As we already mentioned on page , two (time-varying) linear systems of the form and are called adjoint to each other. Solutions of adjoint systems are linked by the property that their inner product remains constant, as shown by the following simple calculation:
We now consider a specific pair of adjoint systems on the time interval . As the first system (the -system in the above discussion) we take the variational equation (4.19), described in more detail by the equations (4.20) and (4.21). The second, adjoint system is then
Now, let us specify the terminal condition for the system (4.31) at time by setting equal to the vector (4.28). Further, we relabel the -component of the solution corresponding to this terminal condition as . This gives for all and
which is the second canonical equation in (4.1). With a slight abuse of terminology, we will sometimes refer to this differential equation as the adjoint equation. It is easy to see that the first canonical equation in (4.1) also holds by the definition of ; thus statement 1 of the maximum principle has been established. By the aforementioned property of adjoint systems, we have
The vector (4.28), which is normal to the separating hyperplane, is nonzero. Since (4.31) is a homogeneous (unforced) linear time-varying system, we have