AskDefine | Define multiplicity

Dictionary Definition

multiplicity

Noun

1 the property of being multiple
2 a large number [syn: numerousness, numerosity]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

  1. the state of being made of multiple diverse elements
  2. the number of values for which a given condition holds
  3. a large indeterminate number

Translations

Extensive Definition

In mathematics, the multiplicity of a member of a multiset is how many memberships in the multiset it has. For example, the term is used to refer to the number of times a given polynomial equation has a root at a given point.
The common reason to consider notions of multiplicity is to count correctly, without specifying exceptions (for example, double roots counted twice). Hence the expression counted with (sometimes implicit) multiplicity.
When mathematicians wish to ignore multiplicity they will refer to the number of distinct elements of a set.

Multiplicity of a prime factor

In the prime factorization
60 = 2 × 2 × 3 × 5
the multiplicity of the prime factor 2 is 2, while the multiplicity of the prime factors 3 and 5 is 1. Thus, 60 has 4 prime factors, but only 3 distinct prime factors.

Multiplicity of a root of a polynomial

Let F be a field and p(x) be a polynomial in one variable and coefficients in F. An element a ∈ F is called a root of multiplicity k of p(x) if there is a polynomial s(x) such that s(a) ≠ 0 and p(x) = (x − a)ks(x). If k = 1, then a is called a simple root.
For instance, the polynomial p(x) = x3 + 2x2 − 7x + 4 has 1 and −4 as roots, and can be written as p(x) = (x + 4)(x − 1)2. This means that 1 is a root of multiplicity 2, and −4 is a 'simple' root (of multiplicity 1).
The discriminant of a polynomial is zero if and only if the polynomial has a multiple root.

Geometric behavior

Let f(x) be a polynomial function. Then, if f is graphed on a Cartesian coordinate system, its graph will cross the x-axis at real zeros of odd multiplicity and will not cross the x-axis at real zeros of even multiplicity. In addition, if f(x) has a zero with a multiplicity greater than 1, the graph will be tangent to the x-axis and will have slope 0.

Multiplicity of a zero of a function

Let I be an interval of R, let f be a function from I into R or C be a real (resp. complex) function, and let c ∈ I be a zero of f, i.e. a point such that f(c)=0. The point c is said a zero of multiplicity k of f if there exist a real number \ell\neq 0 such that
\lim_\frac=\ell.
In a more general setting, let f be a function from an open subset A of a normed vector space E into a normed vector space F, and let c \in A be a zero of f, i.e. a point such that f(c) = 0. The point c is said a zero of multiplicity k of f if there exist a real number \ell \neq 0 such that
\lim_\frac=\ell.
The point c is said a zero of multiplicity ∞ of f if for each k, it holds that
\lim_\frac=0.
Example 1. Since
\lim_\frac=1,
0 is a zero of multiplicity 1 for the function sine function.
Example 2. Since
\lim_\frac=\frac 12,
0 is a zero of multiplicity 2 for the function 1-\cos.
Example 3. Consider the function f from R into R such that f(0) = 0 and that f(x)= \exp(1/x^2) when x \neq 0. Then, since
\lim_\frac=0 \mboxk \in \mathbb
0 is a zero of multiplicity ∞ for the function f.

In complex analysis

Let z_0 be a root of a holomorphic function f, and let n be the least positive integer such that, the nth derivative of f evaluated at z_0 differs from zero. Then the power series of f about z_0 begins with the nth term, and f is said to have a root of multiplicity (or “order”) n. If n=1, the root is called a simple root (Krantz 1999, p. 70).
We can also define the multiplicity of the zeroes and poles of a meromorphic function thus: If we have a meromorphic function f = \dfrac, take the Taylor expansions of g and h about a point z0, and find the first non-zero term in each (denote the term numbers m and n respectively). if m = n, then the point has non-zero value. If m > n, then the point is a zero of multiplicity m - n. If m < n, then the point has a pole of multiplicity n - m.

See also

References

  • Krantz, S. G. Handbook of Complex Variables. Boston, MA: Birkhäuser, 1999. ISBN 0-8176-4011-8.
multiplicity in German: Vielfachheit
multiplicity in Esperanto: Obleco
multiplicity in Spanish: Multiplicidad
multiplicity in Dutch: Meervoudig nulpunt van een polynoom
multiplicity in Japanese: 重根 (多項式)
multiplicity in Swedish: Multiplicitet

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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