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# Do we know how to teach the mathematics of complex numbers

Aref Hamawi, Kunskapens Hus 511 80 Kinna, Sweden

Abstract
The mathematics of complex numbers is of special importance and has a great application.
Teachers and other mathematics educators should know about the deep meaning of complex
numbers and their use. Unfortunately, many pupils carry out the mathematics without
knowing what they are doing. They actually just copy the procedure rather than realizing the
way those numbers work. Accepting the idea of the complex numbers opens many
possibilities towards new concepts and making things much more fun. The most fundamental
concept that should be know about imaginary and complex numbers is that numbers in
general are not scalars any more rather they are vectors having both magnitude and direction.

Introduction

The idea of complex numbers started when mathematicians dealing with quadratic equations
faced such equations that are not solvable within the vicinity of the real numbers. In other
words, those functions have curves that do not intersect the x-axis. There is no such known
number(s) that can be inserted in the equation x2 + 2x + 2 = 0 so that the answer will be zero.
This also leads to the conclusion that the equation is not factorizable. The equation also means
the following question: what are the two numbers which there sum is two there product is also
two. The lack of solution for such an equation is simply because the discreminant is negative.
By introducing the square root of a negative number then it will make possible to have a
solution or to have the curve cutting the x-axis, figure 1 below. All equations of type x2 + a
such that a > 0 must then have a solution regarded that the x-axis in the x-y plane must be
only imaginary.
y (Re)

(-i√a, 0) (i√a, o)

x (Im)

When knowing that i = √(-1) which is the fifth fundamental number in mathematics then it is
very interesting to show that upon combining all the five fundamental numbers then one gets
the most beautiful equation in mathematics;

eiπ + 1 = 0