Something has been puzzling me...what is an imaginary number in real life? I know that engineers sometimes use it but how do they apply it to real world situations? How is it anything but a mathematical constant?
The situation is no different than for any other number.Something has been puzzling me...what is an imaginary number in real life? I know that engineers sometimes use it but how do they apply it to real world situations? How is it anything but a mathematical constant?
It's most commonly used in situations that can be described by an 'amplitude and phase'; for example, in signal processing.Could you give me an example for how it is used for a real life problem (not mathematically)?
Lets say you have an audio signal from a microphone and you want to get rid of some really low frequency. When you perform a Fourier transform, you get numbers that represent the signal in a different way. These numbers happen to be complex. You can then filter some of these numbers away and then perform an inverse Fourier transform that goes from complex-numbers to real-numbers and you get a new signal.
I'm thinking more about what you said, and I believe you will interpret the process I described above as being some type of mathematical machinery using complex numbers to perform something useful. However, (in your mind) there is no physical connection of a complex number to something real.
Well I will ask you, what physical connection does any number hold?
I believe the Schrodinger equation MUST be formed with the complex numbers.
I imagine the question is motivated by the fact that you can imagine measuring with real numbers, but not with complex numbers.
The technical modifiers "real" and "imaginary" have absolutely nothing to do with their usual layusage -- they are merely a historical artifact of the attitudes of a darker time.Not really, I was just perplexed by how a imaginary number can be applied to practical situations. Basically a number that does not exist being applied to real situations. I'm still struggling to grasp the concept.
Could you give me an example for how it is used for a real life problem (not mathematically)?
i find this to be a funny thing to say... almost anything you do with numbers is mathematical, and then to talk about the number "i" which is not only a negative 1 but it has a square root symbol around it (which is a mathematical operation) how can you talk about that in a non-math scenario