Skip to main content
### Number and algebra

### Geometry and measure

### Probability and statistics

### Working mathematically

### For younger learners

### Advanced mathematics

# Transformations for 10

Links to the University of Cambridge website
Links to the NRICH website Home page

Nurturing young mathematicians: teacher webinars

30 April (Primary), 1 May (Secondary)

30 April (Primary), 1 May (Secondary)

Or search by topic

Age 16 to 18

Challenge Level

The operation of mutiplying a vector by a constant matrix can by thought of as transforming a point in space onto another point in space.

Below are ten questions about the properties of such transformations in three dimensions for you to think about. There are some hints and suggestions in the Getting Started section.

As you think about the questions, can you draw relevant diagrams and construct relevant algebraic examples? In each case, is there a definitive answer, or does it depend on various factors? You may intuitively feel the answers to some of these questions; in these cases can you prove your intuition correct?

- What does a matrix do to the zero vector ${\bf 0}$?

- What does a matrix do to a line/plane through the origin?

- What does a matrix do to a line/plane not through the origin?

- Which lines can you transform onto the $x$-axis using matrix multiplication?

- Which planes can you transform onto the $xy$-plane using matrix multiplication?

- Can you think of a matrix which transforms a plane to a line?

- Can you think of a matrix which transforms a line to a plane?

- How many matrices transform the cube $(\pm 1, \pm 1, \pm 1)$ to another cube?

- Can you find a matrix which transforms a square to a triangle in 2D?

- Can you think of a matrix which shifts all points from ${\bf x}$ to ${\bf x+ (1,0,0)}$?

*There are more matrix problems in this feature.*