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Symbol Q. A mathematical quantity defined by Q = a + bi + cj + dk, where a, b, c and d are real numbers and i, j and k are unit vectors in the x, y, and z directions respectively. Quaternions were invented by Sir William Hamilton in 1843 and have been used extensively in physics, especially for problems involving rotation. Quaternions have close connections with the way in which spin is analysed in quantum mechanics.

Subjects: Mathematics.

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