[Tutor] Re: complex numbers: j vs. i

Derrick 'dman' Hudson dman@dman.ddts.net
Fri, 23 Aug 2002 14:59:37 -0400

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On Fri, Aug 23, 2002 at 10:48:28AM -0400, Lance E Sloan wrote:
| I skimmed the Python documentation for a reason why the letter "j" is use=
| to represent the imaginary part of complex numbers rather than the letter=
| "i".  I didn't find anything.  In fact, I didn't see anything that=20
| mentioned either letter.  Perhaps I didn't look at the right document.  I=
| was reading "Python Reference Manual"=20
| <URL:http://www.python.org/doc/current/ref/ref.html>.
| Does anybody know why "j" is used?  I'm guessing that either "i" caused a=
| conflict or that the Dutch word for "imaginary" starts with "j".

Rob has part of the answer -- mathematicians use 'i' but engineers use
'j' (because 'i' was already taken).  A long time ago Guido asked
people (on comp.lang.python, aka python-list@lists.python.org) to hash
out the pros and cons of using each letter, and both were equally
reasonable.  So he decided on one of them.


Running Windows is kinda like playing blackjack:
User stays on success, reboots on failure

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