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Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors

What does eigenvalue mean?


The word eigenvalue comes from the German word Eigen wert where Eigen means
characteristic and Wert means value. However, what the word means is not on your
mind! You want to know why I need to learn about eigenvalues and eigenvectors.
Once I give you an example of an application of eigenvalues and eigenvectors, you will
want to know how to find these eigenvalues and eigenvectors.
When any dynamic system goes under some transformation, some vectors still hold
their direction but vary in magnitude. These vectors are called eigen vectors. They
represent the basic characteristic of system. The new vector formed under the
transformation is parallel to original vector. The scalar factor by which the original
vector is stretched is called eigen value. For example stretching a rubber square from
two diagonally opposite corner will not change direction for its diagonal vector but
magnify it, the scalar coefficient of magnification is eigen value and directional vector
is eigen vector. We can consider a matrix A of linear transformation, this transformation
turns X into itself (times the number λ). If it is possible to transform all eigenvector
found this way, then they can be used to construct a basis (basis are minimum number
of linearly independent vectors that generates some system.) . With help of this, the
matrix A can be converted to purely a diagonal matrix, which can save computer
memory and makes application of the linear transformation to general vectors easier
and quicker.

If [ A] is a n  n matrix, then [ X ]  0 is an eigenvector of [ A] if
[ A][ X ]  [ X ]
Where  is a scalar and [ X ]  0 . The scalar  is called the eigenvalue of [ A] and [ X ] is
called the eigenvector corresponding to the eigenvalue  .

Applications in electrical power engineering:

Eigen values and Eigen vectors are largely used in linear system control for stability
analysis, system decomposition, system analysis and design using state represention.
Linear system control is based essentially on linear algebra.
Dynamic behavior of systems can be modeled by differential equations. In general,
nonlinear differential equations are required to model actual dynamic systems. In many
cases, however, linear approximations can be obtained to describe the dynamic
behaviour of such systems in the vicinity of some nominal operating point.
Also the application of eigenvalues and eigenvectors is useful for decoupling three-
phase systems through symmetrical component transformation.
Electrical networks can be expressed as weighted graph with vertices, undirected edges
and a set of conductivities along each of edges. Boundary nodes hold voltage 𝑓 and
interior vertices hold current φ. A map from 𝑓 to φ is known as response map. A
network having a wide range of vertices it is not possible to estimate current flow
through network. Eigen values are voltage for which network behave in predictable
way. Eigen values gave information of current flow whereas eigen vectors are the
values of the boundary voltage for which boundary voltage is scalar multiple of
boundary current. Kirchhoff matrix gives the relationship of parameters to be
considered, defined as 𝐾𝑖𝑗 = { −𝛾𝑖𝑗 𝑖𝑓 𝑖 ≠ 𝑗 ∑𝛾𝑖𝑗 𝑖≠𝑗 𝑖𝑓 𝑖 = 𝑗 } where 𝛾𝑖𝑗 represents
conductivities between vertices 𝑣𝑖 and 𝑣𝑗 on graph. Kirchhoff matrix [ 𝐴 𝐵 𝐵 𝑇 𝐶 ]is
constructed which is transformed to response matrix using 𝐴 − 𝐵𝐶 −1𝐵 𝑇 . Eigen values
of matrix gives information of stable or unstable load of network.

The biggest built in constant in MATLAB

realmax
Largest positive floating-point number

Syntax
n = realmax

Description
n = realmax returns the largest finite floating-point number in IEEE® double precision.
realmax('double') is the same as realmax with no arguments.
realmax('single') returns the largest finite floating-point number in IEEE single
precision.

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