The Jordan forms of AB and BA

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Ross A. Lippert
Gilbert Strang


The relationship between the Jordan forms of the matrix products AB and BA for some given A and B was first described by Harley Flanders in 1951. Their non-zero eigenvalues and non-singular Jordan structures are the same, but their singular Jordan block sizes can differ by 1. We present an elementary proof that owes its simplicity to a novel use of the Weyr characteristic.

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