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Chapter 2: Complex Numbers

Chapter 2: Complex


Imaginary numbers
is not a real number, but if you think about it we can do this for any square root of
a negative number. For instance,

So, even if the number isnt a perfect square we can still always reduce the square root of a
negative number down to the square root of a positive number (which we or a calculator can deal
with) times

So, if we just had a way to deal with


we could actually deal with square roots of negative

Well the reality is that, at this level, there just isnt any way to deal with
so instead of
dealing with it we will make it go away so to speak by using the following definition.

Note that if we square both sides of this we get,

It will be important to remember this later on. This shows that, in some way, i is the only
number that we can square and get a negative value.
Using this definition all the square roots above become,

These are all examples of complex numbers.

The natural question at this point is probably just why do we care about this? The answer is that,
as we will see in engineering problems, sometimes we will run across the square roots of
negative numbers and were going to need a way to deal with them. So, to deal with them we
will need to discuss complex numbers.
So, lets start out with some of the basic definitions and terminology for complex
numbers. The standard form of a complex number is:

Chapter 2: Complex Numbers

where a and b are real numbers and they can be anything, positive, negative, zero, integers,
fractions, decimals, it doesnt matter. When in the standard form a is called the real part of
the complex number and b is called the imaginary part of the complex number.
Here are some examples of complex numbers.

The last two probably need a little more explanation. It is completely possible that a or b
could be zero and so in 16i the real part is zero. When the real part is zero we often will call
the complex number a purely imaginary number. In the last example (113) the imaginary part
is zero and we actually have a real number. So, thinking of numbers in this light we can see
that the real numbers are simply a subset of the complex numbers.
The conjugate of the complex number + is the complex number . In other words,
it is the original complex number with the sign on the imaginary part changed. Here are some
examples of complex numbers and their conjugates:

Notice that the conjugate of a real number is just itself with no changes.
Now we need to discuss the basic operations for complex numbers. Well start with addition
and subtraction. The easiest way to think of adding and/or subtracting complex numbers is to
think of each complex number as a polynomial and do the addition and subtraction in the same
way that we add or subtract polynomials.
Example 1
Perform the indicated operation and write the answers in standard form.
(a) (4 + 7) + (5 10)
(b) (4 + 12) (3 15)
(c) 5 (9 + )

Chapter 2: Complex Numbers

Example 2
Multiply each of the following and write the answers in standard form.

7(5 + 2)
(1 5)(9 + 2)
(4 + )(2 + 3)
(1 8i)(1 8i)

Chapter 2: Complex Numbers

Example 3
Write each of the following in standard form.

2 7i
1 2i
6 9i

Chapter 2: Complex Numbers

Complex Equations
If two complex numbers are equal, then their real parts are equal and their imaginary parts are
equal. Hence,
If + = + then a = c and b = d.
Example 4
Solve the following:
(a) 2( + ) = 6 3
(b) (1 + 2)(2 3) = +
(c) (2 3) = +
(d) ( 2) + ( 3) = 2 + 3

Chapter 2: Complex Numbers

Graphical Representation of a Complex Number

Polar Form of a Complex Number

It is convenient sometimes to express a complex number + in a different form. On an
Argand diagram, let OP be a vector + . Let r = length of the vector and the angle made
with OX.
Then 2 = 2 + 2

= 2 + 2





= cos

tan 1


= sin

Since = + , this can be written

= cos + sin i.e. = (cos + sin )
This is called the polar form of the complex number + , where = 2 + 2 (modulus) and
tan 1 (argument)

Example 5
Express the following complex numbers in polar form:
(a) 4 + 3
(b) 3 + 5
(c) 6 + 3
(d) 4 5

Chapter 2: Complex Numbers

Example 6
Express in the form + :
(a) 5(cos 225 + sin 225)
(b) 4 330

Chapter 2: Complex Numbers

Multiplication and Division in Polar Form

Example 7
Determine in polar form:
(a) 825 460
(b) 316 5 44 280


10 12


Chapter 2: Complex Numbers

Example 8
Evaluate in polar form 230 5 45 4120

Chapter 2: Complex Numbers

The Exponential Form of a Complex Number

Eulers formula is given by:

Writing (-) for in equation

e j ( ) cos( ) j sin( )

However cos( ) cos and sin( ) sin


The exponential form is obtained from the polar form. Generally its written as

For example, 430 becomes in 4e

exponential form (Take note: must be in radians)

Example 9
Change 3 4 into (a) polar form (b) exponential form

Example 10
(a) 7.2e j1.5
1 j

(b) 2e

(c) 6e2 j 3
into rectangular form

Chapter 2: Complex Numbers

de Moivres Theorem
Generally written as:

[r ]n r nn

where there are 2 cases, (i) when n is integer (quite easy)

(ii) when n is roots
Example 11
(a) [235]5
(b) (2 j3)6
(c) (7 j5)4

Chapter 2: Complex Numbers

1. Change into polar form if the question given is in Cartesian form
2. Multiply with the n power
3. If n is integer .. Then, done (previous example). If n is roots, then find the solutions




4. Sketch the basic degree, determine whether its on the 1 /2 /3 /4 quadrant

5. After get the first root, use (360/n)
6. Add the = 360/n to get the rest of the roots
Example 12
Determine the two square roots of the complex number (5+j12) in polar and Cartesian forms and
show the roots on Argand diagram

Chapter 2: Complex Numbers

Example 13
Express the roots of (14 j3)


in polar form

Chapter 2: Complex Numbers

Applications of Complex Numbers

Figure (a) is R-L series circuit, VL leads I by 90 (i.e. I lags VL by 90) and the equation is:
Z = R + jXL where XL is inductive reactance, 2fL ohms
Figure (b) is R-C series circuit, VC lags I by 90 (i.e. I leads VC by 90) and the equation is:
Z = R jXC where XC is capacitive reactance, 1/(2fC) ohms

Example 14
Determine the resistance and series inductance (or capacitance) for each of the following
impedance, assuming a frequency of 50Hz:
(a) (4.0 + j7.0)
(b) j20
(c) 15 60

Chapter 2: Complex Numbers

Example 15
An alternating voltage of 240 V, 50 Hz is connected across an impedance of (60 j100) .
(a) the resistance
(b) the capacitance
(c) the magnitude of the impedance and its phase angle
(d) the current flowing

Chapter 2: Complex Numbers

Example 16
For the parallel circuit shown in figure below, determine the value of current, I and its phase
relative to the 240 V supply, using complex numbers