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Physics 5013 Mathematical Methods of Physics

Physics 5013 Mathematical Methods of Physics

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12/23/2013

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Chapter 1
Review of ComplexNumbers
Complex numbers are defined in terms of the
imaginary unit 
,
i
, having theproperty
i
2
=
1
.
(1.1)A general
complex number 
has the form
z
=
x
+
iy,
(1.2)where
x
,
y
are real numbers. We also often write
z
= Re
z
+
i
Im
z,
(1.3)where Re
z
is the “real part of 
z
,” and Im
z
is the “imaginary part of 
z
.” Complexnumbers are added and multiplied just like real numbers: If 
z
1
=
x
1
+
iy
1
,
(1.4a)
z
2
=
x
2
+
iy
2
,
(1.4b)then
z
1
+
z
2
= (
x
1
+
x
2
) +
i
(
y
1
+
y
2
)
,
(1.5a)
z
1
z
2
=
x
1
x
2
+
iy
1
x
2
+
ix
1
y
2
+
i
2
y
1
y
2
=
x
1
x
2
y
1
y
2
+
i
(
x
1
y
2
+
x
2
y
1
)
.
(1.5b)The
complex conjugate
of a number is obtained by reversing the sign of 
i
: If 
z
=
x
+
iy
, we define the complex conjugate of 
z
by
z
=
x
iy.
(1.6)1 Version of August 22, 2011
 
2 Version of August 22, 2011
CHAPTER1. REVIEWOFCOMPLEXNUMBER
E T
y
axisImaginary axis
x
axisReal axis
z
-plane
          
xyrθ
Figure 1.1: Geometrical interpretation of a complex number
z
=
x
+
iy
.(Sometimes the notation ¯
z
is used for the complex conjugate of 
z
.) Note thatRe
z
=
z
+
z
2
,
(1.7a)Im
z
=
z
z
2
i.
(1.7b)Note also that
zz
=
x
2
+
y
2
(1.8)is purely real and non-negative, so we define the
modulus
, or
magnitude
, or
absolute value
of 
z
by
|
z
|
=
zz
=
 
(Re
z
)
2
+ (Im
z
)
2
,
(1.9)where the positive square root is implied.We give a simple geometrical interpretation to complex numbers, by thinkingof them as two-dimensional vectors, as sketched in Fig. 1.1. Here the length of the vector is the magnitude of the complex number,
r
=
|
z
|
,
(1.10)and the angle the vector makes with the real axis is
θ
, wheretan
θ
=
y/x
; (1.11)the quadrant
θ
lies in is determined by the sign of 
x
and
y
. We call
θ
= arg
z
(1.12)the
argument 
or
phase
of 
z
. The above geometrical picture is sometimes calledan
Argand diagram 
.
 
3 Version of August 22, 2011
E T
y
axis
x
axis
z
-plane
          
rθz
=
x
+
iy
 d  d  d  d  d 
r
θz
=
x
iy
Figure 1.2: Geometrical interpretation of complex conjugation.There is an arbitrariness in the choice of the argument
θ
of a complex number
z
, for one can always add an arbitrary multiple of 2
π
to
θ
without changing
z
,
θ
θ
+ 2
πn, n
an integer
, z
z.
(1.13)It is often convenient to define a single-valued argument function arg
z
. Byconvention, the
principal value
of arg
z
is that phase angle which satisfies theinequality
π <
arg
z
π.
(1.14)(Note that radian measure is always employed.) For every
z
there is a uniquearg
z
lying in this range.The geometrical significance of complex conjugation is shown in Fig. 1.2.Complex conjugation corresponds to reflection in the
x
-axis.From the Argand diagram we can write down the “polar representation” of a complex number,
z
=
r
cos
θ
+
ir
sin
θ
=
r
(cos
θ
+
i
sin
θ
)
,
(1.15)so if we have two complex numbers,
z
1
=
r
1
(cos
θ
1
+
i
sin
θ
1
)
,
(1.16a)
z
2
=
r
2
(cos
θ
2
+
i
sin
θ
2
)
,
(1.16b)the product is
z
1
z
2
=
r
1
r
2
{
cos
θ
1
cos
θ
2
sin
θ
1
sin
θ
2
+
i
[cos
θ
1
sin
θ
2
+ cos
θ
2
sin
θ
1
]
}
=
r
1
r
2
[cos(
θ
1
+
θ
2
) +
i
sin(
θ
1
+
θ
2
)]
.
(1.17)

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