An illustration of Desargues' theorem, an important result in Euclidean and projective geometry.

Oxyrhynchus papyrus (P.Oxy. I 29) showing fragment of Euclid's Elements Geometry (Ancient Greek: ; geo- "earth", -metri "measurement") "Earthmeasuring" is a branch of mathematics concerned with questions of shape, size, relative position of figures, and the properties of space. Geometry is one of the oldest mathematical sciences. Initially a body of practical knowledge concerninglengths, areas, and volumes, in the 3rd century BC geometry was put into an axiomatic form by Euclid, whose treatment² Euclidean geometry²set a standard for many centuries to follow. Archimedes developed ingenious techniques for calculating areas and volumes, in many ways anticipating modern integral calculus. The field of astronomy, especially mapping the positions of the stars and planets on the celestial sphere and describing the relationship between movements of celestial bodies, served as an important source of geometric problems during the next one and a half millennia. A mathematician who works in the field of geometry is called a geometer. The introduction of coordinates by René Descartes and the concurrent development of algebra marked a new stage for geometry, since geometric figures, such as plane curves, could now be represented analytically, i.e., with functions and equations. This played a key role in the emergence of infinitesimal calculus in the 17th century. Furthermore, the theory of perspective showed that there is more to geometry than just the metric properties of figures: perspective is the origin of projective geometry. The subject of geometry was further

Modern geometry has multiple strong bonds with physics. areas. Practical geometry Geometry originated as a practical science concerned with surveying. the concept of space has undergone a radical transformation. areas and volumes. and a pyramid. and volumes. is also very geometric in flavor. in fractal geometry and algebraic geometry). sphere. 5) triangle as in the Chou Pei Suan Ching 500±200 BC. It is hardly surprising that perceptions of what constituted geometry evolved throughout the ages. such as algebra or number theory. circumference and area of a circle. area of a triangle. In Euclid's time t ere was no clear distinction between physical space and geometrical space. spaces that are considerably more abstract than the familiar Euclidean space. also 'space' (and 'point'. One of the youngest physical theories. which they only approximately resemble at small scales. string theory. together with the attendant computational techniques. 4. A method of computing certain inaccessible distances or heights based on similarity of geometric figures is attributed to Thales. Since the 19th-century discovery of non-Euclidean geometry. still have their intuitive meaning) and abstract spaces. Among the notable accomplishments one finds formulas for lengths. These spaces may be endowed with additional structure. 'plane') lost its intuitive contents. 'point' etc. volume of a cylinder. geometric language is also used in contexts far removed from its traditional. such as Pythagorean theorem.[1] Overview Visual proof of the Pythagorean theorem for the (3. With the rise of formal mathematics in the 20th century. exemplified by the ties between pseudo-Riemannian geometry and general relativity. and the question arose which geometrical space best fits physical space. While the visual nature of geometry makes it initially more accessible than other parts of mathematics. allowing one to speak about length.enri ed by t e st dy of intrinsi structure of geometric objects t t originated wit Euler and Gauss and led to t e creation of topology and differential geometry. measurements. Euclidean provenance (for example. The recorded development of geometry spans more than two millennia. Development of astronomy led to emergence of trigonometry and spherical trigonometry. so today we have to distinguish between physical space. Contemporary geometry considers manifolds. geometrical spaces (in which 'space'. 'line'. .

At the start of the 19th century the discovery of non-Euclidean geometries by Gauss and others led to a revival of interest.Axiomati eometry An illustration of Euclid's parallel postulate Euclid took a more abstract approach in his Elements. or postulates. and in the 20th century David Hilbert employed axiomatic reasoning in an attempt to provide a modern foundation of geometry. expressing primary or self-evident properties of points. and ingenious constructions using parabolas and other curves. as well as mechanical devices. He proceeded to rigorously deduce other properties by mathematical reasoning. Classical instruments allowed in geometric constructions are those with compass and straightedge. and it has come to be known as axiomatic or synthetic geometry. Geometri constructions Main article: Compass and straightedge constructions Ancient scientists paid special attention to constructing geometric objects that had been described in some other way. Euclid introduced certain axioms. and planes. The characteristic feature of Euclid's approach to geometry was its rigor. However. were found. one of the most influential books ever written. some problems turned out to be difficult or impossible to solve by these means alone. lines. Numbers in geometry The Pythagoreans discovered that the sides of a triangle could have incommensurable lengths. .

the Pappus and Menelaus configurations of points and lines. For nearly two thousand years since Euclid. as in the case of hyperbolic knots. lines intersecting and tangent to conic sections. Immanuel Kant argued that there is only one. such as lines or spheres.Projective. Geometry of position Main articles: Projective geometry and Topology Even in ancient times. These ideas played a key role in the development of calculus in the 17th century and led to discovery of many new properties of plane curves. geometry. while the range of geometrical questions asked and answered inevitably expanded. which contradicted their philosophical views. but turned into a large independent discipline. independent of their metric properties.In ancient Greece the Pythagoreans considered the role of numbers in geometry. but it is now known as topology. Euler called this new branch of geometry geometria situs (geometry of place). considered the most fundamental properties of geometric figures based solely on shape. who realized that the study of geometric shapes can be facilitated by their algebraic representation. made them abandon (abstract) numbers in favor of (concrete) geometric quantities. Numbers were reintroduced into geometry inthe form of coordinates by Descartes. Analytic geometry applies methods of algebra to geometric questions. Modern algebraic geometry considers similar questions on a vastly more abstract level. in studying problems like the Seven Bridges of Königsberg. which is known to . Leonhard Euler. Topology grew out of geometry. Some examples are given by inscribed and circumscribed circles of polygons. basic understanding ofspace remained essentially the same. such as length and area of figures. geometers considered questions of relative position or spatial relationship of geometric figures and shapes. The objects may nevertheless retain some geometry. It does not differentiate between objects that can be continuously deformed into each other. However. Geometry beyond Euclid Differential geometry uses tools from calculus to study problems in geometry. In the Middle Ages new and more complicated questions of this type were considered: What is the maximum number of spheres simultaneously touching a given sphere of the same radius ( kissing number problem)? What is the densest packing of spheres of equal size in space (Kepler conjecture)? Most of these questions involved 'rigid' geometrical shapes. convex and discrete geometry are three sub-disciplines within present day geometry that deal with these and related questions. absolute. typically by relating geometric curves and algebraic equations. the discovery of incommensurable lengths.

published only after his death. Bolyai. The circle. Dimensions 3 of space and 4 of space-time are special cases in geometric topology. Symmetry A tiling of the hyperbolic plane The theme of symmetry in geometry is nearly as old as the science of geometry itself. A broad vision of the subject of geometry was then expressed byRiemann in his inauguration lecture Über die true a priori by an inner faculty of mind: Euclidean geometry was synthetic a priori. that discusses definitions. regular polygons and platonic solids held deep significance for many ancient . Connected topological manifolds have a well-defined dimension. who demonstrated that ordinary Euclidean space is only one possibility for development of geometry. dimension is now defined rather than an intuition.[2] This dominant view was overturned by the revolutionary discovery ofnon-Euclidean geometry in the works of Gauss (who never published his theory). Dimension theory is a technical area. possibly infinite with the introduction of Hilbert space. this is a theorem (invariance of domain) rather than anything a priori. which considers very general spaces in which the notion of length is defined. Dimension has gone through stages of being anynatural number n. Riemann's new idea of space proved crucial in Einstein's general relativity theory and Riemannian geometry. initially within general topology. and Lobachevsky. mathematicians have used higher dimensions for nearly two centuries. Dimension Where the traditional geometry allowed dimensions 1 (a line). Exactly why is something to which research may bring a satisfactory geometric answer. and any positive real number in fractal geometry. Dimension 10 or 11 is a key number in string theory. welche der Geometrie zu Grunde liegen(On the hypotheses on which geometry is based). in common with most mathematical ideas. is a mainstay of modern geometry. The issue of dimension still matters to geometry. 2 (a plane) and 3 (our ambient world conceived of as three-dimensional space). in the absence of complete answers to classic questions.

However it was in the new geometries of Bolyai and Lobachevsky. geometric transformations that take straight lines into straight lines. in a very precise sense. A similar and closely related form of duality appeares between a vector space and its dual space. At close to 1000 pa ges. Escher. symmetry. A different type of symmetry is the principle of duality in for instance projective geometry (see Duality (projective geometry)). This is a meta-phenomenon which can roughly be described as: replace in any theorem point by plane and vice versa.philosophers and were investigated in detail by the time of Euclid. join by meet. Riemann. it was not until the second half of 19th century that the unifying role of symmetry in foundations of geometry had been recogni ed. Nonetheless. History of geometry Main article: History of geometry Woman teaching geometry. Felix Klein's Erlangen program proclaimed that.   Modern geometry Modern geometry is the title of a popular textbook by Dubrovin. the former in topology and geometric group theory. and Sophus Lie that Klein's idea to 'define a geometry via its symmetry group' proved most influential. expressed via the notion of a transformation group. differential geometry. C. (c. determines what geometry i . symplectic geometry and Lie theory presented in the book remain among the most visible areas of modern geometry. Novikov and Fomenko first published in 1979 (in Russian). Symmetry in classical Euclidean geometry is represented by congruences and rigid motions. A quarter century after its publication. Symmetric patterns occur in nature and were artistically rendered in a multitude of forms. Illustration at the beginning of a medieval translation of Euclid's Elements. lies-in by contains. whereas in projective geometry an analogous role is played by collineations. Both discrete and continuous symmetries play prominent role in geometry.1310) . the book has one major thread: geometric structures of various types on manifolds and their applications in contemporary theoretical physics. algebraic geometry. with multiple connections with other parts of mathematics and physics. Clifford and Klein. the latter in Lie theory and Riemannian geometry. and you will get an equally true theorem. including the bewildering graphics of M.

these works had a considerable influence on the development of non-Euclidean geometry among later European geometers. as is sometimes thought.e.[7] Th bit ibn Qurra (known as Thebit in Latin) (836±901) dealt with arithmetical operations applied to ratios of geometrical quantities. a compendium of all that Hellenistic mathematicians knew about geometry at that time. and the Indian Shulba Sutras. just the study of how points align with each other. and the Indus Valley from around 3000 BCE. John Wallis. astronomy. the last 200 years). Early geometry was a collection of empirically discovered principles concerning lengths. and volumes. areas. it is an elementary introduction to it. there were two important developments in geometry. which came to be known as Euclidean geometry. including Witelo. or geometry with coordinates and equations. and various crafts. Alfonso. The earliest known texts on geometry are the Egyptian Rhind Papyrus and Moscow Papyrus.[citation needed] In the Middle Ages. and Giovanni Girolamo Saccheri. which were developed to meet some practical need in surveying. was the creation of analytic geometry. As a consequence of these major changes in the conception of geometry. and along with their alternative postulates. Levi ben Gerson. while the Chinese had the work of Mozi. angles. The second geometric development of this period was the systematic study of projective geometry by Girard Desargues (1591±1661). Egypt. Bolyai and Gauss and of the formulation of symmetry as the central consideration in the Erlangen Programme of Felix Klein (which generalized the Euclidean and non Euclidean geometries). Zhang Heng. and Henri Poincaré.[8] AlMahani (b. and most important. rather. Two developments in geometry in the 19th century changed the way it had been studied previously. These were the discovery of non-Euclidean geometries by Lobachevsky.[5] Euclid himself wrote eight more advanced books on geometry. The treatise is not. We know from other references that Euclid¶s was not the first elementary geometry textbook.[9] Omar Khayyám (1048±1131) found geometric solutions to cubic equations. the concept of "space" . were the first theorems on elliptical geometry and hyperbolic geometry. the teaching and development of geometry in Europe and the Islamic world was based on Greek geometry. mathematics in medieval Islam contributed to the development of geometry. and introducing the Riemann surface. including the Lambert quadrilateral and Saccheri quadrilateral. and contributed to the development of analytic geometry. by René Descartes (1596±1650) and Pierre de Fermat (1601±1665).The earliest recorded beginnings of geometry can be traced to ancient Mesopotamia. but the others fell into disuse and were lost. especially algebraic geometry[6][7][unreliable source?] and geometric algebra. working primarily with tools from mathematical analysis.[10][unreliable source? ] The theorems of Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen). construction.[11] In the early 17th century. and his extensive studies of the parallel postulate contributed to the development of non-Euclidian geometry. edited by Liu Hui. 300 BCE) was one of the most important early texts on geometry. the founder of algebraic topology and the geometric theory of dynamical systems.[3][4] Euclid's Elements (c. Until relatively recently (i. the Babylonian clay tablets. This was a necessary precursor to the development of calculus and a precise quantitative science of physics. 853) conceived the idea of reducing geometrical problems such as duplicating the cube to problems in algebra. Two of the master geometers of the time were Bernhard Riemann. in which he presented geometry in an ideal axiomatic form. and the Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art. Omar Khayyam and Nasir al-Din al-Tusi on quadrilaterals. The first. Projective geometry is the study of geometry without measurement. such as Playfair's axiom.

which determines how distances are measured near each point. Algebraic topology and general topology have gone their own ways. which saw massive development in the 20th century. discrete geometry. Topology and geometry A thickening of the trefoil knot The field of topology. is in a technical sense a type of transformation geometry. . computer graphics. and particular subfields such as Morse theory. drawing on geometric models and algebraic techniques. Momentum was given to further work on Euclidean geometry and the Euclidean groups by crystallography and the work of H. M. and can be seen in theories of Coxeter groups and polytopes. and some areas of combinatorics. S. Differential geometry Differential geometry has been of increasing importance to mathematical physics due to Einstein's general relativity postulation that the universe is curved. Geometric group theory is an expanding area of the theory of more general discrete groups. in which transformations are homeomorphisms. would be counted by most mathematicians as part of geometry. This has often been expressed in the form of the dictum 'topology is rubber-sheet geometry'. Coxeter. Contemporary differential geometry is intrinsic. Contemporary geometry Euclidean geometry The E8 Lie group polytope Coxeter plane projection Euclidean geometry has become closely connected with computational geometry. and the natural background for theories as different as complex analysis and classical mechanics. convex geometry.became something rich and varied. meaning that the spaces it considers are smooth manifolds whose geometric structure is governed by a Riemannian metric. and not a priori parts of some ambient flat Euclidean space. Contemporary geometric topology and differential topology.

largely due to work of Jean-Pierre Serre and Alexander Grothendieck. .Algebraic geometry Quintic Calabi±Yau threefold The field of algebraic geometry is the modern incarnation of the Cartesian geometry of coordinates. One of seven Millennium Prize problems. is a question in algebraic geometry. Other directions of research involve moduli spaces and complex geometry. the Hodge conjecture. including various cohomology theories. has been far advanced. algebraic curves. This led to the introduction of schemes and greater emphasis on topological methods. From late 1950s through mid-1970s it had undergone major foundational development. Algebro-geometric methods are commonly applied in string and brane theory. Gröbner basis theory and real algebraic geometry are among more applied subfields of modern algebraic geometry. The study of low dimensional algebraic varieties. algebraic surfaces and algebraic varieties of dimension 3 ("algebraic threefolds"). Arithmetic geometry is an active field combining algebraic geometry and number theory.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful