Saturday, February 03, 2007

0 Complex Numbers

Last week I had to give a presentation for calculus on any topic we'd covered.. The one I gave on : Complex numbers. I first came across complex numbers in Vikram Seth's 'A suitable boy', just before Lata meets Kabir. We were allowed any sort of presentation, I chose powerpoint. lol.. my reasons:

1) Can give more attention to the audience
2) Not much work to do during the presentation.
3) fun :D yessss!

So anyways the presentation went really well, Everyone else gave excellent presentations. In the beginning I was nervous, and could feel a slight change in my voice, however towards the end I was beginning to enjoy it.

Now abit on complex numbers...

A question goes like this:

If the square root of +1 is both +1 and -1, then what is the square root of -1?

13th century mathematicians would have no answer for this insead they would raise their hands skywards and pray for divine intervention.

But then everything changed, in 1527 an italian mathematician-Rafael Bombelli defined imaginary numbers, √-1 (the square root of -1) is i. i is an imaginary number.

A complex number is a combination of a real* and imaginary number. It is in the form a+ib.

*The real numbers include both rational numbers, such as 35 and −2/129, and irrational numbers, such as π and the square root of 2