Ham·​il·​to·​ni·​an ˌha-məl-ˈtō-nē-ən How to pronounce Hamiltonian (audio)
: a function that is used to describe a dynamic system (such as the motion of a particle) in terms of components of momentum and coordinates of space and time and that is equal to the total energy of the system when time is not explicitly part of the function compare lagrangian

Examples of Hamiltonian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The researchers took aim at the 10-particle SYK model, which has a Hamiltonian of 210 terms. Charlie Wood, Quanta Magazine, 23 Mar. 2023 The Hamiltonian describes how the qubits change from one moment to the next. Charlie Wood, Quanta Magazine, 23 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Hamiltonian.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Sir William Hamilton †1865 Irish mathematician

First Known Use

1926, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Hamiltonian was in 1926

Dictionary Entries Near Hamiltonian

Cite this Entry

“Hamiltonian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Hamiltonian. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

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