About Imaginary Numbers

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Imaginary numbers are a fine and wonderful refuge

of the divine spirit almost an amphibian between

being and non-being.

/ Gottfried Leibniz /

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One might think this means that imaginary numbers

are just a mathematical game having nothing to do

with the real world. From the viewpoint of positivist

philosophy, however, one cannot determine what is real.

All one can do is find which mathematical models

describe the universe we live in. It turns out that

a mathematical model involving imaginary time

predicts not only effects we have already observed

but also effects we have not been able to measure yet

nevertheless believe in for other reasons.

So what is real and what is imaginary?

Is the distinction just in our minds?

/ Stephen Hawking /

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Pi is not merely the ubiquitous factor in high school

geometry problems; it is stitched across the whole

tapestry of mathematics, not just geometry's little

corner of it. Pi occupies a key place in trigonometry too.

It is intimately related to e, and to imaginary numbers.

Pi even shows up in the mathematics of probability

/ Robert Kanigel /

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The more science I studied, the more I saw that physics

becomes metaphysics and numbers become imaginary

numbers. The farther you go into science, the mushier

the ground gets. You start to say, 'Oh, there is an order

and a spiritual aspect to science.

/ Dan Brown /

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