# COMPLEX NUMBERS

:
DE MOIVRE’S THEOREM, POWERS,
& ROOTS

ECE50 1
Number systems

The natural numbers ℕ. These numbers are the positive (and
zero) whole numbers 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, …. If two such numbers
are added or multiplied, the result is again a natural number.

The integers ℤ. These numbers are the positive and negative
whole numbers …, −5, −4, −3, −2, −1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, …. If two
such numbers are added, subtracted, or multiplied, the result
is again an integer.

The rational numbers ℚ. These numbers are the positive and
negative fractions p/q where p and q are integers and q ≠ 0. If
two such numbers are added, subtracted, multiplied, or
divided (except by 0), the result is again a rational number.

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The real numbers ℝ. These numbers are the positive and
negative infinite decimals (including terminating decimals that
can be considered as having an infinite sequence of zeros on
the end). If two such numbers are added, subtracted,
multiplied, or divided (except by 0), the result is again a real
number.

The complex numbers ℂ. These numbers are of the form x + iy
where x and y are real numbers and i = √(−1) . (For further
explanation, see the section Complex analysis.) If two such
numbers are added, subtracted, multiplied, or divided (except
by 0), the result is again a complex number.
ECE50 3
Complex Analysis

 In the 18th century a far-reaching generalization of analysis was
discovered, centred on the so called imaginary number i = √(−1) . In
engineering this number is usually denoted by j.

 The name imaginary arises because squares of real numbers are always
positive. In consequence, positive numbers have two distinct square
roots—one positive, one negative. Zero has a single square root—namely,
zero. And negative numbers have no “real” square roots at all.

 The resulting objects (imaginary numbers) are NUMBERS in the sense that
arithmetic and algebra can be extended to them in a simple and natural
manner; they are IMAGINARY in the sense that their relation to the
physical world is less direct than that of the real numbers. Numbers
formed by combining real and imaginary components, such as 2 + 3i, are
said to be COMPLEX (meaning composed of several parts rather than
complicated).
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Formal definition of Complex Numbers
The modern approach is to define a complex number x + iy as
a pair of real numbers (x, y) subject to certain algebraic
operations.

Thus one wishes to add or subtract, (a, b) ± (c, d), and to
multiply, (a, b) × (c, d), or divide, (a, b)/(c, d), these quantities.

This is a formal way to set up a situation which, in effect,
ensures that one may operate with expressions x + iy using all
the standard algebraic rules but recalling when necessary that
i
2
may be replaced by −1. For example,

(1 + 3i)
2
= 1
2
+ 2∙3i + (3i)
2
= 1 + 6i + 9i
2
= 1 + 6i − 9 = −8 + 6i

Real numbers can be described by a single number line, with
negative numbers to the left and positive numbers to the
right, the complex numbers require a number plane with two
axes, real and imaginary.
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Powers and Roots of Complex Numbers
• Powers of Complex numbers
) 2 sin 2 (cos
)] sin( ) [cos(
)] sin (cos ) sin (cos [ )] sin (cos [
2
2
u u
u u u u
u u u u u u
i r
i r r
i r i r i r
+ =
+ + + · =
+ + = +
In the same way,
) 3 sin 3 (cos )] sin (cos [
3 3
u u u u i r i r + = +
De Moivre’s Theorem

De Moivre’s Theorem
If r(cos u + i sinu ) is a complex number, and n is any
real number, then

In compact form, this is written

). sin (cos )] sin (cos [ u u u u n i n r i r
n n
+ = +
). cis ( ] cis [ u u n r r
n n
=
Finding a Power of a Complex Number
Example Find and express the result in
rectangular form.

Solution
8
) 3 1 ( i +
3 128 128
2
3
2
1
256
) 120 sin 120 (cos 256
) 480 sin 480 (cos 256
)] 60 8 sin( ) 60 8 [cos( 2
)] 60 sin 60 (cos 2 [ ) 3 1 (
8
8 8
i
i
i
i
i
i i
+ ÷ =
|
.
|

\
|
+ ÷ =
+ =
+ =
· + · =
+ = +
 
 
 
 
Convert to
trigonometric form.
480 : and 120 : are
coterminal.
cos120 : = -1/2;
sin120 : =
2 / 3
Rectangular form
Roots of Complex Numbers

• To find three complex cube roots of
8(cos 135: + i sin 135 :), for example, look for a
complex number, say r(cos o + sin o), that will satisfy
nth Root
For a positive integer n, the complex number a+bi is
the nth of the complex number x + yi if
(a + bi)
n
= x + yi.

). 135 sin 135 (cos 8 )] sin (cos [
3  
i i r + = + o o
By De Moivre’s Theorem,

becomes

Therefore, we must have r
3
= 8, or r = 2, and

). 135 sin 135 (cos 8 )] sin (cos [
3  
i i r + = + o o
). 135 sin 135 (cos 8 ) 3 sin 3 (cos
3  
i i r + = + o o
integer. any ,
3
360 135
integer any , 360 135 3
k
k
k k
· +
=
· + =
 
 
o
o
Roots of Complex Numbers
Let k take on integer values 0, 1, and 2.

It can be shown that for integers k = 3, 4, and 5, these
values have repeating solutions. Therefore, all of the cube roots
(three of them) can be found by letting k = 0, 1, and 2.

 

 

 
285
3
720 135
, 2
165
3
360 135
, 1
45
3
0 135
, 0
=
+
= =
=
+
= =
=
+
= =
o
o
o
k
k
k
Roots of Complex Numbers
When k = 0, the root is 2(cos 45: + i sin 45:).
When k = 1, the root is 2(cos 165: + i sin 165:).
When k = 2, the root is 2(cos 285: + i sin 285:).

nth Root Theorem
If n is any positive integer, r is a positive real number, and u is
in degrees, then the nonzero complex number r(cos u + i sin u )
has exactly n distinct nth roots, given by

where

), sin (cos o o i r
n
+
1 , , 2 , 1 , 0 ,
360
or
360
÷ =
·
+ =
· +
= n k
n
k
n n
k

 
u
o
u
o
Roots of Complex Numbers
Finding Complex Roots
Example Find the two square roots of 4i. Write the
roots in rectangular form, and check your
results directly with a calculator.

Solution First write 4i in trigonometric form as

Here, r = 4 and u = t/2. The square roots have modulus
and arguments as follows.
.
2
sin
2
cos 4 4
|
.
|

\
|
+ =
t t
i i
2 4 =
k
k
t
t t
o
t
+ = + =
4 2
2
2
2
Since there are two roots, let k = 0 and 1.
If k = 0, then

If k = 1, then

Using these values for o, the
square roots are 2 cis and
2 cis which can be written
in rectangular form as
.
4
0
4
t
t
t
o = · + =
.
4
5
1
4
t
t
t
o = · + =
4
t
,
4
5t
. 2 2 and 2 2 i i ÷ ÷ +
Finding Complex Roots
Example Find all fourth roots of Write the roots in
rectangular form.

Solution

If k = 0, then o = 30: + 90:·0 = 30:.
If k = 1, then o = 30: + 90:·1 = 120:.
If k = 2, then o = 30: + 90:·2 = 210:.
If k = 3, then o = 30: + 90:·3 = 300:.
. 3 8 8 i + ÷
k
k
r
i
· + =
·
+ =
=
= =
= + ÷
 
 

90 30
4
360
4
120
Arguments
2 16 Modulus
120 and 16
120 cis 16 3 8 8
4
o
u
Finding Complex Roots

Using these angles on the previous slide, the fourth
roots are
2 cis 30:, 2 cis 120:, 2 cis 210:, and 2 cis 300:.
These four roots can be written in rectangular form as
. 3 1 , 3 , 3 1 , 3 i i i i ÷ ÷ ÷ + ÷ +
Finding Complex Roots
Solving an Equation by Finding Complex Roots
Example Find all complex number solutions of
x
5
– 1 = 0. Graph them as vectors in the
complex plane.

Solution Write the equation as

To find the five complex number solutions, write 1 in
polar form as

The modulus of the fifth roots is
. 1
0 1
5
5
=
= ÷
x
x
). 0 sin 0 (cos 1 0 1 1
 
i i + = + =
. 1 1
5
=
Solving an Equation by Finding Complex Roots
The arguments are given by

Using these arguments, the fifth roots are
1(cos 0 : + i sin 0:), k = 0
1(cos 72 : + i sin 72:), k = 1
1(cos 144 : + i sin 144:), k = 2
1(cos 216 : + i sin 216:), k = 3
1(cos 288 : + i sin 288:), k = 4
. 4 or , 3 , 2 , 1 , 0 , 72 0 = · + k k
 
References:
1. Advanced Engineering Mathematics by Kreyszig
2. A Graphical Approach to Algebra & Trigonometry by
Hornsby, et. al.
3. Encyclopedia Britannica: Ultimate Reference Suite

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