Tag Archives: complex

The Möbius function proof, part 2 (the subset parity lemma)

Continuing from my previous post, we are in the middle of proving that satisfies the same equation as , that is, and that therefore for all , that is, is the sum of all the th primitive roots of unity. … Continue reading

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The Möbius function proof, part 1

In my last post, I introduced the Möbius function , which is defined in terms of the prime factorization of : if has any repeated prime factors, that is, if is divisible by a perfect square. Otherwise, if has distinct … Continue reading

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The Möbius function

Time to pull back the curtain a bit! My recent series of posts on complex roots of unity may seem somewhat random and unmotivated so far, but the fact is that I definitely have a destination in mind—we are slowly … Continue reading

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Computing sums of primitive roots

Remember this picture? It, and other pictures like it, express the fact that for a given , if we take the primitive roots for each of the divisors of , together they make up exactly the set of all th … Continue reading

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Sums of primitive roots

In my previous post, we saw that adding up all the complex th roots of unity always yields zero (unless , in which case the sum is ). Intuitively, this is because the roots are symmetrically distributed around the unit … Continue reading

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Sums and symmetry

Let’s continue our exploration of roots of unity. Recall that for any positive integer , there are complex numbers, evenly spaced around the unit circle, whose th power is equal to . These are called the th roots of unity. … Continue reading

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Primitive roots of unity

So we have now seen that there are always different complex th roots of unity, that is, complex numbers whose th power is equal to , equally spaced around the circumference of the unit circle. Consider the first th root … Continue reading

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Complex multiplication: proof

In my previous post, I claimed that when multiplying two complex numbers, their lengths multiply and their angles add, like this: In particular, this means that there are always different complex numbers whose th power is equal to : they … Continue reading

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Complex multiplication and roots of unity

If played around with the question from my previous post, you probably found something like the following: That is, as the powers of we get , , and with all possible sign combinations. Of course, since , if we continue … Continue reading

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Complexifying our dots

It’s time to up our game a bit. Previously we have considered some cool pictures with dots and bespoked circles, looking for patterns, without really considering what sort of mathematical objects these circles might represent. In fact, they turn out … Continue reading

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