Imaginary number

Overview

**imaginary number**is any number

Number

A number is a mathematical object used to count and measure. In mathematics, the definition of number has been extended over the years to include such numbers as zero, negative numbers, rational numbers, irrational numbers, and complex numbers....

whose square is a real number

Real number

In mathematics, a real number is a value that represents a quantity along a continuum, such as -5 , 4/3 , 8.6 , √2 and π...

less than zero. When any real number

Real number

In mathematics, a real number is a value that represents a quantity along a continuum, such as -5 , 4/3 , 8.6 , √2 and π...

is squared, the result is never negative, but the square of an imaginary number is always negative. Imaginary numbers have the form where is a non-zero real number and is the imaginary unit

Imaginary unit

In mathematics, the imaginary unit allows the real number system ℝ to be extended to the complex number system ℂ, which in turn provides at least one root for every polynomial . The imaginary unit is denoted by , , or the Greek...

, defined by .

An imaginary number can be added to a real number to form a complex number

Complex number

A complex number is a number consisting of a real part and an imaginary part. Complex numbers extend the idea of the one-dimensional number line to the two-dimensional complex plane by using the number line for the real part and adding a vertical axis to plot the imaginary part...

of the form , where and are called, respectively, the "real part" and the "imaginary part" of the complex number.