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A function whose result is unity for the members of a given set and zero for all non-members.
‘In 1834, Dublin mathematician William Rowan Hamilton applied his work on characteristic functions in optics to Newtonian mechanics, and what is now called the Hamiltonian formalism of mechanics was born.’
‘His recent breakthroughs in the theory of characteristic functions for several commuting operators indicate that in spite of his seventy years, mathematically Moshe is still a young man.’
‘By his law of varying action he made the initial and final coordinates the independent variables of the characteristic function.’
‘Perhaps his most famous work was Characteristic Functions which studied the properties of characteristic functions and their applications.’
‘In particular in two papers published in 1900 and 1901, he proved the central limit theorem using a technique based on characteristic functions.’