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Definition of a Differential Eigenvalue Problem?

  1. May 5, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I would like to know what the definition of a Differential Eigenvalue Problem is please?
    I am a maths undergraduate.

    2. Relevant equations

    \lambda y = L y, where \lambda is eigenvalue, L is a linear operator.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I have searched via google, encylopedia britanica, wikipedia but only have a vague understanding. If someone could help me define it that would be great.

    Thank you. :smile:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 5, 2009 #2

    Dick

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    You just defined it. If an operator acts on a function and returns a constant multiple of that function then the function is an 'eigenfunction' and the value of the multiple is 'eigenvalue'. That's really all there is to it.
     
  4. May 6, 2009 #3
    Thanks a lot :).
     
  5. May 6, 2009 #4

    tiny-tim

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    But why "differential"? :redface:
     
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