# William Rowan Hamilton

**Sir William Rowan Hamilton** LL.D, DCL, MRIA, FRAS (3/4 August 1805 – 2 September 1865)[1][2] was an Irish mathematician, astronomer, and physicist. He was the Andrews Professor of Astronomy at Trinity College Dublin, and Royal Astronomer of Ireland, living at Dunsink Observatory.

Sir William Rowan Hamilton | |
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Born | Dublin, Ireland | 4 August 1805

Died | 2 September 1865 60) Dublin, Ireland | (aged

Nationality | Irish |

Alma mater | Trinity College Dublin |

Known for | Hamilton's principle Hamiltonian mechanics Hamiltonians Hamilton–Jacobi equation Quaternions Biquaternions Hamiltonian path Icosian calculus Nabla symbol Versor Coining the word 'tensor' Coining the word 'scalar' cis notation Hamiltonian vector field Icosian game Universal algebra Hodograph Hamiltonian group Cayley–Hamilton theorem |

Spouse | Helen Maria Bayly |

Children | William Edwin Hamilton, Archibald Henry Hamilton, Helen Eliza Amelia O'Regan, née Hamilton |

Awards | Royal Medal (1835) Cunningham Medal (1834 and 1848) |

Scientific career | |

Fields | Mathematics, astronomy, physics |

Institutions | Trinity College, Dublin |

Academic advisors | John Brinkley |

Influences | Zerah Colburn John T. Graves |

Influenced | Peter Guthrie Tait |

Hamilton's scientific career included the study of geometrical optics, ideas from Fourier analysis, and his work on quaternions which made him one of the founders of modern linear algebra.[3] He made major contributions in optics, classical mechanics and abstract algebra. His work was fundamental to modern theoretical physics, particularly his reformulation of Newtonian mechanics, now called Hamiltonian mechanics. It is now central both to electromagnetism and to quantum mechanics.