# Converting the subscript of matrix name to a variable

I want to change indices of matrix name during loop for creating different matrices. For example;

For[i=1,i=5,i++
Ki={{i,2*i},{3*i,4*i}};   (* i subscript)
]

(* to generate K1, K2,....K5 *)


I need help on this.

• For[i = 1, i <= 5, i++, K[i] = {{i, 2*i}, {3*i, 4*i}}] will generate K,K,... – Stelios Oct 18 '15 at 9:33
• It's bad practice to use subscripts as variables - I'm sure we have a canonical answer somewhere, but mathematica.stackexchange.com/questions/1004/… and mathematica.stackexchange.com/a/13782/30771 – Patrick Stevens Oct 18 '15 at 9:39
• Did the answer below answer your question? If so, please accept it by clicking the grey question mark to the left of the answer! – march Dec 8 '15 at 16:27

## 1 Answer

For pedagogical purposes:

• In general, using Subscripts to define variables is a bad idea in Mathematica. In your problem, I suggest either using k[n] or defining a List ks where each element is one of your matrices.

• Avoid using capital letters when defining variables. All Mathematica built-ins start with capital letters; for instance, K is a reserved symbol in Mathematica, so using it might cause problems.

• There are syntax errors in your For loop. To make it do what you want, here would be the correct syntax:

Clear[i, k]
For[i = 1, i <= 5, i++
, k[i] = {{i, 2*i}, {3*i, 4*i}}
]


However, in Mathematica, it is often beneficial to avoid loops. Here are a couple of alternatives to the method you've outlined.

• Use Do:

Do[k[i] = {{i, 2*i}, {3*i, 4*i}}, {i, 1, 5}]

• Use a Table to construct a list of k's. You can get parts of lists using [[ <> ]]:

ks = Table[{{i, 2*i}, {3*i, 4*i}}, {i, 1, 5}];
ks[]
(* {{2, 4}, {6, 8}} *)

• Use Scan in order to evaluate a function with side effects while avoiding any outputs.

f[num_] := k[num] = {{num, 2*num}, {3*num, 4*num}}
Scan[f, {1, 2, 3, 4, 5}]

• Take advantage of built-ins and pure functions with Scan:

Scan[(k[#] = Partition[# Range, 2]) &, Range]

• Map a function that creates the matrices over a set of inputs:

ks = Partition[Range[#, 4 #, #], 2] & /@ Range