the permutation. TODO: finish
One way to define the determinant is using \saypermutations, that is as
Multiplicatively of the determinant
This is a very important property of the determinant.
The basic result we are after is that
Let and be matrices, then
Block multiplication property
Let be a field, and let , , and such that all entries in are (surprise!) the zero element.
Let be the matrix whose entries come from the field defined by
Proof: we use the standard method for proving identities (if it looks like an identity, walks like an identity, and quacks like an identity then it probably is an identity). We start by considering ,
If we think carefully about what we want, we’d like to end up with something that looks a bit like , and thus we should try to split this into two parts - one for and one for . We can try something like
Here we have something which is close to what we want. Ideally (or, as they say \sayif there is any fairness in the universe) we would have a permutation such that (note: this is the same , with the same bounds as the one in the sum), as that way the index will be in (as is in the top-left corner and is an matrix) and such that (for the same reasons as the first). We can have this!
What we can do is split the sum into two parts; in the first part we will sum over all the desirable permutations, and in the second part we will sum over all the undesirable permutations. This is of course not a formulation. We really want to define a set such that for all , we have for all that and also for all it is the case that . Then, we can partition as where denotes all the items in that are not in (which means ). Therefore,
Note that the right-hand part of the sum is zero, as for each term in the sum there exists some such that where , that is we have some in the product such that this entry is , i.e. the whole term must therefore be zero, so all the terms are zero, so the sum is zero, and thus this is the same as
Let us consider some permutation . Note that we can write where , , and , therefore we can write the sum as
19.4.2 Using matrices
If you consider how differentiation from \sayfirst principles is not the most exciting thing (it’s definitely useful to know how to do it, but in general, from first principles is not how people differentiate), we have a similar thing with determinants.
This is illustrated by this example/theorem hybrid.
For any (read: any matrix with entries in a field ,
Prove Theorem 19.4.4.
We could do this by considering the definition in Definition 19.116, but it’s easier to prove this by using elementary matrices.
We know that if is invertible, then using elementary row-operations we can reduce it to the identity matrix; i.e. there exist elementary matrices such that
As elementary matrices are invertible, from this we can infer that
Then, considering , we get
These expressions are pretty similar; we know (todo: add proof) that the determinant of any elementary matrix is equal to its determinant, so applying the multiplicative property of determinants, we have shown that