# Conjugate and simplify

I want to get a cosine from taking the real part of a complex exponential: $cos(x) = Re(exp(i x))$. What I do in Mathematica is

(1/2)*(Exp[x*I] + Conjugate[Exp[x*I]]) // TraditionalForm // FullSimplify


but this gives me 1/2 (E^(-I x^\[Conjugate]) + E^(I x)) instead of cos(x). Why is that?

• FullSimplify[(Exp[x*I] + Conjugate[Exp[x*I]])/2, x ∈ Reals] // TraditionalForm Commented Apr 29, 2013 at 14:16

Try!

(1/2)*(Exp[x*I] + Conjugate[Exp[x*I]])// ComplexExpand


Cos[x]

Also note that TraditionalForm is a formatting tool mainly for displaying the formulas in a nice manner. After you have applied TraditionalForm on an expression other Mathematica built in functions (e.g FullSimplify) may have problem to deal with the expression as an input. Hence better to use TraditionalForm only for displaying expressions.

Another approach:

Simplify[ExpToTrig @ Re[E^(I x)], x ∈ Reals]


Cos[x]

(ExpToTrig@Exp[x*I])[[1]]


Cos[x]

ComplexExpand[Exp[x*I]] /. I -> 0


Cos[x]