Questions involving complex numbers, that is numbers of the form $a+bi$ where $i^2=-1$ and $a,b\in\mathbb{R}$.

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11
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4answers
1k views

Why is it that Complex Numbers are algebraically closed?

I find it curious that Complex Numbers give enough flexibility to be algebraically closed, where the reals, rational numbers do not. For the reals it is easy to see that they cannot be used to solve ...
11
votes
3answers
763 views

How to raise -1 to non-integer powers

How do you calculate $(-1)^x$ where $x$ is some real number. For example, what is $(-1)^{\sqrt{5}}$. This question came as I was trying to computer $e^{i\pi a}$ where $a$ is irrational.
11
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4answers
2k views

Equation of the complex locus: $|z-1|=2|z +1|$

This question requires finding the Cartesian equation for the locus: $|z-1| = 2|z+1|$ that is, where the modulus of $z -1$ is twice the modulus of $z+1$ I've solved this problem algebraically ...
11
votes
3answers
142 views

Prove that an expression is zero for all sets of distinct $a_1, \dotsc, a_n\in\mathbb{C}$

A while ago one of my professors gave the class a problem "to think about when lying on the beach." Well, I've been on the beach several times since then to no avail and my curiosity has finally ...
11
votes
2answers
467 views

A property of roots of the truncated series for $\sin(x)$

Let $p_n(x) = \sum\limits_{k=0}^n \frac{(-1)^kx^{2k+1}}{(2k+1)!}$ In other words, $p_n$ is the polynomial made of the first $n$ terms of the Taylor expansion of $\sin(x)$ around $x = 0$. ...
11
votes
1answer
620 views

Why is $i$ called “imaginary”?

I was reading this question, and, after reading the responses, I felt like I had a much better understanding about how they're just another type of number definition. Why, then, are they called ...
11
votes
3answers
602 views

Help me prove $\sqrt{1+i\sqrt 3}+\sqrt{1-i\sqrt 3}=\sqrt 6$

Please help me prove this Leibniz equation: $\sqrt{1+i\sqrt 3}+\sqrt{1-i\sqrt 3}=\sqrt 6$. Thanks!
10
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6answers
1k views

Solve $z^4+1=0$ algebraically

I know the result and how to solve it using trigonometry and De Moivre. However, given that the complex number $z$ can be rewritten as $a+bi$, how can I solve it algebraically?
10
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8answers
1k views

For complex $z$, $|z| = 1 \implies \text{Re}\left(\frac{1-z}{1+z}\right) = 0$

If $|z|=1$, show that: $$\mathrm{Re}\left(\frac{1 - z}{1 + z}\right) = 0$$ I reasoned that for $z = x + iy$, $\sqrt{x^2 + y^2} = 1\implies x^2 + y ^2 = 1$ and figured the real part would be: ...
10
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4answers
594 views

Which step in this process allows me to erroneously conclude that $i = 1$

I was playing around with imaginary numbers and exponents and came up with this: $$ i = \sqrt{-1} $$ $$ \sqrt{-1} = (-1)^{1/2} $$ $$ (-1)^{1/2} = (-1)^{2/4} $$ $$ (-1)^{2/4} = ((-1)^{2})^{1/4} ...
10
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4answers
891 views

Confused about complex numbers

I am confused about something: \begin{eqnarray} (e^{2 i \pi})^{0.5} = (e^{2 i \pi \cdot 0.5})= e^{i \pi}=-1 \end{eqnarray} but \begin{eqnarray} e^{2 i \pi}=1~ and~ 1^{0.5}=1 \end{eqnarray} ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

How do you integrate imaginary numbers?

How would you find, for instance, $\int_{0}^{4} i\> x dx$? Can you just treat $i$ as a constant, or do you have to do something more sophisticated? Thanks!
10
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5answers
629 views

imaginary numbers - how can I understand them - especially as they occur in 'roots' of polynomials?

In another question here, about roots of equations being imaginary, the accepted answer said something interesting about "imaginary" (as a technical word in math) not meaning "not real". I ...
10
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3answers
598 views

Prove that the complex expression is real

Let $|z_1|=\dots=|z_n|=1$ on the complex plane. Prove that: $$ \left(1+\frac{z_2}{z_1}\right) \left(1+\frac{z_3}{z_2}\right) \dots \left(1+\frac{z_n}{z_{n-1}}\right) \left(1+\frac{z_1}{z_n}\right) ...
10
votes
2answers
487 views

Suppose $a \in \mathbb{R}$, and $\exists n \in \mathbb{N}$, that $a^n \in \mathbb{Q}$, and $(a + 1)^n \in \mathbb{Q}$

1) Suppose $a \in \mathbb{R}$, and $\exists n \in \mathbb{N}$, that $a^n \in \mathbb{Q}$, and $(a + 1)^n \in \mathbb{Q}$. Prove: Is it true that $a \in \mathbb{Q}$? 2) Suppose $a \in \mathbb{C}$, ...
10
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4answers
1k views

How to show that $A^3+B^3+C^3 - 3ABC = (A+B+C)(A+B\omega+C\omega^2)(A+B\omega^2+C\omega)$ indirectly?

I found this amazingly beautiful identity here. How to prove that $A^3+B^3+C^3 - 3ABC = (A+B+C)(A+B\omega+C\omega^2)(A+B\omega^2+C\omega)$ without directly multiplying the factors? (I've already ...
10
votes
3answers
307 views

square root of $1/2 + \sqrt3/2?$

Playing with Maple, I noticed that it gives the square root of $c = 1+\frac{\sqrt3}{2}$ as equal to $a = \frac{1}{2}+\frac{\sqrt3}{2}$. Indeed it checks out. But I got curious: how can I find that ...
10
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3answers
626 views

Why this proof $0=1$ is wrong?(breakfast joke)

We have $$e^{2\pi i n}=1$$ So we have $$e^{2\pi in+1}=e$$ which implies $$(e^{2\pi in+1})^{2\pi in+1}=e^{2\pi in+1}=e$$ Thus we have $$e^{-4\pi^{2}n^{2}+4\pi in+1}=e$$ This implies ...
10
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4answers
3k views

Do the real numbers and the complex numbers have the same cardinality?

So it's easy to show that the rationals and the integers have the same size, using everyone's favorite spiral-around-the-grid. Can the approach be extended to say that the set of complex numbers has ...
10
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1answer
458 views

Is $\mathbb{C}^*$ modulo the roots of unity isomorphic to $\mathbb{R}^+$?

A student came to me showing a question from his exam in basic group theory, in which they are asked to prove that $\mathbb{C}^*$ modulo the subgroup of roots of unity is isomorphic to $\mathbb{R}^+$ ...
10
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6answers
645 views

If $A,B,C,D$ are complex numbers on the unit circle with $A+B+C+D=0$, then they form a rectangle

Let $A, B, C, D$ be points on a unit circle. Prove that if $A+B+C+D=0$, then $A,B,C,D$ make a rectangle. (Use complex numbers.) How do I prove this? I tried to use the dot product of 2 adjacent ...
10
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1answer
228 views

Interpret to a complex plane!

$\newcommand{\Re}{\operatorname{Re}}\newcommand{\Im}{\operatorname{Im}}$The question is: Interpret $$ \Re z + \Im z = 1 $$ geometrically in the complex plane. Writing $z = x + yi$, the condition ...
10
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2answers
292 views

History of the matrix representation of complex numbers

It is well-known to many that $\mathbb{C}$ can be represented by matrices of the form $\left[ \begin{array}{cc} a & b \\ -b & a \end{array} \right]$. For example, see this question or this ...
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1answer
1k views

Intuition for complex eigenvalues

The eigenvalues of a rotation matrix are complex numbers. I understand that they cannot be real numbers because when you rotate something no direction stays the same. My question What is the ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Determinant of an $n\times n$ complex matrix as an $2n\times 2n$ real determinant

If $A$ is an $n\times n$ complex matrix. Is it possible to write $\vert \det A\vert^2$ as a $2n\times 2n$ matrix with blocks containing the real and imaginary parts of $A$? I remember seeing such a ...
9
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1answer
400 views

i^i^i^i^… Is there a pattern? [duplicate]

I was messing around with $i$ and I (haha) noticed that certain progressions arise when I keep on raising $i$ to $i$ to $i$ and so forth. Though, I am not really quite sure what is going on (and I ...
9
votes
2answers
168 views

Maximum of $\frac{\sin z}{z}$ in the closed unit disc.

I have some trouble with the following question: Let $$f(z)=\frac{\sin z}{z},\quad\text{for }z\in\mathbb{C}.$$ What is the maximum of $f$ in the closed unit disc ...
9
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2answers
421 views

If the sequence $(a_n b_n)$ converges and $a_n \to 0$, when does $(b_n)$ converge too?

Given that the sequence $(a_n b_n)$ converges and $a_n \to 0$, are there conditions which can be placed on $(b_n)$ and/or $(a_n b_n)$ so that $(b_n)$ converges as well?
9
votes
2answers
84 views

When does $(e^a)^b = e^{ab}$ hold?

For a complex number $A$ and a real number $B$, when does the well-known formula $(e^A)^B = e^{AB}$ fail? Or does it hold at all for complex A? Since $e^{2\pi i} = 1$, if this formula holds for ...
9
votes
1answer
177 views

Complex Exponential False “Proof” That All Integers Are $0$

The following false "proof" is attributed to Thomas Clausen in 1827, and was stated on page 79 of Nahin's An Imaginary Tale. $e^{i2\pi n}=1$ for all integers $n$. So \begin{align*} ee^{i2\pi ...
8
votes
6answers
772 views

Show that if $r$ is an nth root of $1$ and $r\ne1$, then $1 + r + r^2 + … + r^{n-1} = 0$.

Show that if $r$ is an nth root of $1$ and $r\ne1$, then $1 + r + r^2 + ... + r^{n-1} = 0$. I think I can represent all the roots of 1 as follows: $r = 1^{\frac{1}{n}} ( \frac{\cos{2\pi k}}{n} + ...
8
votes
4answers
425 views

Is it correct to say that $\mathbb{R}$ has fewer elements than $\mathbb{C}$ if both are infinite?

My math teacher said that. I disagreed, but he said that I was wrong. But I'm not convinced - is it really right? Please notice that I'm not talking about $\mathbb{R}$ $⊂$ $\mathbb{C}$, but ...
8
votes
6answers
5k views

How can you find the cubed roots of $i$?

I am trying to figure out what the three possibilities of $z$ are such that $$ z^3=i $$ but I am stuck on how to proceed. I tried algebraically but ran into rather tedious polynomials. Could you ...
8
votes
3answers
439 views

Is there a problem in defining a complex number by $ z = x+iy$?

The field $\mathbb{C} $ of complex numbers is well-defined by the Hamilton axioms of addition and product between complex numbers, i.e., a complex number $z$ is a ordered pair of real numbers $(x,y)$, ...
8
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3answers
470 views

How to prove $|z_1-z_2| \geq |z_1|-|z_2|$ in other way than this?

How to prove $|z_1-z_2| \geq |z_1|-|z_2|$ in other way than this? I mean I tried to find on the internet but could not find. I ask for more straighforward way than the proof that is presented for item ...
8
votes
3answers
441 views

Proof for law of complex exponents using only differential equation

I just read that an elegant proof exists that the law of exponents also holds for complex numbers ($a,b,z$ all complex): $$e^{a+b}=e^ae^b,$$ which only uses the definition that $$y=e^{zt}$$ is a ...
8
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3answers
738 views

How to raise a complex number to the power of another complex number?

How do I calculate the outcome of taking one complex number to the power of another, ie $\displaystyle {(a + bi)}^{(c + di)}$?
8
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4answers
414 views

Why does the imaginary number $i$ satisfy $i\times 0=0$?

Why does the imaginary number $i$ satisfy $i\times 0=0$? I mean, we don't really know what $i$ is. How could we be sure about that? I think there's a reason behind why mathematicians decided that.
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5answers
1k views

Alternative to imaginary numbers?

In this video, starting at 3:45 the professor says There are some superb papers written that discount the idea that we should ever use j (imaginary unit) on the grounds that it conceals some ...
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5answers
562 views

Is there any way to represent an imaginary number?

Is there any way to represent an imaginary number? Like the square root of -1? Is there any possible way to do this? Sorry if you think this is a dumb question. I am a 7th grade student in ...
8
votes
5answers
282 views

Does there exist a field $K$ such that $\mathbb R \subsetneq K \subsetneq \mathbb C$?

I'm thinking of unions of $\mathbb R$ with some subset of $\mathbb C$ but am not sure how to approach this without ending up with all of $\mathbb C$. Doe anyone have any suggestions?
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6answers
472 views

Has anyone talked themselves into understanding Euler's identity a bit?

What does the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter have to do with the base of the natural logarithm and $\sqrt{-1}$?
8
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7answers
258 views

Is $\mathbb{C}$ equal to $\mathbb{R}^2$?

Complex numbers are usually formally defined as pairs of real numbers. Although there are operations on $\mathbb{C}$, such as complex multiplication, which are not found in operations usually applied ...
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5answers
535 views

What's the importance of a formula for the real and imaginary parts of a complex number?

I've learned that $$\bbox[8px,border:1px solid black]{\operatorname{Re}(z)= \frac{z+\overline{z}}{2} \qquad \qquad \operatorname{Im}(z)=\frac{z-\overline{z}}{2i}} $$ And that in the number $z=a+bi$, ...
8
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4answers
270 views

When are we (not) allowed to replace $x$ by $ix$?

It seems to be quite a common manipulation to replace $x$ by $ix$. Every time I see it's being done in a textbook, I blindly trust the author without really understanding when are we allowed to do so ...
8
votes
3answers
233 views

Putting ${n \choose 0} + {n \choose 5} + {n \choose 10} + \cdots + {n \choose 5k} + \cdots$ in a closed form

As the title says, I'm trying to transform $\displaystyle{n \choose 0} + {n \choose 5} + {n \choose 10} + \cdots + {n \choose 5k} + \cdots$ into a closed form. My work: $\displaystyle\left(1 + ...
8
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2answers
720 views

Summation of complex numbers

This is a series problem where the terms are complex numbers. I am looking for a better approach to solving this problem. If $\displaystyle z = \frac{1+i}{\sqrt2}$, Evaluate $1 + z + z^2 + ... + ...
8
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2answers
385 views

Are there any elegant methods to classify of the Gaussian primes?

Out of curiosity, are there any relatively quick classifications of all the Gaussian primes, the primes in $\mathbb{Z}[i]$? I found a classification here, but the process comes off as rather tedious. ...
8
votes
4answers
83 views

$z^n=(z+1)^n=1$, show that $n$ is divisible by $6$.

we are given $z^n=(z+1)^n=1$, $z$ complex number. we want to prove that $n$ is divisible by $6$. I showed that $|z|=|z+1|=1$. Hence $z$ is on the intersection of two unit circles, one centered at ...
8
votes
3answers
23k views

How to get principal argument of complex number from complex plane?

I am just starting to learn calculus and the concepts of radians. Something that is confusing me is how my textbook is getting the principal argument ($\arg z$) from the complex plane. i.e. for the ...