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# Sistem nombor

## I want to take you on an

through the world of
numbers.

## The Counting Numbers

We can use numbers to count: 1, 2, 3, 4, etc

Humans have been using numbers to count with for thousands of years. It is a very
natural thing to do.

## You can have "3 friends",

a field can have "6 cows"
and so on.

So we have:

## And the "Counting Numbers" satisfied people for a long time.

Zero
The idea of zero , though natural to us now, was not natural to early humans ... if there is
nothing to count, how can you count it?

Example: you can count dogs, but you can't count an empty space:

## An empty patch of grass is just an empty patch of grass!

Placeholder

But about 3,000 years ago people needed to tell the difference between numbers
like 4 and 40.Without the zero they look the same!

So they used a "placeholder", a space or special symbol, to show "there are no digits
here"

## So "5 2" meant "502"

52
(5 hundreds, nothing for the tens, and 2 units)

The idea of zero had begun, but it wasn't for another thousand years or so that people
started thinking of it as an actual number.

## But now we can think

"I had 3 oranges, then I ate the 3 oranges, now I have zero oranges...!"

## The Whole Numbers

So, let us add zero to the counting numbers to make a new set of numbers.
But we need a new name, and that name is "Whole Numbers":

## Whole Numbers : {0, 1, 2, 3, ...}

The Natural
Numbers
You may also hear the term "Natural Numbers" ... which can mean:

## the "Counting Numbers": {1, 2, 3, ...}

or the "Whole Numbers": {0, 1, 2, 3, ...}

depending on the subject. I guess they disagree on whether zero is "natural" or not.

Negative Numbers
But the history of mathematics is all about people asking questions, and seeking the

## One of the good questions to ask is

"if you can go one way, can you go the opposite way?"

## The answer is: you get negative numbers:

Now we can go forwards and
backwards as far as we want

"negative"?

## We define zero degrees Celsius (0 C) to be when water

freezes ... but if we get colder we need negative
temperatures.

Negative Cows?

## And in theory you can have a negative cow!

can only find one to hand over to the new owner... you
actually have minus one bull ... you are in debt one
bull!

So negative numbers exist, and we're going to need a new set of numbers to include
them ...

Integers
If we include the negative numbers with the whole numbers, we have a new set of
numbers that are called integers

## Integers: {..., -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, ...}

The Integers include zero, the counting numbers, and the negative of the counting
numbers, to make a list of numbers that stretch in either direction indefinitely.

Fractions

If you have one orange and want to share it with someone, you need
to cut it in half.

## You have just invented a new type of number!

You took a number (1) and divided by another number (2) to come up with half (1/2)

The same thing would have happened if you had four biscuits (4) and needed to share
them among three people (3) ... they would get (4/3) biscuits each.

## A new type of number, and a new name:

Rational Numbers
Any number that can be written as a fraction is called a Rational Number.
So, if "p" and "q" are integers (remember we talked about integers), then p/q is a rational
number.

## p/q = 3/2 = 1.5 is a rational number

The only time this doesn't work is when q is zero, because dividing by zero is
undefined.

## all the integers

and all fractions.

## But There Is More

People didn't stop asking the questions ...and here is one that caused a lot of fuss during
the time of Pythagoras:
If you draw a square (of size "1"), what is the distance
across the diagonal?

## But it is not a number like 3, or five-thirds, or anything like that ...

... in fact you cannot answer that question using a ratio of two integers

## ... and so it is not a rational number (read more here )

Wow! There are numbers that are NOT rational numbers! What do we call them?

## What is "Not Rational" ...? Irrational !

Irrational Numbers
So, the square root of 2 (2) is an irrational number. It is called irrational because it is
not rational (can't be made using a simple ratio of integers). It isn't crazy or anything, just
not rational.

And we know there are many more irrational numbers. Pi () is a famous one.

Useful

## find the diagonal distance across some squares,

to work out lots of calculations with circles (using ),
and more,

## And so, we introduce a new set of numbers ...

Real Numbers
That's right, another name!

## the rational numbers, and

the irrational numbers

## Real Numbers: {x : x is a rational or an irrational number}

In fact a Real Number can be thought of as any point anywhere on the number line:

This only shows a few decimal places (it is just a simple computer)
but Real Numbers can have lots more decimal places!

Any point Anywhere on the number line, that is surely enough numbers!

But there is one more number which has turned out to be very useful. And once again, it
came from a question.
Imagine ...
The question is:

## In other words, what can you multiply by itself to get -1?

11 = 1,
and also (-1)(-1) = 1 (because a negative times a negative gives a
positive)

## This would normally not be possible, but ...

"if you can imagine it, then you can play with it"

So, ...

Imaginary Numbers

... let us just imagine that the square root of minus one exists.

## Example: what is the square root of -9 ?

Answer: (-9) = (9 -1) = (9) (-1) = 3 (-1) = 3i

OK, the answer still involves i, but it gives a sensible and consistent answer.

And i has this interesting property that if you square it (ii) you get -1 which is back to
being a Real Number. In fact that is the correct definition:

## Imaginary Number : A number whose square is a negative Real Number.

And i (the square root of -1) times any Real Number is an Imaginary Number. So these
are all Imaginary Numbers:

3i
-6i
0.05i
i

There are also many applications for Imaginary Numbers, for example in the fields of
electricity and electronics.

## Real vs Imaginary Numbers

Imaginary Numbers were originally laughed at, and so got the name "imaginary". And
Real Numbers got their name to distinguish them from the Imaginary Numbers.

So the names are just a historical thing. Real Numbers aren't "in the Real World" (in fact,
try to find exactly half of something in the real world!) and Imaginary Numbers aren't
"just in the Imagination" ... they are both valid and useful types of Numbers!

## "what if you put a Real Number and an Imaginary Number together?"

Complex Numbers
Yes, if you put a Real Number and an Imaginary Number together you get a new type of
number called a Complex Number and here are some examples:

3 + 2i
27.2 - 11.05i

A Complex Number has a Real Part and an Imaginary Part, but either one could be zero

part of 0):

## 7i is a Complex Number (because it is 0 + 7i)

So the Complex Numbers include all Real Numbers and all Imaginary Numbers, and all
combinations of them.

## From the Counting Numbers through to the Complex Numbers.

There are other types of numbers, because mathematics is a broad subject, but that
should do you for now.

Summary
Here they are again:
Type of Number Quick Description

## Imaginary Numbers Squaring them gives a negative Real Number

Complex Numbers Combinations of Real and Imaginary Numbers

End Notes

History

The history of mathematics is very broad, with different cultures (Greeks, Romans,
Arabic, Chinese, Indians and European) following different paths, and many claims
for "we thought of it first!", but the general order of discovery I discussed here gives a
good idea of it.

## Prime Numbers and Composite

Numbers
A Prime Number can be divided evenly only by 1 or itself.
And it must be a whole number greater than 1.

## Example: 7 can only be divided evenly by 1 or 7, so

it is a prime number.

## But 6 can be divided evenly by 1, 2, 3 and 6 so it is NOT a prime number (it is a

composite number).

Example:

6=23

Like this:

or

## divided into 2 groups divided into 3 groups

But 7 cannot be divided up evenly:

## When a number can be divided

up evenly it is a Composite Number

## So 6 is Composite, but 7 is Prime.

And that explains it ... but there are some more details ...

## Not Into Fractions

We are only dealing with whole numbers here! We are not going to cut things into halves
or quarters.

## Not Into Groups of 1

OK, we could have divided 7 into seven 1s (or one 7) like this:
7=1x7

## But we could do that for any whole number!

So we should also say we are not interested in dividing by 1, or by the number itself.

## It is a Prime Number when it can't be divided evenly by any number

(except 1 or itself).

## Example: is 7 a Prime Number or Composite Number?

We cannot divid
e 7 evenly by 2
(we get 2 lots of
3, with one left over)
We cannot divide 7 evenly by 3 (we get 3 lots of 2, with one left over)
We cannot divide 7 evenly by 4, or 5, or 6.

We can only divide 7 into one group of 7 (or seven groups of 1):
7=1x7

## So 7 can only be divided evenly by 1 or itself:

So 7 is a Prime Number

And also:

## It is a Composite Number when it can be divided evenly

by numbers other than 1 or itself.

Like this:

## 6 can be divided evenly by 2, or by 3, as well as by 1 or 6:

6=16
6=23
So 6 is a Composite Number

## Example: 12 can be divided evenly by 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 12:

1 12 = 12
2 6 = 12
3 4 = 12

So 12 is a Composite Number

## Any whole number greater than 1 is either Prime or Composite

Years ago 1 was included as a Prime, but now it is not:

## 1 is neither Prime nor Composite.

Factors
We can also define a Prime Number using factors.
"Factors" are numbers we
multiply
together to get another number.

And we have:

When the only two factors of a number are 1 and the number,
then it is a Prime Number

It means the same as our previous definition, just stated using factors.

And remember this is only about Whole Numbers (1, 2, 3, ... etc), not fractions or
negative numbers. So don't say "I could multiply times 6 to get 3" OK?

Examples:

3=13
Prime
(the only factors are 1 and 3)

6 = 1 6 or 6 = 2 3
Composite
(the factors are 1,2,3 and 6)

Examples From 1 to 14
Factors other than 1 or the number itself are highlighted :

## Can be Evenly Prime, or

Number
Divided By Composite?

## 1 (1 is not considered prime or composite)

2 1, 2 Prime

3 1, 3 Prime
4 1, 2, 4 Composite

5 1, 5 Prime

6 1, 2, 3, 6 Composite

7 1, 7 Prime

8 1, 2, 4, 8 Composite

9 1, 3, 9 Composite

10 1, 2, 5, 10 Composite

11 1, 11 Prime

12 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 12 Composite

13 1, 13 Prime

14 1, 2, 7, 14 Composite

## ... ... ...

So when there are more factors than 1 or the number itself, the number is Composite.

## Why All the Fuss about Prime and Composite?

Because we can "break apart" Composite Numbers into Prime Number factors.

It is like the Prime Numbers are the basic building blocks of all numbers.

together.

## Here we see it in action:

2 is Prime, 3 is Prime, 4 is
Composite (=22), 5 is Prime,
and so on...

12 = 2 2 3

## In fact we can write it like this using the exponent of 2:

12 = 22 3

And that is why they are called "Composite" Numbers because composite
means "something made by combining things"

## This idea is so important it is called The Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic .

There are many puzzles in mathematics that can be solved more easily when we "break
up" the Composite Numbers into their Prime Number factors. A lot of internet security is
based on mathematics using prime numbers.
Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic

## The Basic Idea

The Basic Idea is that any integer above 1 is either a Prime Number , or can be made
bymultiplying Prime Numbers together. Like this:

10 is 25
11 is Prime,
12 is 223
13 is Prime
14 is 27
15 is 35
16 is 2222
17 is Prime
etc...

## Any integer greater than 1 is either a prime number, or can be written as

a unique product of prime numbers (ignoring the order).

## What does it mean?

Let's build up the ideas piece by piece:

"Any integer greater than 1" means the numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ... etc.

A Prime Number is a number that cannot be evenly divided by any other number
(except 1 or itself).

The first few prime numbers are 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, ... ( and more )

## "...product of prime numbers" means that we multiply prime numbers together.

So, by multiplying prime numbers we can create any other whole number.

Example: 42

## Can we make 42 by multiplying only prime numbers? Let's see:

2 3 7 = 42

Yes, 2, 3 and 7 are prime numbers, and when multiplied together they make 42.
Try some other examples for yourself. How about 30? Or 33?

It is like the Prime Numbers are the basic building blocks of all numbers.

"... unique product of prime numbers" means there is only one (unique!) set of prime
numbers that will work

2 3 7 = 42

## Only 2, 3 and 7 make 42

So there you have it!
Any of the numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ... etc are either prime numbers, or can be
made by multiplying prime numbers together.

And there is only one (unique) set of prime numbers that works in each case.

More examples:

Example: 7

Example: 22

2 11 = 22

## Ignore the Order

Also, at the top I said "ignoring the order". By that I mean:

2 11 = 22 is the same as
11 2 = 22

So don't just rearrange the numbers and say "it isn't unique", OK?
Repeated Numbers
We may have to repeat a prime number!

12 = 2 2 3

12 = 22 3

2 Is a Prime

3 Is a Prime

4 = 22 = 22

5 Is a Prime

6 = 23

7 Is a Prime

8 = 222 = 23
9 = 33 = 32

10 = 25

11 Is a Prime

12 = 223 = 223

13 Is a Prime

14 = 27

... ...

## Why not continue this list to 100 as an exercise ...

Summary
The Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic is like a "guarantee"
that any integer greater than 1
is either prime
or can be made by multiplying prime numbers

and

## Whole Numbers and Integers

Whole Numbers
Whole Numbers are simply the numbers 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, (and so on)

No Fractions!

Counting Numbers
Counting Numbers are Whole Numbers, but without the zero. Because you can't
"count" zero .
So they are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, (and so on).

Natural Numbers
"Natural Numbers" can mean either "Counting Numbers" {1, 2, 3, ...}, or "Whole
Numbers" {0, 1, 2, 3, ...}, depending on the subject.

Integers
Integers are like whole numbers, but they also include negative numbers ... but still no
fractions allowed!

## So, integers can be negative {-1,

-2,-3, -4, -5, }, positive {1, 2,
3, 4, 5, }, or zero {0}

## We can put that all together like

this:
Integers = { ..., -5, -4, -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ... }

## (But numbers like , 1.1 and 3.5 are not integers)

Confusing
Just to be confusing, some people say that whole numbers can also be negative, so that
would make them exactly the same as integers. And sometimes people say that zero is
NOT a whole number. So there you go, not everyone agrees on a simple thing!

My Standard
I must admit that sometimes I say "negative whole number", but usually I stick to:

## Name Numbers Examples

Whole Numbers { 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, } 0, 27, 398, 2345
Counting Numbers { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, } 1, 18, 27, 2061
Integers { ... -5, -4, -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, } -15, 0, 27, 1102

But nobody disagrees on the definition of an integer, so when in doubt say "integer", and
if you only want positive integers, say "positive integers". It is not only accurate, it makes
you sound intelligent. Like this (note: zero is neither positive nor negative):

## Integers = { ..., -5, -4, -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ... }

Negative Integers = { ..., -5, -4, -3, -2, -1 }
Positive Integers = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ... }
Non-Negative Integers = { 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ... } (includes zero, see?)
Other Numbers
For an interesting look at other types of numbers read The Evolution of Numbers

Rational Numbers
A Rational Number is a real number that can be written as a simple fraction (i.e. as
a ratio).

Example:

1.5 is a rational number because 1.5 = 3/2 (it can be written as a fraction)

5 5/1 Yes

## 0.111... 1/9 Yes

2
? NO !
(square root of 2)
Oops! The square root of 2 cannot be written as a simple fraction! And there are many
more such numbers, and because they are not rational they are called Irrational .

## Another famous irrational number is Pi ( ) :

Formal Definition
of Rational
Number
More formally we would say:

## A rational number is a number that can be in the form p/q

where p and q are integers and q is not equal to zero.

p
q

Examples:
p q p/q =

1 1 1/1 1

1 2 1/2 0.5

100
1 1/1000 0.001
0

## 253 10 253/10 25.3

7 0 7/0 No! "q" can't be zero!

## If a rational number is still in the form "p/q" it can be a little difficult to

use, so I have a special page on how to:

## Add, Subtract, Multiply and Divide Rational Numbers

Pythagoras' Student

The ancient greek mathematician Pythagoras believed that all numbers were
rational (could be written as a fraction), but one of his
students Hippasus proved (using geometry, it is thought) that you
could not represent the square root of 2 as a fraction, and so it was irrational.

## However Pythagoras could not accept the existence of irrational numbers,

because he believed that all numbers had perfect values. But he could not
disprove Hippasus'"irrational numbers" and so Hippasus was thrown
overboard and drowned!
Using Rational Numbers
How to add, subtract, multiply and divide rational numbers

A rational number is a number that can be written as a simple fraction (i.e. as a ratio).

Examples:
Number As a Fraction

5 5/1

1.75 7/4

.001 1/1000

0.111... 1/9

In general ...
So a rational number looks like this:

p/q

## How to Add, Subtract, Multiply and Divide

When the rational number is something simple like 3, or 0.001, then just use mental

## A rational number is a fraction , so we could also refer to:

Subtracting Fractions,
Multiplying Fractions and
Dividing Fractions

way.

## You might also like to read Fractions in Algebra .

Multiplication
To multiply two rational numbers multiply the tops and bottoms separately, like this:

Here is an example:
Division
To divide two rational numbers, first flip the second number over (make it a reciprocal)
and then do a multiply like above:

Here is an example:
We will cover Addition and Subtraction in one go, as they are the same method.

Before we add or subtract, the rational numbers should have the same bottom
number (called a Common Denominator ).

## The easiest way to do this is to

Multiply both parts of each number by the bottom part of the other

## And an example of subtraction (the middle step is skipped to make it quicker):

Simplest Form
Sometimes we will have a rational number like:

1
0

1
5

## We can actually divide both top and bottom by 5 to get:

1 =
2
0
1
3
5

Now it is in the "simplest form", which is how most people want it!

## Be Careful With "Mixed Fractions"

We may be tempted to write an Improper Fraction (a fraction that is "top-heavy", i.e.
where the top number is bigger then the bottom number) as a Mixed Fraction :

Mixed

## Improper Fraction Fraction

7/4 1 3/4
=

But for mathematics the "Improper" form (such as 7/4) is actually better.

Because Mixed fractions (such as 1 3/4) can be confusing when you write them down in a
formula, as it can look like a multiplication:
Mixed Fraction: What is: 1 + 2 1/4 ?
Is it: 1 + 2 + 1/4 = 3 1/4 ?
Or is it: 1 + 2 1/4 = 1 1/2 ?

4/4 + 9/4 = 13/4

It is:

## So try to use the Improper Fraction when doing mathematics.

Irrational Numbers
An Irrational Number is a real number that cannot be written as a simple fraction.

Examples:

Rational Numbers

## OK. A Rational Number can

be written as a Ratio of two
integers (ie a simple fraction).
Example: 1.5 is rational, because it can be written as the ratio 3/2

## Example 0.333... (3 repeating) is also rational, because it can be written as the

ratio 1/3

Irrational Numbers

## It is irrational because it cannot be written as a ratio (or fraction),

not because it is crazy!

## Example: (Pi) is a famous irrational number.

= 3.1415926535897932384626433832795 (and more...)

accurate.

## Another clue is that the decimal goes on forever without repeating.

Rational vs Irrational
So you can tell if it is Rational or Irrational by trying to write the number as a simple
fraction.

this:

9.5 = 19/2

## Here are some more examples:

Rational or
Number As a Fraction
Irrational?

## .001 1/1000 Rational

2
? Irrational !
(square root of 2)

Square Root of 2
Let's look at the square root of 2 more closely.

## If you draw a square of size "1",

what is the distance across the diagonal?

## But it is not a number like 3, or five-thirds, or anything like that ...

... in fact you cannot write the square root of 2 using a ratio of two numbers

## Famous Irrational Numbers

Pi is a famous irrational number. People have calculated Pi
to over a quadrillion decimal places and still there is no
pattern. The first few digits look like this:

## The number e ( Euler's Number ) is another famous

irrational number. People have also calculated e to lots of
decimal places without any pattern showing. The first few
digits look like this:

## The Golden Ratio is an irrational number. The first few

digits look like this:

## Many square roots, cube roots, etc are also irrational

numbers. Examples:

3 1.7320508075688772935274463415059
(etc)

99 9.9498743710661995473447982100121
(etc)

## But 4 = 2 (rational), and 9 = 3 (rational) ...

... so not all roots are irrational.

## Have a look at this:

= 2 is irrational
But 2 2 = 2 is rational

## History of Irrational Numbers

Apparently Hippasus (one of Pythagoras' students) discovered irrational numbers when
trying to represent the square root of 2 as a fraction (using geometry, it is thought).
Instead he proved you couldn't write the square root of 2 as a fraction and so it
was irrational.

However Pythagoras could not accept the existence of irrational numbers, because he
believed that all numbers had perfect values. But he could not
disprove Hippasus' "irrational numbers" and so Hippasus was thrown overboard and
drowned!

## Is this really true?

The idea is that 0.9 recurring
(0.999..., with the digits going on forever)
is actually equal to 1
(Here we write 0.999... as notation for 0.9 recurring,
the correct way is to put a little dot above the 9, or a line on top like this: 0.9)

Does 0.999... = 1 ?

Let X = 0.999...
Then 10X = 9.999...

## Subtract X from each side to give us:

9X = 9.999... - X

## but we know that X is 0.999..., so:

9X = 9.999... - 0.999...
or: 9X = 9

X=1

## Yes, it does, but from our calculations X is also equal to 1. So:

X = 0.999... = 1

So 0.999... = 1

Does anyone disagree with this? Let me know on the Math is Fun Forum.
Real Numbers
Real Numbers are just numbers like:

In fact:

## Real Numbers include:

Whole Numbers (like 0,1,2,3,4, etc)

## Rational Numbers (like 3/4, 0.125, 0.333..., 1.1, etc )

Irrational Numbers (like , 3, etc )

## So ... what is NOT a Real Number?

Imaginary Numbers like -1 (the square root of minus 1)
are not Real Numbers

## Infinity is not a Real Number

And there are also some special numbers that mathematicians play with that aren't Real
Numbers.

## Because they are not Imaginary Numbers .

The Real Numbers did not have a name before Imaginary Numbers were thought of.
They got called "Real" because they were not Imaginary. That is the actual answer!

## The Real Number Line

The Real Number Line is like a geometric line .

A point is chosen on the line to be the "origin", points to the right will be positive, and
points to the left will be negative.

## A distance is chosen to be "1",

then whole numbers can be
marked off: {1,2,3,...}, and also
in the negative direction: {-1,-2,-
3, ...}

## The numbers could be whole (like 7)

or rational (like 20/9)
or irrational (like )

## They are not called "Real"

because they show the value of
something real.
In mathematics we like our numbers pure, when we write 0.5 we mean exactly half, but
in the real world half may not be exact (try cutting an apple exactly in half).

Imaginary Numbers

## An Imaginary Number, when squared, gives a negative result.

Try
Let's try squaring some numbers to see if we can get a negative result:

22=4

00=0

## No luck! Always positive, or zero.

It seems like we cannot multiply a number by itself to get a negative answer ...

## ... but imagine that there is such a number (call it i for

imaginary) that could do this:

i i = -1
Would it be useful, and what could we do with it?

## ... by simply accepting that i exists we can solve things

that need the square root of a negative number.

## (see how to simplify square roots )

Hey! that was interesting! The square root of -9 is simply the square root of +9, times i.

In general:

(-x) = ix

## So long as we keep that little "i" there to remind us that we still

need to multiply by -1 we are safe to continue with our solution!

## Using i we can also come up with new solutions:

Example: Solve x 2 = -1
Using Real Numbers there is no solution, but now we can solve it:

Answer: x = -1 = i

## Unit Imaginary Number

The "unit" Imaginary Number (the equivalent of 1 for Real Numbers)
is (-1)(the square root of minus one).

## In mathematics we use i (for imaginary) but in electronics they

use j (because "i" already means current, and the next letter after i is j).

## Examples of Imaginary Numbers

i 12.38i -i 3i/4 0.01i -i/2

## Imaginary Numbers are not "Imaginary"

Imaginary Numbers were once thought to be impossible, and so they were called
"Imaginary" (to make fun of them).

But then people researched them more and discovered they were
actually useful and importantbecause they filled a gap in mathematics ... but the
"imaginary" name has stuck.
And that is also how the name " Real Numbers " came about (real is not imaginary).

## Imaginary Numbers are Useful

Here are 2 cases where they are useful:

Electricity

## AC (Alternating Current) Electricity changes between positive and

negative in a sine wave .

## When we combine two AC currents they may not match properly,

and it can bevery hard to figure out the new current.

But using imaginary numbers and real numbers together makes it a lot easier to do the
calculations.

And the result may be "Imaginary" current, but it could still hurt you!

give results that include
imaginary numbers
Interesting Property
The Unit Imaginary Number, i, has an interesting property. It "cycles" through 4 different
values each time we multiply:

i i = -1,
then -1 i = -i,
then -i i = 1,

## then 1 i = i (back to i again!)

So we have this:

i = -1 i2 = -1 i3 = --1 i4 = 1 i5 = -1 ...etc

Example What is i 6 ?

i6 = i4 i2
= 1 -1
= -1

Conclusion

## The unit imaginary number, i,

equals the square root of minus 1
Imaginary Numbers are not "imaginary", they really exist, and you may need to use them
one day.

Complex Numbers
A Complex Number is a combination of:

a Real Number

## when we square a positive number we get a positive result, and

when we square a negative number we also get a positive result (because a
negative times a negative gives a positive)

But just imagine there is such a number, because we will need it!

The "unit" imaginary number (like 1 for Real Numbers) is i, which is the square root
of -1

## (Read Imaginary Numbers to find out more.)

A Combination
So we have this definition:

Number

Examples:

## 1+i 39 + 3i 0.8 - 2.2i -2 + i 2 + i/2

Can a Number be a Combination of Two Numbers?

## We do it with fractions all the time. The fraction 3/8 is a number

made up of a 3 and an 8. We know it means "3 of 8 equal parts".

Well, a Complex Number is just two numbers added together (a Real and an Imaginary
Number).

## Either Part Can Be Zero

So, a Complex Number has a real part and an imaginary part.

But either part can be 0, so all Real Numbers and Imaginary Numbers are also Complex
Numbers.

Complex
Real Part Imaginary Part
Number

3 + 2i 3 2

5 5 0

-6i 0 -6

Complicated?

## Complex does not mean complicated.

It means the two types of numbers, real and imaginary, together form
acomplex, just like a building complex (buildings joined together).

## Example: (3 + 2i) + (1 + 7i) = (4 + 9i)

Multiplying
To multiply complex numbers:

## Each part of the first complex number gets multiplied by

each part of the second complex number

Just use "FOIL", which stands for "Firsts, Outers, Inners, Lasts" (see Binomial
Multiplication for more details):

Firsts: a c
Outers: a di
Inners: bi c

Lasts: bi di

Like this:

## Example: (3 + 2i)(1 + 7i)

(3 + 2i)(1 + 7i) = 31 + 37i + 2i1+ 2i7i
= 3 + 21i + 2i + 14i2
= 3 + 21i + 2i - 14 (because i2 = -1)
= -11 + 23i

And this:

Example: (1 + i) 2

(1 + i)2 = (1 + i)(1 + i) = 11 + 1i + 1i + i2
= 1 + 2i - 1 (because i2 = -1)
= 0 + 2i

## (a+bi)(c+di) = ac + adi + bci + bdi2 FOIL method

= ac + adi + bci - bd (because i2=-1)
= (ac - bd) + (ad + bc)i (gathering like terms)

## And there we have the (ac - bd) + (ad + bc)i pattern.

This rule is certainly faster, but if you forget it, just remember the FOIL method.

Let us try i2
Just for fun, let's use the method to calculate i2

Example: i 2

## i can also be written with a real and imaginary part as 0 + i

i2 = (0 + i)2 = (0 + i)(0 + i)
= (00 - 11) + (01 + 10)i
= -1 + 0i
= -1

## So it all works nicely!

Complex Plane
We can also put complex numbers on a Complex Plane .

## The Imaginary part goes up-down

Conjugates
A conjugate is where we change the sign in the middle like this:
A conjugate is often written with
a bar over it:

Example:

5 - 3i = 5 + 3i

Dividing
The conjugate is used to help division.

The trick is to multiply both top and bottom by the conjugate of the bottom.

2 + 3i

4 - 5i

## 2 + 3i 4 + 5i 8 + 10i + 12i + 15i2

=
4 - 5i 4 + 5i 16 + 20i - 20i - 25i2

## Now remember that i2 = -1, so:

8 + 10i + 12i - 15
=
16 + 20i - 20i + 25

Add Like Terms (and notice how on the bottom 20i - 20i cancels out!):

-7 + 22i
=
41

-7 22
= + i
41 41

DONE!

## Multiplying By the Conjugate

We can save a little bit of time, though.

## The middle terms cancel out!

And since i2=-1 we ended up with this:
(4 - 5i)(4 + 5i) = 42 + 52

## In fact we can write a general rule like this:

(a + bi)(a - bi) = a2 + b2

Example: What is

2 + 3i

4 - 5i

## 2 + 3i 4 + 5i 8 + 10i + 12i + 15i2 -7 + 22i

= =
4 - 5i 4 + 5i 16 + 25 41

-7 22
= + i
41 41

DONE!
Mandelbrot Set

## The beautiful Mandelbrot Set (pictured here)

is based on Complex Numbers.

## It is a plot of what happens when we take the

simple equation z2+c (both complex
numbers) and feed the result back into z time
and time again.

## The color shows how fast z2+c grows, and

black means it stays within a certain range.

Mandelbrot set

## And here is the center of the previous one

zoomed in even further:
Complex Plane
No, not this complex plane ...
... this complex plane:

It is
a plane f
or compl
ex numb
ers!

## Real and Imaginary make Complex

A Complex Number is a combination of a Real Number and an Imaginary Number.

## Let me explain ...

A Real Number is the type of number you are used to dealing with every
day.

## Examples: 12.38, , 0, -2000

With real numbers we can do things like squaring (multiply a number by itself):

22=4

## But what can we square to get -4 (minus 4)?

? ? = -4
Well, -2 won't work because multiplying negatives gives a positive : (-2) (-2) =
+4, and no other Real Number works either.

## So it seems that mathematics is incomplete ...

... but we can fill the gap by imagining there is a number that, when multiplied by itself,
gives -1 (call it i for imaginary):

i2 = -1

## Now, we can do this:

2i 2i = 4i2 = 4 (-1) = -4

500i

And together:

Number

## The Complex Plane

You may be familiar with the number line :
But where do we put a complex number like 3+4i ?

Let's have the real number line going left-right as usual, and an imaginary number line
going up-down:

It is placed

## and 4 units up (the imaginary axis).

And here is 4 - 2i :

It is placed

## complex because it is a combination of real and imaginary,

plane because it is like a geometric plane (2 dimensional).

## Whole New World

Now we can bring the idea of a plane ( Cartesian coordinates , Polar
coordinates , Vectors and more) to complex numbers, and we open up a whole new
world of numbers that are more complete and elegant, as you will see.
Complex Number as a Vector
You can think of a complex number as being a vector .

This is a vector.
It has magnitude (length) and
direction.

as a Vector:

## (3 + 5i) + (4 3i) = 3 + 4 + (5 3)i = 7 + 2i

Polar Form
Again, here is the complex number 3 + 4i

As a Vector:

## Here it is again (still as a vector), but

In polar form:

So the complex number 3 + 4i can also be shown as distance (5) and angle (0.927

## r = (x2 + y2) = (32 + 42) = 25 = 5

= tan-1 (y/x) = tan-1 (4/3) = 0.927 (to 3 decimals)

We can also take Polar coordinates and convert them to Cartesian coordinates:
x = r cos( ) = 5 cos( 0.927 ) = 5 0.6002... = 3 (close enough)
y = r sin( ) = 5 sin( 0.927 ) = 5 0.7998... = 4 (close enough)

## And "cos + i sin " gets shortened to "cis "

So 3 + 4i = 5 cis 0.927

Summary

## real numbers running left-right and

imaginary numbers running up-down.

## To convert from Cartesian to Polar Form:

r = (x2 + y2)
= tan-1 ( y / x )

x = r cos( )
y = r sin( )

## Common Number Sets

There are sets of numbers that are used so often that they have special names and
symbols:

Symb Description
ol

Natural Numbers

The whole numbers from 1 upwards. (Or from 0 upwards in some fields of

Integers

## The whole numbers, {1,2,3,...}

negative whole numbers {...,
-3,-2,-1} and zero {0}. So the
set is {..., -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2,
3, ...}

(Z is for the German "Zahlen", meaning numbers, because I is used for the set of
Rational Numbers

The numbers you can make by dividing one integer by another (but not dividing by
zero). In other words fractions . Read More ->

## Examples: 3/2 (=1.5), 8/4 (=2), 136/100 (=1.36), -1/1000 (=-0.001)

Irrational Numbers

Any real number that is not a Rational Number. Read More ->

Algebraic Numbers

## Any number that is a solution to a polynomial equation with rational coefficients.

Includes all Rational Numbers, and some Irrational Numbers. Read More ->

Transcendental Numbers

## Examples of transcendental numbers include and e. Read More ->

Real Numbers
All Rational and Irrational numbers. They can also be positive, negative or zero.

## Also see Real Number Properties

A simple way to think about the Real Numbers is: any point anywhere on the number
line (not just the whole numbers).

## Examples: 1.5, -12.3, 99, 2,

They are called "Real" numbers because they are not Imaginary Numbers. Read More
->

Imaginary Numbers

## Numbers that when squared give a negative result.

If you square a real number you always get a positive, or zero, result. For example
22=4, and (-2)(-2)=4 also, so "imaginary" numbers can seem impossible, but they are
still useful!

## Examples: (-9) (=3i), 6i, -5.2i

The "unit" imaginary numbers is (-1) (the square root of minus one), and its symbol
is i, or sometimes j.

i2 = -1

Complex Numbers

A combination of a real and an imaginary number in the form a + bi, where a andb are
real, and i is imaginary.

The values a and b can be zero, so the set of real numbers and the set of imaginary
numbers are subsets of the set of complex numbers.

## Examples: 1 + i, 2 - 6i, -5.2i, 4

Illustration
Natural numbers are a subset of
Integers

Numbers

the Real Numbers

## Combinations of Real and

Imaginary numbers make up the
Complex Numbers.