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“Understanding Imaginary Numbers”

From: Seth Dillingham In Response To: Top of Thread.  
Date Posted: Thursday, July 28, 2011 10:56:32 PM Replies: 0
   
Enclosures: None.

I thought I understood imaginary numbers fairly well before today, but reading through this brilliant explanation crystalized it for me.

Imaginary numbers always confused me. Like understanding e, most explanations fell into one of two categories:

It’s a mathematical abstraction, and the equations work out. Deal with it.
It’s used in advanced physics, trust us. Just wait until college.
Gee, what a great way to encourage math in kids! Today we’ll assault this topic with our favorite tools:

The basic idea, just accepting that an imaginary number is the square root of a negative? That's what I had already. But his explanation as rotation through another dimension is amazing, as well as his real-world use for it at the end.

Totally awesome.


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