In lower classes, we are taught that the square root of negative numbers can not be taken. However we can take the square root of a negative number, but it involves making use of a new number which is called an imaginary number. So let’s assume some number *i *exists where: *i*^{2} = -1. This *i* is called the imaginary unit. We can observe that we have created a whole new number system (complex numbers), where the square root of *i*^{2} =-1, and *i* is called the imaginary unit. Now, complex numbers comprise of real and purely imaginary numbers. We are already familiar with real numbers for eg: 2, 4.03, and π so let’s talk about pure imaginary numbers.

**Purely Imaginary Number**

A purely imaginary number is a multiple of *i.* So, -5*i*+, 27**i* are all purely imaginary numbers. They are also called non-real numbers. Thus an imaginary number is a number that can be written as a real number multiplied by the imaginary unit *i*. Thus complex numbers are of the form a + b*i*, *where a, b are real constants*. The complex number a + b*i* can be broken down into two parts namely

- The real part (a)
- And the imaginary part (b) [
**not b*i**]

## Powers of Imaginary Unit(i)

We know that *i*^{2 }= -1 but what about other powers of *i*?

Do you see the pattern here?

There is a cycle of i, -1, -i , 1 … where every multiple of 4 is 1.

To sum it up , lets say that i is raised to the power of n .

If 1) n mod 4 == 0 [division by 4 leaves 0 as remainder] then the ans is 1 . eg : i4 = i8 = i12 = 1

2) n mod 4 == 1 [division by 4 leaves 1 as remainder] then the ans is i . eg : i = i5 = i9 = i

3) n mod 4 == 2 [division by 4 leaves 2 as remainder] then the ans is -1 . eg : i6 = i10 = -1

4) n mod 4 == 3 [division by 4 leaves 3 as remainder] then the ans is -i . eg : i3 = i7 = -i

### Examples:

## Simplifying Roots of Negative Numbers

**Example 1:** Suppose you are asked to evaluate the square root of -121.

**Example 2:** Suppose you are asked to evaluate the square root of -(1/9).

**Principal Square Root of Number**

The principal Square Root of a non-negative real number is the non-negative square root.

**Example:**

The principal square root of a * b **can not** be broken down into the principal square root of a * principal square root of b** if both a and b are negative**.

**Principal Square Root of -1:** The imaginary unit is defined as i^{2} = −1. Using this notation, we can think of i as the square root of −1, but we also have (−i)^{2} = i^{2} = −1 and so −i is also a square root of −1. But by convention, the principal square root of −1 is i, or more generally, if x is any non-negative number, then the principal square root of −x is:

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