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Sir William Rowan Hamilton LL.D, DCL, MRIA (3 August 1805 – 2 September 1865) was an Irish mathematician, Andrews Professor of Astronomy at Trinity College Dublin, and Royal Astronomer of Ireland at Dunsink Observatory. He worked in both pure mathematics and mathematics for physics. He made important contributions to optics, classical mechanics and algebra. Although Hamilton was not a physicist—he regarded himself as a pure mathematician—his work was of major importance to physics, particularly his reformulation of Newtonian mechanics, now called Hamiltonian mechanics. This work has proven central to the modern study of classical field theories such as electromagnetism, and to the development of quantum mechanics. In pure mathematics, he is best known as the inventor of quaternions.

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  • William Rowan Hamilton
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  • Sir William Rowan Hamilton LL.D, DCL, MRIA (3 August 1805 – 2 September 1865) was an Irish mathematician, Andrews Professor of Astronomy at Trinity College Dublin, and Royal Astronomer of Ireland at Dunsink Observatory. He worked in both pure mathematics and mathematics for physics. He made important contributions to optics, classical mechanics and algebra. Although Hamilton was not a physicist—he regarded himself as a pure mathematician—his work was of major importance to physics, particularly his reformulation of Newtonian mechanics, now called Hamiltonian mechanics. This work has proven central to the modern study of classical field theories such as electromagnetism, and to the development of quantum mechanics. In pure mathematics, he is best known as the inventor of quaternions.
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