For questions about the quaternions: a noncommutative four dimensional division algebra over the real numbers.

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77
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7answers
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Why are There No “Triernions”? [duplicate]

Since there are complex numbers (2 dimensions) and quaternions (4 dimensions), it follows intuitively that there ought to be something in between for 3 dimensions ("triernions"). Yet no one uses ...
72
votes
5answers
3k views

Why are the solutions of polynomial equations so unconstrained over the quaternions?

An $n$th-degree polynomial has at most $n$ distinct zeroes in the complex numbers. But it may have an uncountable set of zeroes in the quaternions. For example, $x^2+1$ has two zeroes in $\mathbb ...
41
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are the only division algebras over the real numbers the real numbers, the complex numbers, and the quaternions?

Why are the only (associative) division algebras over the real numbers the real numbers, the complex numbers, and the quaternions? Here a division algebra is an associative algebra where every ...
30
votes
3answers
3k views

What lies beyond the Sedenions

In the construction of types of numbers, we have the following sequence: $$\mathbb{R} \subset \mathbb{C} \subset \mathbb{H} \subset \mathbb{O} \subset \mathbb{S}$$ or: $$2^0 \mathrm{-ions} \subset ...
26
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6answers
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Why should quaternions exist?

Why do quaternions exist? I want to believe they exist, but all I can think of are reasons they should not exist. These are my reasons. The quaternions are defined by the following equation: ...
26
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5answers
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Can Euler's identity be extended to quaternions?

Euler's identity is $e^{i \pi} + 1 = 0$, a special case of the Euler's formula $e^{i\theta} = \cos\theta + i\sin\theta$, where $\theta = \pi$ (half-turn of the unit circle). It is commonly described ...
25
votes
2answers
972 views

What do we lose passing from the reals to the complex numbers?

As normed division algebras, when we go from the complex numbers to the quaternions, we lose commutativity. Moving on to the octonions, we lose associativity. Is there some analogous property that we ...
23
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6answers
2k views

What is the motivation for quaternions?

I know imaginary numbers solve $x^2 +1=0$, but what is the motivation for quaternions?
22
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7answers
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How can one intuitively think about quaternions?

Quaternions came up while I was interning not too long ago and it seemed like no one really know how they worked. While eventually certain people were tracked down and were able to help with the ...
22
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2answers
935 views

Is the set of quaternions $\mathbb{H}$ algebraically closed?

A skew field $K$ is said to be algebraically closed if it contains a root for every non-constant polynomial in $K[x]$. I know that this is true for $\mathbb{C}$, which is the algebraic closure of ...
21
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6answers
8k views

Real world uses of Quaternions?

I've recently started reading about Quaternions, and I keep reading that for example they're used in computer graphics and mechanics calculations to calculate movement and rotation, but without real ...
19
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8answers
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Why is the complex number $z=a+bi$ equivalent to the matrix form $\left(\begin{smallmatrix}a &-b\\b&a\end{smallmatrix}\right)$ [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Relation of this antisymmetric matrix $r = \left(\begin{smallmatrix}0 &1\\-1 & 0\end{smallmatrix}\right)$ to $i$ On Wikipedia, it says that: Matrix ...
15
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2answers
375 views

Is there an algebraic closure for the quaternions?

This post is a sequel of: Is the set of quaternions $\mathbb{H}$ algebraically closed? This answer shows that: 1. $\mathbb{H}$ is algebraically closed for the polynomials of the form $\sum a_r ...
14
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2answers
1k views

Why are properties lost in the Cayley–Dickson construction?

Motivating question: What lies beyond the Sedenions? I'm aware that one can construct a hierarchy of number systems via the Cayley–Dickson process: $$\mathbb{R} \subset \mathbb{C} \subset ...
14
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1answer
262 views

Why is the dimension of $SL(2,\mathbb{H})$ equal to $15$?

Let me ask a very basic question which is inspired by reading M. Atiyah's "Geometry and physics of knots". Could you explain me (or give a reference to) the definition of the special linear group ...
14
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1answer
505 views

How to raise a number to a quaternion power

Now, I know that it's (relatively) easy to calculate, say, $r^{a+bi}$ (using the fact that, for $z_1, z_2\in \mathbb{C}, {z_1}^{z_2}=e^{z_2\ln(z_1)}$ and $\ln(z_1$) can just be found using: ...
13
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4answers
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Quaternions: why does ijk = -1 and ij=k and -ji=k

Currently i am studying quaternions. I do understand that i, j and k are imaginairy numbers. so $i^2 = j^2 =k^2 = -1$. But I could not understand this: ...
13
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3answers
43k views

How do you rotate a vector by a unit quaternion?

Given a 3-variable right-handed vector v that is a translation measured in local space and a unit quaternion representing an orientation from local to world space, how do you use the quaternion to ...
13
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1answer
602 views

The Quaternions and $SO(4)$

I am interested in the map $\phi:S^3 \times S^3 \to GL_4(\mathbb{R})$ given as follows: Let $(p,q) \in S^3 \times S^3$. We identify $p$ and $q$ as real quaternions with unit norms and define ...
13
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1answer
295 views

Quaternionic veronese Embedding

I know that the complex projective line $\mathbb{C}P^1$ can be embedded in the complex projective space $\mathbb{C}P^n$ (Veronese embedding). For example, $\mathbb{C}P^1\rightarrow\mathbb{C}P^3$ is ...
12
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2answers
440 views

Why should I consider the components $j^2$ and $k^2$ to be $=-1$ in the search for quaternions?

I'm reading a paper about Hamilton's discovery of quaternions and it explains why he failed in his 'theory of triplets' where he tried to make a vector with $3$ dimensions, as an analogy to the ...
12
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1answer
364 views

What specific algebraic properties are broken at each Cayley-Dickson stage beyond octonions?

I'm starting to come around to an understanding of hypercomplex numbers, and I'm particularly fascinated by the fact that certain algebraic properties are broken as we move through each of the $2^n$ ...
11
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1answer
9k views

Quaternion distance

I am using quaternions to represent orientation as a rotational offset from a global coordinate frame. Is it correct in thinking that quaternion distance gives a metric that defines the closeness of ...
10
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2answers
1k views

How do quaternions represent rotations?

I wonder how $qvq^{-1}$ gives the rotated vector of $v$. Is there any easy-to-understand proof for it? I was on Wikipedia, but I could not understand the proof there because of the conversions. Why ...
10
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3answers
780 views

Are j and k on different imaginary planes than i?

I'm trying to understand Quaternions. So I understand that a Quaternion is written like $xi+yj+zk+w$. I also understand that $i^2 = j^2 = k^2 = ijk = -1$, and how that can be used to derive equations ...
10
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3answers
247 views

Quaternions as an Algebra

I'm lacking some vital understanding about quaternions and algebras in general. If we first define $V=\{a+bi+cj+dk|a,b,c,d\in\mathbb{R}\}$. Then we define scalar multiplication, vector multiplication, ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Quaternion integration

If the angular velocity is changing continuously, the following holds true $ q(t)=q(0)\exp\left({\int_{0}^{t}\frac{q_\omega(\tau)}{2}\ d\tau}\right) \tag 1$ Specifications and Data $q(t),q(0)$ ...
9
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3answers
6k views

How to rotate one vector about another?

Breif Having given 2 non-parallel vectors: a and b, is there any way by which I may rotate a about b such that b acts as the axis about which a is rotating. Question Given: vector a and b To find: ...
9
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2answers
460 views

Binary tetrahedral group and $\rm{SL}_2(\mathbb F_3)$

The binary tetrahedral group $\mathbb T$ is an interesting 24-element group. For instance it can be expressed as the subgroup $$ \mathbb T = \left\{ \pm 1, \pm i, \pm j, \pm k, \dfrac{\pm 1 \pm i \pm ...
9
votes
2answers
218 views

Why is $\mathbb{H}\otimes\mathbb{H}\cong\text{End}_\mathbb{R}\mathbb{H}$?

When I first learned of the quaternion algebra $\mathbb{H}$, the most concrete way to get a grip on the ring of its endomorphisms $\operatorname{End}_\mathbb{R}(\mathbb{H})$ was to view them as ...
9
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1answer
125 views

Eigenvalues of Group Elements and Quaternions

The quaternion algebra is given by $\mathbb{H}$ = $\{a+bi+cj+dk \mid a, b, c, d \in \mathbb{R}, i^2 = j^2 = k^2 = -1, ij = k = -ji\} := \{z_1+z_2j \mid z_1, z_2 \in \mathbb{C}\}.$ I consider the ...
9
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0answers
452 views

Using Padé approximants for the quaternion exponential

On a lark, I wanted to know if one can use Padé approximants to compute the exponential $\exp(z)$ of a quaternion $z=a+b\mathbf{i}+c\mathbf{j}+d\mathbf{k}$. Since Mathematica has a package meant for ...
8
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1answer
472 views

Riemann Zeta function, quaternions and physics

Disclaimer: This question is rather vague, and thus probably not suitable for Mathoverflow, so I prefer to ask it here. I'm sorry if it doesn't meet the standards of this site. Several years ago, I ...
8
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1answer
551 views

Splitting of quaternion algebras

A rational (definite) quaternion algebra is an algebra of the form $$ \mathcal{K} = \mathbb{Q} + \mathbb{Q}\alpha + \mathbb{Q}\beta + \mathbb{Q}\alpha \beta $$ with $\alpha^2,\beta^2 \in ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Averaging quaternions

Given multiple quaternions representing orientations, and I want to average them. Each one has a different weight, and they all sum up to one. How can I get the average of them? Simple multiplication ...
7
votes
3answers
683 views

How can Hamilton's quaternion equation be true?

I'm reading Ken Shoemake's explanation of quaternions in David Eberly's book Game Physics. In it, he describes the $\mathbf{i}, \mathbf{j}, \mathbf{k}$ components of quaternions to all equal ...
7
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2answers
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Does anyone know any resources for Quaternions for truly understanding them?

I've been studying Quaternions for a week, on my own. I've learned various facts about them but I still don't understand them. My goal is to understand rotation quaternions specifically. I don't want ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Quaternion Rings

Let $R$ be a commutative ring. Define the Hamilton quaternions $H(R)$ over $R$ to be the free $R$-module with basis $\{1, i, j, k\}$, that is, $$H(R)=\{a_0+a_1i+a_2j+a_3k\;\;:\;\;a_l\in R\}.$$ and ...
7
votes
1answer
535 views

Is a 3D Mandelbrot-esque fractal analogue possible?

I understand that (unlike complex numbers) there's no consistent 3 dimensional number system (even 4D loses some nice properties). Regardless, I'm wondering if there might be a 'trick' to create a 3D ...
7
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2answers
96 views

Clarify: “$S^0$, $S^1$ and $S^3$ are the only spheres which are also groups”

The zero, one, and three dimensional spheres $S^0$, $S^1$ and $S^3$ are in bijection with the sets $\{a\in \mathbb{K}:|a|=1\}$ for $\mathbb{K} = \mathbb{R}, \mathbb{C}, \mathbb{H}$ respectively. The ...
7
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1answer
358 views

Quaternion group associativity

Consider the eight objects $\pm 1, \pm i, \pm j, \pm k$ with multiplication rules: $ij=k,jk=i,ki=j,ji=-k,kj=-i,ik=-j,i^2=j^2=k^2=-1$, where the minus signs behave as expected and $1$ and $-1$ ...
7
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1answer
539 views

Why do Quaternions and octonions exist?

Ok so I have known about imaginary numbers for quite some time now. I also understand why we want them to exist (to have a solution for $x^2=-1$). I also remember reading that the complex numbers are ...
7
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2answers
193 views

Is it possible to use the imaginary components of quaternions to facilitate calculation of vector cross products?

It has come to my attention that the cross products of the vectors $\mathbf{i}$, $\mathbf{j}$, and $\mathbf{k}$ are almost identical to the products of the imaginary components of quaternions $i$, ...
7
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0answers
92 views

Does the exceptional Lie algebra $\mathfrak{g}_2$ arise from the isometry group of any projective space?

I learned from Baez's notes on octonions that the classical simple Lie algebras can be identified with the Lie algebras of isometry groups of projective spaces over $\mathbb{R}, \mathbb{C}$ and ...
7
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1answer
152 views

Can quaternions be useful for integrals?

Lets assume we want to find a closed form for $\int_0^1 f(x) dx$ where $f(x)$ is a real-analytic function. There are many techniques to find that. Some include contour integration on the complex ...
6
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3answers
355 views

4 dimensional numbers

I've tought using split complex and complex numbers toghether for building a 3 dimensional space (related to my previous question). I then found out using both together, we can have trouble on the ...
6
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2answers
459 views

Square roots of $-1$ in quaternion ring

In this Wikipedia page it is said that the square roots of -1 in the quaternion ring are the elements of the imaginary sphere. I don't understand why this is so. I don't understand the system that's ...
6
votes
2answers
250 views

Why is $(-1) \cdot j = j \cdot (-1)$ for quaternions?

I'm currently trying to understand the following part of a script (translated from German to English). It is the first part where quaternions get introduced, so I don't know anything about them except ...
6
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2answers
68 views

Why do division algebras always have a number of dimensions which is a power of $2$?

Why do number systems always have a number of dimensions which is a power of $2$? Real numbers: $2^0 = 1$ dimension. Complex numbers: $2^1 = 2$ dimensions. Quaternions: $2^2 = 4$ dimensions. ...
6
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1answer
374 views

Generalizing complex numbers: Is there a mathematical system isomorphic to 3 dimensional space?

As I understand it, complex numbers: $ax+i$ are isomorphic to two-dimensional space. Quaternions consist of $4$ dimensions. Is that right? Wikipedia says "quaternions form a four-dimensional ...