Weyl's inequality

In mathematics, there are at least two results known as Weyl's inequality.

Weyl's inequality in number theoryEdit

In number theory, Weyl's inequality, named for Hermann Weyl, states that if M, N, a and q are integers, with a and q coprime, q > 0, and f is a real polynomial of degree k whose leading coefficient c satisfies


for some t greater than or equal to 1, then for any positive real number   one has


This inequality will only be useful when


for otherwise estimating the modulus of the exponential sum by means of the triangle inequality as   provides a better bound.

Weyl's inequality in matrix theoryEdit

Weyl's inequality about perturbationEdit

In linear algebra, Weyl's inequality is a theorem about the changes to eigenvalues of an Hermitian matrix that is perturbed. It can be used to estimate the eigenvalues of a perturbed Hermitian matrix.

Let   and   be n×n Hermitian matrices, with their respective eigenvalues   ordered as follows:


Then the following inequalities hold:


and, more generally,


In particular, if   is positive definite then plugging   into the above inequalities leads to


Note that these eigenvalues can be ordered, because they are real (as eigenvalues of Hermitian matrices).

Weyl's inequality between eigenvalues and singular valuesEdit

Let   have singular values   and eigenvalues ordered so that  . Then


For  , with equality for  . [1]


Estimating perturbations of the spectrumEdit

Assume that we have a bound on R in the sense that we know that its spectral norm (or, indeed, any consistent matrix norm) satisfies  . Then it follows that all its eigenvalues are bounded in absolute value by  . Applying Weyl's inequality, it follows that the spectra of M and N are close in the sense that[2]


Weyl's inequality for singular valuesEdit

The singular values {σk} of a square matrix M are the square roots of eigenvalues of M*M (equivalently MM*). Since Hermitian matrices follow Weyl's inequality, if we take any matrix A then its singular values will be the square root of the eigenvalues of B=A*A which is a Hermitian matrix. Now since Weyl's inequality hold for B, therefore for the singular values of A.[3]

This result gives the bound for the perturbation in the singular values of a matrix A due to perturbation in A.


  1. ^ Toger A. Horn, and Charles R. Johnson Topics in Matrix Analysis. Cambridge, 1st Edition, 1991. p.171
  2. ^ Weyl, Hermann. "Das asymptotische Verteilungsgesetz der Eigenwerte linearer partieller Differentialgleichungen (mit einer Anwendung auf die Theorie der Hohlraumstrahlung)." Mathematische Annalen 71, no. 4 (1912): 441-479.
  3. ^ Tao, Terence (2010-01-13). "254A, Notes 3a: Eigenvalues and sums of Hermitian matrices". Terence Tao's blog. Retrieved 25 May 2015.


  • Matrix Theory, Joel N. Franklin, (Dover Publications, 1993) ISBN 0-486-41179-6
  • "Das asymptotische Verteilungsgesetz der Eigenwerte linearer partieller Differentialgleichungen", H. Weyl, Math. Ann., 71 (1912), 441–479