# Complex Numbers

m_s_a
hi,

let
z=x+iy

z^2=z.zpar=(x+iy)(x-iy)=x^2+y^2
or
z^2=(x+iy)(x+iy)=(x^2-y^2)

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
It very much depends on your field. Generally in mathematics when one says the 'square' of a complex number one means literally multiplication by itself as in your latter example. However, physicists working in QM often refer to the multiplication of a complex number by it's complex conjugate as 'squaring' it, as for your former example.

m_s_a
It very much depends on your field. Generally in mathematics when one says the 'square' of a complex number one means literally multiplication by itself as in your latter example. However, physicists working in QM often refer to the multiplication of a complex number by it's complex conjugate as 'squaring' it, as for your former example.

Thank you for you on your response
And on the new information for me

Homework Helper
hi,

let
z=x+iy

z^2=z.zpar=(x+iy)(x-iy)=x^2+y^2
or
z^2=(x+iy)(x+iy)=(x^2-y^2)

Take note that (x+iy)(x+iy) is NOT equal to x^2-y^2. It's x^2-y^2+2ixy. Your first 'z^2' is the modulus (size) of the complex number squared. The second is the complex function z*z. They are quite different. A physicist who refers to the first operation as 'squaring' is being pretty sloppy. The proper term is 'modulus squared' and the proper notation is |z|^2.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Take note that (x+iy)(x+iy) is NOT equal to x^2-y^2. It's x^2-y^2+2ixy.
Nice catch Dick, didn't even see it

m_s_a
Thank you for you on the note:yuck:
And thank you on the information that you presented
But this is a question in one of the issues
Thanks

Staff Emeritus
$$z^2 = x^2 +2ixy - y^2$$
$$z^2 = x^2 +2ixy - y^2$$