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Octonions: Do eight-dimensional numbers underlie the universe?

From Natalie Wolchover at Quanta: Complex numbers, suitably paired, form 4-D “quaternions,” discovered in 1843 by the Irish mathematician William Rowan Hamilton, who on the spot ecstatically chiseled the formula into Dublin’s Broome Bridge. John Graves, a lawyer friend of Hamilton’s, subsequently showed that pairs of quaternions make octonions: numbers that define coordinates in an abstract 8-D space. Matemaical approaches to physics were left behind during the pursuit of answers from collides but, as Wolchover writes, no particles beyond the Standard (Big Bang) model have been found.” One rearcher, Cohl Fury, has since produced a number of results connecting the octonions to the Standard Model that experts are calling intriguing, curious, elegant and novel. “She has taken significant steps toward Read More ›