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6.6.1 6.6.2 6.6.3 6.6.4 6.6.5 6.6.6 Introduction The circle The half-straight-line More general loci Exercises Answers to exercises

y0 ) in the Argand Diagram). For many practical applications. it was mentioned that the directed line segment joining the point representing a complex number z1 to the point representing a complex number z2 is of length equal to |z2 − z1 | and is inclined to the positive direction of the real axis at an angle equal to arg(z2 − z1 ). In both types.COMPLEX NUMBERS 6 COMPLEX LOCI 6. with radius a.6. we shall assume that z = x + jy denotes a variable complex number (represented by the point (x. y) in the Argand Diagram). such paths (or “loci”) will normally be either straight lines or circles and two standard types of example appear in what follows. whose centre is at the ﬁxed point representing z0 .6 .6. y T z a z0 O E x 1 . while z0 = x0 + jy0 denotes a ﬁxed complex number (represented by the point (x0 .UNIT 6. This observation now has signiﬁcance when discussing variable complex numbers which are constrained to move along a certain path (or “locus”) in the Argand Diagram. 6.1 INTRODUCTION In Unit 6.2 THE CIRCLE Suppose that the moving point representing z moves on a circle.2.

2 . whose centre is the point representing the complex number 3 − j4.3 THE HALF-STRAIGHT-LINE Suppose now that the “directed” straight line segment described from the ﬁxed point representing z0 to the moving point representing z is inclined at an angle θ to the positive direction of the real axis. 6. with radius 7. In cartesian co-ordinates. (x − x0 )2 + (y − y0 )2 = a2 . we may obtain the equivalent equation in terms of cartesian co-ordinates. ILLUSTRATION The equation |z − 3 + j4| = 7 represents a circle. Note: By substituting z = x + jy and z0 = x0 + jy0 in the above equation. That is.Then the distance between these two points will always be equal to a. In other words. namely. |(x − x0 ) + j(y − y0 )| = a. it is the circle with equation (x − 3)2 + (y + 4)2 = 49. |z − z0 | = a and this is the standard equation of the circle in terms of complex numbers.6.

That is. we obtain arg([x − x0 ] + j[y − y0 ]) = θ. in sign as well as value. tan−1 or y − y0 = tan θ(x − x0 ).Then. but it represents only that half of the straight line for which x − x0 and y − y0 correspond. to the real and imaginary parts of a complex number whose argument is genuinely θ and not 180◦ − θ. which is certainly the equation of a straight line with gradient tan θ passing through the point (x0 . y T ¨ ¨¨ z B ¨¨ ¨¨ ¨¨ Ex ¨¨ θ ¨ ¨¨ ¨ ¨¨ O z0 Note: If we substitute z = x + jy and z0 = x0 + jy0 . y0 ). The latter angle would correspond to points on the other half of the straight line joining the two points. 3 y − y0 =θ x − x0 . arg(z − z0 ) = θ and this equation is satisﬁed by all of the values of z for which the inclination of the directed line segment is genuinely θ and not 180◦ − θ.

5). 4 . 6 in which it must be true that x + 1 > 0 and y − 5 < 0 in order that the argument of [x + 1] + j[y − 5] may be a negative acute angle. and below the point (−1.ILLUSTRATION The equation arg(z + 1 − j5) = − π 6 represents the half-straight-line described from the point representing z0 = −1 + j5 to the point representing z = x + jy and inclined to the positive direction of the real axis at an angle of − π . We thus have the half-straight-line with equation y − 5 = tan − π 1 (x + 1) = − √ (x + 1) 6 3 which lies to the right of. π arg([x + 1] + j[y − 5]) = − . 6 y z0 T O q Ex In terms of cartesian co-ordinates.

The secret. which simpliﬁes to 2x2 + 2y 2 + 14x + 13 = 0 or x+ 7 2 2 √ 3 |z + 2|. in such problems is to substitute z = x + jy in order to obtain the cartesian equation of the locus. We have already seen that this method is applicable to the two standard types anyway. The equation arg may be written arg(z − 3) − arg z = π . The equation √ z−1 = 3 z+2 may be written |z − 1| = That is. (x − 1)2 + y 2 = 3[(x + 2)2 + y 2 ].6. + y2 = 23 .6.4 MORE GENERAL LOCI Certain types of locus problem may be encountered which cannot be identiﬁed with either of the two standard types discussed above. 4 7 representing a circle with centre − 2 . ILLUSTRATIONS 1. 0 and radius 2. 4 23 . 4 π z−3 = z 4 5 .

we obtain y y −x x−3 y y = 1. 2 3 √ . 2 2 3 2 9 = . 4 3 3 . 1 + x−3 x On simpliﬁcation. That is. x2 + y 2 − 3x > 0 or x− 3 2 2 9 + y2 > . z unless its real and imaginary parts are both positive.That is. = z x + jy x − jy x2 + y 2 which requires. 2 and radius However. 2 6 . π 4 (x − 3) + jy x − jy x(x − 3) + y 2 + j3 z−3 = . that x(x − 3) + y 2 > 0.0 2 and radius 3 √ 2 which lies outside and radius 3 . therefore. we observe that the original complex number. 4 Taking tangents of both sides and using the trigonometric identity for tan(A − B). cannot have an argument of In fact. z−3 . 2 2 Conclusion The locus is that part of the circle with centre the circle with centre 3 . the equation becomes x2 + y 2 − 3x − 3y = 0 or x− the equation of a circle with centre 3 2 2 2 + y− 3 3 . arg([x − 3] + jy) − arg(x + jy) = π .

Identify the loci whose equations are (a) |z − 3| = 4. 3 3π . z−1 4 7 π . (b) |z − 4 + j7| = 2. Identify the loci whose equations are (a) arg(z + 1) = (b) arg(z − 2 − j3) = 3. 2 .y T this region O E x 6.6. z − j3 (b) arg z+j π =− .5 EXERCISES 1. 2. Identify the loci whose equations are (a) z + j2 = 1.

8 . 1 . 3 (b) A half-straight-line below the point (2.6. −1 2 2 Note: Examples like No. 3(b) are often quite diﬃcult and will not normally be included in the more elementary ﬁrst year courses in mathematics. −7) and radius 2. and above the point (−1.6 ANSWERS TO EXERCISES 1.6. (a) A half-straight-line to the right of. (b) A circle with centre 4. 3) and perpendicular to the real axis. 2 (b) That part of the circle x2 + y 2 = 1 which lies outside the circle with centre 1 and radius √2 and above the straight line whose equation is y = x − 1. (a) A circle with centre (3. 2. 0) inclined at an angle of π to the positive direction of the real axis. (a) The straight line y = 1 . 3. 0) and radius 4.

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