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Date assigned:______________ Precalculus | Packer Collegiate Institute


Complex Numbers, the Complex Plane, and Polar Coordinates

Warm Up: Let z1 2 3i, z2 5 2i, z3 2 5i, z4 3 i be complex numbers. Without a calculator (a) calculate z1 z2 z3 z4 (b) calculate

z1 z2 z3 z 4

(c) calculate

z3 z1 z2 z4

Section 1: Let p 1 4i and q 3 i . Let point P (1, 4) and Q (3,1) being points on a coordinate plate. Use degrees and round to the hundredths. (a) Convert P to polar form.

(a) Multiply pq and write in normal complex number form [that means: a bi form]

(b) Divide form

p and write in normal complex number q

(b) Convert Q to polar form.

Section 2: The Complex Plane There is one more fancy set of graphing that you can do, that you may or may not remember from Algebra II (depending on if you did that). Its graphing on the complex plane. Instead of having two real axes (the x- and y-axes), we have a real axes (the horizontal axis) and an imaginary axis (the vertical axis). On the next page is a complex plane, for your viewing pleasure. On it, plot the four imaginary numbers (and label them with their letter designations): p, q, pq,

p q

Now suspend some disbelief and follow me here The complex plane looks a lot like a regular x-y coordinate plane, right? RIGHT? So for the next five minutes, pretend it is a regular coordinate plane. For each of the four points, find the polar coordinates of them! polar coordinates of p polar coordinates of pq

polar coordinates of q

polar coordinates of

p q

Time to pay some attention Do you see anything interesting about the polar coordinates of pq and stare a bit harder. And harder Only if you need a hint should you look at this footnote.1

p ? If not, q

Your conjecture: When you multiply complex numbers in polar form, the angles _____________ and the distances _____________. When you divide complex numbers in polar form, the angles _____________ and the distances _____________. Well try our conjecture out on some simple complex numbers to see if it works!!! Problem: Let z1 0 i and z2 2 0i . Thus in our polar form, z1 has an angle of ____ and a distance of ____.

z2 has an angle of ____ and a distance of ____.

Plot z1 and z2 , and then using your conjecture above (and no other calculations), plot where you predict z1 z2 and

z1 / z2

z1 z2 has an angle of ____ and a distance of ____.

z1 / z2 has an angle of ____ and a distance of ____.

Now calculate z1 z2 and z1 / z2 : Did they match where you predicted, based on your conjecture?

HINT: Look at the angles for p and q, and then the angle measure for pq and p/q. And separately, look at the r values for p and q, and the r values for pq and p/q.

Section 3: Generalizing our result It seems that it is true! But how do we know our conjecture will always work? Lets prove it. We know that every complex number can be written in polar form, so lets start from there.

Assume we have two complex numbers p and q written in polar form, with some distance from the origin and some angle away from the polar axis. They can be written:

p r1 cos ir1 sin q r2 cos ir2 sin

(1) Do you see why every complex number can be written in this way? Look at the diagram above and convince yourself of this. (Hint: draw a triangle!)

(2) Find pq remember to write it in (a) (b)i form. And simplify it as much as possible! (Hint: Think of some trig formulas!!!)

(3) Whoa! If you havent seen how this proves our conjecture take a moment! (4) Can you prove the result for p / q ?