But I imagine many were also surprised at his relegation of i to the status of a "tool we've made" - rather than a plain fact of nature like the number or the number 16. In spite of the historical terminology, i is no more (or less) imaginary than these "real" numbers.
And contrary to Mr Arthur's account, both i and its square-root-ness of -1 are quite easy to draw on a piece of paper: as a point in the plane midway in rotation about 0 between +1 and -1.
Dr WILLIAM OXBURY
Department of Mathematical Sciences
University of DurhamReuse content