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A question about eigenvectors

  1. Apr 2, 2009 #1
    When finding eigenvectors in matrices I choose something for some x-es.

    Like sometimes x3 or x4 is chosen to be s or t or 2s etc....

    What I´d like to ask about is, does it not matter what the number is? Can I chose whatever I want to?

    If the matrix has 3 eigenvalues and after gauss jordan I get:
    100
    014
    000

    I chose x3 to be 1.
    But could I just as well chose it to be 5 or six?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 2, 2009 #2

    HallsofIvy

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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    I have no idea what "x3 or x4" you are talking about. It is true that if you can get an eigenvector in the form <ax, bx, cx> where x is a variable you can take x to be any (non-zero) number you want. That is because any multiple of an eigenvector is also an eigenvector.
     
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