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Imaginary ( Complex ) Numbers, Discriminants and Real World Applications

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1. When solving a quadratic equation using the quadratic formula, it is possible for the b2 - 4ac term inside the square root (the discriminant) to be negative, thus forcing us to take the square root of a negative number. The solutions to the equation will then be complex numbers (i.e., involve the imaginary unit i).
Question:
In the real world, where might these so-called imaginary numbers be used?
2. When using a formula, we often know the value of one variable to a greater degree of accuracy than we know the others. In your opinion, what affect, if any, does it make on our use of a formula if we know the value of one variable to a greater degree of accuracy than another?

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Solution Preview

1) Yes, the quadratic equation can produce imaginary/complex numbers (please see attachment for expansion on imaginary/complex numbers)

Complex numbers and ...

Solution Summary

Imaginary ( Complex ) Numbers, Discriminants and Real World Applications are discussed. The response received a rating of "5" from the student who originally posted the question.

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