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Name: charles l paulk
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
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Date: Around 1995

What are imaginary numbers used for? What are some of their practical applications?

"Practical" is often in the eye of the beholder. From the perspective of algebra, complex numbers give us a complete system for finding the roots of polynomials. Since numerous applications are based on polynomial models in theory, complex numbers play a part in all of these. For example, in electrical engineering we find complex roots in circuit theory where the polynomial is part of the model equation for simple circuits. Alternating current relates to complex root cases in the polynomial model. In mechani- cal engineering, the same type of model relates to vibrations with wavelike results connected to the complex root cases.


And in physics, it turns out quantum mechanics uses complex numbers for just about everything - the wave functions of particles have a complex amplitude, including a real and "imaginary" part, and both are essential.


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