Quaternions in Applied Sciences

Malonek, Helmuth R.

After more than hundred years of arguments in favour and against quaternions, of exciting odysseys with new insights as well as disillusions about their usefulness the mathematical world saw in the last 40 years a burst in the application of quaternions and its generalizations in almost all disciplines that are dealing with problems in more than two dimensions. Our aim is to sketch some ideas - necessarily in a very concise and far from being exhaustive manner - which contributed to the picture of the recent development. With the help of some historical reminiscences we firstly try to draw attention to quaternions as a special case of Clifford Algebras which play the role of a unifying language in the Babylon of several different mathematical languages. Secondly, we refer to the use of quaternions as a tool for modelling problems and at the same time for simplifying the algebraic calculus in almost all applied sciences. Finally, we intend to show that quaternions in combination with classical and modern analytic methods are a powerful tool for solving concrete problems thereby giving origin to the development of Quaternionic Analysis and, more general, of Clifford Analysis.


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Malonek, Helmuth R.: Quaternions in Applied Sciences. 2004.

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