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Advanced Math/Complex Number Data in Excel Application.


Dear Prof Randy‎

A complex number is a number that can be expressed in the form a + bi, where a and b are real numbers and i is the imaginary unit, where i2 = −1.


6720000000 + 4i

1991230000000 + 6i

18.7 + 2i

6720000000 + 1991230000000i

0.0000000000345 - 0.34562222222222i

1. Do the current excel version allows us to enter complex number data in cells ?.

Data supported are : Number,Currency, Date, Time, Percentage, Fraction, Scientific,Text, Special,Custom

2. Can it be useful to enter Complex Number Data in Excel Spreadsheet ?.

3. Functions, Formulas in Excel can then be used for adding, subtracting,multiplication,division,power etc
of complex numbers ?.

Examples : SUM(), POWER(),PRODUCT() etc

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

It doesn't look like complex numbers can be input directly into Excel. You'll have to algebraically treat the real and imaginary parts separately. However, this isn't such a big impediment since crafting a straight forward and efficient calculation using complex numbers requires some manipulation anyway. Note that, when performing a Fourier transform (DFT, FFT) on (real) data, Excel knows to output columns labeled real and imaginary. Thus, to compute a spectrum, you'd have to combine these appropriately anyway.

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randy patton


college mathematics, applied math, advanced calculus, complex analysis, linear and abstract algebra, probability theory, signal processing, undergraduate physics, physical oceanography


26 years as a professional scientist conducting academic quality research on mostly classified projects involving math/physics modeling and simulation, data analysis and signal processing, instrument development; often ocean related

J. Physical Oceanography, 1984 "A Numerical Model for Low-Frequency Equatorial Dynamics", with M. Cane

M.S. MIT Physical Oceanography, B.S. UC Berkeley Applied Math

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