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
Sir William Rowan Hamilton (1805–1865)
Born(1805-08-04)4 August 1805
Dublin, Ireland
Died2 September 1865(1865-09-02) (aged 60)
Dublin, Ireland
Alma materTrinity College Dublin
Known forHamilton's principle
Hamiltonian mechanics
Hamilton–Jacobi equation
Hamiltonian path
Icosian calculus
Nabla symbol
Coining the word 'tensor'
Coining the word 'scalar'
cis notation
Hamiltonian vector field
Icosian game
Universal algebra
Hamiltonian group
Cayley–Hamilton theorem
SpouseHelen Maria Bayly
ChildrenWilliam Edwin Hamilton, Archibald Henry Hamilton, Helen Eliza Amelia O'Regan, née Hamilton
AwardsRoyal Medal (1835)
Cunningham Medal (1834 and 1848)
Scientific career
FieldsMathematics, astronomy, physics
InstitutionsTrinity College, Dublin
Academic advisorsJohn Brinkley
InfluencesZerah Colburn
John T. Graves
InfluencedPeter 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.

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