Complex Numbers - Finding Values
Date: 02/13/99 at 05:30:20 From: T. Wilson Subject: Complex Numbers - Finding Values Just a couple of questions I'm having difficulty with: 1) If (a + ib)^2 = 3 + 4i where a and b are real, find the values of a and b. 2) Show that if a + bi is a root of a quadratic equation with real coefficients, then the quadratic equation must have form k(x^2 - 2ax + [a^2 + b^2] = 0, where K does not equal 0. 3) a + ai is a root of x^2 - 6x + b = 0. Explain why b has two possible values. Find a in each case. Thanks.
Date: 02/13/99 at 08:53:06 From: Doctor Mitteldorf Subject: Re: Complex Numbers - Finding Values Dear Mr. Wilson, The only trick here is not to get spooked by the word "imaginary." There's nothing difficult or mysterious here. You just follow the algebra in a straightforward way. 1) What is the square (a+ib)? Multiply it out to get a^2 - b^2 + 2abi. That has to be equal to 3 + 4i. The only way to do this is to have the a^2+b^2 be the 3 and the 2ab be the 4. These are two equations with two unknowns. Solve them in the usual way. 2) Just keep the definitions straight, and translate what they're asking into algebra. Suppose your quadratic equation is kx^2+Bx+C = 0. Substitute x = a+bi into that, and you have k(a^2+b^2+2abi) + B(a+bi) + C = 0. They tell you that A and B are real, so the imaginary part of the equation must be zero: k*(2ab) + Bb = 0. Can you take it from here? 3) Substitute x = a+ai into the equation x^2 - 6x + b = 0 and make the one complex equation into two real equations by saying that both the imaginary and real parts are zero. Solve the two equations simultaneously for a and b, and see what happens. - Doctor Mitteldorf, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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