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    Math Definitions -> I -> Imaginary Numbers

 Imaginary Numbers

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A number that when squared gives a negative result.

Now, if you square any Real Number you always get a positive, or zero, result. For example 2×2=4, and (-2)×(-2)=4 as well.

So how can we square a number and get a negative result? Because we "imagine" that we can … and it turns out that such a number, which may seem impossible, is actually useful and can solve real problems.

The "unit" imaginary numbers (the same as "1" for Real Numbers) is √(-1) (the square root of minus one), and its symbol is i, or j.

See: Real Number