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# Complex Numbers

## Advanced Level Pure Mathematics

Prepared by K. F. Ngai
Page 1

Advanced Level Pure Mathematics

Algebra

Chapter 10 Complex Numbers

10.1 Introduction 2
10.2 Geometrical Representation of a Complex Number 4
10.3 Polar Form of a Complex Number 4
10.4 Complex conjugate 8
10.5 Geometrical Applications 11
10.6 Transformation 19
10.7 DeMoivre's Theorem and nth Roots of a Complex Number 22

10
1
2
= i

Complex Numbers
Advanced Level Pure Mathematics
Prepared by K. F. Ngai
Page 2

10.1 Introduction

A Fundamental Concepts

(1) A complex number z is a number of the form bi a + where a, b are real numbers and 1
2
= i .

(2) The set C of all complex numbers is defined by
C= { } 1 and , :
2
= e + i R b a bi a
where a is called the real part of z and ) Re(z a = and
b is called the imaginary part of z and ) Im(z b = .

(3) z is said to be purely imaginary if and only if 0 ) Re( = z and 0 ) Im( = z .

(4) When 0 ) Im( = z , the complex number z is real.

N.B. 1 , , 1 ,
2 4 6 4 5 2 2 4 2 3
= = = = = = = = i i i i i i i i i i i i i i .

Example Solve 0 1
2
= + + x x in terms of i .
Solution

B Operations On Complex Numbers

Let bi a z + =
1
and di c z + =
2
. Then
(1) i d b c a z z ) ( ) (
2 1
+ + + = +
(2) i d b c a z z ) ( ) (
2 1
+ =
(3)
2 1
z z = ) )( ( di c bi a + +
= i bc ad bd ac ) ( ) ( + +
(4)
2
1
z
z
=
di c
di c
di c
bi a

+
+
= i
d c
ad bc
d c
bd ac
2 2 2 2
) (
+

+
+
+
, where 0
2
= z .
N.B. (i) i
i
i
i
i
=

= =
1
1
2
;
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(ii)
2
2 2 2 2
2
1 1 1
z
d c d c
di c
di c z +
=
+

=
+
= .
Example If i z 3 2
1
+ = and i z 4 1
2
= , find
(a)
2 1
2z z + (b)
1 2
iz z (c)
2 1
z z (d)
2
1
z
z

Solution

Example Express the following in the form of yi x + , where y x, are real numbers.
(a) ,
2
2
z
z

+
where i z + =1
(b)
u u
u u
2 sin 2 cos 1
2 sin 2 cos 1
i
i
+ +
+

(c)
u u 2 sin 2 cos 1
1
i + +

Solution

Example Find the square roots of the complex number i 4 3+ and i 12 5 .
Solution

Complex Numbers
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Page 4

10.2 Geometrical Representation of a Complex Number

From the definition of complex numbers, a complex number bi a z + = is defined by the two real numbers
a and b . Hence, if we consider the real part a as the coordinate x in the rectangular coordinates
system and the imaginary part b as the , coordinate y then the complex number z can be represented
by the point ) , ( b a on the plane. This plane is called the complex plane or the Argand diagram. On this
plane, real numbers are represented by points on axis x which is called the real axis; imaginary numbers
are represented by points on the axis y which is called the imaginary axis. The number 0 is represented
by the origin O.

Any point ) , ( b a on this plane can be used to represent a complex number bi a z + = .
For example, as shown in Figure, the
3 2 1
, , z z z represents respectively the complex numbers.
i z i z z 3 4 , 2 , 3
3 2 1
= = =

10.3 Polar Form of a Complex Number
A. Polar Form
A complex number bi a z + = can be represented by a vector OP as shown in Figure.

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The length of the vector OP , OP r = , is called the modulus of the complex number z , and it is denoted
by z . The angle between the vector OP and the positive real axis is defined to be the argument or
amplitude of z and is denoted by z arg or amp z .
z arg is infinitely many-valued, that is,
t u k z 2 arg + = , where Z k e .
If z arg lies in the interval t u t s < , we call this value the principal value.

Theorem u cos r a = u sin r b =
2 2
b a r + =
a
b
= u tan
Example Express the complex number i z 12 5
1
+ = and i z 3 3 3
2
+ = in polar form.
Solution

B. Use of Polar Form in Multiplication and Division

Theorem Let ) sin (cos
1 1 1 1
u u i r z + = , ) sin (cos
2 2 2 2
u u i r z + =
(1)
2 1 2 1
z z z z = ,
2 1 2 1
arg arg ) arg( z z z z + = .
Or | | ) sin( ) cos(
2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1
u u u u + + + = i r r z z
(2)
2
1
2
1
z
z
z
z
= ,
2 1
2
1
arg arg ) arg( z z
z
z
=
Or | | ) sin( ) cos(
2 1 2 1
2
1
2
1
u u u u + = i
r
r
z
z

proof

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Example Let i z 3 1
1
+ = and i z 3 3
2
= .
(a) By expressing
1
z and
2
z in polar form, find
2 1
z z and
2
1
z
z
.
(b) Find the modulus and the principal value of the argument of
2
1
2
|
|
.
|

\
|
z
iz

Solution

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Page 7

Example Prove that if 1 = z and 1 = z , then
z
z

+
1
1
is purely imaginary.
Solution

Example Show that
2 1
z z + and
2 1
z z are both real , then either
1
z and
2
z are both real or
2 1
z z = .
Solution

Complex Numbers
Advanced Level Pure Mathematics
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Page 8

10.4 Complex conjugate

A. Complex Conjugate

Definition Let bi a z + = , where R b a e , . The complex conjugate of z , denoted by z is defined as
bi a z =

Theorem Properties of Complex Conjugate
Let z be a complex number. Then
(1) z is real if and only if z z = .
(2) z z = (3)
2
z z z =
(4) z z = (5) z z arg arg = ) 0 ( = z
(6) ) Re( 2 z z z = + (7) ) Im( 2 z i z z =
proof

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Theorem Properties of Complex Conjugate (Continued)
Let
1
z and
2
z be two complex numbers. Then
(1)
2 1 2 1
z z z z + = +
(2)
2 1 2 1
z z z z =
(3)
2
1
2
1
z
z
z
z
=
|
|
.
|

\
|
) 0 (
2
= z

Example Prove that, for any complex numbers
1
z and
2
z .
) ( 2
2
2
2
1
2
2 1
2
2 1
z z z z z z + = + +
Solution

Example Let
i
i
z
+

=
2
1
. Find ) Re(z .
Solution

Example Prove that if 1 = z and 1 = z , then
z
z

+
1
1
is purely imaginary.
Solution

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Example Let v u, and w be complex numbers with modulus equal to 1.
Show that if 0 = + + w v u , then 0 = + + wu vw uv .
Solution

B. Roots of Polynomials with Real Coefficients Occurs in Conjugate Pairs

Let 0 ) (
0 1
1
1
= + + + + =

a x a x a x a x f
n
n
n
n
( 0 =
n
a ) be a polynomial with real coefficients and
degree n ( 2 > ). If bi a z + = ( 0 = b ) is a root of this polynomial, then bi a z = is also a root.

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10.5 Geometrical Applications

Vectors Complex Numbers
Addition
) ( ) ( j d i c j b i a

+ + +
= j d b i c a

) ( ) ( + + +
) ( ) ( di c bi a + + +
= i d b c a ) ( ) ( + + +
Subtraction
) ( ) ( j d i c j b i a

+ +
= j d b i c a

) ( ) ( +
) ( ) ( di c bi a + +
= i d b c a ) ( ) ( +
Scalar multiplication R j b i a j b i a e + = + , ) (

R bi a bi a e + = + , ) (

In the set C of all complex numbers, if bi a z + = is regarded as a vector bj ai v + = ; then as far as the
above three operations are concerned complex numbers behave similar to those of vectors.

Geometrical Meaning of the Difference of Two complex Numbers

Suppose the complex numbers representing the points Z and P on the Argand diagram be yi x z + =
and bi a p + = representing the points Z and P on the Argand diagram respectively.
(1) The complex number p z represents the vector PZ ;
(2) The modulus p z represents the length of PZ;
(3) ) arg( p z represents the angle between the vector PZ and the positive x-axis.

Usually, if the point Z on the Argand diagram is represented by the complex number z , we use ) (z Z to
denote it. Therefore, for any four points ) (
1 1
z Z , ) (
2 2
z Z , ) (
1 1
p P and ) (
2 2
p P on the Argand diagram, the
angle u between the vectors
1 1
Z P and
2 2
Z P , as shown in Figure, is given by
u =
2 1
u u
= ) arg( ) arg(
2 2 1 1
p z p z
= ) arg(
2 2
1 1
p z
p z

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Theorem Angle between Two Line Segments

Let ) ( ), ( ), (
1 1 2 2 1 1
p P z Z z Z and ) (
2 2
p P be four points on the Argand diagram. If u is the angle between
the line segments
1 1
Z P and
2 2
Z P , then
) arg(
2 2
1 1
p z
p z

= u
u is considered to be positive if it is obtained by rotating anti-clockwise the vector
2 2
Z P representing the
denominator to the vector
1 1
Z P representing the numerator.

Collinear

Theorem Let
3 2 1
, , P P P be three distinct points in the Argand diagram representing respectively the
complex numbers
3 2 1
, , z z z . Then
3 2 1
, , P P P are collinear if and only if =

1 2
1 3
z z
z z
,
Where is a non-zero real number.
Proof

Equation of a Circle

Let A be a point in the complex plane and the complex number corresponding to it be a . The equation of
the circle with A as centre and radius r is given by
, r a z =
where z is the complex number corresponding to any point P on the circle.
This equation is then rewritten as

2
a z =
2
r
) )( ( a z a z =
2
r
a a z a z a z z + =
2
r
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) (
2
a a r z a z a z z + + =
This equation is in the form k z a z a z z + + = , where k is a real constant.
Example Find the centre and radius of the circle with equation 4 ) 2 1 ( ) 2 1 ( + + + = z i z i z z in the
complex plane.
Solution

Theorem Given that ) ( ), (
2 2 1 1
z Z z Z and ) ( p P are three points on the Argand diagram. Then
(1)
|
|
.
|

\
|

= Z
p z
p z
PZ Z
2
1
1 2
arg
(2) The three points P Z Z , ,
2 1
are collinear if and only if
p z
p z

2
1
is real.
(3) P Z
1
and P Z
2
are mutually perpendicular if and only if
p z
p z

2
1
is purely imaginary.

Example Let
1
z be a non-zero complex number and i w
2
3
2
1
+ = . If the points B A, and C are
respectively represented by the complex numbers
1 2 1
, wz z z = and
1
2
3
z w z = , show that
ABC A is an equilateral triangle.
Solution

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Example Let
1
z and
2
z be two non-zero complex numbers. Prove that if
2 1 2 1
z z z z = + , then
2
arg arg
2 1
t
t + = n z z , where n is a non-negative integer.
Solution

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Example Suppose the vertices Q P, and R of an equilateral triangle represent the complex numbers
2 1
, z z and
3
z respectively.
(a) Show that
2
3
2
2
2
1 1 3 3 2 2 1
z z z z z z z z z + + = + + .
(b) If
2 1
, z z and
3
z are the roots of the equation , 0 3 3
2 3
= + + + r qz pz z show that
q p =
2
.
Solution

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Theorem More Properties on Moduli
Let
1
z and
2
z be complex numbers. Then
(1) z z z z s s ) Im( , ) Re(
(2)
2 1 2 1
z z z z + s + (Triangle Inequality)

Corollary
n n
z z z z z z + + s + + +
2 1 2 1

Proof This property can be proved by using mathematical induction on n .

Example Let
1
z and
2
z be complex numbers.
Prove that
2 1 2 1
z z z z s
Solution

Loci

When a variable complex number z has to satisfy some specific conditions, there is a set of points in the
Argand diagram representing all the possible values of z . The graph of this set of points is called the locus
of the complex number z .

Example Interpret the following loci in the Argand diagram.
(a) r ib a z = + ) ( ) , , ( R r b a e
(b) 1
1
=
+

z
i z

(c) 2 =
i z
z

Solution

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Example If
i z
i z
+

## is pure imaginary, interpret the locus of z in the Argand diagram.

Solution

Complex Numbers
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Example Let o be a complex constant and k a real constant.
Show that the equation k z z = +o o represents a straight line.
Solution

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10.6 Transformation

Translation or Displacement

Definition Let b be a fixed complex number. The function C z b z z f e + = , ) ( is called a
translation.

Example Given a translation f defined by . , 2 1 ) ( C z i z z f e + =
(a) Plot the point ) 3 2 ( i f + .
(b) Sketch the image of the set { } 1 2 : s + e = z C z S under f .
Solution

Enlargement

Definition Let p be a fixed real number, the function C z pz z f e = , ) ( is called an enlargement.

Example Given two enlargements defined by z z f 2 ) ( = and C z z z g e = ,
2
1
) ( .
(a) Plot the point ) 2 1 ( i f + .
(b) Sketch the image of the (i) ellipse ) (E in Figure A under f .
(ii) triangle (T) in Figure B under g .
Solution

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Rotation

Definition Let u be a fixed real number. The function C z i z z f e + = ), sin (cos ) ( u u is called a
rotation and u is the angle of rotation.

Example Given a rotation . ), 120 sin 120 (cos ) ( C z i z z f e + =
(a) Plot the point ) 2 ( i f + .
(b) Sketch the image of region R in figure under f .
Solution

Example Let
z
z w
1
3 + = . If the locus of z on the plane z is a unit circle centred at the origin, i.e.
1 = z , show that the locus of the points represented by w on the plane w is an ellipse.
Solution

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Example The complex numbers z and w are represented by points P and Q in an Argand
diagram. If w w z = ) 1 ( and P describes the line 0 1 2 = + x , prove that Q describes a
circle whose centre is at the origin.
Solution

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10.7 DeMoivre's Theorem and nth Roots of a Complex Number

For any real number
2 1
,u u , ) sin( ) cos( ) sin )(cos sin (cos
2 1 2 1 2 2 1 1
u u u u u u u u + + + = + + i i i
In particular, if
2 1
u u u = = , we have u u u u 2 sin 2 cos ) sin (cos
2
i i + = + .
For any positive integer n , by induction on n , the result may be generalized as
u u u u n i n i
n
sin cos ) sin (cos + = + ) (-
and this is known as the DeMoivre's Theorem for integral index.

For any negative integer n , we may let m n = . Then

n
i ) sin (cos u u + =
m
i

+ ) sin (cos u u
=
m
i ) sin (cos
1
u u +

=
u u m i m sin cos
1
+

=
u u
u u
m m
m i m
2 2
sin cos
sin cos
+

= ) sin( ) cos( u u m i m +
= u u n i n sin cos +
Hence, ) (- also holds for negative integers n .

For any rational number n . Put
q
p
n = , where Z q p e , and no loss of generality if q is taken as to be
positive. Then

q
n i n ) sin (cos u u + = u u nq i nq sin cos +
= u u p i p sin cos +
=
p
i ) sin (cos u u +
u u n i n sin cos + =
q
p
i ) sin (cos u u +
=
n
i ) sin (cos u u +
In general, for any real number u , positive number r and rational number n , we have
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) sin (cos )] sin (cos [ u u u u n i n r i r
n n
+ = +

The nth roots of a complex number w are the n values of z which satisfy the equation w z
n
= . If we
write u u sin cos i w + = and assuming that the equation is satisfied by | | sin cos i z + = , then
| | u u sin cos ) sin (cos
1
i i
n
+ = + ) (-
| | | | u u n i n i i
n
sin cos ) sin (cos sin cos + = + = +
By equating the real parts and imaginary parts on both sides, we have
| u n cos cos = | u n sin sin =
u t | + = k n 2
n
k u t
|
+
=
2
) (--
where Z k e .
For 1 , , 2 , 1 , 0 = n k , since
n n n
n
n
k
n
u
t
u
t
u t u
+ < +

s
+
s 2
2 2 2

We obtain the n distinct complex roots for ) (- with the values of | obtained in ) (-- .
For 0 < k or 1 > n k , the root obtained is equal to one of the roots mentioned above. Hence, the equation
) (- has only n distinct complex roots.

Theorem DeMoivre's Theorem for Rational Index
Let n be a positive integer and u be a real number. Then
n
k
i
n
k
i
n
u t u t
u u
+
+
+
= +
2
sin
2
cos ) sin (cos
1
, where 1 , , 2 , 1 , 0 = n k

Using the DeMoivre's Theorem, we will have the following properties.
(i)
n m n m
z z z
+
=
(ii)
n m
n
m
z
z
z

=
(iii) 1
0
= z
(iv)
mn n m
z z = ) (

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Application of DeMoivre's Theorem to Trigonometry
A Direct application of DeMoivre's Theorem and the binomial theorem, we are able to express
(i) multiple angles such as u n sin and u n cos in terms of u sin and u cos , and
(ii) powers of u sin and u cos back again into multiple angles.
Example Verify that u u u cos 3 cos 4 3 cos
3
=
< Express u u n n sin , cos in terms of powers of u sin and u cos >
Solution

Example (a) Show that ) cos cos 2 ( sin 4 4 sin
3
u u u u =
(b) Prove u u u
u
u
cos 6 cos 32 cos 32
sin
6 sin
3 5
+ = .
For what values of u that the result is not true?
Solution

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Example Prove that . 1 cos 18 cos 48 cos 32 6 cos
2 4 6
+ = u u u u
Hence show that the roots of the equation 0 3 36 96 64
2 3
= + x x x are )
18
( cos
2
t
, )
18
5
( cos
2
t

and )
18
7
( cos
2
t
, and deduce that
12 )
18
7
( sec )
18
5
( sec )
18
( sec
2 2 2
= + +
t t t
.
Solution

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B If u u sin cos i z + = , we have
, cos 2
1
u = +

z z ) (
2
1
cos
1
+ = z z u ;
, sin 2
1
u i z z =

) (
2
1
sin
1
= z z
i
u .

As u u n i n z
n
sin cos + = and u u n i n z
n
sin cos =

u n z z
n n
cos 2 = +

, ) (
2
1
cos
n n
z z n

+ = u
, sin 2 u n i z z
n n
=

) (
2
1
sin
n n
z z
i
n

= u .

Example Express u
4
cos and u
4
sin in terms of functions of multiple angles.
Solution

Example Prove u u u u sin 10 3 sin 5 5 sin sin 16
5
+ =
Solution

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Example (a) Prove that 10 2 cos 15 4 cos 6 6 cos cos 32
6
+ + + = u u u u .
(b) Prove that u u u u u 6 cos 4 cos 2 2 cos 2 sin cos 32
2 4
+ = .
Solution

Example By expanding , ) 1 (
2n
i + show that

2
cos 2 ) 1 (
2
2
0
t n
C
n n
k
n
k
k
=

=
,
2
sin 2 ) 1 (
2
1 2
1
0
t n
C
n n
k
n
k
k
=
+

Solution

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Example (a) Show that u u u u cos 5 cos 20 cos 16 5 cos
3 5
+ = .
(b) Using (a), or otherwise, solve 0 5 cos 20 cos 16
2 4
= + u u for values of u between
0 and t 2 . Hence find the value of
10
3
cos
10
cos
2 2
t t
.
Solution

The nth roots of a Complex Number

If ) sin (cos u u i r z w
n
+ = = , then )
2
sin
2
(cos
1
n
k
i
n
k
r w
n
t u t u +
+
+
= , 1 , 2 , 1 , 0 = n k .

Example Find the three cube roots of 8 and locate them in the complex plane.
Solution

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Example Find the fifth roots of 1 .
Also, interpret the result in the Argand diagram.
Solution

nth of Unity

Theorem nth of Unity of Their Properties
Let n be a positive integer. Then the equation 1 =
n
z has n distinct roots given by

n
k
i
n
k
z
k
t t 2
sin
2
cos + = ) 1 , , 2 , 1 , 0 ( = n k
These roots are called the nth roots of unity. If we denote one of them by ) 1 (= e , then we have

n
e =1

1 2
1

+ + + +
n
e e e =0

Proof

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Example Let n be a positive integer and
n
i
n
t t
e
2
sin
2
cos + = , find the values of
(a)
1 2
1

+ + + +
n
e e e ,
(b)
1 3 2

n
e e e e ,
(c) ) 1 ( ) 1 )( 1 )( 1 (
1 3 2

n
e e e e
(d) , 1
) 1 ( 3 2 m n m m m
+ + + + + e e e e where Z me .
Solution

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Solution of Equations

Example Solve the equation . 0 1 4 cos 2
4 8
= + u z z When ,
4
0
t
u < < show that the roots occur in
Conjugate pairs.
Solution

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Example Let n be a positive integer. By solving the equation 0 1
2
= +
n
x , show that
[
=

+ = +
n
k
n n
n
k
x x x x
1
1
)
2
1 2
cos 2 ( t
Hence deduce that
1
4
1 2
sin 2
1
2 1 2
=

[
=

n
k
n
n
k
t and
[
=

=
n
1 k
2 2
)
n 4
1 k 2
csc
2
sin 1 ( n cos t
u
u
Solution

Complex Numbers
Advanced Level Pure Mathematics
Prepared by K. F. Ngai
Page 33