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# characteristic polynomial

Love is the victim's response to the rapist.
Ti-Grace Atkinson

## English

### Noun

 Singular characteristic polynomial Plural {{{1}}}
characteristic polynomial ({{{1}}})
1. (linear algebra) The determinant, of a matrix minus an indeterminant times the identity matrix
The characteristic polynomial of $\left(\begin{array}{cc}1 & 4\\3 & -5\end{array}\right)$ is $\mathbf{Det}\left(\begin{array}{cc}1-x & 4\\ 3 & -5-x\end{array}\right)$.

#### Usage notes

Equally many authors instead subtract the matrix from the indeterminant times the identity matrix. But the result only differs by multiplication by -1, which isn't important where characteristic polynomials are studied.

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