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Homework Help: Quick question about solving an eigenvalue problem

  1. Dec 7, 2013 #1
    I just have a question about the problem for when the eigenvalue = 0

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    for [itex] y_{xx}=-\lambda y [/itex] with BC [itex]y(0)=0 , y'(0)=y'(1) [/itex]

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    y for lamda = 0 is ax+b
    so from BC:

    and a=a

    What is the conclusion to make from this? lamda = 0 and the eigenfunction is constant?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2013 #2


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    I think the conclusion is just that y(x)=ax. That doesn't make it constant.
  4. Dec 7, 2013 #3
    Thanks for the reply. So the eigenvalue is 0 and the eigenfunction is just ax, with a determined by some IV?
  5. Dec 7, 2013 #4


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    Well, you don't conclude that the eigenvalue is 0, you were given that, right? And, yes, you can conclude that y(x)=ax. You can't determine a from the conditions you are given. Another IV would do it.
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