# Argand Diagram and Electronics

In the chapter on Complex Numbers for the O level syllabus, students are required to be able to represent complex numbers geometrically by means of an Argand diagram. But what is an Argand diagram if not the name of a game?

An Argand diagram, also known as the Argand plane or complex plane, is a graphical representation used in mathematics to visualize complex numbers. It was introduced by the Swiss mathematician Jean-Robert Argand in the early 19th century.

In an Argand diagram, complex numbers are represented in the Cartesian coordinate system. A complex number is composed of two parts: a real part (usually denoted as “a”) and an imaginary part (usually denoted as “bi,” where “i” is the imaginary unit, defined as the square root of -1). Complex numbers are written as “a + bi.”

The Argand diagram places the real part on the horizontal axis and the imaginary part on the vertical axis. So, if you have a complex number “a + bi,” you plot it as the point (a, b) in the complex plane.

## How to draw argand diagram

Steps:

If you’re using graph paper, make sure the grid lines are clearly visible. If not, draw a pair of perpendicular axes (horizontal and vertical lines) in the center of your paper. These axes represent the real and imaginary parts of the complex plane.

Label the Axes:

Label the horizontal axis as the “Real Axis” (often denoted as “Re”) and the vertical axis as the “Imaginary Axis” (often denoted as “Im”). Make sure to place these labels near the ends of the axes.

Scale the Axes:

Decide on a suitable scale for your diagram. This determines how much each grid line represents in terms of real and imaginary values. You can choose any scale that makes your diagram easy to work with. For example, you might choose one unit per grid line.

Plot Complex Numbers:

To plot a complex number, “a + bi,” find the corresponding point on the Argand diagram by following these steps:

Move “a” units to the right (positive direction) along the real axis.

Move “b” units up (positive direction) along the imaginary axis.

Mark the point where these two movements intersect. This point represents the complex number “a + bi.”

Connect Points (Optional):

If you’re plotting multiple complex numbers or want to illustrate relationships between them, use a ruler to draw lines connecting the points. These lines can help visualize complex arithmetic operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Label Points (Optional):

You can label each point with the complex number it represents. This can be particularly useful if you’re working with multiple complex numbers in a problem or graphing a function in the complex plane.

Highlight Points or Regions (Optional):

If you’re using the diagram to illustrate specific concepts or relationships, consider using colored pencils or pens to highlight points, regions, or lines of interest.

If you’ve labeled points or highlighted regions, you may want to include a key or legend to explain the meaning of different colors or symbols used in your diagram.

Review and Edit:

Carefully review your Argand diagram to ensure that it accurately represents the complex numbers or relationships you intend to illustrate. Make any necessary adjustments or corrections.

An illustration of the Argand diagram can be found below, where numbers are shown in a complex polar format, and the phase angle between the two complex numbers is shown below:

Argand diagram

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## What is the relation between the argand diagram and electronics?

Believe it or not, the argand diagram is used in electrical engineering! In electrical engineering, complex numbers and the Argand diagram are used to analyze alternating current (AC) circuits. Complex impedance, which combines resistance and reactance, is represented in the complex plane, aiding in circuit analysis and design.

Similarly this is also used in other forms of machines such as control systems and signal processing. Engineers use complex numbers and the Argand diagram to analyze and design control systems for applications like robotics and aerospace, while in signal processing they’re used to represent and manipulate signals. Techniques like the Fourier transform, which decomposes complex signals into simpler components, rely on complex numbers.

Quantum Mechanics: In quantum mechanics, complex numbers are fundamental. The Argand diagram helps visualize and understand complex probability amplitudes and quantum states.

Fluid Dynamics: Complex numbers are used in fluid dynamics to analyze fluid flow and turbulence. They help researchers understand the behavior of fluids in various conditions.

Economics and Finance: Complex numbers have applications in financial modeling and economics, where they can represent economic variables that involve both real and imaginary components.