# Math Help - Eigenvalues of a traceless symmetric tensor?

1. ## Eigenvalues of a traceless symmetric tensor?

Hi.

I was under the impression that the trace of a tensor was equal to the sum of its eigenvalues. So what do the eigenvalues of a traceless tensor mean?

Thanks

B

2. ## re: Eigenvalues of a traceless symmetric tensor?

Originally Posted by Bwts
Hi.

I was under the impression that the trace of a tensor was equal to the sum of its eigenvalues. So what do the eigenvalues of a traceless tensor mean?

Thanks

B
Someone can correct me if I'm wrong (as they always can), but if I understand correctly, all this means is that the eigenvalues have a complex sum to zero. The sum of all the imaginary parts of the eigenvalues is zero, and the sum of all the real parts of the eigenvalues is zero.