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

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60
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5answers
2k 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 ...
34
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 ...
25
votes
5answers
4k views

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: ...
25
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
23
votes
5answers
2k views

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 ...
23
votes
2answers
823 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 ...
22
votes
2answers
758 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 ...
19
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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?
19
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7answers
2k views

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 ...
18
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8answers
5k views

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 ...
18
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6answers
6k 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 ...
14
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1answer
245 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
359 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: ...
14
votes
2answers
318 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 ...
13
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4answers
2k views

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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1answer
287 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
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 ...
11
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1answer
432 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
7k 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
votes
2answers
958 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
votes
2answers
31k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
195 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, ...
9
votes
2answers
400 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
202 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
votes
1answer
976 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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1answer
302 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
269 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 $2^n$ ...
8
votes
1answer
356 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
474 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
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
104 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
433 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
315 views

$x^2+1=0$ uncountable many solutions [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why are the solutions of polynomial equations so unconstrained over the quaternions? Coudl someone explain me the following: Why should $x^2+1=0$ have uncountable ...
7
votes
1answer
463 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
votes
2answers
89 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
votes
1answer
271 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
votes
2answers
167 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
votes
1answer
132 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
votes
3answers
291 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
votes
2answers
184 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
votes
2answers
174 views

Alternative quaternion multiplication method

Given two quaternions, $a+bi+cj+dk$ and $e+fi+gj+hk$, their product (w.r.t. their given order) would normally be given by ...
6
votes
4answers
157 views

What's the intuition for extending $\mathbb{C}$ to $\mathbb{H}$?

It seems to me that there is a clear, intuitive reason for extending the real number system to the complex number system. Namely, some polynomial equations that have no solutions in $\mathbb{R}$ ...
6
votes
1answer
140 views

Do there exist equations that cannot be solved in $\mathbb{C}$, but can be solved in $\mathbb{H}$?

Excluding polynomials (whose solutions are covered by the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra), do there exist any univariable equations that cannot be solved in the complex numbers, but can be solved ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
379 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
847 views

Quaternions vs Axis angle

Whats the use of representing rotation with quaternions compared to normal axis angle representation? I've been trying to learn quaternions and they make enough sense but as far as I can tell ...
6
votes
1answer
333 views

How to identify $SL(2,\mathbb{C})/SU(2)$ and the hyperbolic 3-space?

I know that every coset representative $g\in SL(2,\mathbb{C})$ for $SL(2,\mathbb{C})/SU(2)$ can be chosen of the form $$ g = \left( \begin{array}{cc} \sqrt{t} & \frac{z}{\sqrt{t}}\\ 0 & ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Euler angles and gimbal lock

Can someone show mathematically how gimbal lock happens when doing matrix rotation with Euler angles for yaw, pitch, roll? I'm having a hard time understanding what is going on even after reading ...
5
votes
4answers
125 views

Show that $Q_8$ can't be embedded in $M_{2 \times 2}(\mathbb{R})$ as a group.

So, suppose that we're working in a field $F$. Consider the ring $M_{n \times n} (F)$ which is the set all $n \times n$ matrices with entries in $F$. Is it possible to determine whether a matrix ...
5
votes
1answer
7k views

Rotate Quaternion A by 180 degrees

Suppose you have an arbitrary quaternion - call it A - how do you rotate it by 180 degrees? Is there a way to do this without convert to angle-axis representation, i.e., keep it within the ...