# Create Identity Matrix using Python

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In this article we will discuss the steps and intuition for creating the identity matrix and show examples using Python.

**Table of contents**

## Introduction

The identity matrix (\(I\)) is often seen in a lot of matrix expressions in linear algebra.

At this point you should be familiar with what a matrix represents as it will be useful to understand the meaning behind the identity matrix.

To continue following this tutorial we will need the following Python library: numpy.

If you don’t have them installed, please open “Command Prompt” (on Windows) and install them using the following code:

pip install numpy

## Identity matrix explained

We already know what a matrix is, but what exactly is an identity matrix and how is it being used?

The identity matrix \(I_n\) is a square matrix of order \(n\) filled with ones on the main diagonal and zeros everywhere else.

Here are a few examples:

$$I_1 = \begin{bmatrix} 1 \end{bmatrix}$$

$$I_2 = \begin{bmatrix} 1 & 0 \\ 0 & 1 \end{bmatrix}$$

$$I_3 = \begin{bmatrix} 1 & 0 & 0 \\ 0 & 1 & 0 \\ 0 & 0 & 1 \end{bmatrix}$$

and so on for the larger dimensions.

Graphically, the \(I_2\) matrix simply represents the base vectors:

$$\vec{i}_1 = (0, 1)$$

$$\vec{i}_2 = (1, 0)$$

## Identity matrix properties

Here are some useful properties of an identity matrix:

- An identity matrix is always a square matrix (same number of rows and columns), such as: 2×2, 3×3, and so on.
- The result of multiplying any matrix by an identity matrix is the matrix itself (if multiplication is defined)

$$A \times I = A$$

$$\begin{bmatrix} 3 & 7 \\ 2 & 5 \end{bmatrix} \times \begin{bmatrix} 1 & 0 \\ 0 & 1 \end{bmatrix} = \begin{bmatrix} 3 & 7 \\ 2 & 5 \end{bmatrix}$$ - The result of multiply a matrix by its inverse matrix is the identity matrix

$$A \times A^{-1} = I$$

$$\begin{bmatrix} 3 & 7 \\ 2 & 5 \end{bmatrix} \times \begin{bmatrix} 5 & -7 \\ -2 & 3 \end{bmatrix} = \begin{bmatrix} 1 & 0 \\ 0 & 1 \end{bmatrix}$$

## Identity matrix in Python

In order to create an identity matrix in Python we will use the numpy library. And the first step will be to import it:

import numpy as np

Numpy has a lot of useful functions, and for this operation we will use the identity() function which creates a square array filled with ones in the main diagonal and zeros everywhere else.

Now let’s create a 2×2 identity matrix:

I = np.identity(2) print(I)

And you should get:

[[1. 0.] [0. 1.]]

Now you know how to create an identity matrix and can further explore matrix operations by calculating matrix inverses and multiplying matrices in Python.

## Conclusion

In this article we discussed the steps and intuition for creating the identity matrix, as well as shown a complete example using Python.

Feel free to leave comments below if you have any questions or have suggestions for some edits and check out more of my Linear Algebra articles.

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