Sir William Rowan Hamilton Biography
(Irish Mathematician and Astronomer Who Contributed to the Development of ‘Optics’, ‘Classical Mechanics’ and ‘Abstract Algebra’)
Birthday: August 4, 1805 (Leo)
Born In: Dublin, Ireland
Sir William Rowan Hamilton was one of the greatest scientists to be born in Ireland. He was a linguist, a mathematician, an astronomer and a physicist all rolled into one and had contributed to a huge extent to the world of algebra, geometry, optics and dynamics. Many of the fundamental concepts used in quantum mechanics have been named ‘Hamiltonian’ in his honor. His most important discovery was the ‘algebra of quaternions’ which helped other scientists understand three-dimensional geometry.Curious and intelligent from an early age, young Hamilton’s genius was attributed more to his mother than his father. He spent most of his childhood with his uncle who taught him a large number of languages. He was also very good at mathematics and developed a great deal of expertise on differential calculus and analytical geometry. His work led to many developments in the modern study of quantum mechanics and electromagnetism.