Let's say that I have to construct a 2 X 2 matrix from a second-order differential equation, turning it into a system of first order linear equations, and find its eigenvalues. I'll have two variables that correspond to the two columns in the matrix.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

If I swap columns, I end up with two different characteristic polynomials, and thus different sets of eigenvalues (this is the problem). How do I know which variable should correspond to the first column, and which variable should correspond to the second column?

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# Homework Help: Quick question on eigenvalues

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