Division in a binary representation for complex numbers

David C. Blest, Tariq Jamil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Computer operations involving complex numbers, essential in such applications as Fourier transforms or image processing, are normally performed in a ‘divide-and-conquer’ approach dealing separately with real and imaginary parts. A number of proposals have treated complex numbers as a single unit but all have foundered on the problem of the division process without which it is impossible to carry out all but the most basic arithmetic. This paper resurrects an early proposal to express complex numbers in a single ‘binary’ representation, reviews basic complex arithmetic and is able to provide a fail-safe procedure for obtaining the quotient of two complex numbers expressed in the representation. Thus, while an outstanding problem is solved, recourse is made only to readily accessible methods. A variety of extensions to the work requiring similar basic techniques are also identified. An interesting side-line is the occurrence of fractal structures, and the power of the ‘binary’ representation in analysing the structure is briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-574
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Applied Mathematics

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