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Mathematics  2007 

Almost all integer matrices have no integer eigenvalues

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Abstract:

For a fixed $n\ge2$, consider an $n\times n$ matrix $M$ whose entries are random integers bounded by $k$ in absolute value. In this paper, we examine the probability that $M$ is singular (hence has eigenvalue 0), and the probability that $M$ has at least one rational eigenvalue. We show that both of these probabilities tend to 0 as $k$ increases. More precisely, we establish an upper bound of size $k^{-2+\epsilon}$ for the probability that $M$ is singular, and size $k^{-1+\epsilon}$ for the probability that $M$ has a rational eigenvalue. These results generalize earlier work by Kowalsky for the case $n=2$ and answer a question posed by Hetzel, Liew, and Morrison.

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