Is Complex Number a Data Type in Python?


Scott Campbell

Is Complex Number a Data Type in Python?

In Python, complex numbers are indeed a built-in data type. A complex number is a number that consists of two parts: a real part and an imaginary part.

The imaginary part is represented with the letter “j” or “J”. For example, (3 + 2j) is a complex number, where 3 is the real part and 2j is the imaginary part.

Defining Complex Numbers

To define a complex number in Python, you can simply assign it to a variable using the following syntax:

num1 = 3 + 2j
num2 = -4j
num3 = complex(5, -1)

The variable num1 will hold the value of (3 + 2j), num2 will hold the value of (-4j), and num3 will hold the value of (5 – 1j).

Basic Operations with Complex Numbers

You can perform various mathematical operations on complex numbers just like you would with other numeric types in Python. Here are some examples:

  • Addition:
  • result = num1 + num2
  • Subtraction:
  • result = num1 - num3
  • Multiplication:
  • result = num1 * num2
  • Division:
  • result = num1 / num3

Note that the result of these operations is also a complex number.

Accessing Real and Imaginary Parts

If you want to access the real and imaginary parts of a complex number separately, you can use the .real and .imag attributes, respectively. Here’s an example:

print(num1.real)  # Output: 3.0
print(num1.imag)  # Output: 2.0

Complex Number Functions in Python

In addition to basic arithmetic operations, Python provides several built-in functions for working with complex numbers. Here are a few commonly used functions:

  • Absolute Value:
  • abs(num1)
  • Conjugate:
  • num1.conjugate()
  • Phase (Angle):
  • cmath.phase(num1)

Absolute Value:

The absolute value of a complex number is its distance from the origin on the complex plane. It is always a non-negative real number.


The conjugate of a complex number is obtained by changing the sign of its imaginary part. For example, the conjugate of (3 + 2j) is (3 – 2j).

Phase (Angle):

The phase or angle of a complex number is the angle between the positive real axis and the vector representing the complex number in the complex plane.

These are just a few examples of functions available for complex numbers in Python. There are more functions and mathematical operations you can explore as you dive deeper into working with complex numbers.

In conclusion, complex numbers are indeed a data type in Python. They allow you to work with both real and imaginary parts of numbers, opening up possibilities for solving problems that involve complex arithmetic and mathematical modeling.

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