A determinant is a special set of mathematical operations associated with a square array. The result of the operation is a scalar value for a numerical array. This array may be part of a matrix. The determinant is usually enclosed between a pair vertical bars. The simplest determinant is defined for a 2 x 2 array. It is called a determinant of second order. There is difference between a determinant and a matrix. The determinant is associated with a defined set of arithmetic operations.
» A=[1 2; 3 4] % define
» det(A) % calculate determinant of A
» syms b11 b12 b21 b22 % define
» B=[b11 b12; b21 b22] % define symbolic matrix B
[ b11, b12]
[ b21, b22]
» det(B) % calculate determinant - check definition