New York, East
12 - 13 November 1996
HAMILTON, Sir WILLIAM ROWAN. Lectures on Quaternions; containing a systematic Statement of a New Mathematical Method... Dublin: Hodges and Smith, 1853. 8vo, rebound in orange cloth; some foxing to title and at beginning and end, ex-library copy with shelf-marks (mostly on binding and endpages). FIRST EDITION. PMM 334.
"The achievement in pure mathematics for which Hamilton is now best remembered is the invention of quaternions, a linear algebra of rotations in space of three dimensions. Quaternions were the first non-commutative number system to be investigated in detail, and Hamilton's discovery that a consistent and useful system of algebra could be constructed without obeisance to the commutative law of multiplication was comparable in importance to the invention of non-Euclidean geometry"--PMM.
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