There are some polynomial equations with real coefficients that don’t have real solutions. Examples of these are , . Mathematically we express this by saying that is not an algebraically closed field.
In to solve that kind of equation, we have to “extend” our number system by adjoining a number that has the property that . In this way we extend the field of real numbers to a field whose elements are called . A formal construction can be seen at [http://planetmath.org/node/471complex numbers] (cf. the field adjunction). The field is algebraically closed: every polynomial with complex coefficients, and especially every polynomial with real coefficients, (and with positive degree) has at least one complex zero (which might be real as well).
Real numbers are a subset of complex numbers, and a real number can be written also as . Thus, a complex number is real if and only if its imaginary part is equal to zero.
By writing as we can also look at complex numbers as ordered pairs. With this notation, real numbers are the pairs of the form .
The rules of addition and multiplication for complex numbers are:
We have also the negatives (http://planetmath.org/OppositeNumber): and the multiplicative inverses:
Seeing complex numbers as ordered pairs also let us give the structure of vector space (over ). The norm of is defined as
Then we have where is the conjugate of and it’s defined as . Thus we can also characterize real numbers as those complex numbers such that .
Conjugation obeys the following rules:
The real and imaginary parts of a complex number may be expressed with the conjugate as
The ordered-pair notation lets us visualize complex numbers as points in the plane; this is called the complex plane, often also the -plane. As well, we can also describe complex numbers with polar coordinates.
Using this representation, we see that the real numbers are located at the abscissa (horizontal) axis, which is then known as the real axis. The ordinate (vertical) axis is known as the imaginary axis, since it consists of all complex numbers with real part equal to zero.
If is represented in polar coordinates as we call the of and its argument.
If , then and . So we have the following expression, called the polar form of complex number :
Multiplication of complex numbers can be done in a very neat way using polar coordinates:
Remark. The adjective complex qualifying such nouns as “number”, “root” and “solution” is in the English ambiguous; it may mean that it is a question of a element belonging to either or to , i.e. the complex may either have its basic sense or mean ‘non-real’.
|Date of creation||2013-03-22 11:57:12|
|Last modified on||2013-03-22 11:57:12|
|Last modified by||drini (3)|