
#1
Jan904, 04:36 PM

P: 142

does anybody know the origins behind the *name* secular matrix?
i don't understand why a secular matrix would be called... secular. 



#2
Jan904, 05:49 PM

Math
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
Thanks
PF Gold
P: 38,879

First, the term "secular" matrix is not a mathematical term it is a physics term. If you look up the word "secular" in a dictionary, you will find that one of its meanings has to do with time. The "secular matrix" in quantum physics is the matrix that represents the evolution of a an operator over time.




#3
Jan904, 07:49 PM

Emeritus
PF Gold
P: 8,147

Saeculum is the Latin noun meaning "a long period of time", sometimes interpreted in modern times as a century. Nominative plural saecula, plural genitive saeculorum (as in the great seal of the US: Novus ordo saeculorum = "A new order for the ages")
Secular effects in Astronomy are those that take place over a long time, gradually accumulating. The other meaning of secular, "not religious", comes from the division in the middle ages of topics that were religious = heavenly = outside of time, versus the other kind that were bound to the flow of time found here below. 


Register to reply 
Related Discussions  
What's a secular timescale?  General Astronomy  3  
Help! Diagonal matrix similar to upper triangular matrix?  Linear & Abstract Algebra  1  
Matrix, making R2 to R3, finding standard matrix A! where did i mess up?  Calculus & Beyond Homework  1  
Genetic Engineering and a Secular Morality System  General Discussion  18  
Secular reading at baccalaureate. Give me suggestions.  General Discussion  6 