Zero matrix

There is exactly one zero matrix of any given dimension m×n (with entries from a given ring), so when the context is clear, one often refers to the zero matrix. In general, the zero element of a ring is unique, and is typically denoted by 0 without any subscript indicating the parent ring. Hence the examples above represent zero matrices over any ring.

The zero matrix also represents the linear transformation which sends all the vectors to the zero vector.[6] It is idempotent, meaning that when it is multiplied by itself, the result is itself.

The mortal matrix problem is the problem of determining, given a finite set of n × n matrices with integer entries, whether they can be multiplied in some order, possibly with repetition, to yield the zero matrix. This is known to be undecidable for a set of six or more 3 × 3 matrices, or a set of two 15 × 15 matrices.[7]

In ordinary least squares regression, if there is a perfect fit to the data, the annihilator matrix is the zero matrix.