The determinant is a special number that can be calculated from a square matrix. The determinant of a matrix A is usually denoted as det(A) or |A|. The determinant provides important information about the matrix and the linear map it represents.

For a 2x2 matrix , the determinant is calculated as:

The computation becomes more complex for larger square matrices, often involving recursion and the concept of minors and cofactors.

In math, a matrix is a function that maps between two vector spaces. A matrix can also be thought of as a shorthand way to write a system of linear equations.