Concept

Eigenvalues and eigenvectors

Summary
In linear algebra, an eigenvector (ˈaɪgənˌvɛktər) or characteristic vector of a linear transformation is a nonzero vector that changes at most by a constant factor when that linear transformation is applied to it. The corresponding eigenvalue, often represented by \lambda, is the multiplying factor. Geometrically, a transformation matrix rotates, stretches, or shears the vectors it acts upon. The eigenvectors for a linear transformation matrix are the set of vectors that are only stretched, with no rotation or shear. The eigenvalue is the factor by which an eigenvector is stretched. If the eigenvalue is negative, the direction is reversed. Formal definition If T is a linear transformation from a vector space V over a field F into itself and v is a nonzero vector in V, then v is an eigenvector of T if T(v) is a scalar multiple of v. This can be written as T(\mathbf{v}) = \la
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