With the update to v12.0, I seem to be getting different behavior of eigenvalues returned by Eigenvalues and Eigensystem (oddly, this managed to break some older code of mine that I revisited). Here's a MWE:

(*Giant equation*)
(*Same giant equation*)

I could swear that all of these returned (*True*) in v11, but I don't have an install to verify this. In comparison,

Sort[Diagonal[JordanDecomposition[A][[2]]]] == Sort[Eigenvalues[A]]
Sort[Diagonal[JordanDecomposition[A][[2]]]] == Eigenvalues[A]

despite Eigenvalues purportedly returning a sorted list of eigenvalues (appears to be a simple matter of reordering the complex conjugate roots).


  1. Is this now expected behavior?
  2. What changed? I assume that this has to do with the new front end for irrational numbers, which is admittedly much prettier than Root objects.
  3. Observing that Eigensystem[#][[1]]& returns different Root objects than Eigenvalues and Diagonal[JordanDecomposition[#][[1]]]&, is Mathematica really using a different backend algorithm? If so, why? Should I be concerned about any numerical stability impacts?


Including a screenshot with a fresh kernel to further document this difference. Eigenvalues vs Eigensystem

Edit 2

Following a comment from @bills, slight differences persist using numerical arithmetic as well. This introduces a whole slew of other test cases that produce differing behavior, as shown below. Eigenvalues using numerics

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yes, that seems to be a version 12 change. I have no idea why Eigensystem[] would return a weird format, even if they are algebraically equivalent to the results of Eigenvalues[]. $\endgroup$ May 13, 2020 at 10:30
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Don't know about others, but my V12.0.0.0 on Linux x86 gives True for all in the first block. $\endgroup$
    – Max1
    May 13, 2020 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Max1 Very strange! I am in fact on v12.1.0.0---perhaps this is the difference? Window 10, x86-64 for reference $\endgroup$
    – erfink
    May 13, 2020 at 20:24
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If you change one of the integer 1 to 1.0, then you get False,True,True,True,True. $\endgroup$
    – bill s
    May 13, 2020 at 22:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @CATrevillian v12.1.0 for Microsoft Windows (64-bit) (March 14, 2020). Machine type PC Windows 10 Home 64-bit, x86-64 processor (Intel Core i7-6700K, Skylake 14nm). $\endgroup$
    – erfink
    May 15, 2020 at 21:37


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.