Posts: 17799

Threads: 110

Joined: 19th January 2014

Reputation:

**89**
RE: Dividing by variable when solving algebraic equation

27th October 2016, 05:56
(This post was last modified: 27th October 2016, 05:57 by Alex K. )
This kind of game of wandering around the complex plane to pick up to correct solution to a complex square root or a logarithm is super important in physics, by the way. For example, there's a theorem central to scattering theory and quantum theory called the "optical theorem" which tells you that the imaginary part gives you the total scattering cross section (basically the probability of two particles doing something when they meet), and the sign of that imaginary part tells you whether causality is preserved or not, because if you got it wrong, you'd have negative scattering cross section, which would mean the probability for something scattering is negative. The original prescription how to properly deal with paths through the complex plane in particle scattering is by Feynman himself, and is called the Feynman prescription accordingly.

The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psalm 14, KJV revised edition

Posts: 17799

Threads: 110

Joined: 19th January 2014

Reputation:

**89**
RE: Dividing by variable when solving algebraic equation

27th October 2016, 06:48
(This post was last modified: 27th October 2016, 06:50 by Alex K. )
yup, except the i is with the Sin though and Cos is the real part as you can verify if you plug in 0 into the exponential

I simply think of complex numbers as *the* way to do calculations with pairs of real numbers. The laws we use for them is basically the only way they can be if we want the usual rules of adding and multiplications to apply. I find that that makes them appear much less mysterious.

One mystery is that complex numbers seem to be intricately woven into quantum physics. Quantum amplitudes and wave functions are always complex, there doesn't seem to be a way around it...

The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psalm 14, KJV revised edition

Posts: 26869

Threads: 187

Joined: 9th August 2014

Reputation:

**139**
RE: Dividing by variable when solving algebraic equation

27th October 2016, 07:01
Ah yeah of course.

Wow, how strange! I wish I still had the brain power to learn such complex things. Heh. Pun not intended.

Posts: 576

Threads: 21

Joined: 5th September 2016

Reputation:

**28**
RE: Dividing by variable when solving algebraic equation

31st October 2016, 01:06
(This post was last modified: 31st October 2016, 01:08 by Kernel Sohcahtoa. )
(27th October 2016, 06:48)Alex K Wrote: yup, except the i is with the Sin though and Cos is the real part as you can verify if you plug in 0 into the exponential

I simply think of complex numbers as *the* way to do calculations with pairs of real numbers. The laws we use for them is basically the only way they can be if we want the usual rules of adding and multiplications to apply. I find that that makes them appear much less mysterious.

One mystery is that complex numbers seem to be intricately woven into quantum physics. Quantum amplitudes and wave functions are always complex, there doesn't seem to be a way around it...

I must say that when I learned about complex numbers from

Trigonometry,

7th edition by Charles P. McKeague and Mark D. Turner, I was very fascinated with their coverage of them. In particular, I enjoyed the following areas: trigonometric form for complex numbers; products and quotients in trigonometric form (I loved De Moivre's Theorem); roots of a complex number (this was awesome). Hence, IMO, I found complex numbers to be quite wonderful.

"I'm fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason." Klaatu, from The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)