# First column of multicols introduces an unwanted vertical space when first element is displaymath

Code:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{multicol}

\begin{document}
\begin{multicols}{3}
$\rho^1 = \left(\begin{array}{ccccc}1&2&3&4&5\\2&4&5&1&3\end{array}\right)$
$\rho^2 = \left(\begin{array}{ccccc}1&2&3&4&5\\4&1&3&2&5\end{array}\right)$
$\rho^3 = \left(\begin{array}{ccccc}1&2&3&4&5\\1&2&5&4&3\end{array}\right)$
$\rho^4 = \left(\begin{array}{ccccc}1&2&3&4&5\\2&4&3&1&5\end{array}\right)$
$\rho^5 = \left(\begin{array}{ccccc}1&2&3&4&5\\4&1&5&2&3\end{array}\right)$
$\rho^6 = \left(\begin{array}{ccccc}1&2&3&4&5\\1&2&3&4&5\end{array}\right)$
\end{multicols}
\end{document}


Output:

Can I remove the vertical space in the first column?

• Using the alignat* environment from »amsmath« might be the better option. Sep 27, 2013 at 16:40
• @ThorstenDonig That's definitely a better solution, but I am curious as to why the problem exists to begin with. Sep 27, 2013 at 17:00

It isn't actually vertical space it is a horizontal box of paragraph text. You always get this if you start a paragraph with display math (which is why you should never do it). If you start display math in vertical mode TeX recovers by starting a paragraph then inserting the paragraph indentation box and horizontal \parfillskip glue then breaking the partial paragraph.
\begin{multicols}{3}\noindent