Quotes About Euclidean Geometry

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Quotes About Euclidean Geometry

The world of shapes, lines, curves, and solids is as varied as the world of numbers, and it is only our long-satisfied possession of Euclidean geometry that offers us the impression, or the illusion, that it has, that world, already been encompassed in a manageable intellectual structure. The lineaments of that structure are well known: as in the rest of life, something is given and something is gotten; but the logic behind those lineaments is apt to pass unnoticed, and it is the logic that controls the system.
— David Berlinski —

I left Caen, where I was living, to go on a geological excursion under the auspices of the School of Mines. The incidents of the travel made me forget my mathematical work. Having reached Coutances, we entered an omnibus to go to some place or other. At the moment when I put my foot on the step, the idea came to me, without anything in my former thoughts seeming to have paved the way for it, that the transformations I had used to define the Fuchsian functions were identical with those of non-Euclidean geometry. I did not verify the idea; I should not have had time, as upon taking my seat in the omnibus, I went on with a conversation already commenced, but I felt a perfect certainty. On my return to Caen, for convenience sake, I verified the result at my leisure.

— Henri Poincaré

And so will I here state just plainly and briefly that I accept God. But I must point out one thing: if God does exist and really created the world, as we well know, he created it according to the principles of Euclidean geometry and made the human brain capable of grasping only three dimensions of space. Yet there have been and still are mathematicians and philosophers-among them some of the most outstanding-who doubt that the whole universe or, to put it more generally, all existence was created to fit Euclidean geometry; they even dare to conceive that two parallel lines that, according to Euclid, never do meet on earth do, in fact, meet somewhere in infinity. And so my dear boy, I've decided that I am incapable of understanding of even that much, I cannot possibly understand about God.

— Fyodor Dostoyevsky

At that stage of my youth, death remained as abstract a concept as non-Euclidean geometry or marriage. I didn't yet appreciate its terrible finality or the havoc it could wreak on those who'd entrusted the deceased with their hearts. I was stirred by the dark mystery of mortality. I couldn't resist stealing up to the edge of doom and peering over the brink. The hint of what was concealed in those shadows terrified me, but I caught sight of something in the glimpse, some forbidden and elemental riddle that was no less compelling than the sweet, hidden petals of a woman's sex.
In my case - and, I believe, in the case of Chris McCandless - that was a very different thing from wanting to die.

— Jon Krakauer

The concept of congruence in Euclidean geometry is not exactly the same as that in non-Euclidean geometry ... Congruent means in Euclidean geometry the same as determining parallelism, a meaning which it does not have in non-Euclidean geometry.

— Hans Reichenbach

The classical theorists resemble Euclidean geometers in a non-Euclidean world who, discovering that in experience straight lines apparently parallel often meet, rebuke the lines for not keeping straight as the only remedy for the unfortunate collisions which are occurring. Yet, in truth, there is no remedy except to throw over the axiom of parallels and to work out a non-Euclidean geometry.

— John Maynard Keynes

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