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    I'm trying to come up with a conjecture about the value of the determinants of matrices W[n]. Problem being that the determinants are horrible polynomials:

    detW[1] := 1
    detW[2] := x - 1
    detW[3] := x (x + 1) (x - 1)^3
    detW[4] := x^4 (x - 1)^6 (x + 1)^2 (x^2 + x + 1)
    detW[5] := x^10 (x^2 + 1) (x^2 + x + 1)^2 (x + 1)^4 (x - 1)^10
    detW[6] := x^20 (x^4 + x^3 + x^2 + x + 1) (x^2 + 1)^2 (x^2 + x + 1)^3 (x + 1)^6 (x - 1)^15
    detW[7] := x^35 (x^2 - x + 1) (x^4 + x^3 + x^2 + x + 1)^2 (x^2 + 1)^3 (x^2 + x + 1)^5 (x + 1)^9 (x - 1)^21
    detW[8] := x^56 (x^6 + x^5 + x^4 + x^3 + x^2 + x + 1) (x^2 - x + 1)^2 (x^4 + x^3 + x^2 + x + 1)^3 (x^2 + 1)^4 (x^2 + x + 1)^7 (x + 1)^12 (x - 1)^28
    detW[9] := x^84 (x^4 + 1) (x^6 + x^5 + x^4 + x^3 + x^2 + x + 1)^2 (x^2 - x + 1)^3 (x^4 + x^3 + x^2 + x + 1)^4 (x^2 + 1)^6 (x^2 + x + 1)^9 (x + 1)^16 (x - 1)^36

    Nice...

    Apparently, the fact that (x-1) (x^2 + x + 1) = x^3 - 1 is a hint (?).

    Any ideas at all?
    If it helps, W is an nxn matrix whose (i-j)th entry is x^((i-1)(j-1)).
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    Can not understand your work
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    I would google van der Monde determinant if I were you - as your W[n] is a special case of that determinant.
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    The vandermonde matrix has a particularly beautiful determinant. I'm not sure what relation your matrix has to a vandermonde matrix (if any; but I would trust RichE's judgment). Are you sure there is some general conjecture for the determinant of W[n]? I've used expansion by minors and there doesn't seem to be a discernable pattern.
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    Maybe if I was to rewrite the determinants as:

    1
    x-1
    (x^2-x)(x^2-1)(x-1)
    (x^3-x^2)(x^3-x)(x^3-1)(x^2-x)(x^2-1)(x-1)
    ...

    it might become clearer.
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    (Original post by RichE)
    Maybe if I was to rewrite the determinants as:

    1
    x-1
    (x^2-x)(x^2-1)(x-1)
    (x^3-x^2)(x^3-x)(x^3-1)(x^2-x)(x^2-1)(x-1)
    ...

    it might become clearer.
    Brilliant. What level math are you doing?
 
 
 
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Updated: February 17, 2005

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