Complex affine space

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"Complex space" redirects here. For a concept in algebraic geometry, see complex-analytic space.

In mathematics, n-dimensional complex space is a multi-dimensional generalisation of the complex numbers, which have both real and imaginary parts or dimensions. The n-dimensional complex space can be seen as n cartesian products of the complex numbers with itself:

 \C^n = \underbrace{\C \times \C \times \cdots \times \C}_{n\text{-times}}

The n-dimensional complex space consists of ordered n-tuples of complex numbers, called coordinates:

 \C^n = \{ (z_1,\ldots,z_n) : z_i \in \C \text{ for all } 1 \le i \le n\}

The real and imaginary parts of a complex number may be treated as separate dimensions. With this interpretation, the space \C^n of n complex numbers can be seen as having 2 \times n dimensions represented by 2 \times n-tuples of real numbers. The two different interpretations can cause confusion about the dimension of a complex space.

The study of complex spaces, or complex manifolds, is called complex geometry.

One dimension[edit]

The complex line \C^1 has one real and one imaginary dimension. It is analogous in some ways to two-dimensional real space, and may be represented as an Argand diagram in the real plane.

In projective geometry, the complex projective line includes a point at infinity in the Argand diagram and is an example of a Riemann sphere.

Two dimensions[edit]

The term "complex plane" can be confusing. It is sometimes used to denote \C^2, and sometimes to denote the \C^1 space represented in the Argand diagram (with the Riemann sphere referred to as the "extended complex plane"). In the present context of \C^n, it is understood to denote \C^2.

An intuitive understanding of the complex projective plane is given by Edwards (2003), which he attributes to Von Staudt.


  • Djoric, M. & Okumura, M.; CR Submanifolds of Complex Projective Space, Springer 2010
  • Edwards, L.; Projective geometry (2nd Ed), Floris, 2003.
  • Lindenbaum, S.D.; Mathematical methods in physics, World Scientific, 1996

See also[edit]