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What are Hypercomplex numbers?

In mathematics, hypercomplex numbers are extensions of the complex numbers constructed by means of abstract algebra, such as quaternions, tessarines, coquaternions, octonions, biquaternions and sedenions.

Whereas complex numbers can be viewed as points in a plane, hypercomplex numbers can be viewed as points in some higher-dimensional Euclidean space (4 dimensions for the quaternions, tessarines and coquaternions; 8 for the octonions and biquaternions; and 16 for the sedenions). More precisely, they form finite-dimensional algebras over the real numbers. But none of these extensions forms a field, essentially because the field of complex numbers is algebraically closed — see fundamental theorem of algebra.

The quaternions, octonions and sedenion can be generated by the Cayley-Dickson construction. The Clifford algebras are another family of hypercomplex numbers.

All text of this article available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).



 
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