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In the mathematical subfield of linear algebra, the linear span, also called the linear hull, of a set of vectors in a vector space is the intersection of all subspaces containing that set. The linear span of a set of vectors is therefore a vector space.
## Definition

## Notes

## Examples

## Theorems

## References

Given a vector space V over a field K, the span of a set S (not necessarily finite) is defined to be the intersection W of all subspaces of V which contain S. W is referred to as the subspace spanned by S, or by the vectors in S.

If $S\; =\; \{v\_1,...,v\_r\},$ is a finite subset of V, then the span is

- $\{\; rm\; span\; \}\; left(Sright)\; =\; \{\; rm\; span\; \}\; left(v\_1,...,v\_rright)\; =\; left\{\; \{lambda\; \_1\; v\_1\; +\; cdots\; +\; lambda\; \_r\; v\_r\; |lambda\; \_1\; ,\; ldots\; ,lambda\; \_r\; in\; mathbb\; K\}\; right\}.$

The span of S may also be defined as the collection of all (finite) linear combinations of the elements of S.

If the span of S is V, then S is said to be a spanning set of V. A spanning set of V is not necessarily a basis for V, as it need not be linearly independent. However, a minimal spanning set for a given vector space is necessarily a basis. In other words, a spanning set is a basis for V if and only if every vector in V can be written as a unique linear combination of elements in the spanning set.

The real vector space R^{3} has {(1,0,0), (0,1,0), (0,0,1)} as a spanning set. This spanning set is actually a basis.

Another spanning set for the same space is given by {(1,2,3), (0,1,2), (−1,1/2,3), (1,1,1)}, but this set is not a basis, because it is linearly dependent.

The set {(1,0,0), (0,1,0), (1,1,0)} is not a spanning set of R^{3}; instead its span is the space of all vectors in R^{3} whose last component is zero.

Theorem 1: The subspace spanned by a non-empty subset S of a vector space V is the set of all linear combinations of vectors in S.

This theorem is so well known that at times it is referred to as the definition of span of a set.

Theorem 2: Let V be a finite dimensional vector space. Any set of vectors that spans V can be reduced to a basis by discarding vectors if necessary.

This also indicates that a basis is a minimal spanning set when V is finite dimensional.

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Last updated on Wednesday October 08, 2008 at 12:58:10 PDT (GMT -0700)

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Last updated on Wednesday October 08, 2008 at 12:58:10 PDT (GMT -0700)

View this article at Wikipedia.org - Edit this article at Wikipedia.org - Donate to the Wikimedia Foundation

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