A vector whose direction is unchanged by a given transformation and whose magnitude is changed by a factor corresponding to that vector's eigenvalue. In quantum mechanics, the transformations involved are operators corresponding to a physical system's observables. The eigenvectors correspond to possible states of the system, and the eigenvalues to possible observed values.
Origin of eigenvector
- Partial translation of German Eigenvektor eigen- characteristic eigenvalue Vektor vector
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition