William Rowan Hamilton

Sir William Rowan Hamilton was an Irish astronomer and mathematician who made important contributions to classical mechanics, optics, and algebra.  His greatest contribution is probably the 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 mathematics, he is probably best known as the inventor of quaternions.

Notable works in ARB’s collection:

  • Lectures on quaternions: containing a systematic statement of a new mathematical method (1853)
  • The mathematical papers of Sir William Rowan Hamilton (1931)

For more works by William Rowan Hamilton click here.