In linear algebra, a defective matrix is a square matrix that does not have a complete basis of eigenvectors, and is therefore not diagonalizable. In particular, an n × n matrix is defective if and only if it does not have n linearly independent eigenvectors. A complete basis is formed by augmenting the eigenvectors with generalized eigenvectors, which are necessary for solving defective systems of ordinary differential equations and other problems.
A defective matrix always has fewer than n distinct eigenvalues, since distinct eigenvalues always have linearly independent eigenvectors. In particular, a defective matrix has one or more eigenvalues λ with algebraic multiplicity (that is, they are multiple roots of the characteristic polynomial), but fewer than m linearly independent eigenvectors associated with λ. However, every eigenvalue with multiplicity m always has m linearly independent generalized eigenvectors.
A Hermitian matrix (or the special case of a real symmetric matrix) or a unitary matrix is never defective; more generally, a normal matrix (which includes Hermitian and unitary as special cases) is never defective.
Other articles related to "defective matrix":
... A simple example of a defective matrix is which has a double eigenvalue of 3 but only one distinct eigenvector (and constant multiples thereof) ...
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