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Imaginary Numbers

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Lesson Description:

Students learn that the imaginary number "i" is equal to the square root of -1, which means that i^2 is equal to (the square root of -1) squared, which equals -1. Students also learn to simplify imaginary numbers. For example, to simplify the square root of -81, think of it as the square root of -1 times the square root of 81, which simplifies to i times 9, or 9i. To simplify 11/8i, the first step is to get rid of the "i" in the denominator by multiplying both the numerator and the denominator of the fraction by i, to get 11i/8i^2, and remember that i^2 = -1, so we have 11i/8(-1), or 11i/-8, or -11i/8.