One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Denoting or relating to a matrix in which those pairs of elements which are symmetrically placed with respect to the principal diagonal are complex conjugates.
- ‘It was 1942 before he was able to defend his doctoral thesis on Hermitian operator theory and the generalised moment problem.’
- ‘Do you realize that's the pair-correlation function for the eigenvalues of a random Hermitian matrix?’
- ‘Finally he speculates on the future, and the hope of finding at last a Hermitian operator whose resonances describe the zeros of the zeta function.’
- ‘Hermite is now best known for a number of mathematical entities that bear his name: Hermite polynomials, Hermite's differential equation, Hermite's formula of interpolation and Hermitian matrices.’
- ‘In general, the eigenvalues can be complex numbers, even when the elements of the matrix are real, but the symmetry of a Hermitian matrix ensures that all the eigenvalues will be real.’
Early 20th century: from the name of Charles Hermite (1822–1905), French mathematician, + -ian.
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