Complex Numbers are Fucking Important

in #steemstemlast year

One of the most fascinating things about numbers, that usually gets discarded as pointless busywork that you learn in school is that they can exist in more than one dimension. The fundamental theorem of algebra tells us that polynomials of degree n must have n solutions. This means that a quadratic equation should have two solutions.

This goes back some 500 years to when mathematicians were hesitant to even consider negative numbers as representing solutions to problems. The square root of a negative number, called I, or an "imaginary number" actually was what was needed to expand our understanding of mathematics. With that, we now have a broader description of the nature of reality. Sound far fetched? Without complex numbers like the square root of negative 1, we would be unable to correctly describe the wavefunction of a particle. The wavefunction, which in physics is designated by the Greek letter psi, involves complex numbers which describes the location of a particle. The square of the wavefunction gives the probability of finding that particle in space. In laymen's terms, complex numbers are needed to describe how waves work, which is a foundation on how the world works. While complex numbers like 2 + 3i may not be necessary to help you understand your cryptocurrency investments, it is necessary if you want to understand the physics that describes the world we live in.

For those reasons, I understand why a student would be confused as to why complex numbers are taught in school. We are focused on preparing kids for the future. Making sure they can make their monthly mortgage, make smart investments, and avoid stupid mistakes. Complex numbers may seem meaningless to many, but ultimately, they are the things that last over the centuries.

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