The characteristic equation yields

The four roots of unity are 1,-1, i, and -i

I get that and , but my book says that reduces to because of Euler's equation. I can't figure out where the goes. The same with

Any help?

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- Sep 6th 2010, 11:44 AMpolarbear73Help with imaginary roots

The characteristic equation yields

The four roots of unity are 1,-1, i, and -i

I get that and , but my book says that reduces to because of Euler's equation. I can't figure out where the goes. The same with

Any help? - Sep 6th 2010, 11:51 AMAckbeet
Isn't the characteristic equation or Then you'd be trying to find the fourth roots of .

- Sep 6th 2010, 12:11 PMpolarbear73
Yes, I typed it wrong. It should have read . Thanks for looking.

- Sep 6th 2010, 02:25 PMHallsofIvy
I suspect you are misreading your text book. If i and -i are roots of the characteristic equation, then, yes, and are solutions and the general solution will be of the form (I am dropping the and since they are not relevant to this point).

Now, as you know, and (because cos(x) is an even function and sin(x) is an odd function). That gives and, defining C to be A+ B and D to be (A- B)i, this is Ccos(x)+D sin(x).

That is, it is the and**together**that give both trig functions. It is NOT the case that alone gives "cos(x)" and alone gives "sin(x)". - Sep 7th 2010, 01:57 PMpolarbear73
Hey- Thanks for your time. Unfortunately, I'm not misreading. And it's actually not a text book, it has the word "Dummies" in the title, and that might be part of the problem. I'm going to forge on and hope I can learn something. I'm going to see if I can arrive at the correct general solution to that DE.