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Roots and Coefficients

If xyz = 1 and x+y+z =1/x + 1/y + 1/z show that at least one of these numbers must be 1. Now for the complexity! When are the other numbers real and when are they complex?

Target Six

Show that x = 1 is a solution of the equation x^(3/2) - 8x^(-3/2) = 7 and find all other solutions.

8 Methods for Three by One

This problem in geometry has been solved in no less than EIGHT ways by a pair of students. How would you solve it? How many of their solutions can you follow? How are they the same or different? Which do you like best?

Complex Rotations

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Picture of a plane with the three axes of rotation
If you have solved quadratic equations you have met complex numbers. For example if you solve the equation $$x^2-4x+13=0$$ you get the solutions $x=2\pm\sqrt{-9}=2\pm3i$ where $i=\sqrt{-1}$.

The complex number $a+ib$ is represented in the plane by the point with coordinates $(a,b)$. This is called an Argand diagram. Make your own choice of some complex numbers, and mark them on a graph with lines joining the points to the origin. Now multiply your numbers by $-1$ and join their images to the origin. Make and prove a conjecture about the geometric effect of multiplying complex numbers by $-1$.

Again make a choice of some complex numbers and multiply each one by $i$. Draw the complex numbers and their images on a graph and make and prove a conjecture about the effect of multiplying complex numbers by $i$.

What happens if you multiply a complex number by $i$ twice, three times, four times, ..., $n$ times?