You are Here: Home >< Maths

# Complex Numbers - Nomenclature

Announcements Posted on
Would YOU be put off a uni with a high crime rate? First 50 to have their say get a £5 Amazon voucher! 27-10-2016
1. Okay, I had a question where I was given a simple complex number in the form a+bi, and asked to put it in polar form. So I changed it to . However the answer was in the form of . I was under the impression that this was the "Euler form".

Can someone just clear up which form is which so I am not confused from now on !
2. Polar form just means in terms of it's distance from the origin (its 'radius') and its angle from 1. Both of the forms you have given would qualify as some kind of polar form but writing it as an exponent of e is the most common way since it has the same amount of information and is easier to write.
3. I would always write a complex number in the form , where r is the modulus of the complex number and is another way of saying . That's polar form to me.

I almost never use Euler's formula unless I'm proving its validity by the Maclaurin series.
4. At degree level I'd say is very much the canonical form for a polar representation.
5. I would agree that is much more standard than or the quite ugly .

However, as usual, if you are answering a question from your course, then what your lecturer/teacher means by 'polar form' will be contained within the content of your course i.e. will have been mentioned in lessons/lectures/the book/lecture notes etc. So the first call would be to reexamine those. I am nearly sure, however, that if you have covered Euler's formula then your teacher/lecturer will either:

a) decree as standard polar form or
b) accept either way of writing it.

## Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
1. this can't be left blank
2. this can't be left blank
3. this can't be left blank

6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

4. this can't be left empty
1. Oops, you need to agree to our Ts&Cs to register

Updated: April 19, 2012
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

This forum is supported by:
Today on TSR

### University open days

Is it worth going? Find out here

Poll
Useful resources

### Maths Forum posting guidelines

Not sure where to post? Read here first

### How to use LaTex

Writing equations the easy way

### Study habits of A* students

Top tips from students who have already aced their exams