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MathGroup Archive 1996

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Bug in eignevalues?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg4016] Bug in eignevalues?
  • From: super295 at (Robert G. Buice, Jr)
  • Date: Mon, 20 May 1996 02:12:45 -0400
  • Organization: University of Kentucky
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

This is what I did:

1.  I created a 10,10 matrix of random numbers
2.  I found the correlation matrix of the above matrix
3.  The correlation matrix is symmetrical so all it's eigenvalues should be real
4.  Mathematica returns some imaginary eigenvalues.

I tried it symbolically and the symbolic anser has imaginary parts too...?

Is this a bug?  I thought that a symmetrical matrix could only have real
eigenvalues and yet sometime (depending on the random numbers pick in step
1) I get imaginary eigenvalues.  This is a big problem and I need to get
it fixed.  Other software packages never return imaginary eigenvalues so
what's going on?

Please email me, my news server is flakey....


Robert G. Buice,Jr                            super295 at
Analytical Spectroscopy Group                 Phone:(606) 257-5175
College of Pharmacy
University of Kentucky
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