You are here

Proof without Words: A 2 x 2 Determinant Is the Area of a Parallelogram

by Solomon W. Golomb (University of Southern California)

This article originally appeared in:
Mathematics Magazine
March, 1985

Subject classification(s): Algebra and Number Theory | Linear Algebra
Applicable Course(s): 3.8 Linear/Matrix Algebra

The author presents a visual proof that the determinant of a 2 by 2 matrix equals the area of the corresponding parallelogram.

A pdf copy of the article can be viewed by clicking below. Since the copy is a faithful reproduction of the actual journal pages, the article may not begin at the top of the first page.

To open this file please click here.

These pdf files are furnished by JSTOR.

Classroom Capsules would not be possible without the contribution of JSTOR.

JSTOR provides online access to pdf copies of 512 journals, including all three print journals of the Mathematical Association of America: The American Mathematical Monthly, College Mathematics Journal, and Mathematics Magazine. We are grateful for JSTOR's cooperation in providing the pdf pages that we are using for Classroom Capsules.

Capsule Course Topic(s):
Linear Algebra | Determinants
Linear Algebra | Geometry
Average: 3.3 (36 votes)