Early mathematicians were led to consider purely formal situations involving square roots of
Therefore, Heron of Alexandria (c. AD 100) obtained the quantity sqrt(-63), and Girolamo
Cardan (1545) wrote 40 = (5 + sqrt(-15))(5 - sqrt(-15)).
These numbers were considered to be quite meaningless, and the term imaginary was
applied to them. They have since become quite important in several branches of modern
mathematics and have applications in mechanics and electricity.
This Web Page Sums It Up!
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