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In mathematical analysis, one of a set of discrete values of a parameter, *math.k*, in an equation of the form *math.L**x* = *math.k**x*. Such characteristic equations are particularly useful in solving differential equations, integral equations, and systems of equations. In the equation, *math.L* is a linear transformation such as a matrix or a differential operator, and *x* can be a vector or a function (called an eigenvector or eigenfunction). The totality of eigenvalues for a given characteristic equation is a set. In quantum mechanics, where *math.L* is an energy operator, the eigenvalues are energy values.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.

Characteristic amount of energy absorbed or released by a substance during a change in physical state that occurs without a change in temperature. Heat of fusion is the latent heat associated with melting a solid or freezing a liquid. Heat of vaporization is the latent heat associated with vapourizing a liquid or condensing (*see* condensation) a vapour. For example, when water reaches its boiling point and is kept boiling, it remains at that temperature until it has all evaporated; all the heat added to the water is absorbed as latent heat of vaporization and is carried away by the escaping vapour molecules.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.

Latent can refer to:

- Latent heat, the amount of energy released or absorbed by a substance during a change of phase
- A latent geologic fault
- Latent bud, a bud in some plants that remains a bud until favourable conditions appear
- Virus latency, the "quiet" or dormant stage of life of a virus
- Latent fingerprint
- Latent Recordings, a record label
- Latent variable

Latency can refer to:

- Latency (engineering), a time delay between the moment something is initiated and the moment its first effect begins
- Latency (audio), the time delay in digital audio systems due to analog to digital conversions, processing and conversion back to analog
- The Latency, pop rock band from Maple Ridge, British Columbia
- Memory latency and SDRAM latency, the amount of time a computer needs to wait to get data from RAM
- Input lag, the latency between using an input device and the result being displayed
- Communication lag or latency, the time taken for a packet of data to be sent by an application, travel and be received by another application
- The latency stage in child sexuality
- Clinical latency or incubation period, the time between exposure to a pathogenic organism, or chemical or radiation, and when symptoms and signs are first apparent
- Dormancy

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Last updated on Sunday September 14, 2008 at 14:34:12 PDT (GMT -0700)

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Last updated on Sunday September 14, 2008 at 14:34:12 PDT (GMT -0700)

View this article at Wikipedia.org - Edit this article at Wikipedia.org - Donate to the Wikimedia Foundation

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