Matrix addition is a linear operation that consists of unifying the elements of two or more matrices that coincide in position within their respective matrices and that they have the same order.
In other words, the sum of one or more matrices is the union of the elements that have the same position within the matrices and that they have the same order.
Matrix addition formula
To add matrices we must:
- Check the order of the matrices, such that:
- If the order of the matrices is the same , then the matrices can be added.
- If the order of the matrices is different , then we can not add the matrices.
- Add the elements that have the same position within their respective matrices.
Matrix summation shares the same characteristics as when adding numbers and variables in algebra, with the difference that here we have “coordinates”. That is, we will take into account the position of the element within each matrix. The position of each element is denoted with subscripts, such that:
So, the summation of these three elements is possible since they all have the same position. In other words, they have the same numbers in the subscripts.
If the position of the elements were different, we could not add them.
Matrix sum properties
Given any three matrices X, Z, Y such that:
- Associative property:
Z + (X + Y) = (Z + X) + Y
It is equivalent to first add two matrices and then another matrix to the previous result.
- Commutative property:
Z + X + Y = X + Y + Z
The order of the summation is not relevant.
- Neutral element:
Given a zero matrix O of the same order as Z, X, Y, such that:
X + O = O + X = X
The neutral effect occurs when we add the target matrix to a zero matrix. The result is the same matrix.
- Distributive property:
(X + Z) h = X h + Z h
Unlike matrices, powers that do not meet the distributive property in the sum.
Sum of two square matrices of order 2:
Sum of two square matrices of order 3:
To add matrices, should we check that they are square matrices?
To add two or more matrices we first have to check that they have the same order. We can add any matrix with other matrices, even if they are not square matrices.
Given the matrices Z, X, Y: