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Geometric Algebra Primer - Jaap Suter - 2003

# Geometric Algebra Primer - Jaap Suter - 2003

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Adopted with great enthusiasm in physics, geometric algebra slowly emerges in computational science. Its elegance and ease of use is unparalleled. By introducing two simple concepts, the multivector and its geometric product, we obtain an algebra that allows subspace arithmetic. It turns out that being able to ‘calculate’ with subspaces is extremely powerful, and solves many of the hacks required by traditional methods. This paper provides an introduction to geometric algebra. The intention is to give the reader an understanding of the basic concepts, so advanced material becomes more accessible.
Adopted with great enthusiasm in physics, geometric algebra slowly emerges in computational science. Its elegance and ease of use is unparalleled. By introducing two simple concepts, the multivector and its geometric product, we obtain an algebra that allows subspace arithmetic. It turns out that being able to ‘calculate’ with subspaces is extremely powerful, and solves many of the hacks required by traditional methods. This paper provides an introduction to geometric algebra. The intention is to give the reader an understanding of the basic concepts, so advanced material becomes more accessible.

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Geometric Algebra Primer
Jaap SuterMarch 12, 2003

Abstract
Adopted with great enthusiasm in physics, geometric algebra slowly emergesin computational science. Its elegance and ease of use is unparalleled. Byintroducing two simple concepts, the multivector and its geometric product,we obtain an algebra that allows subspace arithmetic. It turns out that beingable to ‘calculate’ with subspaces is extremely powerful, and solves many of thehacks required by traditional methods. This paper provides an introduction togeometric algebra. The intention is to give the reader an understanding of thebasic concepts, so advanced material becomes more accessible.
c
2003 Jaap Suter. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for proﬁt or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation. Abstracting with credit is per-mitted. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute tolists, requires prior speciﬁc permission and/or a fee. Request permission through email at cliﬀord@jaapsuter.com. See http://www.jaapsuter.com for more infor-mation.

Contents
1 Introduction 4
1.1 Rationale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41.2 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41.3 Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51.4 Disclaimer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
2 Subspaces 6
2.1 Bivectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72.1.1 The Euclidian Plane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82.1.2 Three Dimensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102.2 Trivectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122.3 Blades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
3 Geometric Algebra 16
3.1 The Geometric Product . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .173.2 Multivectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .173.3 The Geometric Product Continued . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .183.4 The Dot and Outer Product revisited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .223.5 The Inner Product . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .233.6 Inner, Outer and Geometric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
4 Tools 27
4.1 Grades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .274.2 The Inverse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .284.3 Pseudoscalars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .294.4 The Dual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .304.5 Projection and Rejection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .314.6 Reections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .344.7 The Meet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
5 Applications 37
5.1 The Euclidian Plane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .375.1.1 Complex Numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .375.1.2 Rotations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381