Many phenomena in physics can be described by linear equations. In these cases, twice the cause results in twice the effect; this fact allows for a mathematical solution to such problems. Linear systems can frequently be described by vectors, which have sometimes a few, and sometimes a large number of components. In the equations of motion, matrices then appear, whose eigenvalues and eigenvectors describe the energies and the stationary states of the system. Every other form of motion is a superposition of these eigenstates.
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