Monday, April 10, 2017

What is William Rowan Hamilton know for- for us? for everyone else?

I found the song William Rowan Hamilton that I used in my April fools day post because I was working on a song about Hamiltonian Circuits to the tune of Alexander Hamilton

Circuit Hamiltonian

I want a Circuit Hamiltonian

And I'm run-ing a pro-GRAM for it

So  I wait, so I wait

(Darling said: Don't quit your day job.)

I noticed that William Rowan Hamilton had the same cadence as Alexander Hamilton so I assumed that someone must have used that for a parody, and I was right


Listen to the son. They mention the following::

Kinetics, Quaternions (This is mentioned the most), An optimization view of light,  Minimal action,
`your energy function generates the flow of time' ,Operators that Lie Commute with the symbol that bears your name, His versors(?) formed hyperspheres - see if you can plot 'em- invented vectors and scalars for when you dot 'em (Did he really invent vectors? Wikipedia says that in a sense he invented cross and dot products.) And Schrodinger sings that he adapted Hamilton's work for Quantum (I didn't know Schrodinger could sing!).

What do they NOT mention: Hamiltonian paths or circuits. His Wikipedia page does mention Hamiltonian circuits, but not much and you would have no idea they were important.

When a computer science theorists hears `Hamiltonian' she prob thinks `path' or `circuit' and not `an optimization view of light' or anything else in physics'  She might think of Quaternions and if she does Quantum Computing she may very well think of some of the items above. But these are exception. She would likely think of the graph problems.

The rest of the world would think of the list above (or would think William Rowan Hamilton died in a dual over Quaternions and later had the best Hamilton Satire written about him- the second of course being the one about Batman,)

In his own time he was best know for Physics. Maybe also  quaternions. I think Hamilton himself would be surprised that this problem became important. So here is my question:

When did the problem become important? Before NP-Completness or after?

Is he still better known for his physics and quats- I think yes.

When I say `Hamilton' what comes to YOUR mind?

1 comment:

  1. A musical. But if you said "Hamiltonian" I might be torn between the circuit and the measurement of energy.