Standard Article


  1. Shayle R. Searle

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/0470011815.b2a13021

Encyclopedia of Biostatistics

Encyclopedia of Biostatistics

How to Cite

Searle, S. R. 2005. Eigenvalue. Encyclopedia of Biostatistics. 3.

Author Information

  1. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


An eigenvalue is a number that originates from a determinant involving a square matrix. If the matrix has n rows and n columns it has n eigenvalues. They characterize many attributes of the matrix, and are very useful in many applications.


  • characteristic equation;
  • multiple roots;
  • real and complex values;
  • powers;
  • sum;
  • product