Last week I considered again principal curvature (pc) and principal curvature directions (pcd) of a, for the sake of simplicity, 2-manifold embedded in 3-space. In this simple case, the pc and pcd of at a point are the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the shape operator. The magnitude of the pc's corresponds to the minimal and maximal normal curvature at the point. My question, however, is:
What does the principal curvatures direction magnitude represents?
In the textbooks I looked up in (Kühnel and do Camro) I couldn't find a reference to the principal curvature direction's magnitude. Is there something known about this? Is it something basic (maybe even from linear algebra)?
Edit 1: A somewhat more general, but related, question is:
What is the geometrical meaning of an eigenvector's magnitude?