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Transformations for 10

Explore the properties of matrix transformations with these 10 stimulating questions.

The Matrix

Stage: 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1


One of the ways to work with transformations is to use a matrix. If you have not met matrices before don't be put off, they are very easy. In this question you will use some simple matrices for rotations and reflections and see how they work.

First you need to know how to multiply a matrix like

$ \left( \begin{array}{cc} a & b \\ c & d \end{array} \right) $ by the vector $ \left( \begin{array}{c} x \\ y \end{array} \right) $


to give the image of the point $(x,y)$. This multiplication is defined as follows: $$ \left( \begin{array}{cc} a & b \\ c & d \end{array} \right) \left( \begin{array}{c} x \\ y \end{array} \right) $$ $$ \left( \begin{array}{cc} a & b \\ c & d \end{array} \right) \left( \begin{array}{c} x \\ y \end{array} \right) = \left( \begin{array}{c} ax+by \\ cx+dy \end{array} \right) $$ Find the images of the points $(1,0)$ and $(0,1)$ under the transformation given by the matrix $$ \left( \begin{array}{cc} a & b \\ c & d \end{array} \right) $$

Describe the effect on the plane of the four transformations where $b=c=0$ and $a$ and $d$ take all possible combinations of the values $\pm 1$. Now describe the effect on the plane of the four transformations where $a=d=0$ and $b$ and $c$ take all possible combinations of the values $\pm 1$

Explain why transformations have the same effect on the whole plane as on the unit square with vertices $(0,0),\ (0,1),\ (1,1),\ (1,0)$.