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Dublin: 5 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019

The Irish father of algebra to be honoured with new Luas depot

In 1843, William Rowan Hamilton made a discovery that has been vital to modern maths and science.

Image: wikicommons

THE NEW LUAS depot in Broombridge will be named in honour of the Irish mathematician responsible for the birth of modern algebra.

The new depot will be named ‘Broombridge-Hamilton’ in acknowledgement of William Rowan Hamilton’s discovery of the equation for quaternion algebra in 1843.

The announcement today is timely as it was on this day more than 150 years ago that Hamilton made his discovery while out walking with his wife.

For Hamilton inspiration struck him so suddenly that he etched his finding into the underside of Brougham Bridge.

In a letter to his son Hamilton described how, ”an under-current of thought was going on in my mind, which gave at last a result, whereof it is not too much to say that I felt at once the importance.”


The announcement was made today by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe.

“The impact Hamilton’s discovery has had since that day is beyond question. Thanks to Ireland’s most influential scientist’s discovery, we now have CGI in movies and computer games and NASA is facilitated in getting satellites into space,” said O’Donohoe.

Most of us are familiar with algebra, at least through school, however, many may not be aware that its origins lie so close to home.
The new Luas station is set to open in 2017 and will feature a piece of commemorative artwork that will illustrate Hamilton’s story.

Read: Soon you’ll be able to top up your Leap card by touching it against your smartphone

Also: There was something amiss at the Luas safety launch today

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