The Eight Squares Identity and Graves-Cayley Numbers
(s2 + t2 + u2 + v2 + w2 + x2 + y2 + z2) =
(ss' + tt' + uu' + vv' + ww'+ xx' + yy' + zz')2
+ (st' - ts' + uv' + vu' + wx' - xw' + yz' - zy')2
+ (su' - us' + vt' - tv' + yw' - wy' + xz' - zx')2
+ (sv' - vs' + tu' - ut' + wz' - zw' + xy' - yx')2
+ (sw' - ws' + xt' - tx' + uy' - yu' + zv' - vz')2
+ (sx' - xs' + tw' - wt' + yv' - vy' + zu' - uz')2
+ (sy' - ys' + zt' - tz' + vx' - xv' + wu' - uw')2
+ (sz' - zs' + ty' - yt' + vw' - wv' + ux' - xu')2.
In a letter dated January 18th, 1844, Mr. Graves communicated to Sir William Hamilton his theorem respecting sums of eight squares under the form:Graves used the eight squares identity to construct what today is known as the octonians or Cayley numbers or sometimes the Graves-Cayley numbers. To see how this works let us look at multiplication of two complex numbers
(a2 + b2 + c2 + d2 + e2 + f2 + g2 + h2) ×where a", ..., h" denoted the following expressions:
(a'2 + b'2 + c'2 + d'2 + e'2 + f'2 + g'2 + h'2) =
a"2 + b"2 + c"2 + d"2 + e"2 + f"2 + g"2 + h"2
a" = aa' - bb' - cc' - dd' - ee' - ff' - gg' - hh' ;In a letter of somewhat earlier date, but evidently written in haste, upon a journey, and dated December 26th, 1843, analogous expressions had been given, containing, however, some errors in the signs, which were soon afterwards corrected as above. That earlier letter also indicated an expectation that a theory of octaves, including a new and extended system of imaginaries, which had thus been suggested to the writer (J T Graves, Esq.) by Sir William R Hamilton's theory of quaternions, might itself be extended so as to form a theory of what Mr Graves at the time proposed to call 2n-ions: but in a letter written shortly afterwards, doubts were expressed respecting the possibility of this additional extension, from octaves to sets of sixteen.
b" = ba' + ab' - dc' + cd' - fe' + ef' + hg' - gh' ;
c" = ca' + db' + ac' - bd' - ge' - hf' + eg' + fh' ;
d" = da' - cb' + bc' + ad' - he' + gf' - fg' + eh' ;
e" = ea' + fb' + gc' + kd' + ae' - bf' - cg' - dh' ;
f" = fa' - eb' + hc' - gd' + be' + af' + dg' - ch' ;
g" = ga' - hb' - ec' + fd' + ce' - df' + ag' + bh' ;
h" = ha' + gb' - fc' - ed' + de' + cf' - bg' + ah' .
JOC/EFR February 2016
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