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WORK

EUCLID’S GEOMETRY

INTRODUCTION

Euclidean geometry is a mathematical system attributed

to the Greek mathematician Euclid of Alexandria.

Euclid's Elements is the earliest known systematic

discussion of geometry. It has been one of the most

influential books in history, as much for its method as for

its mathematical content. The method consists of

assuming a small set of intuitively appealing axioms, and

then proving many other propositions (theorems) from

those axioms. Although many of Euclid's results had been

stated by earlier Greek mathematicians, Euclid was the

first to show how these propositions could be fit together

into a comprehensive deductive and logical system.The

Elements begin with plane geometry, still taught in

secondary school as the first axiomatic system and the

first examples of formal proof. The Elements goes on to

.Much of the Elements states results of what is

now called number theory, proved using

geometrical methods. For over two thousand years,

the adjective "Euclidean" was unnecessary because

no other sort of geometry had been conceived.

Euclid's axioms seemed so intuitively obvious that

any theorem proved from them was deemed true in

an absolute sense. Today, however, many other

self-consistent non-Euclidean geometries are

known, the first ones having been discovered in

the early 19th century. It also is no longer taken

for granted that Euclidean geometry describes

physical space. An implication of Einstein's theory

of general relativity is that Euclidean geometry is a

good approximation to the properties of physical

space only if the gravitational field is not too

AXIOMATIC APPROACH

Euclidean geometry is an axiomatic system, in which all

theorems ("true statements") are derived from a finite

number of axioms. Near the beginning of the first book of

the Elements, Euclid gives five postulates (axioms):

Any two points can be joined by a straight line.

Any straight line segment can be extended indefinitely in a

straight line.

Given any straight line segment, a circle can be drawn having

the segment as radius and one endpoint as center.

All right angles are congruent.

Parallel postulate. If two lines intersect a third in such a way

that the sum of the inner angles on one side is less than

two right angles, then the two lines inevitably must

intersect each other on that side if extended far enough.

A proof from Euclid's elements that, given a line segment, an

equilateral triangle exists that includes the segment as one

of its sides. The proof is by construction: an equilateral

triangle ΑΒΓ is made by drawing circles Δ and Ε centered

on the points Α and Β, and taking one intersection of the

circles as the third vertex of the triangle.

These axioms invoke the following concepts: point, straight line

segment and line, side of a line, circle with radius and center, right

angle, congruence, inner and right angles, sum. The following verbs

appear: join, extend, draw, intersect. The circle described in

postulate 3 is tacitly unique. Postulates 3 and 5 hold only for plane

geometry; in three dimensions, postulate 3 defines a sphere.

Postulate 5 leads to the same geometry as the following statement,

known as Playfair's axiom, which also holds only in the plane:

Through a point not on a given straight line, one and only one line

can be drawn that never meets the given line.

Postulates 1, 2, 3, and 5 assert the existence and uniqueness of

certain geometric figures, and these assertions are of a constructive

nature: that is, we are not only told that certain things exist, but are

also given methods for creating them with no more than a

compass and an unmarked straightedge. In this sense, Euclidean

geometry is more concrete than many modern axiomatic systems

such as set theory, which often assert the existence of objects

without saying how to construct them, or even assert the existence

of objects that cannot be constructed within the theory. Strictly

speaking, the constructs of lines on paper etc are models of the

objects defined within the formal system, rather than instances of

those objects. For example a Euclidean straight line has no width,

but any real drawn line will.The Elements also include the following

five "common notions":

Things that equal the same thing also equal one another.

If equals are added to equals, then the wholes are equal.

If equals are subtracted from equals, then the remainders are

equal.

Things that coincide with one another equal one another.

The whole is greater than the part. Euclid also invoked other

properties pertaining to magnitudes.

1 is the only part of the underlying logic that Euclid explicitly

articulated. 2 and 3 are "arithmetical" principles; note that

the meanings of "add" and "subtract" in this purely

geometric context are taken as given. 1 through 4

operationally define equality, which can also be taken as

part of the underlying logic or as an equivalence relation

requiring, like "coincide," careful prior definition. 5 is a

principle of mereology. "Whole", "part", and "remainder"

beg for precise definitions. In the 19th century, it was

realized that Euclid's ten axioms and common notions do

not suffice to prove all of theorems stated in the Elements.

For example, Euclid assumed implicitly that any line

contains at least two points, but this assumption cannot be

proved from the other axioms, and therefore needs to be

an axiom itself.

The very first geometric proof in the Elements, shown in the

figure on the right, is that any line segment is part of a

triangle; Euclid constructs this in the usual way, by drawing

circles around both endpoints and taking their intersection as

the third vertex. His axioms, however, do not guarantee that

the circles actually intersect, because they are consistent

with discrete, rather than continuous, space. Starting with

Moritz Pasch in 1882, many improved axiomatic systems for

geometry have been proposed, the best known being those of

Hilbert, George Birkhoff, and Tarski.To be fair to Euclid, the

first formal logic capable of supporting his geometry was that

of Frege's 1879 Begriffsschrift, little read until the 1950s. We

now see that Euclidean geometry should be embedded in

first-order logic with identity, a formal system first set out in

Hilbert and Wilhelm Ackermann's 1928

Principles of Theoretical Logic. Formal mereology began only

in 1916, with the work of Lesniewski and A. N. Whitehead.

Tarski and his students did major work on the

foundations of elementary geometry as recently as between

1959 and his death in 1983.

THE PARALLEL POSTULATE

To the ancients, the parallel postulate seemed less obvious than the

others; verifying it physically would require us to inspect two lines

to check that they never intersected, even at some very distant

point, and this inspection could potentially take an infinite amount

of time.[1] Euclid himself seems to have considered it as being

qualitatively different from the others, as evidenced by the

organization of the Elements: the first 28 propositions he presents

are those that can be proved without it. Many geometers tried in

vain to prove the fifth postulate from the first four. By 1763 at least

28 different proofs had been published, but all were found to be

incorrect.[2] In fact the parallel postulate cannot be proved from the

other four: this was shown in the 19th century by the construction of

alternative (non-Euclidean) systems of geometry where the other

axioms are still true but the parallel postulate is replaced by a

conflicting axiom. One distinguishing aspect of these systems is that

the three angles of a triangle do not add to 180°: in

hyperbolic geometry the sum of the three angles is always less than

180° and can approach zero, while in elliptic geometry it is greater

than 180°. If the parallel postulate is dropped from the list of axioms

without replacement, the result is the more general geometry called

absolute geometry.

TREATMENT USING

ANALYTIC GEOMETRY

formalizing geometry. In this approach, a point is represented by its

Cartesian (x,y) coordinates, a line is represented by its equation, and so

on. In the 20th century, this fit into David Hilbert's program of reducing all

of mathematics to arithmetic, and then proving the consistency of

arithmetic using finitistic reasoning. In Euclid's original approach, the

Pythagorean theorem follows from Euclid's axioms. In the Cartesian

approach, the axioms are the axioms of algebra, and the equation

expressing the Pythagorean theorem is then a definition of one of the

terms in Euclid's axioms, which are now considered to be theorems. The

equation:defining the distance between two points P = (p,q) and Q = (r,s)

is then known as the Euclidean metric, and other metrics define

non-Euclidean geometries.

AS A DESCRIPTION OF

PHYSICAL REALITY

A disproof of Euclidean geometry as a description of physical space. In a

1919 test of the general theory of relativity, stars (marked with short

horizontal lines) were photographed during a solar eclipse. The rays of

starlight were bent by the Sun's gravity on their way to the earth. This is

interpreted as evidence in favor of Einstein's prediction that gravity would

cause deviations from Euclidean geometry.

Euclid believed that his axioms were self-evident statements about

physical reality. This led to deep philosophical difficulties in reconciling

the status of knowledge from observation as opposed to knowledge

gained by the action of thought and reasoning. A major investigation of

this area was conducted by Immanuel Kant in

The Critique of Pure Reason. However, Einstein's theory of

general relativity shows that the true geometry of spacetime is

non-Euclidean geometry. For example, if a triangle is constructed out of

three rays of light, then in general the interior angles do not add up to 180

degrees due to gravity. A relatively weak gravitational field, such as the

Earth's or the sun's, is represented by a metric that is approximately, but

not exactly, Euclidean. Until the 20th century, there was no technology

capable of detecting the deviations from Euclidean geometry, but Einstein

predicted that such deviations would exist.

They were later verified by observations such as the observation of the

slight bending of starlight by the Sun during a solar eclipse in 1919, and

non-Euclidean geometry is now, for example, an integral part of the

software that runs the GPS system. It is possible to object to the non-

Euclidean interpretation of general relativity on the grounds that light

rays might be improper physical models of Euclid's lines, or that relativity

could be rephrased so as to avoid the geometrical interpretations.

However, one of the consequences of Einstein's theory is that there is no

possible physical test that can do any better than a beam of light as a

model of geometry. Thus, the only logical possibilities are to accept

non-Euclidean geometry as physically real, or to reject the entire notion

of physical tests of the axioms of geometry, which can then be imagined

as a formal system without any intrinsic real-world meaning. Because of

the incompatibility of the Standard Model with general relativity, and

because of some recent empirical evidence against the former, both

theories are now under increased scrutiny, and many theories have been

proposed to replace or extend the former and, in many cases, the latter as

well. The disagreements between the two theories come from their claims

about space-time, and it is now accepted that physical geometry must

describe space-time rather than merely space.

While Euclidean geometry, the Standard Model and general relativity are all in

principle compatible with any number of spatial dimensions and any specification

as to which of these if any are compactified (see string theory), and while all but

Euclidean geometry (which does not distinguish space from time) insist on

exactly one temporal dimension, proposed alternatives, none of which are yet part

of scientific consensus, differ significantly in their predictions or lack thereof as

to these details of space-time. The disagreements between the conventional

physical theories concern whether space-time is Euclidean (since

quantum field theory in the standard model is built on the assumption that it is)

and on whether it is quantized. Few if any proposed alternatives deny that space-

time is quantized, with the quanta of length and time are respectively the

Planck length and the Planck time. However, which geometry to use - Euclidean,

Riemannian, de Stitter, anti de Stitter and some others - is a major point of

demarcation between them. Many physicists expect some Euclidean string theory

to eventually become the Theory Of Everything, but their view is by no means

unanimous, and in any case the future of this issue is unpredictable. Regarding

how if at all Euclidean geometry will be involved in future physics, what is

uncontroversial is that the definition of straight lines will still be in terms of the

path in a vacuum of electromagnetic radiation (including light) until gravity is

explained with mathematical consistency in terms of a phenomenon other than

space-time curvature, and that the test of geometrical postulates (Euclidean or

otherwise) will lie in studying how these paths are affected by phenomena. For

now, gravity is the only known relevant phenomenon, and its effect is

uncontroversial (see gravitational lensing

CONIC SECTIONS AND

GRAVITATIONAL THEORY

Apollonius and other Ancient Greek geometers made an extensive study

of the conic sections — curves created by intersecting a cone and a

plane. The non-degenerate ones are the ellipse, the parabola and the

hyperbola, distinguished by having zero, one, or two intersections with

infinity. This turned out to facilitate the work of Galileo, Kepler and

Newton in the 17th Century, as these curves accurately modeled the

movement of bodies under the influence of gravity. Using

Newton's law of universal gravitation, the orbit of a comet around the Sun

is an ellipse, if it is moving too slowly for its position (below

escape velocity), in which case it will eventually return; a parabola, if it is

moving with exact escape velocity (unlikely), and will never return

because the curve reaches to infinity; or a hyperbola, if it is moving fast

enough (above escape velocity), and likewise will never return. In each

case the Sun will be at one focus of the conic, and the motion will sweep

out equal areas in equal times. Galileo experimented with objects falling

small distances at the surface of the Earth, and empirically determined

that the distance travelled was proportional to the square of the time.

Given his timing and measuring apparatus, this was an excellent

approximation. Over such small distances that the acceleration of gravity

can be considered constant, and ignoring the effects of air (as on a falling

feather) and the rotation of the Earth, the trajectory of a projectile will be a

parabolic path. Later calculations of these paths for bodies moving under

gravity would be performed using the techniques of analytical geometry

(using coordinates and algebra) and differential calculus, which provide

straightforward proofs. Of course these techniques had not been

invented at the time that Galileo investigated the movement of falling

bodies. Once he found that bodies fall to the earth with constant

acceleration (within the accuracy of his methods), he proved that

projectiles will move in a parabolic path using the procedures of

Euclidean geometry. Similarly, Newton used quasi-Euclidean proofs to

demonstrate the derivation of Keplerian orbital movements from his laws

of motion and gravitation. Centuries later, one of the first experimental

measurements to support Einstein's general theory of relativity, which

postulated a non-Euclidean geometry for space, was the orbit of the

planet Mercury. Kepler described the orbit as a perfect ellipse. Newtonian

theory predicted that the gravitational influence of other bodies would

give a more complicated orbit. But eventually all such Newtonian

corrections fell short of experimental results; a small perturbation

remained. Einstein postulated that the bending of space would precisely

LOGICAL STATUS

Euclidean geometry is a first-order theory. That is, it allows statements

such as those that begin as "for all triangles ...", but it is incapable of

forming statements such as "for all sets of triangles ...". Statements of the

latter type are deemed to be outside the scope of the theory. We owe

much of our present understanding of the properties of the logical and

metamathematical properties of Euclidean geometry to the work of Alfred

Tarski and his students, beginning in the 1920s. Tarski proved his

axiomatic formulation of Euclidean geometry to be complete in a certain

sense: there is an algorithm which, for every proposition, can show it to

be either true or false. Gödel's incompleteness theorems showed the

futility of Hilbert's program of proving the consistency of all of

mathematics using finitistic reasoning. Tarski's findings do not violate

Gödel's theorem, because Euclidean geometry cannot describe a

sufficient amount of arithmetic for the theorem to apply.[3]Although

complete in the formal sense used in modern logic, there are things that

Euclidean geometry cannot accomplish. For example, the problem of

trisecting an angle with a compass and straightedge is one that naturally

occurs within the theory, since the axioms refer to constructive

operations that can be carried out with those tools

However, centuries of efforts failed to find a solution to this problem, until

Pierre Wantzel published a proof in 1837 that such a construction was

impossible. Absolute geometry, first identified by Bolyai, is Euclidean

geometry weakened by omission of the fifth postulate, that parallel lines

do not meet. Of strength intermediate between absolute geometry and

Euclidean are geometries derived from Euclid's by alterations of the

parallel postulate that can be shown to be consistent by exhibiting

models of them. For example, geometry on the surface of a sphere is a

model of elliptical geometry. Another weakening of Euclidean geometry is

affine geometry, first identified by Euler, which retains the fifth postulate

unmodified while weakening postulates three and four in a way that

eliminates the notions of angle (whence right triangles become

meaningless) and of equality of length of line segments in general

(whence circles become meaningless) while retaining the notions of

parallelism as an equivalence relation between lines, and equality of

length of parallel line segments (so line segments continue to have a

midpoint).

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