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Multidimensional arrays

A multidimensional array in C is merely an array whose elements are themselves arrays. The elements of an n-dimensional array are (n-1)-dimensional arrays. For example, each element of a two-dimensional array is a one-dimensional array. The elements of a one-dimensional array, of course, do not have an array type.

A multidimensional array declaration has a pair of brackets for each dimension:

char screen[10][40][80]; // A three-dimensional array.

The array screen consists of the 10 elements screen[0] to screen[9]. Each of these elements is a two-dimensional array, consisting in turn of 40 one-dimensional arrays of 80 characters each. All in all, the array screen contains 32,000 elements with the type char.

Two-dimensional arrays are also called matrices. Because they are so frequently used, they merit a closer look. It is often helpful to think of the elements of a matrix as being arranged in rows and columns. Thus the matrix mat in the following definition has three rows and five columns:

float mat[3][5];

The three elements mat[0], mat[1], and mat[2] are the rows of the matrix mat. Each of these rows is an array of five float elements. Thus the matrix contains a total of 3 x 5 = 15 float elements, as the following diagram illustrates:

0 1 2 3 4
mat[0] 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4
mat[1] 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4
mat[2] 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4

Accessing array elements

The subscript operator [ ] provides an easy way to address the individual elements of an array by index. If myArray is the name of an one dimensional array and i is an integer, then the expression myArray[i]designates the array element with the index i. Array elements are indexed beginning with 0. Thus, if len is the number of elements in an array, the last element of the array has the index len-1.

The following code fragment defines the array myArray and assigns a value to each element.

#define A_SIZE 4 long myarray[A_SIZE]; for (int i = 0; i<A_SIZE; ++i) myarray[i]= 2 * i;

The diagram in [link] illustrates the result of this assignment loop.

Values assigned to elements by index

To access a char element in the three-dimensional array screen, you must specify three indices. For example, the following statement writes the character Z in a char element of the array:

screen[9][39][79] = 'Z';

Initializing arrays

If you do not explicitly initialize an array variable, the usual rules apply: if the array has automatic storage duration, then its elements have undefined values. Otherwise, all elements are initialized by default to the value 0.

  • You cannot include an initialization in the definition of a variable-length array.
  • If the array has static storage duration, then the array initializers must be constant expressions. If the array has automatic storage duration, then you can use variables in its initializers.
  • You may omit the length of the array in its definition if you supply an initialization list. The array's length is then determined by the index of the last array element for which the list contains an initializer. For example, the definition of the array a in the previous example is equivalent to this: int a[ ] = { 1, 2, 4, 8 }; // An array with four elements.
  • If the definition of an array contains both a length specification and an initialization list, then the length is that specified by the expression between the square brackets. Any elements for which there is no initializer in the list are initialized to zero (or NULL, for pointers). If the list contains more initializers than the array has elements, the superfluous initializers are simply ignored.
  • A superfluous comma after the last initializer is also ignored.
  • As a result of these rules, all of the following definitions are equivalent: int a[4] = {1, 2};int a[ ] = {1, 2, 0, 0};int a[ ] = {1, 2, 0, 0, };int a[4] = {1, 2, 0, 0, 5};

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to computer science. OpenStax CNX. Jul 29, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10776/1.1
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