In the field axioms for the real numbers subtraction and division are not mentioned, only addition and multiplication.

Subtraction and Division are INTRODUCED via definitions: x-y is x plus the opposite of y and x/y is x times the multiplicative inverse of y. x-y = x+(-y) where we use "-y" for the opposite of y. So subtraction is a "secondary" operations, not really necessary, but quite handy at times.

But for reciprocals we have no such concise notation. 1/y suggests fractions and uses the symbol

"/" that is often interpreted also as division. And x^(-1) is defined typically as 1/y. If we had a

SIMPLE notation for RECIPROCALS (such as /x ) then we could define division in a way that would obviously be analogous to the definition of subtraction.

x - y = x + (-y) vs x/y = x*(/y)

We perhaps get the "-x" from "shortening down 0-x" so that by analogy we could get

"/x" from "shortening down 1/x".

But back to linear algebra:

Most linear algebra books follow the same pattern for two matrices of the SAME dimensions: A-B is defined as A plus the opposite of B where the opposite of B is the same as B except every entry in -B is the opposite of the corresponding entry in B. So by definition A-B=A+(-B). Some of the books probably just assume the reader understands the "stepping up" of the definition via the field axioms to the situation with matrices.

A similar situation holds for "division" of matrices. If we have the inverse of a matrix A (written A^(-1) ) then we can multiply A*A^(-1) to get an IDENTITY matrix, where the identity matrix

functions like the multiplicative identity 1 in the reals. But in the reals only zero has no reciprocal.

There are many matrices that have no multiplicative inverse, for example, those for which their

determinant is zero.

So the choice is up to you whether you want to write A-B vs A+(-B). If one does not allow

subtraction then they are stuck with A+(-B).

Have a stupendous day!

]]>Thanks!

I do seem to recall that subtraction is not defined as such for matrices, it is in fact addition of a negative. And that website agrees, but then goes on to do subtraction as an operation ... so that leaves it nicely

unresolved.

Adding a negative and subtraction are different operation that achieve the same thing, so I guess either is okay.

]]>Matrix subtraction is a legal operation but the elements needs to be same in both the matrix. for eg a @*2 matrix can be substracted only from 2*2 matrix and not 3*3 matrix.

]]>That is true, I saw that page. I am not much on definitions, to me adding a negative is subtraction. But for the purposes of mathematical correctness you could include their definition.

]]>I do seem to recall that subtraction is not defined as such for matrices, it is in fact addition of a negative. And that website agrees, but then goes on to do subtraction as an operation ... so that leaves it nicely **un**resolved.

I think that you may find the following link to be useful...

play through the replay buttons

]]>Yes, matrix subtraction is a legal operation. It is achieved by element by element subtraction. As long as A and B are the same size.

A + ( - B ) is also legal, the addition is possible provided A and B are the same size.

]]>(I am making some pages on Matrices.)

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