In linear algebra, a **symmetric matrix** is a square matrix that is equal to its transpose. Let *A* be a symmetric matrix. Then:

The entries of a symmetric matrix are symmetric with respect to the main diagonal. So if the entries are written as *A* = (*a*_{ij}), then

for all indices *i* and *j*. The following 3×3 matrix is symmetric:

Every diagonal matrix is symmetric, since all off-diagonal entries are zero. Similarly, each diagonal element of a skew-symmetric matrix must be zero, since each is its own negative.

In linear algebra, a real symmetric matrix represents a self-adjoint operator over a real inner product space. The corresponding object for a complex inner product space is a Hermitian matrix with complex-valued entries, which is equal to its conjugate transpose. Therefore, in linear algebra over the complex numbers, it is often assumed that a symmetric matrix refers to one which has real-valued entries. Symmetric matrices appear naturally in a variety of applications, and typical numerical linear algebra software makes special accommodations for them.

Read more about Symmetric Matrix: Properties, Decomposition, Hessian, Symmetrizable Matrix

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