I just learned about a nice trick to show that for matrices from my colleague Francesco Sica, who attributed it to F. Catanese.

Assuming that it is known that there is, up to scale, only one alternating -linear form (i.e. that ), one can proceed as follows. Given , consider the map , . This is clearly -linear and alternating, whence there exists some such that . Evaluating at the identity matrix gives . Evaluating at gives .

Of course, using the trick similar to the first lemma here, it suffices to show this for to obtain it for any unitary commutative ring, after showing that the determinant is in fact a polynomial equation with integer coefficients (for example, by showing the Leibniz formula).

## Comments.

Hi! This proof looked too familiar to me... and indeed: Quebbemann (WS 99/00) used the same proof in his Lineare Algebra. :)

And again I regret that I didn't start studying in Oldenburg two years earlier... :)