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What are  Complex Numbers and Why are They Used in Electronics?

The most common, everyday numbers systems include familiar  forms such as whole numbers, integers, fractions, and decimals.  These number system can be  portrayed as values arranged on a one-dimensional  number line. They can be called real numbers. Complex numbers, also known as imaginary numbers, are arranged on a two-dimensional number plane. These two-dimensional numbers have two components:   a real component and an imaginary component. The imaginary component of a complex number is tagged  with a letter i  or j.

Imaginary numbers are ideal for describing and analyzing the phase-angle aspects of ac circuits. This is why the tutorials and activities in this special section are relevant to electronics engineering technicians.

There two important prerequisites:

  • Electronics Prerequisite: Basic AC Circuits
  • Math Prerequisite: Trigonometry


Summary of Complex Numbers for Electronics Technology
Brief and to the point, this is a summary of the four basic arithmetic  operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) using complex-number notation. There are also notes on converting between the rectangular and polar forms of complex numbers.
Arithmetic for Complex Numbers
Endless versions of worksheets for doing basic arithmetic operations with complex notation.
Basic AC Circuit Analysis with Complex Numbers
Endless examples and exercises in analyzing basic ac circuits using complex notation.
Introduction to AC Circuit Analysis with Complex Numbers
A generalized approach to using complex notation for describing common ac circuits.



David L. Heiserman, Editor

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All Rights Reserved

Revised: June 06, 2015