Science:Math Exam Resources/Courses/MATH221/December 2008/Question 03 (a)
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Question 03 (a) 

Show that the determinant of the matrix is given by . 
Make sure you understand the problem fully: What is the question asking you to do? Are there specific conditions or constraints that you should take note of? How will you know if your answer is correct from your work only? Can you rephrase the question in your own words in a way that makes sense to you? 
If you are stuck, check the hint below. Consider it for a while. Does it give you a new idea on how to approach the problem? If so, try it! 
Hint 

How do elementary row operations, adding a multiple of one row to another or multiplying a row by a number c, affect the determinant of a matrix? 
Checking a solution serves two purposes: helping you if, after having used the hint, you still are stuck on the problem; or if you have solved the problem and would like to check your work.

Solution 

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Please rate my easiness! It's quick and helps everyone guide their studies. Recall two key properties of the determinant of a matrix:
Start by performing two elementary row operations on A:
The effect of these operations is to transform A to the matrix
By the above determinant property 1, . The advantage gained in calculating is that its first column only contains a single nonzero entry, which is on the diagonal. Hence, when we calculate the determinant of we can reduce it to calculating the determinant of a 2 x 2 submatrix,
We can now use determinant property 2 to help us compute this 2 x 2 determinant,
Therefore, . 