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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13
votes
3answers
2k views

Finding the square root of a complex number - why two solutions instead of four?

I want to find the square roots of a complex number, $w = a+ib \in \mathbb{C}$, i.e. I'm looking for solutions, $z = x + iy$, for the equation $z^2 = w$. This question has been asked here a couple of ...
13
votes
5answers
949 views

What's bad about calling $i$ “the square root of -1”?

I vaguely recall a teacher telling me that he dislikes introducing the imaginary unit $i$ as "the square root of $-1$", but I can't remember why. Is there a lack of rigour in the statement, or is it a ...
13
votes
2answers
5k views

Show how to calculate the Riemann zeta function for the first non-trivial zero

I have very little understanding on how complex functions work but was wondering if someone could show what the summation of the zeta function simplifies to when $s$ is the first non-trivial zero of ...
13
votes
2answers
286 views

Complex numbers, polynomials

Let $a$ be complex number such that $a^5 + a + 1 = 0$. What are possible values of $a^2(a - 1)$? I have tried to find $a$. Is there any way to find it?
13
votes
4answers
263 views

What's $(-1)^{2/3}\; $?

I know that $\left ( -1 \right )^{2/3}=\left ( \left ( -1 \right )^{2} \right )^{1/3}=1$ But Matlab computes this as $- 0.5 + 0.8660254038i$ a complex number.Why?
13
votes
3answers
37k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
169 views

$\sum_i x_i^n = 0$ for all $n$ implies $x_i = 0$

Here is a statement that seems prima facie obvious, but when I try to prove it, I am lost. Let $x_1 , x_2 \dots x_k$ be complex numbers satisfying: $$x_1 + x_2 \dots + x_k = 0$$ $$x_1^2 + x_2^2 ...
12
votes
7answers
5k views

Is there a formula for $(1+i)^n+(1-i)^n$?

I'm wondering if there is a formula for the value of $(1+i)^n+(1-i)^n$? I calculated the first terms starting with $n=1$ to be, in order, $2$, $0$, $-4$, $-8$, $-8$, $0$, $16$, $\dots$ So it seems ...
12
votes
4answers
402 views

Does $\sin(x+iy) = x+iy$ have infinitely many solutions?

How to prove that $\sin(x+iy) = x+iy$ has infinitely many solutions? I know how to prove that $\sin(x) = x$ has only one solution, but I do not know how to extend this to complex analysis.
12
votes
2answers
351 views

Does $z^i=i^z$ have any solutions, beside $z=i$?

Does this equation have any solutions: $$\large{z^i=i^z}$$ Putting polar form of $z$ is better for LHS, But rectangular form is suitable for RHS ! What to do? Thanks!
12
votes
3answers
238 views

Does $\sqrt{i + \sqrt{i+ \sqrt{i + \sqrt{i + \cdots}}}}$ have a closed form?

I've been brushing up on my complex analysis recently, and I've come across a problem that's stumped me: What are the real and imaginary parts of $$\sqrt{i+\sqrt{i+\sqrt{i+\sqrt{i+\cdots}}}} ?$$ I ...
12
votes
2answers
260 views

Is it possible to construct an ordered field which is also algebraically closed?

It is well known that while the real numbers are totally ordered, they are not algebraically closed, and while the complex numbers are algebraically closed, they are not totally ordered. Is it ...
12
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
504 views

Complex-number inequality $| z_1 z_2 \ldots z_m - 1 | \leq e^{|z_1 - 1| + \ldots + |z_m - 1|} - 1$

Let $z_1, z_2 \ldots z_m$ be complex numbers, $m \in \mathbb{N}$. Can anybody tell me how to prove the following inequality? $| z_1 z_2 \ldots z_m - 1 | \leq e^{|z_1 - 1| + \ldots + |z_m - 1|} - 1$ ...
12
votes
2answers
531 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 $x = 0$. ...
12
votes
2answers
791 views

Complex towers: $i^{i^{i^{…}}}$

If $w = z^{z^{z^{...}}}$ converges, we can determine its value by solving $w = z^{w}$, which leads to $w = -W(-\log z))/\log z$. To be specific here, let's use $u^v = \exp(v \log u)$ for complex $u$ ...
12
votes
2answers
198 views

Solving $z^z=z$ in Complex Numbers

I wanted to find all complex numbers $z\neq0$ such that $z^z=z$. I observed that $z=\pm1$ satisfies the equation. But I had problems when tried to find all the possible solutions since $z^z$ may take ...
12
votes
1answer
353 views

What specific algebraic properties are broken at each Cayley-Dickson stage beyond octonions?

I'm starting to come around to an understanding of hypercomplex numbers, and I'm particularly fascinated by the fact that certain algebraic properties are broken as we move through each of the $2^n$ ...
12
votes
3answers
719 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!
11
votes
8answers
801 views

A field without a canonical square root of $-1$

The following is a question I've been pondering for a while. I was reminded of it by a recent dicussion on the question How to tell $i$ from $-i$? Can you find a field that is abstractly ...
11
votes
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: ...
11
votes
9answers
1k views

Solve the equation $z^3=z+\overline{z}$

I have been trying to solve an equation $z^3=z+\overline{z}$, where $\overline{z}=a-bi$ if $z=a+bi$. But I cant find any clues on how to move forward on that one. Please help.
11
votes
5answers
779 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
9k 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!
11
votes
4answers
979 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} ...
11
votes
3answers
624 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) ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Complex roots of $z^3 + \bar{z} = 0$

I'm trying to find the complex roots of $z^3 + \bar{z} = 0$ using De Moivre. Some suggested multiplying both sides by z first, but that seems wrong to me as it would add a root ( and I wouldn't know ...
11
votes
3answers
786 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
votes
4answers
3k 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
2answers
3k views

Total ordering on complex numbers

Show that there doesn't exist a relation $\succ$ between complex numbers such that (i) For any two complex numbers $z,w$, one and only one of the following is true: $z\succ w,w\succ z,$ or ...
11
votes
8answers
967 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
155 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
344 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
708 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
2k 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
votes
4answers
2k views

Is this theorem already in existence?

I came up with this theorem (shown below) a few months ago, and I haven't been able to find anything like it on the web. This theorem will give you the quadratic expression that results from ...
10
votes
2answers
660 views

Prove that all roots of $\sum_{r=1}^{70} \frac{1}{x-r} =\frac{5}{4} $ are real

Prove that all roots of $$\displaystyle \sum_{r=1}^{70} \dfrac{1}{x-r} =\dfrac{5}{4} $$ are real I encountered this question in my weekly test. I tried setting $\displaystyle ...
10
votes
6answers
8k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
664 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
votes
3answers
406 views

Number system with $e^x = 0$ for some $x$

It is well known that $e^x \ne 0$ for all $x \in \mathbb{R}$ as well as $x \in \mathbb{C}$. Upon reading this article and doing a bit of research I have found that this also applies to the ...
10
votes
4answers
245 views

Why isn't $e^{2\pi xi}=1$ true for all $x$?

We know that $$e^{\pi i}+1=0$$and $$e^{\pi i}=-1$$ So$$(e^{\pi i})^2=(-1)^2$$$$e^{2\pi i}=1$$ Because $1$ is the multiplicative identity,$$(e^{2\pi i})^x=1^x$$$$e^{2\pi xi} =1$$should also hold ...
10
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
495 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
votes
4answers
2k 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
341 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
votes
3answers
678 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
votes
1answer
436 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
535 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
votes
2answers
88 views

Prove that exist $e_1,\dots,e_n\in\{-1,1\}$ such that $|e_1z_1+{\dots}+e_nz_n|\le\sqrt2$

Let $z_1,\dots,z_n\in\mathbb{C}$ such that $|z_p|\le1$ for every $p\in\{1,\dots,n\}$. Prove that exist $e_1,\dots,e_n\in\{-1,1\}$ such that $|e_1z_1+{\dots}+e_nz_n|\le\sqrt2$. I have firstly ...