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Linear functions/operators conflicting understanding

  1. Sep 18, 2011 #1
    So in my theoretical physics class my professor was reminding us ("reminding") of what "linear" means, such as a linear functions or a linear operator. He said the definition was:

    1. f(ax) = a f(x)

    2. f(x + y) = f(x) + f(y)

    Functions or operators are "linear" if they meet the above 2 conditions.
    I am confused because, if I take a line... y = mx + b, which I completely consider to be linear, it doesnt' match either of those conditions.

    Are there 2 different kinds of linear, am I losing my mind... or what?

    thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 19, 2011 #2
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