Show Summary Details

p. 1027. Mathematics, what is it good for? Quaternions, knots, and more DNAlocked

  • Alain Goriely

Abstract

Mathematics has an important place in society, but one that is not always obvious. ‘Mathematics, what is it good for? Quarternions, knots, and more DNA’ considers examples of mathematical theories—quarternions and knot theory—that have found unexpected applicability in sciences and engineering. Quaternions, introduced by William Rowan Hamilton in 1843 during his work on complex numbers, are now routinely used in computer graphics, robotics, missile and satellite guidance, as well as in orbital mechanics and control theory. Knot theory has found unexpected applications in the study of many physical and biological systems, including the study of DNA. Another example is the use of number theory in cryptography.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.