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Re: Imaginary numbers - most interesting points

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  • Subject: [mg98664] Re: [mg98647] Imaginary numbers - most interesting points
  • From: "David Park" <djmpark at>
  • Date: Thu, 16 Apr 2009 04:11:01 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <23154843.1239787862080.JavaMail.root@n11>

The most extraordinary thing to me is that complex numbers are built into
ordinary space - of any dimension! They are not something you have to import
from the outside. How do you find out about that? Read about 'geometric
algebra'. ('New Foundations for Classical Mechanics: Second Edition' by
David Hestenes or 'Geometric Algebra for Physicists' by Chris Doran &
Anthony Lasenby.

And, as it happens, there is a very powerful Mathematica package for this
called GrassmannAlgebra written by John Browne: 

David Park
djmpark at  

From: robert prince-wright [mailto:robertprincewright at] 

I have (perhaps unwisely!) decided to do a 'Pecha Kucha' on imagination ....
or at least imaginary numbers. The audience are all engineers with hazy
recollection of undergrad maths.

If you are not familiar with Pecha Kucha, then its worth checking Youtube
and doing some googling. Simplistically the concept is to share
understanding of something using 20 slides. Each slide should convey as much
as possible with as few words as possible, with the message limited to 20

So, what is the most interesting thing about the imaginary number 'i' that
you can think of, and how can it most simply be conveyed using Mathematica 7
in Slide presentation form?

I've started with the notion of polynomial roots, de Moivre, reflections
etc. but would appreciate a wider view. 



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