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Old 08-11-02, 03:13 PM   #76
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 37

Originally posted by K.I.L.E.R
I asked my maths methods teacher about this before (if imaginary numbers could be used anywhere) he went whacko at me and said you just simply can't because the square root of a negative doesn't exist. He said Imaginary numbers are there to help you understand maths better and is an extension of learning maths BUT I.N s can't be used practically.

That's what my maths teacher said. Prove him wrong and I will be happy to tell him

"Well as to the use of imaginary numbers (the complex number system), if the algebra teacher I had when I was back in highschool is correct, imaginary numbers did come into play (an application thereof) when radio technology was being developed. Though I have worked with some circuit design (in regards to computers) I have not looked into this to see if he was correct. Imaginary numbers could have their practical applications however."
Well engineers and mathameticians can argue a bit...after asking the math teacher about uses for imaginary numbers (and if they're useable for anything) you might want to ask a computer or an electrical engineer

Anyway, I did a bit of a search, and look here

Imaginary Numbers at Work Imaginary numbers are used in a variety of fields and holds many uses. Without imaginary numbers you wouldnt be able to listen to the radio or talk on your cellular phone. These type of devices work by receiving and transmitting radio waves. Capacitors and inductors are used to make circuits that are used to make radio waves. In order to determine the right values of capacitors and inductors to use in the circuits, designers need to use imaginary numbers. Another use of imaginary and complex numbers is in physics, quantum mechanics to be exact. In quantum mechanics a big problem is to find the position of a particle. Unfortunately, only the probability distribution of its position is possible to find. The only way to calculate this is to use imaginary and complex variables. Lastly, electrical engineers use imaginary numbers. However, instead of using i in their equations they use j. This is because in the equations they commonly use, i means current, so to represent imaginary numbers they use j. Four Most Familiar Number Concepts There are four of the most common numbers that we, the common person, know about and can understand why they exist.
Obviously the physicist would have a few things to add too. There are many things in math that might not come into play when figuring out how much change one needs at the grocery store (aka fractal geometry) that can be of use elsewhere (in that instance "chaos science")...

He said: IN's are used for everything electrical BUT the numbers themselves are none-existent or something like that.
I just read further on... Bah he did know they had uses, even as they said they didn't. So he conveniently changes it to "they still don't exist but they're used for everything electrical" LOL Good time to read between the lines

Anyway if he wants to so narrowly define "practical" to what is seen, felt (albeit one can feel a static electric discharge), and touched...despite it having useful applications such as in developing technological devices we use...perhaps it should be pointed out to him that electricity itself is known to exist even though he doesn't go around seeing and touching electricity itself, as he does a cup Don't say that until the semester is over though and the grades can't be changed, hehe...just in case

Last edited by Feanor; 08-11-02 at 03:39 PM.
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