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characteristic equation

noun
1.
Mathematics.
  1. the characteristic polynomial of a given matrix, equated to zero.
  2. Also called auxiliary equation. an equation with one variable and equated to zero, which is derived from a given linear differential equation and in which the coefficient and power of the variable in each term correspond to the coefficient and order of a derivative in the original equation.
2.
Physics. equation of state.
Origin
1920-1925
1920-25
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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