# Definition:Linear Differential Operator

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## Definition

A linear differential operator is a differential operator $\mathscr L$ with the property that:

$\map {\mathscr L} {\alpha \phi_1 + \beta \phi_2} = \alpha \map {\mathscr L} {\phi_1} + \beta \map {\mathscr L} {\phi_2}$

Thus if $\phi_1$ and $\phi_2$ are solutions to the differential equation $\map {\mathscr L} {\phi_i} = 0$, then so is any linear combination of $\phi_1$ and $\phi_2$.