Multiplying Vectors and Matrices
|cv, cm, etc.||multiply each element by a scalar|
|u.v, v.m, m.v, m1.m2, etc.||vector and matrix multiplication|
|Cross[u,v]||vector cross product (also input as )|
Different kinds of vector and matrix multiplication.
This multiplies each element of the vector by the scalar
The "dot" operator gives the scalar product of two vectors.
You can also use dot to multiply a matrix by a vector.
Dot is also the notation for matrix multiplication in Mathematica
It is important to realize that you can use "dot" for both left- and right-multiplication of vectors by matrices. Mathematica
makes no distinction between "row" and "column" vectors. Dot
carries out whatever operation is possible. (In formal terms,
contracts the last index of the tensor
with the first index of
Here are definitions for a matrix
and a vector
This left-multiplies the vector
. The object
is effectively treated as a column vector in this case.
You can also use dot to right-multiply
is effectively treated as a row vector.
You can multiply
on both sides to get a scalar.
For some purposes, you may need to represent vectors and matrices symbolically without explicitly giving their elements. You can use Dot
to represent multiplication of such symbolic objects.
Dot effectively acts here as a noncommutative form of multiplication.
It is, nevertheless, associative.
Dot products of sums are not automatically expanded out.
The "dot" operator gives "inner products" of vectors, matrices, and so on. In more advanced calculations, you may also need to construct outer or Kronecker products of vectors and matrices. You can use the general function Outer
to do this.
The outer product of two vectors is a matrix.
The outer product of a matrix and a vector is a rank three tensor.
Outer products are discussed in more detail in "Tensors"
The Kronecker product of a matrix and a vector is a matrix.
The Kronecker product of a pair of 2×2 matrices is a 4×4 matrix.