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Universal Law of Gravitation described by complex functions

  1. Sep 8, 2012 #1
    I didn't put this in any of the physics sections, because I'm only learning this as it pertains to complex analysis. This was just an example provided in a free complex analysis textbook. Basically what I'm asking is why for the law of gravitation, f = GMm/r(t)^2, and it equals the equation in the picture when described by complex functions.

    http://i.minus.com/iblXBR9aafGTaZ.png [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2012 #2

    Mute

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    It looks to me like they're just using the complex function z(t) = x(t) + iy(t) in place of a vector function r(t) = (x(t),y(t)). Since the only information you really care about is x(t) and y(t), the two representations will give you the same results.
     
  4. Sep 8, 2012 #3

    HallsofIvy

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    Yes. This only uses the fact that the complex plane has two real dimensions. It has nothing to do with the algebraic properties that distinguish the complex plane from R2
     
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