Complex Numbers in VBA

Mathematical operations on the complex plane have proven to facilitate many real world problems, or as Jacques Hadamard once remarked:

The shortest path between two truths in the real domain passes through the complex domain.

Jacques S. Hadamard (1865–1963)

There are many mathematical packages, that handle complex numbers in a more or less native fashion. Excel, on the other hand, does not. Excel spreadsheets are a great tool for scientific and engineering computations, however the built-in support for complex numbers based on ‘string’ representations is computationally not very efficient and beside this fact only offers a basic set of elementary complex operations.

For this reason I wrote my own complex number library where the functions and operations pertaining to complex numbers are implemented by means of an User Defined Type (UDT):

Public Type Complex
    re As Double
    im As Double
End Type

This library offers a comprehensive set of functions and is easily extendible. The functions implemented so far include:

Cartesian and Polar Functions

CNorm()			Norm of Complex Number
CAbs()			Absolute Value of Complex Number; |z|
CArg()			Argument of Complex Number
CConjugate()		Conjugate of Complex Number
CNeg()			Negative of Complex Number; -z
CSign()			Signum function
CInv()			Complex inverse; 1 / z
CHypotenuse()		Length of the hypotenuse
CRectangularToPolar()	Convert Polar Coordiantes from Cartesian Complex
CPolarToRectangular()	Convert Cartesian Complex from Polar Coordinates

Exponential, Logarithms, Power and Root Functions

CExp()			Complex Exponentiation
CExp2()			Exponent base 2
CExp10()		Exponent base 10
CExpX()			Exponent base X
CLog()			Log base e (Natural Log) of Complex Number
CLog10()		Log base 10 of Complex Number
CLog2()			Log base 2 of Complex Number
CLogX()			[Complex] Log base X of Complex Number
CPow()			Complex power with real exponent
CPowC()			Complex power with complex exponent
CSquare()		Second power
CCubic()		Third power
CQuartic()		Fourth power
CSqrt()			Square Root of Complex Number
CRoot()			[Complex] Root of Complex Number

Trigonometric and Hyperbolic Functions / Inverse Trigonometric and Inverse Hyperbolic Functions

CSin()			Sine
CCos()			Cosine
CTan()			Tangent
CSec()			Secant
CCoTan()		Cotangent
CCoSec()		Cosecant
CSinH()			Hyperbolic Sine
CCosH()			Hyperbolic Cosine
CTanH()			Hyperbolic Tangent
CSecH()			Hyperbolic Secant
CCoTanH()		Hyperbolic Cotangent
CCoSecH()		Hyperbolic Cosecant
CArcSin()		Arc Sine
CArcCos()		Arc Cosine
CArcTan()		Arc Tangent
CArcCoTan()		Arc Cotangent
CArcSec()		Arc Secant
CArcCoSec()		Arc Cosecant
CArcSinH()		Hyperbolic Arc Sine
CArcCosH()		Hyperbolic Arc Cosine
CArcTanH()		Hyperbolic Arc Tangent
CArcCoTanH()		Hyperbolic Arc Cotangent
CArcSecH()		Hyperbolic Arc Secant
CArcCoSecH()		Hyperbolic Arc Cosecant
CCis()			Cis function; "cos + i sin"

Complex Operators

CAdd()			Sum of two [Complex] Numbers
CSub()			Difference of two [Complex] Numbers
CMult()			Product of two [Complex] Numbers
CDiv()			Division of two [Complex] Numbers
CEqual()		Comparison operator
CNotEqual()		Comparison operator
CIsZero()		Test for zero real and imaginary part


I()			Imaginary unit i
MINUS_I()		Negative imaginary unit -i
ONE()			Complex One
MINUS_ONE()		Complex minus One
ZERO()			Complex Zero

Special Functions

CGammaSpouge()		Euler's Gamma function for complex arguments
CGammaSpougeError()	Relative error function for Gamma function using Spouge's formula
CGammaSpougeLog()	Complex Log Gamma function

As an additional benefit the majority of these functions are wrapped into functions that can be easily called from within spreadsheets directly. To distinguish a VBA function from a worksheet function a ‘xl’ is used as a prefix. For example CLog() then becomes xlCLog(). Further details and implementational issues are to be found in the download files.

Some example screenshots:

Complex Number Operations on a worksheet.

Complex Number Operations on a worksheet.

Complex Gamma Function (imaginary part)

The Beauty of the Complex Gamma Function (imaginary part).

Complex Log Gamma Function (absolute values)

The Beauty of the Complex Log Gamma Function (abs).

Inverse Hyperbolic Sine Function (real part)

Inverse Hyperbolic Sine Function (real part).

Complex Square Root Function (imaginary part)

Complex Square Root Function (imaginary part).

Download Files

Note: The Excel file(s) are developed with MS Excel 2007; for compatibility reasons I add a *.xls version for pre Excel 2007 versions (which are not tested). Both files are in a ‘zipped’ format.

Complex Numbers in VBA (*.xlsm)

Complex Numbers in VBA (*.xls)