Definition of quaternion in English:
1 Mathematics A complex number of the form w + xi + yj + zk, where w, x, y, z are real numbers and i, j, k are imaginary units that satisfy certain conditions.
- Recall that when Hamilton passed from complex numbers to quaternions, multiplication lost one of its normal properties: commutativity.
- Two other papers which he published in the same year in publications of the Royal Society of Edinburgh were on the scalar functions of a vector and on an application of quaternions to differential equations.
- Hurwitz published a paper on a factorisation theory for integer quaternions in 1896 and applied it to the problem of representing an integer as the sum of four squares.
2 rare A set of four people or things.
- And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
- I am not likely to attempt your quaternion of colour very soon.
- The two figural miniatures and all the canon tables are contained on a separate gathering, a quaternion, physically joined together.
Definition of quaternion in:
- British & World English dictionary