From AMS Glossary
(Redirected from Characteristic value)
A scalar value λ that permits nonzero solutions y of equations of the form
where L is a linear operator and where y can represent a vector or a function that is subject to certain boundary conditions. When y is a vector, L represents a matrix and y is termed an eigenvector. When y is a function, L can represent a differential or integral form, in which case y is called an eigenfunction.