Sunday, June 10, 2012

Complex Number - Polar Form

The form a + i b is called the rectangular coordinate form of a complex number because to plot the number we imagine a rectangle of width a and height b.

Complex numbers can also be expressed in polar coordinate form, r ∠ θ. (This is spoken as “r at angle θ ”). The number r in front of the angle symbol is called the magnitude (modulus) of the complex number. The angle θ after the angle symbol is the direction of the complex number from the origin measured counterclockwise from the positive part of the real axis.

Polar form is sometimes called trigonometric form as well and written in the form               r(sin θ + icos θ) or r cis (θ)
This is a Java Applet created using GeoGebra from - it looks like you don't have Java installed, please go to

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