Hamiltonian definition

hăməl-tōnē-ən
A mathematical function or operator that can be used to describe the state of a physical system. In classical mechanics, the Hamiltonian is a function of coordinates and momenta of bodies in the system, treated as independent variables. It is equal to the sum of the kinetic and potential energies of the system, and can be used to derive the equations of motion for the system. In quantum mechanics, the Hamiltonian is an operator corresponding to the total energy of the system. The Hamiltonian is named after Irish mathematician William Rowan Hamilton (1805–1865).
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Of or characteristic of Alexander Hamilton or his federalist principles.
adjective
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A follower of Alexander Hamilton.
noun
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Alternative capitalization of Hamiltonian.
adjective
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A mathematical function that can be used to generate the equations of motion of a dynamic system, equal for many such systems to the sum of the kinetic and potential energies of the system expressed in terms of the system's coordinates and momenta treated as independent variables.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
hamiltonian
Plural:
hamiltonians

Origin of hamiltonian

  • After Sir William Rowan Hamilton (1805–1865), Irish mathematician

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition