Eigenvector meaning

ī'gən-vĕk'tər
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.
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Origin of eigenvector

  • Partial translation of German Eigenvektor eigen- characteristic eigenvalue Vektor vector
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition