# Complex and Rational Numbers¶

Julia ships with predefined types representing both complex and rational numbers, and supports all the mathematical operations discussed in Mathematical Operations on them. Promotions are defined so that operations on any combination of predefined numeric types, whether primitive or composite, behave as expected.

## Complex Numbers¶

The global constant im is bound to the complex number i, representing one of the square roots of -1. It was deemed harmful to co-opt the name i for a global constant, since it is such a popular index variable name. Since Julia allows numeric literals to be juxtaposed with identifiers as coefficients, this binding suffices to provide convenient syntax for complex numbers, similar to the traditional mathematical notation:

julia> 1 + 2im
1 + 2im


You can perform all the standard arithmetic operations with complex numbers:

julia> (1 + 2im)*(2 - 3im)
8 + 1im

julia> (1 + 2im)/(1 - 2im)
-0.6 + 0.8im

julia> (1 + 2im) + (1 - 2im)
2 + 0im

julia> (-3 + 2im) - (5 - 1im)
-8 + 3im

julia> (-1 + 2im)^2
-3 - 4im

julia> (-1 + 2im)^2.5
2.729624464784009 - 6.9606644595719im

julia> (-1 + 2im)^(1 + 1im)
-0.27910381075826657 + 0.08708053414102428im

julia> 3(2 - 5im)
6 - 15im

julia> 3(2 - 5im)^2
-63 - 60im

julia> 3(2 - 5im)^-1.0
0.20689655172413793 + 0.5172413793103449im


The promotion mechanism ensures that combinations of operands of different types just work:

julia> 2(1 - 1im)
2 - 2im

julia> (2 + 3im) - 1
1 + 3im

julia> (1 + 2im) + 0.5
1.5 + 2.0im

julia> (2 + 3im) - 0.5im
2.0 + 2.5im

julia> 0.75(1 + 2im)
0.75 + 1.5im

julia> (2 + 3im) / 2
1.0 + 1.5im

julia> (1 - 3im) / (2 + 2im)
-0.5 - 1.0im

julia> 2im^2
-2 + 0im

julia> 1 + 3/4im
1.0 - 0.75im


Note that 3/4im == 3/(4*im) == -(3/4*im), since a literal coefficient binds more tightly than division.

Standard functions to manipulate complex values are provided:

julia> real(1 + 2im)
1

julia> imag(1 + 2im)
2

julia> conj(1 + 2im)
1 - 2im

julia> abs(1 + 2im)
2.23606797749979

julia> abs2(1 + 2im)
5


As is common, the absolute value of a complex number is its distance from zero. The abs2 function gives the square of the absolute value, and is of particular use for complex numbers, where it avoids taking a square root. The full gamut of other mathematical functions are also defined for complex numbers:

julia> sqrt(im)
0.7071067811865476 + 0.7071067811865475im

julia> sqrt(1 + 2im)
1.272019649514069 + 0.7861513777574233im

julia> cos(1 + 2im)
2.0327230070196656 - 3.0518977991517997im

julia> exp(1 + 2im)
-1.1312043837568138 + 2.471726672004819im

julia> sinh(1 + 2im)
-0.48905625904129374 + 1.4031192506220407im


Note that mathematical functions typically return real values when applied to real numbers and complex values when applied to complex numbers. For example, sqrt, for example, behaves differently when applied to -1 versus -1 + 0im even though -1 == -1 + 0im:

julia> sqrt(-1)
ERROR: DomainError()
in sqrt at math.jl:111

julia> sqrt(-1 + 0im)
0.0 + 1.0im


If you need to construct a complex number using variables, the literal numeric coefficient notation will not work, although explicitly writing the multiplication operation will:

julia> a = 1; b = 2; a + b*im
1 + 2im


Constructing complex numbers from variable values like this, however, is not recommended. Use the complex function to construct a complex value directly from its real and imaginary parts instead. This construction is preferred for variable arguments because it is more efficient than the multiplication and addition construct, but also because certain values of b can yield unexpected results:

julia> complex(a,b)
1 + 2im


Inf and NaN propagate through complex numbers in the real and imaginary parts of a complex number as per IEEE-754 arithmetic:

julia> 1 + Inf*im
complex(1.0,Inf)

julia> 1 + NaN*im
complex(1.0,NaN)


## Rational Numbers¶

Julia has a rational number type to represent exact ratios of integers. Rationals are constructed using the // operator:

julia> 2//3
2//3


If the numerator and denominator of a rational have common factors, they are reduced to lowest terms such that the denominator is non-negative:

julia> 6//9
2//3

julia> -4//8
-1//2

julia> 5//-15
-1//3

julia> -4//-12
1//3


This normalized form for a ratio of integers is unique, so equality of rational values can be tested by checking for equality of the numerator and denominator. The standardized numerator and denominator of a rational value can be extracted using the num and den functions:

julia> num(2//3)
2

julia> den(2//3)
3


Direct comparison of the numerator and denominator is generally not necessary, since the standard arithmetic and comparison operations are defined for rational values:

julia> 2//3 == 6//9
true

julia> 2//3 == 9//27
false

julia> 3//7 < 1//2
true

julia> 3//4 > 2//3
true

julia> 2//4 + 1//6
2//3

julia> 5//12 - 1//4
1//6

julia> 5//8 * 3//12
5//32

julia> 6//5 / 10//7
21//25


Rationals can be easily converted to floating-point numbers:

julia> float(3//4)
0.75


Conversion from rational to floating-point respects the following identity for any integral values of a and b, with the exception of the case a == 0 and b == 0:

julia> isequal(float(a//b), a/b)
true


Constructing infinite rational values is acceptable:

julia> 5//0
Inf

julia> -3//0
-Inf

julia> typeof(ans)
Rational{Int64}


Trying to construct a NaN rational value, however, is not:

julia> 0//0
invalid rational: 0//0


As usual, the promotion system makes interactions with other numeric types effortless:

julia> 3//5 + 1
8//5

julia> 3//5 - 0.5
0.1

julia> 2//7 * (1 + 2im)
2//7 + 4//7im

julia> 2//7 * (1.5 + 2im)
0.42857142857142855 + 0.5714285714285714im

julia> 3//2 / (1 + 2im)
3//10 - 3//5im

julia> 1//2 + 2im
1//2 + 2//1im

julia> 1 + 2//3im
1//1 + 2//3im

julia> 0.5 == 1//2
true

julia> 0.33 == 1//3
false

julia> 0.33 < 1//3
true

julia> 1//3 - 0.33
0.0033333333333332993