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Mathematics LibreTexts

5: Span and Bases

Intuition probably tells you that the plane \(\mathbb{R}^2\) is of dimension two and that the space we live in \(\mathbb{R}^3\) is of dimension three. You have probably also learned in physics that space-time has dimension four and that string theories are models that can live in ten dimensions. In this chapter we will give a mathematical definition of the dimension of a vector space. For this we will first need the notions of linear span, linear independence, and the basis of a vector space.