Matrices and their Kirchhoff graphs

Joseph D. Fehribach


The fundamental relationship between matrices over the rational numbers and a newly defined type of graph, a Kirchhoff graph, is established. For a given matrix, a Kirchhoff graph represents the orthogonal complementarity of the null and row spaces of that matrix. A number of basic results are proven, and then a relatively complicated Kirchhoff graph is constructed for a matrix that is the transpose of the stoichiometric matrix for a reaction network for the production of sodium hydroxide from salt. A Kirchhoff graph for a reaction network is a circuit diagram for that reaction network. Finally it is conjectured that there is at least one Kirchhoff graph for any matrix with rational elements, and a process for constructing an incidence matrix for a Kirchhoff graph from a given matrix is discussed.


Kirchhoff graphs, fundamental theorem of linear algebra, reaction networks.

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ISSN: 1855-3974

Issues from Vol 6, No 1 onward are partially supported by the Slovenian Research Agency from the Call for co-financing of scientific periodical publications