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Quaternion

Numbers with four dimensions are called quaternions. You write them as

q = a + bi + cj + dk

and they constst of the real numbers a, b, c, d and the quantities ij and k. The set of quaternions is denoted by the symbol H (from Hamilton).

 


Explanation

When multiplying the quantities ij and k the sequence plays a role.

 
 
 

Quaternions can be used to describe a rotation in three dimensions. A point (b, c, d ) in three dimensions forms the imaginary part bi + cj + dk of a quaternion.

 


Additional information

The Irisch mathematcian William Rowan Hamilton invented the quaternions in 1843.

 


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