quaternion

[kwuh-tur-nee-uhn]
noun
1.
a group or set of four persons or things.
2.
Bookbinding. four gathered sheets folded in two for binding together.
3.
Mathematics.
a.
an expression of the form a + bi + cj + dk, where a, b, c, and d are real numbers; i 2 = j 2 = k 2 = −1; and ij = −ji = k, jk = −kj = i, and ki = −ik = j.
b.
a quantity or operator expressed as the sum of a real number and three complex numbers, equivalent to the quotient of two vectors. The field of quaternions is not commutative under multiplication.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English quaternioun < Late Latin quaterniōn- (stem of quaterniō), equivalent to Latin quatern(ī) four at a time + -iōn- -ion

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Collins
World English Dictionary
quaternion (kwəˈtɜːnɪən)
 
n
1.  maths a generalized complex number consisting of four components, x = x0 + x1i + x2j + x3k, where x, x0x3 are real numbers and i² = j² = k² = --1, ij = --ji = k, etc
2.  another word for quaternary
 
[C14: from Late Latin quaterniōn, from Latin quaternī four at a time]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
quaternion   (kwə-tûr'nē-ən)  Pronunciation Key 
Any number of the form a + bi + cj + dk where a, b, c, and d are real numbers, ij = k, i2 = j2 = -1, and ij = -ji. Under addition and multiplication, quaternions have all the properties of a field, except that multiplication is not commutative.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Quaternion definition


a band of four soldiers. Peter was committed by Herod to the custody of four quaternions, i.e., one quaternion for each watch of the night (Acts 12:4). Thus every precaution was taken against his escape from prison. Two of each quaternion were in turn stationed at the door (12:6), and to two the apostle was chained according to Roman custom.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
Real fractals only work in even dimensions due to quaternion properties.
The two systems use different ephemeris files as well as different algorithms to process quaternion, gyro, and gyro drift data.
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