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The Hamilton walk

Organised by Maynooth University this annual pilgrimage traces the path of Ireland's greatest mathematician
  • Dublin
  • Third Level Students
  • Adult Groups
  • Secondary
When Oct 16, 2015
from 01:00 PM to 02:15 PM
Where Dunsink Observatory
Contact Name Fiacre O'Cairbre
Contact Phone (01) 7083763
Attendees Second level students (especially Transition year), third level and the general public.
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The Hamilton walk.

Booking is essential with Fiacre O'Cairbre Maynooth University at (01) 7083763.

When: October 16 at 1 p.m.

Where: Dunsink Observatory, Dublin 15.

Audience: Second level students (especially Transition year), third level and the general public.


Description: The walk commemorates Hamilton's famous creation of a strange new number system, called Quaternions, on the banks of the Royal Canal in Dublin on October 16, 1843. Quaternions now play a fundamental role in computer games and animation, special effects in movies, space navigation, physics, engineering and many other areas. The walk will retrace Hamilton's steps from Dunsink Observatory to Broombridge in Cabra where he had his Eureka moment. Hamilton performed a piece of mathematical graffiti by scratching his quaternion formulas on the canal bridge. In an act of mathematical vandalism, Hamilton opened up a whole new mathematical landscape where mathematicians could now feel free to conceive new algebraic number systems that were not shackled by the rules of ordinary numbers in arithmetic. Hamilton freed algebra from arithmetic and he was called the Liberator of Algebra.


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