The Hessian A has just been spoken of as a covariant of the form u; the notion of invariants and covariants belongs rather to the form u than to the curve u=o represented by means of this form; and the theory may be very briefly referred to.
If, however, the geometrical property requires two or more relations between the coefficients, say A = o, B = o,&c., then we must have between the new coefficients the like relations, A' = o, B' = o, &c., and the two systems of equations must each of them imply the other; when this is so, the system of equations, A = o, B = o, &c., is said to be invariantive, but it does not follow that A, B, &c., are of necessity invariants of u.
The theory of the invariants and covariants of a ternary cubic function u has been studied in detail, and brought into connexion with the cubic curve u = o; but the theory of the invariants and covariants for the next succeeding case, the ternary quartic function, is still very incomplete.
In the course of the ensuing ten years he published a large amount of original work, much of it dealing with the theory of invariants, which marked him as one of the foremost mathematicians of the time.
At Woolwich he remained until 1870, and although he was not a great success as an elementary teacher, that period of his life was very rich in mathematical work, which included remarkable advances in the theory of the partition of numbers and further contributions to that of invariants, together with an important research which yielded a proof, hitherto lacking, of Newton's rule for the discovery of imaginary roots for algebraical equations up to and including the fifth degree.