It is a bit vague what exactly a multiplication is, but I always use things that ‘rotate over the dimensions’. For example on the 3D complex space the imiginary unit is written as *j* and the powers of* j* simply rotate over the dimensions because:* j* = (0, 1, 0)*j*^2 = (0, 0, 1) and*j*^3 = (-1, 0, 0). Etc, the period becomes 6 in this way because after the sixth power everything repeats.

In this post we will look at a more general formulation of what the third power of * j* is. The Cayley-Hamilton theorem says that you can write the third power of 3 by 3 matrices always as some linear combination of the lower powers.

That is what we do in this post; we take a look at *j^3 = a + bj + cj^2*. Here the *a*, *b* and *c* are real numbers. The allowed values that j^3 can take is what I call the ‘parameter space’. This parameter space is rather big, it is almost 3D real space but if you want the 3D Cauchy-Riemann equations to fly it has to be that *a* is always non zero. There is nothing mysterious about that demand of being non zero: if the constant *a* = 0, the imaginary unit is no longer invertible and that is the root cause of a whole lot of trouble and we want to avoid that.

It is well known that sir Hamilton tried to find the 3D complex numbers for about a full decade. Because he wanted this 3D complex number space as some extension of the complex plane, he failed in this detail and instead found the quaternions… But if the 3D numbers were some extension of the 2D complex plane, there should be at least one number X in 3D such that it squares to minus one. At the end I give a simple proof why the equation *X^2 = -1* cannot be solved in 3D space for all allowed parameters. So although we have a 3D ocean of parameters and as such an infinite amount of different multiplications, none of them contains a number that squares to minus one…

I gave a small theorem covering the impossibility of solving *X^2 = -1* a relative harsh name: **Trashing the Hamilton approach for 3D complex numbers**. This should not be viewed as some emotional statement about the Hamilton guy. It is just what it says: trashing that kind of approach…

This post is 7 pictures long, each of the usual size of 550×775 pixels.

Sorry for the test picture, but the seven jpg pictures refused to upload. And that is strange because they are just seven clean jpg’s. Now it is repaired although I do not understand this strange error.

Anyway have a cool summer. Till updates.