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Basis (linear algebra) facts for kids

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Basis graph
This picture illustrates the standard basis in R2. The red and blue vectors are the elements of the basis; the green vector can be given with the basis vectors.

In linear algebra, a basis is a set of vectors in a given vector space with certain properties:

  • One can get any vector in the vector space by multiplying each of the basis vectors by different numbers, and then adding them up.
  • If any vector is removed from the basis, the property above is no longer satisfied.

The dimension of a given vector space is the number of elements of the basis.

Example

If \mathbb{R}^3 is the vector space then:

B=\{(1,0,0),(0,1,0),(0,0,1)\} is a basis of \mathbb{R}^3.

It's easy to see that for any element of \mathbb{R}^3 it can be represented as a combination of the above basis. Let x be any element of \mathbb{R}^3 and let x=(x_1,x_2,x_3).

Since x_1,x_2 and x_3 are elements of \mathbb{R} then they can be written as x_1=1*x_1 and so on.

Then the combination equals the element x.

This shows that the set B is a basis of \mathbb{R}^3.

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