HSC Higher Mathematics 2nd Paper Note 3rd Chapter Complex Numbers. A complex number is a number that can be expressed in the form a + bi, where a and b are real numbers, and i is a solution of the equation x2 = −1, which is called an imaginary number because there is no real number that satisfies this equation. For the complex number a + bi, a is called the real part, and b is called the imaginary part. Despite the historical nomenclature “imaginary”, complex numbers are regarded in the mathematical sciences as just as “real” as the real numbers and are fundamental in many aspects of the scientific description of the natural world.

## HSC Higher Mathematics 2nd Paper Note 3rd Chapter Complex Numbers

The complex number system can be defined as the algebraic extension of the ordinary real numbers by an imaginary number i. This means that complex numbers can be added, subtracted, and multiplied, as polynomials in the variable I, with the rule i2 = −1 imposed. Furthermore, complex numbers can also be divided by nonzero complex numbers. Overall, the complex number system is a field.

Most importantly the complex numbers give rise to the fundamental theorem of algebra: every non-constant polynomial equation with complex coefficients has a complex solution. This property is true of the complex numbers, but not the reals. The 16th-century Italian mathematician Gerolamo Cardano is credited with introducing complex numbers in his attempts to find solutions to cubic equations.

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