HAMILTON, William Rowan (Hamilton William Rowan)( Irish mathematician, physicist and engineer.)
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Biography HAMILTON, William Rowan (Hamilton William Rowan)
Born August 4, 1805 in Dublin (Ireland). He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin University (1827). He became Astronomer Royal, Professor University of Dublin and Director of the observatory. He held these positions until the end of life.
The first work of Hamilton are in the area of optics and mechanics. Established in 1824 his theory of light rays led to the prediction (1832) the phenomenon of conical refraction in biaxial crystals, confirmed experimentally H. Lloyd in experiments with argonitom. In the 1834-1835 Hamilton summarized his theory of optical phenomena on the dynamics and systematically develop it, bringing to the common problems of the dynamics in solutions to a system of two partial differential equations (canonical equations of Hamilton). Optical-mechanical analogy of Hamilton has been a long time forgotten, and only after nearly 100 years has been used when creating Schrodinger wave mechanics.
In 1843, Hamilton gave a generalized representation of a complex number as a set of four numbers, t, x, y, z, which he called quaternion and having the form t + ix + jy + kz. Number of t has been called its scalar part, as a generalization of the imaginary part ix + jy + kz - vector. The best known consequence of the calculus of quaternions was the vector calculus. Among the works of Hamilton - General Dynamics Method (General Method in Dynamics, 1834-1835), Foundations of the theory of quaternions (Elements of Quaternions, 1886). Hamilton died in Dublin on September 2, 1865.