## Level Curves of the Angle Function of a Positive Definite Symmetric Matrix

Description:
Given a real N by N matrix A, write p(A) for the maximum angle by which A rotates any unit vector. Suppose that A and B are positive definite symmetric (PDS) N by N matrices. Then their Jordan product {A, B} := AB + BA is also symmetric, but not necessarily positive definite. If p(A) + p(B) is obtuse, then there exists a special orthogonal matrix S such that {A, SBS^(-1)} is indefinite. Of course, if A and B commute, then {A, B} is positive definite. Our work grows from the following question: if A and B are commuting positive definite symmetric matrices such that p(A) + p(B) is obtuse, what is the minimal p(S) such that {A, SBS^(-1)} indefinite? In this dissertation we will describe the level curves of the angle function mapping a unit vector x to the angle between x and Ax for a 3 by 3 PDS matrix A, and discuss their interaction with those of a second such matrix.

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Date:
December 2009

Creator:
Bajracharya, Neeraj