Talk:William Rowan Hamilton

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Quote query[edit]

"He was subsequently educated by James Hamilton (curate of Trim), his uncle and an Anglican priest." - does this mean he was educated by his uncle, James Hamilton, who was an Anglican priest, or does it mean that he was educated by three people, James Hamilton, an unnamed uncle, and an unnamed Anglican priest??? 84.66.32.134 15:30, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Alternative version of article[edit]

The article below seems not to belong on a "talk" page but to be simply an alternative version of a subject article. While it might make sense to merge those things that aren't already in the referenced article into that one, why was this put here? - BRG 16:35, 7 Nov 2003 (UTC)

The article below is the chapter on Hamilton from: Alexander Macfarlane, Lectures on ten British mathematicians of the nineteenth century, 1916, pp 34-49. Internet Archive: Lectures on ten British mathematicians. It should indeed not be repeated here. Perhaps it could be added as a reference in the article since Macfarlane seems to have been one of the first to leave the suggestion that later in life Hamilton had become an alcoholic, even without literally saying that, see p. 46 of Macfarlane's chapter. VWA (talk) 22:51, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
I have deleted the copy from Macfarlane's chapter since it can be read on the Internet Archive using the link given above. VWA (talk) 15:18, 7 January 2018 (UTC)

needs work[edit]

This entry needs a lot of work. For example:

In 1827, Hamilton presented a theory that provided a single function that brings together mechanics, optics and mathematics. It helped in establishing the wave theory of light. He proposed for it when he first predicted its existence in the third supplement to his "Systems of Rays," read in 1832.

What does proposed for it mean? Predicted the existence of WHAT??

For some reason there is a brief discussion of the incredibly important `Hamiltonian' approach to classical mechanics at the end of the section on quaternions. The Hamiltonian approach is vastly more important than the quaternions - and I say this as a huge fan of the quaternions. It should be treated together with his other work on dynamics.

Neither physicist nor astronomer[edit]

Although Hamilton had of course a huge influence on physics, he was a mathematician and without exception referred to his own work as mathematics. VWA (talk) 08:28, 10 January 2018 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Competition against Zerah Colburn[edit]

My source, Math & Mathematicians: The History of Math Discoveries Around the World (ISBN 0-7876-3813-7) states that the competition between William Rowan Hamilton and Zerah Colburn occurred in 1818 when Hamilton was 13. Is that correct? Thank you, Vincentupsdellred (talk) 17:27, 20 December 2017 (UTC)

Personal life[edit]

The new entry (Dec 2017) on Hamilton's private life needs editing. Hamilton was not rejected by Catherine Disney and he certainly did not propose to Aubrey de Vere. Moreover, the entry comes from one source which does not seem to claim to be an original biographic one. I cannot cite from our own work in which we give a far more positive view on the private lives of Hamilton and his wife and discuss where this extremely negative view came from, https://doi.org/10.1080/17498430.2017.1400821, and therefore I would like to ask someone who thinks we have a point, or not, to consider editing this entry. VWA (talk) 15:17, 7 January 2018 (UTC)