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In mathematics, a property synonymous with perpendicularity when applied to vectors but applicable more generally to functions. Two elements of an inner product space are orthogonal when their inner productfor vectors, the dot product (seevector operations); for functions, the definite integral of their productis zero. A set of orthogonal vectors or functions can serve as the basis of an inner product space, meaning that any element of the space can be formed from a linear combination (seelinear transformation) of the elements of such a set.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on orthogonality, visit Britannica.com.