William Hamilton

Picture of William Hamilton

Date of Birth: 08/04/1805

Age: 60

Place of birth: Dublin

Citizenship: Ireland


Born on August 4, 1805 in Dublin. He graduated from the University of Dublin Trinity College (1827). At 21 became Astronomer Royal, Professor of Dublin University and director of the astronomical observatory. He held these positions until his death.

The first works of Hamilton relate to the field of optics and mechanics. He created in 1824 the theory of light beams allowed to predict (1832) phenomenon of conical refraction in biaxial crystals, experimentally confirmed in experiments with H.Lloydom argonitom. In 1834-1835 Hamilton summarized his theory of optical phenomena on the dynamics and systematically developed it, reducing the solution of the general problem of dynamics to find solutions to a system of two partial differential equations (Hamilton`s canonical equations). Optical-mechanical analogy of Hamilton has been a long time forgotten, and only after nearly 100 years E.Shredinger used when creating the wave mechanics.

In 1843, Hamilton gave a generalized representation of a complex number in the form of a set of four numbers, t, x, y, z, which he called the quaternion and having the form t + ix + jy + kz. The number t has been called their scalar part and the imaginary part of a generalization ix + jy + kz - vector. The most famous was the result of calculating the quaternion vector calculus. Among Hamilton`s works - general method of dynamics (General Method in Dynamics, 1834-1835), Fundamentals of the theory of quaternions (Elements of Quaternions, 1886). Many of his works have not yet been published. Died Hamilton Dansinke near Dublin September 2, 1865.