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William Hamilton, Irish mathematician

William Hamilton, Irish mathematician

H408/0446

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LIBRARY OF CONGRESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Sir William Rowan Hamilton (1805-1865), Irish mathematician. Hamilton, largely self-taught, was accepted at Trinity College in Dublin where he graduated with the highest honours in both Greek and mathematical physics. He became professor of Astronomy at Trinity in 1827. During his physics work he developed the law of least action. He also discovered quaternions, an algebra of rotations in three-dimensional complex space. He is remembered for the Hamiltonian functions, used in the energetics of quantum mechanics. Photographed in 1857, in Fulneck, Yorkshire, England. Photograph published in 1885 in Life of Sir William Rowan Hamilton.

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