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# Excel/Complex Number Data in Excel Application.

Question
QUESTION: Dear Tom

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Excel‎
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_number

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.

Examples
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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

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Excel does have support for complex numbers.  However, if you enter a complex number manually in a cell, you have to follow the approved format and it is stored as text (because it will have a letter and operator in it).

The functions provided can interpret this format and perform the appropriate complex math required.

Existing functions for real numbers such as sum, power and product do not work with complex numbers - you have to use the provided special functions.

In Excel 2003 and earlier, these functions were contained in the analysis toolpak - an addin that had to be installed.  In excel 2007 and later, these functions were included as native functions to Excel.  (the analysis toolpak still exists and provides statistical operations such as regression and so forth).

COMPLEX(_,_,"j"), which makes a complex number a+bj from the values in two cells
IMABS(_), which calculates the magnitude of a complex number
IMARGUMENT(_), which calculates the radian angle of a complex number
IMSUM(_,_), which calculates the complex sum of two complex numbers
IMSUB(_,_), which calculates the complex difference of two complex numbers
IMPRODUCT(_,_), which calculates the complex product of two complex numbers
IMDIV(_,_), which calculates the complex quotient of two complex numbers

--
Regards,
Tom Ogilvy

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Tom

Thank you.

Is it possible to plot Charts, Graphs viz Line Graph, Bar Graph, Pie Chart etc from Complex Numbers Data Range within Excel ?.

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Since the complex numbers are not stored as numbers but as text, I would say no.  There is no special support for them.  Also, it would be difficult conceptualize how the square root of -1 would be depicted in a graph.  I am assuming that if there is an accepted way to depict that then an enterprising user might devise a way to use formulas to build numbers that could be used to simulate the graphing of the function - but as I said, no built in support for graphing of complex numbers.

So if this is definitive   http://www.regentsprep.org/Regents/math/algtrig/ATO6/cgraphlesson.htm

then you could split the components of the complex number and represent each with the constant value and graph those - each pair associated with 0,0 to be treated as a separate series.

--
Regards,
Tom Ogilvy

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Tom

Thank you.

As you mention, the complex numbers are not stored as numbers but as text.

if in future versions of excel software, if built in support for graphing
of complex numbers are built by building formulas, is it then possible to plot graphs, charts within future versions ?.

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Prashant S Akerkar,

If they build support for graphing of complex numbers in future versions of excel, then it will be possible to plot grpahs or charts that involve complex numbers.  However, I would not anticipate such support because I believe the audience for this type of work would be small in comparison for the audiance for support of other features.  Microsoft is in business and they are going to pursue enhancements that produce sales.

--
Regards,
Tom Ogilvy

Questioner's Rating
 Rating(1-10) Knowledgeability = 10 Clarity of Response = 10 Politeness = 10 Comment Dear Tom Thank you. Thanks & Regards, Prashant S Akerkar

This topic answers questions related to Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (or workbook) stand-alone or Mircrosoft Office Excel including Excel 2003, Excel 2007, Office 2000, and Office XP. You can get Excel help on Excel formulas(or functions), Excell macros, charting in Excel, advanced features, and the general use of Excel. This does not provide a general Excel tutorial nor the basics of using a spreadsheet. It provides specific answers to using Microsoft Excel only. If you do not see your Excel question answered in this area then please ask an Excel question here

#### Tom Ogilvy

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Selected as an Excel MVP by Microsoft since 1999. Answering Excel questions in Allexperts since its inception in 2001. Able to answer questions on almost all aspects of Excel's internal capabilities. If seeking a VBA solution, please specify that in your question itself so I give you the answer you want. [Excel has weak protection - if you are distributing an application, I don't answer questions on how to protect your project from your users.]

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Extensive experience.

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Master of Science (MS) degree Operations Research (ORSA)

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Microsoft MVP in Excel.