7 Complex Numbers

7.1 Overview

The complex packages provides a complex number type as well as complex versions of common transcendental functions and complex number formatting.

7.2 Complex Numbers

Complex provides a complex number type that forms the basis for the complex functionality found in commons-math.

Complex functions and arithmetic operations are implemented in commons-math by applying standard computational formulas and following the rules for java.lang.Double arithmetic in handling infinite and NaN values. No attempt is made to comply with ANSII/IEC C99x Annex G or any other standard for Complex arithmetic. See the class and method javadocs for the Complex and ComplexUtils classes for details on computing formulas.

To create a complex number, simply call the constructor passing in two floating-point arguments, the first being the real part of the complex number and the second being the imaginary part:

Complex c = new Complex(1.0, 3.0); // 1 + 3i

Complex numbers may also be created from polar representations using the polar2Complex method in ComplexUtils.

The Complex class provides basic unary and binary complex number operations. These operations provide the means to add, subtract, multiply and divide complex numbers along with other complex number functions similar to the real number functions found in java.math.BigDecimal:

Complex lhs = new Complex(1.0, 3.0);
Complex rhs = new Complex(2.0, 5.0);

Complex answer = lhs.add(rhs);       // add two complex numbers
        answer = lhs.subtract(rhs);  // subtract two complex numbers
        answer = lhs.abs();          // absolute value
        answer = lhs.conjugate(rhs); // complex conjugate

7.3 Complex Transcendental Functions

Complex also provides implementations of serveral transcendental functions involving complex number arguments. Prior to version 1.2, these functions were provided by ComplexUtils in a way similar to the real number functions found in java.lang.Math, but this has been deprecated. These operations provide the means to compute the log, sine, tangent, and other complex values :

Complex first  = new Complex(1.0, 3.0);
Complex second = new Complex(2.0, 5.0);

Complex answer = first.log();        // natural logarithm.
        answer = first.cos();        // cosine
        answer = first.pow(second);  // first raised to the power of second

7.4 Complex Formatting and Parsing

Complex instances can be converted to and from strings using the ComplexFormat class. ComplexFormat is a java.text.Format extension and, as such, is used like other formatting objects (e.g. java.text.SimpleDateFormat):

ComplexFormat format = new ComplexFormat(); // default format
Complex c = new Complex(1.1111, 2.2222);
String s = format.format(c); // s contains "1.11 + 2.22i"

To customize the formatting output, one or two java.text.NumberFormat instances can be used to construct a ComplexFormat. These number formats control the formatting of the real and imaginary values of the complex number:

NumberFormat nf = NumberFormat.getInstance();
nf.setMinimumFractionDigits(3);
nf.setMaximumFractionDigits(3);

// create complex format with custom number format
// when one number format is used, both real and
// imaginary parts are formatted the same
ComplexFormat cf = new ComplexFormat(nf);
Complex c = new Complex(1.11, 2.2222);
String s = format.format(c); // s contains "1.110 + 2.222i"

NumberFormat nf2 = NumberFormat.getInstance();
nf.setMinimumFractionDigits(1);
nf.setMaximumFractionDigits(1);

// create complex format with custom number formats
cf = new ComplexFormat(nf, nf2);
s = format.format(c); // s contains "1.110 + 2.2i"

Another formatting customization provided by ComplexFormat is the text used for the imaginary designation. By default, the imaginary notation is "i" but, it can be manipulated using the setImaginaryCharacter method.

Formatting inverse operation, parsing, can also be performed by ComplexFormat. Parse a complex number from a string, simply call the parse method:

ComplexFormat cf = new ComplexFormat();
Complex c = cf.parse("1.110 + 2.222i");