WALK HONOURS IRISH
MATHEMATICIAN
Copyright 2001 www.tombraiderchronicles.com
[ October 13th 2001 ]
A walk
along the Royal Canal is planned next week to
mark the day in 1843 when Irish mathematician
William Rowan Hamilton created the Quaternion
 an advanced mathematical concept  while strolling
from the Dunsink Observatory to Dublin with his
wife on 16th October, the Irish Times reports
today.
During
the eighteen hundreds, considerable thought was
concentrated on the amalgamation of complex numbers
and their relationships. Mathematicians questioned
that if a rule for multiplying two numbers existed,
did a similar rule exist for multiplying three.
Hamilton,
one of the greatest mathematicians of all time,
stumbled upon the solution while walking along
the Royal Canal, and carved the answer in the
stone of a bridge to document his formula. Hamilton
had discovered that the solution for the multiplication
of three numbers was "four dimensional." By setting
the forth dimension to zero, Hamilton thus invented
a rule which he called a "proper quaternion."
Quaternion’s
are used today to design computer games and helped
create the famous character, Lara Croft, in Core
Designs Tomb Raider videogame series. The public
are invited on the guided walk, planned for Tuesday,
October 16th. Details are available from the NUI
Maynooth Mathematics Department at 017083651.
