Sunday, January 3, 2010


Hullo sir! How is the new year going for you so far? And can you possibly explain quaternions?

Hello, my freind. So far this new year has been rather exciting, especially this formspring thing.

Can I explain quarternions? I will give it a try. I suspect that you, like myself, have run into these little buggers as part of your experiences with scriptomancy in Second Life®. Quarternions are a mathematical construct used to describe the rotation of an object. As the name implies they consist of four terms which can be represented as w, x, y, and z. These terms are the co-efficients of the full representation which is actually the sum of a scalar quantity and vector and is shown thusly: w + xi + yj + zk

For a full mathematical explanation I direct you to either the Wicked Encyclopedia entry (Quarternion) or Wolfram Mathworld's Quarternion entry.

However, the least mind bending way I can think of them is that the four terms represent the speed, direction and angle of the rotation. As far as which term is which, I fiddled with them many months ago when attemptiong to build a sundial. I still don't think I have it right; so, I advise you conduct your own experiments. If you figure it out, let me know.

Ask a tiger.

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