Hermitian and Unitary Almost-Companion Matrices of Polynomials on Demand

Liubov A. Markovich*, Agostino Migliore, Antonino Messina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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We introduce the concept of the almost-companion matrix (ACM) by relaxing the non-derogatory property of the standard companion matrix (CM). That is, we define an ACM as a matrix whose characteristic polynomial coincides with a given monic and generally complex polynomial. The greater flexibility inherent in the ACM concept, compared to CM, allows the construction of ACMs that have convenient matrix structures satisfying desired additional conditions, compatibly with specific properties of the polynomial coefficients. We demonstrate the construction of Hermitian and unitary ACMs starting from appropriate third-degree polynomials, with implications for their use in physical-mathematical problems, such as the parameterization of the Hamiltonian, density, or evolution matrix of a qutrit. We show that the ACM provides a means of identifying the properties of a given polynomial and finding its roots. For example, we describe the ACM-based solution of cubic complex algebraic equations without resorting to the use of the Cardano-Dal Ferro formulas. We also show the necessary and sufficient conditions on the coefficients of a polynomial for it to represent the characteristic polynomial of a unitary ACM. The presented approach can be generalized to complex polynomials of higher degrees.

Original languageEnglish
Article number309
Number of pages24
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • almost-companion matrix
  • companion matrix
  • complex polynomial
  • density matrix
  • hermitian matrix
  • sub-parameterization
  • unitary matrix


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