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APPENDIX

Solution of Simultaneous Linear Equations


Simultaneous linear equations appear often in the solution of problems in electrical/electronics technology. The solutions of these equations has been simplified by a branch of mathematics called linear algebra. Although the actual theorems and proofs are well outside the scope of this textbook, we will use some of the principles of linear algebra to solve simple linear equations. The following is a set of n simultaneous linear equations in n unknowns:
a11 x1 a21 x1 a12 x2 a22 x2 . . . a1n xn a2n xn b1 b2

an1 x1

an2 x2

ann xn

bn

The above equations may also be expressed in matrix form as


AX B

where
a11a12 a1n a21a22 a2n . . . , . . . . . an1an2 ann x1 x2 . , . . xn b1 b2 . . . bn

Substitution Although simultaneous linear equations may be expressed in several unknowns, we begin with the most simple, namely two simultaneous linear equations in two unknowns. Consider the equations below:
a11 x1 a21 x1 a12 x2 a22 x2 b1 b2 (B1) (B2)

If we multiply Equation B1 by a22 and Equation B2 by a12, we have


a11a22 x1 a12 a21 x1 a12 a22 x2 a12 a22 x2 a22 b1 a12 b2

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Appendix B

Solution of Simultaneous Linear Equations

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Subtracting, we obtain
a11a22 x1 a12 a21x1 a22 b1 a12 b2

which gives
x1 a22 b1 a11a22 a12 b2 a12 a21

Similarly, we solve for the unknown x2 as


x2 a11b2 a11a22 a21b1 a12 a21

EXAMPLE B1

Use substitution to find the solutions for the following following linear equations: 2x1 x1 8x2 2x2 2 5

Solution Rewriting the first equation, we have 2x1 x1 2 1 8x2 4x2

Now, substituting the above expression into the second equation, we have ( 1 4x2) 2x2 2x2 x2 5 6 3

Finally, we have x1 1 4 ( 3) 11

Determinants While substitution may be used for solving simultaneous linear equations in two variables, it is lengthy and particularly complicated when solving for more than two unknowns. An easier method used for solving simultaneous linear equations involves using determinants. We begin by expressing the simultaneous linear equations (B1) and (B2) as a product of matrices:
Column 1 a11 a12 x1 a21 a22 x2 Column 2 Column 3 b1 b2 (B3)

A determinant is a set of coefficients which has the same number of rows and columns and which may be expressed as a single value. The number of rows (or columns) defines the order of a determinant. The second-

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Appendix B

Solution of Simultaneous Linear Equations

order determinant corresponding to the coefficients of the matrix equation (B3) consists of the elements in columns 1 and 2 and is expressed as
D a11a12 a21a22

The value of the second-order determinant is found by taking the product of the upper left term and the lower right term (elements of the principal diagonal) and then subtracting the product of the lower left term and the upper right term (elements of the secondary diagonal). The result is given as
D a11a22 a12 a21

The unknowns of the simultaneous linear equations are found by using a technique called Cramers rule. In applying this rule, we need to solve the following determinants:
x1 b1a12 b2 a22 a22 b1 a11a12 a11a22 a21a22 a12 b2 a21a12

and
x2 a11b1 a21b2 a11b2 a11a12 a11a22 a21a22 a21b1 a21a12

The application of Cramers rule gives the solution for each unknown by first placing the determinant of the coefficient matrix in the denominator. The numerator is then developed by using the same determinant with the exception that the coefficients of the variable to be found are replaced by the coefficients of the solution matrix. The resulting solutions are precisely those found when we used substitution.

EXAMPLE B2
equations:

Use determinants to find solutions for the following linear 2x1 x1 8x2 2x2 2 5

Solution

The determinant of the denominator is found as D 2 8 1 2 (2)(2) (1)(8) 4

The variables are now calculated as 2 8 5 2 4 ( 2)(2) 4 (5)(8) 44 4

x1

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Appendix B

Solution of Simultaneous Linear Equations

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and x2 2 1 4 2 5 (2)(5) (1)( 2) 4 12 4 3

The solution of third-order simultaneous linear equations is similar to the method used for solving second-order equations. Consider the following third-order simultaneous linear equation:
a11x1 a21x1 a31x1 a12 x2 a22 x2 a32 x2 a13 x3 a23 x3 a33 x3 x1 x2 x3 b1 b2 b3 b1 b2 b3

The corresponding matrix equation is shown as follows:


a11 a12 a13 a21 a22 a23 a31 a32 a33

The value of the third-order determinant may be found in one of several ways. The first method works for only third-order determinants, while the second method is a more general approach which evaluates any order of determinant.
Method I.

This method works only for third-order determinants:

1. Begin by writing the original columns of the third-order determinant. 2. Copy the first two columns, placing them to the right of the original determinant. 3. Add the product of the elements of the principal diagonal to the products of the adjacent two parallel diagonals to the right of the principal diagonal. 4. Subtract the product of the elements of the secondary diagonal and also subtract the products of the elements along the two other parallel diagonals. add subtract
a11 a12 a13 a11 a12 a21 a22 a23 a31 a32 a33 a21 a22 a31 a32

The resultant determinant is written as


D a11a22 a33 a12 a23 a31 a13 a21a32 a31a22 a13 a32 a23 a11 a33 a21a12

EXAMPLE B3

Evaluate the following determinant: D 3 1 2 1 2 3 2 3 2

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Appendix B

Solution of Simultaneous Linear Equations

Solution

We begin by rewriting the first two columns as follows: D 3 1 2 1 2 3 2 3 3 1 2 2 1 2 3

Now, adding the products of the principal diagonal and adjacent diagonals and subtracting the products of the secondary diagonal and adjacent diagonals, we have D (3)( 2)(2) (1)(3)(2) ( 2)(1)(3) (2)( 2)( 2) (3)(3)(3) (2)(1)(1) 49

METHOD II. This evaluation of determinants is achieved by expansion by minors. The minor of an element is the determinant which remains after deleting the row and the column in which the element lies. The value of any nth-order determinant is found as follows:

1. For any row or column, find the product of each element and the determinant of its minor. 2. A product is given a positive sign if the sum of the row and the column of the element is even. The product is given a negative sign if the sum is odd. 3. The value of the determinant is the sum of the resulting terms. As before, Cramers rule is used to solve for the unknowns, x1, x2, and x3, by using determinants and replacing the appropriate terms of the numerator with the terms of the solution matrix. The resulting determinants and solutions are given as follows:
b1 a12 a13 b2 a22 a23 b3 a32 a33 a11 a12 a13 a21 a22 a23 a31 a32 a33

x1

By expansion of minors, the determinant of the denominator is found as


D a11 a22 a23 a21 a12 a13 a31 a12 a13 a32 a33 a32 a33 a22 a23 a11(a22 a33 a23 a32) a21(a12 a33 a13 a32)

a31(a12 a23

a13 a22)

The solution for x1 is now found to be


b1 x1 a22 a23 a32 a33 b2 a12 a13 a32 a33 b3 a12 a13 a22 a23 b3(a12 a23 a13 a22)

b1(a22 a33

D a23 a32) b2(a12 a33 a13 a32) D

Appendix B

Solution of Simultaneous Linear Equations

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Similarly, for x 2, we get


a11 b1 a13 a21 b2 a23 a31 b3 a33 a11 a12 a13 a21 a22 a23 a31 a32 a33 b1(a21a33

x2

a23 a31)

b2 (a11a33 D

a13 a31)

b3 (a11a23

a13 a21)

and for x3 we have


a11 a12 b1 a21 a22 b2 a31 a32 b3 a11 a12 a13 a21 a22 a23 a31 a32 a33 b1(a21a32 a22 a31)

x3

b2(a11a32 D

a12 a31)

b3 (a11a22

a12 a21)

EXAMPLE B4
using minors.

Solve for x1 in the following system of linear equations 3x1 x1 2x1 x2 2x2 3x2 2x3 3x3 2x3 1 11 3

Solution The determinant of the denominator is evaluated as follows: D 3 1 2 (3) (3)( 4 49 1 2 3 2 3 2 2 3 3 2 9)

(1) (2

1 3 6)

2 2

(2) (2) (3

1 2 4)

2 3

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Solution of Simultaneous Linear Equations

and so the unknown x1 is calculated to be 1 11 3 1 2 2 3 3 2 49 2 3 1 (1) (11) 3 2 3 9)

x1

2 2

( 3)

1 2 4)

2 3

( 4 2

49 (11)(2 6) 49

(3)(3

PRACTICE PROBLEM

Use expansion by minors to solve for x2 and x3 in Example B4.


Answers: x2 3, x3 1