That is strange, if you don’t know the Cayley-Hamilton theorem; it is the finding that every square matrix A, if you calculate the characteristic polynomial for the matrix A it is always zero. At first this is a very surprising result, but it is easy to prove. It’s importance lies in the fact that in this way you can always break down higher powers of the matrix A in lower powers. In the study of higher dimensional complex and circular numbers we do this all the time. If in 3D space I say that the third power of the imaginary component is minus one, j^3 = -1, we only write the third power as a multiple of the zero’th power…
In this post I will give two simple proofs of the Cayley-Hamilton theorem and although in my brain this is just a one line proof, if you write it down it always gets longer than anticipated.
At the end I show you an old video from the year 1986 from the London Mathematical Society where it is claimed that the CH theorem was neglected for 25 years. Now Hamilton is also famous for having sought the 3D complex numbers for about a full decade before he gave up. And I still do not understand why Hamilton tried this for so long but likely he wanted to include the imaginary unit i from the complex plane in it and that is impossible. Or may be he wanted a 3D complex number system that is also a field (in a field all elements or numbers that are non-zero have an inverse, in algebra wordings; there are no divisors of zero). A 3D field is also impossible and in this post I included a small proof for that.
Furthermore in this post at some point may be you read the words ‘total incompetents’ and ‘local university’. You must not view that as some emotional wording, on the contrary it is a cold clinical description of how math goes over there. So you must not think I am some kind of frustrated person, for me it is enough that I know how for example to craft a 3D complex number system. If they don’t want to do that, be my guest. After all this is a free country and we also have this concept of ‘academic freedom’ where the high shot math professors can do what they want.
And what is this ‘academic freedom’ anyway? If for example unpaired electrons are never magnetically neutral but electron pairs always are magnetically neutral, can the physical reality be that electrons are magnetic dipoles? Of course not, that is a crazy idea to begin with. But 97 years of academic freedom since the Stern-Gerlach experiment have never ever brought any meaningful understanding of the magnetic properties of the electron. If it acts as a magnetic charge and you say it is not a charge it is easy to understand how you can fool yourself for about one century of time.
This post is seven pictures long although the last picture is empty.
The two proofs of the Cayley/Hamilton theorem is how I would prove such a thing but good theorems always have many proofs. All pictures are of the size 550×775 pixels.
Here is the old video from 1986 where it is claimed the Cayley-Hamilton theorem was neglected for about 25 years. Oh oh oh what a deep crime. But the human mind is not made to produce or understand math, so in my view 25 years is a short period of time if in the good old days math professors were equally smart as the present day math professors. The title of the video is The Rise and Fall of Matrices.
Ok let me leave it with that an not post a link to the top wiki on the Cayley-Hamilton theorem where all kinds of interesting proofs are given. Till updates my dear reader.