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Secular matrix 
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#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: 39,345

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. 


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