Computer Dictionary Online

Medical Dictionary   Law Dictionary   Legal Dictionary   Website Design

0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  a  b  c  d  e  f  g  h  i  j  k  l  m  n  o  p  q  r  s  t  u  v  w  x  y  z 


eigenvector

<mathematics> A vector which, when acted on by a particular linear transformation, produces a scalar multiple of the original vector. The scalar in question is called the eigenvalue corresponding to this eigenvector.

It should be noted that "vector" here means "element of a vector space" which can include many mathematical entities. Ordinary vectors are elements of a vector space, and multiplication by a matrix is a linear transformation on them; smooth functions "are vectors", and many partial differential operators are linear transformations on the space of such functions; quantum-mechanical states "are vectors", and observables are linear transformations on the state space.

An important theorem says, roughly, that certain linear transformations have enough eigenvectors that they form a basis of the whole vector states. This is why Fourier analysis works, and why in quantum mechanics every state is a superposition of eigenstates of observables.

An eigenvector is a (representative member of a) fixed point of the map on the projective plane induced by a linear map.

(1996-09-27)


Contact the Computer Dictionary Online  ::  Link to the Computer Dictionary Online  ::  Disclaimer for Computer Dictionary Online

Computer Dictionary Online
Copyright © 2017