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Hamilton Sir William Rowan

Hamilton, Sir William Rowan (1805-65), Astronomer-royal for Ireland, was born in Dublin.

In 1827 he became keeper of the Dublin Observatory and professor of astronomy in the university.

In the following year appeared his Theory of Systems of Rays, in a subsequent edition of which (1833) he announced his discovery of conical refraction, based on purely theoretic arguments, but afterwards confirmed by experiment. He also published A General Method of Dynamics (1834), Lectures on Quaternions (1853), etc. Apart from his mathematical attainments, he was a poet and a linguist of some eminence.