Multiplication of complex numbersRules , Mistakes

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justaguide eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Complex numbers are of the form a + ib, with a real component a and an imaginary component which has a coefficient b.

When you multiply two real numbers it is equivalent to multiplying 4 numbers. Multiply each of a and ib of the complex number with both the a and ib of the other number. Once you are done, the terms with i can be added to give the coefficient of the imaginary component of the product. Use the property that i^2 = -1 to deal with the term that does not have i and which has i^2.

giorgiana1976 | Student

We'll explain the multiplication of complex numbers written in algebraic form, choosing 2 comeplx numbers:

z1 = a + bi and z2 = c + di

The real part of z1 = Re(z1) = a

The imaginary part of z1 = Im(z1) = b

The real part of z2 = Re(z2) = c

The imaginary part of z2 = Im(z2) = d

We'll multiply the numbers z1*z2 = (a+bi)(c+di)

We'll apply FOIL:

z1*z2 = a*c + a*di + c*bi + b*d*i^2

Rule number one: i^2 = -1

z1*z2 = a*c + a*di + c*bi - b*d

Rule number 2: We'll combine real parts and imaginary parts:

z1*z2 = (ac-bd) + i(ad+bc)