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3D Programming for Windows® by Charles Petzold

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Hamilton and Quaternions

One of the people intrigued by the concept of extending complex numbers into three dimensions was Irish mathematician Sir William Rowan Hamilton (1805–1865). In one of the most famous stories in the history of mathematics, Hamilton and his wife were walking along the Royal Canal in Dublin on October 16, 1843, when he was struck with the solution. To help him remember, he used a pocket knife to carve a simple equation in a stone on Brougham Bridge (also called Broome Bridge):

Hamilton and Quaternions

Hamilton's graffito is no longer present, but a plaque on the bridge commemorates the event.

These i, j, and k values form the basis of quaternions. But ...

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