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March 8th, 2008, 01:19 PM  #1 
Newbie Joined: Mar 2008 Posts: 1 Thanks: 0  History of the term "trace" for intersection of su
Hello! Would anybody happen to know the history of why the word "trace" is used for the intersection of a space and a subspace? If not, would you have any suggestions of where I could look for this information. Thank you, NICK 
March 8th, 2008, 04:29 PM  #2 
Global Moderator Joined: Nov 2006 From: UTC 5 Posts: 16,046 Thanks: 938 Math Focus: Number theory, computational mathematics, combinatorics, FOM, symbolic logic, TCS, algorithms  The reference for mathematical etymology is here: http://members.aol.com/jeff570/mathword.html Unfortunately, their entry for trance only covers the matrix definition: TRACE (of a matrix) is a translation of the German die Spur (related to the English word "spoor.") In his 1922 translation of H. Weyl's Raum, Zeit, Materie (SpaceTimeMatter) H. L. Brose writes: "the trace (spur) of a matrix." Some writers in English preferred the term "spur," e.g. A. C. Aitken Determinants and Matrices (9th edition 1956) writes "the spur or trace of A. We shall denote it by sp A." I'm not sure where to look after that. Maybe it has references somewhere? 

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