# Definition:Cofactor/Minor

< Definition:Cofactor(Redirected from Definition:Cofactor of Minor)

## Definition

Let:

- $D = \begin{vmatrix} a_{11} & a_{12} & \cdots & a_{1n} \\ a_{21} & a_{22} & \cdots & a_{2n} \\ \vdots & \vdots & \ddots & \vdots \\ a_{n1} & a_{n2} & \cdots & a_{nn}\end{vmatrix}$

be a determinant of order $n$.

Let $D \left({r_1, r_2, \ldots, r_k \mid s_1, s_2, \ldots, s_k}\right)$ be a order-$k$ minor of $D$.

Then the **cofactor** of $D \left({r_1, r_2, \ldots, r_k \mid s_1, s_2, \ldots, s_k}\right)$ can be denoted:

- $\tilde D \left({r_1, r_2, \ldots, r_k \mid s_1, s_2, \ldots, s_k}\right)$

and is defined as:

- $\tilde D \left({r_1, r_2, \ldots, r_k \mid s_1, s_2, \ldots, s_k}\right) = \left({-1}\right)^t D \left({r_{k+1}, r_{k+2}, \ldots, r_n \mid s_{k+1}, s_{k+2}, \ldots, s_n}\right)$

where:

- $t = r_1 + r_2 + \ldots + r_k + s_1 + s_2 + \ldots s_k$
- $r_{k+1}, r_{k+2}, \ldots, r_n$ are the numbers in $1, 2, \ldots, n$ not in $\left\{{r_1, r_2, \ldots, r_k}\right\}$
- $s_{k+1}, s_{k+2}, \ldots, s_n$ are the numbers in $1, 2, \ldots, n$ not in $\left\{{s_1, s_2, \ldots, s_k}\right\}$

That is, the **cofactor of a minor** is the determinant formed from the rows and columns not in that minor, multiplied by the appropriate sign.

When $k = 1$, this reduces to the cofactor of an element (as above).

When $k = n$, the "minor" is in fact the whole determinant.

For convenience its **cofactor** is defined as being $1$.

Note that the **cofactor** of the **cofactor** of a minor is the minor itself (multiplied by the appropriate sign).