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Vectors over complex n-space, Inner products, Orthogonal vectors, Triangle Inequality, Schwarz Inequality, Gram-Schmidt orthogonalization process, Gramian Matrix, Unitary matrix, Unitary transformation

We will present here results for vectors over complex n-space, Vn(C) . Vector elements and scalars are complex numbers from the field of complex numbers, C. Since field R is a subfield of C it is to be expected that each theorem concerning vectors of Vn(C) will reduce to a theorem about vectors in real n-space when real vectors are considered. We will denote the conjugate of a complex number with an over-bar i.e. the conjugate of z is ole.gif .

Conjugate of a vector. If X is a vector having complex numbers as elements, the vector obtained from X by replacing each element by its conjugate is called the conjugate of X and is denoted by ole1.gif i.e. the conjugate of the vector



           ole3.gif  .

Inner (or dot or scalar) product of two complex n-vectors. Let




be two vectors whose elements are complex numbers. Then their inner product is given by


Laws governing inner products of complex n-vectors. Let X, Y and Z be complex n-vectors and c be a complex number. Then the following laws hold:


Orthogonal vectors. Two vectors in n-space are said to be orthogonal if their inner product is zero.

Length of a complex n-vector. The length of a complex n-vector


is denoted by ||X|| and defined as

                 ole9.gif ole10.gif

The Triangle Inequality. For two complex n-vectors X and Y


The Schwarz Inequality. For two complex n-vectors X and Y



1] Any set of m mutually orthogonal non-zero vectors of complex n-space is linearly independent and spans an m-dimensional subspace of n-space.


2] If a vector is orthogonal to each of the vectors X1, X2, ... ,Xm of complex n-space it is orthogonal to the space spanned by them.

3] Let Vnh(C) be a h-dimensional subspace of a k-dimensional subspace Vnk(C) of complex n-space Vn(C) where h < k. Then there exists at least one vector X of Vnk(C) which is orthogonal to Vnh(R) .

4] Every m-dimensional vector space contains exactly m mutually orthogonal vectors.

5] A basis of Vnm(C) which consists of mutually orthogonal vectors is called an orthogonal basis. If the mutually orthogonal vectors are also unit vectors, the basis is called a normal or orthonormal basis.

The Gram-Schmidt orthogonalization process. Suppose X1, X2, .... ,Xm constitute a basis of some vector space. The Gram-Schmidt orthogonalization process is a procedure for generating from these m vectors an orthogonal basis for the space. The process involves computing a sequence Y1, Y2, .... ,Ym inductively as follows:


or, stated more succinctly,




The vectors Y1, Y2, .... ,Ym given by the above algorithm are mutually orthogonal but not orthonormal. To obtain an orthonormal sequence replace each Yi by 

ole16.gif  .


The Gramian Matrix. Let X1, X2, .... ,Xp be a set of complex n-vectors. The Gramian matrix is defined as


where Xi∙Xj is the inner product of Xi and Xj .

A set of vectors X1, X2, .... ,Xp are mutually orthogonal if and only if their Gramian matrix is diagonal.

For a set of complex n-vectors X1, X2, .... ,Xp the determinant of the Gramian matrix |G| has a value |G| ole18.gif 0. The set of vectors are linearly dependent if and only if |G| = 0.

Unitary matrix. A matrix which is equal to the inverse of its Hermitian conjugate.

The above definition states that a matrix A is unitary if


This is equivalent to the condition






1] The column vectors (or row vectors) of a unitary matrix are mutually orthogonal unit vectors.

2] The column vectors (or row vectors) of an n-square unitary matrix are an orthonormal basis of Vn(C), and conversely.

3] The inverse and transpose of a unitary matrix are unitary.

4] The product of two or more unitary matrices is unitary.

5] The determinant of a unitary matrix has absolute value 1.

Unitary transformation. The linear transformation Y = AX where A is unitary, is called a unitary transformation.

1] A linear transformation preserves lengths (and hence, inner products) if and only if its matrix is unitary.

2] If Y= AX is a transformation of coordinates from the E-basis to another, the Z-basis, then the Z-basis is orthonormal if and only if A is unitary.


  Ayres. Matrices (Schaum).

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