(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

Basically, the problem involves a linear system dx/dt = ax + by and dy/dt = -x - y, with a and b being parameters that can take on any real value. Basically, you go through this system for several values of a and b (I did -12 to 12) to find the state at various points. That is, whether or not the point is a saddle, source, sink, perodic, or whatever else. I've found all of that. The only thing I haven't found yet is which sources and sinks are spirals. I know that it's a spiral if a complex number is involved. I've been told two different ways to find this.

3. The attempt at a solution

A: Graph the trace of the system (a + d)*x and the determinant (ad - bc) and the area inside the parabola has the spirals. I'm having a hard time doing this on the graphing tools I've found on the internet.

B: Using the quadratic x^2 - (trace*x) + determinant = 0, find what values of the trace and determinant make is such that x = sqrt(negative number). This equation simplifies to x = sqrt(trace*x - determinant). An x on both sides, so that complicates things...

What would be the easiest way to go about this?

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# Homework Help: Finding the spiral sinks and spiral sources of a linear system

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