1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What is an eigenvalue problem?

  1. Dec 3, 2013 #1
    Are eigenvalue problems and boundary value problems (ODEs) the same thing?

    What are the differences, if any?

    It seems to me that every boundary value problem is an eigenvalue problem... Is this not the case?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    A boundary value problem is a differential equation along with some information about the unknown function like its value in two different points.
    An eigenvalue problem is a problem of finding a "thing" which satisfies [itex] Operator ("thing")=nubmer \ "thing" [/itex]. Now if the "thing" is a function and the operator is a differential operator,the eigenvalue problem becomes a set of boundary value problems because the number isn't specified and depends on the function.
    So,not all boundary value problems are eigenvalue problems and not all eigenvalue problems are boundary value problems.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook