Scientists » Physicists » SIR WILLIAM ROWAN HAMILTON
|Full name||: Sir William Rowan Hamilton|
|Alias||: Sir William Rowan Hamilton|
|Father||: Archibald Hamilton|
|Children||: William Edwin Hamilton|
|Education||: Trinity College Dublin Westminster School|
|Activists||: Physicists , Astronomers, Mathematicians|
One of the most significant Irish scientists, William Rowan Hamilton made noteworthy contributions in the field of classical mechanics, algebra and optics. What is interesting to note is that Hamilton, from the tender age of five, showed signs of making it big in the world. His immense talent was appropriately nutured right from the very beginning, which further enhanced his capabilities. While Hamilton is known to have contributed in various fields, it is his work in the reformulation of Newtonian mechanics, now called Hamiltonian mechanics, that tops the list. This work proves to be the foundation of the modern study of classical field theories such as electromagnetism, and to the development of quantum mechanics. To know more about this inventor of quaternions, read through these following lines
Fourth of the nine children of Sarah Hutton and Archibald Hamilton, young William Hamilton was born in Dublin, Ireland. His father, a solicitor by profession, was mostly touring England practising legal business. As such, he had little or no time to teach young Hamilton. It was due to this reason that William Hamilton, at the age of three, was sent to live with his uncle James Hamilton. A graduate from the Trinity College, his uncle ran a school in Talbots Castle. Young Hamilton displayed signs of being a fast learner right from the very childhood. By the age of five, he had learned three languages including, Latin, Greek and Hebrew and before 12, he broadened his knowledge in various other languages, such as Arabic, Sanskrit, Persian, Syriac, French, and Italian. While until then, languages seemed to be the only love of Hamilton, it was a meeting with Zerah Colburn that altered the passion. Colburn, who was a master at mental arithmetic, competed with Hamilton and emerged as the winner. Not used to being beaten in any contest of intellect, this defeat sparked in Hamilton an interest in mathematics and rest as they is history.
The journey to Summerhill in 1824 along with uncle James was an important one in the personal life of Hamilton, for it was there that Hamilton first met Catherine, daughter of the Disney family, which the two were visiting. Hamilton was instantly struck with the cupid’s arrow and fell head over heels in love with the lady. However, since he was too young to propose marriage, he returned without saying anything. Year 1825’s month of February wasn’t a very favorable one for Hamilton as it was then that Catherine’s mother broke the news of Catherine’s marriage to a clergyman. Hamilton was deeply hurt. The turmoil in his personal life affected his career as well. What’s more, Hamilton even had suicidal thoughts occurring to him. It was during this period that Hamilton turned to poetry as a means of letting out his anguish. Hamilton was so much in love with Catherine that for him, it did not later matter whom he married. As a result, he tied the nuptial knot with Helen Maria Bayly who lived just across the fields from the observatory. The couple had a son named, William Edward Hamilton.