Quaternions and the heuristic role of mathematical structures in physics
Abstract
One of the important ways development takes place in mathematics is via a process of generalization. On the basis of a recent characterization of this process we propose a principle that generalizations of mathematical structures that are already part of successful physical theories serve as good guides for the development of new physical theories. The principle is a more formal presentation and extension of a position stated earlier this century by Dirac. Quaternions form an excellent example of such a generalization, and we consider a number of the ways in which their use in physical theories illustrates this principle.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 August 1992
 arXiv:
 arXiv:hepph/9208222
 Bibcode:
 1992hep.ph....8222A
 Keywords:

 High Energy Physics  Phenomenology
 EPrint:
 39 pages, LaTeX, UMP92/61