# Distinct Elements are Parallel iff Pair forms Circuit

## Theorem

Let $M = \struct{S, \mathscr I}$ be a matroid.

Let $x, y \in S : x \ne y$.

Then:

$x$ and $y$ are parallel if and only if $\set {x, y}$ is a circuit

## Proof

### Necessary Condition

Let $x$ and $y$ be parallel.

By definition of parallel:

$\set x$ is independent
$\set y$ is independent
$\set {x, y}$ is dependent

Let $A \subseteq \set {x, y}$ be dependent.

Thus:

$A \ne \set x, \set y$
$\O$ is independent

Thus:

$A \ne \O$
$\powerset {\set {x, y}} = \big \{ \O, \set x, \set y, \set {x,y} \big \}$

Thus:

$A = \set{x,y}$

By definition of a minimal set:

$\set {x, y}$ is a minimal dependent subset

It follows that $\set {x, y}$ is a circuit by definition.

$\Box$

### Sufficient Condition

Let $\set {x, y}$ by a circuit.

By definition of a circuit:

$\set {x, y}$ is a minimal dependent subset

By definition of a subset:

$\set x, \set y \subseteq \set {x, y}$

By definition of a minimal dependent subset:

$\set x, \set y$ are independent subsets

It follows that $x$ and $y$ are parallel by definition.

$\blacksquare$