terça-feira, 4 de junho de 2013
MathHistory12: Non-Euclidean geometry
The development of non-Euclidean geometry is often presented as a high point of 19th century mathematics. The real story is more complicated, tinged with sadness, confusion and orthodoxy, that is reflected even the geometry studied today. The important insights of Gauss, Lobachevsky and Bolyai, along with later work of Beltrami, were the end result of a long and circuitous study of Euclid's parallel postulate. But an honest assessment must reveal that in fact non-Euclidean geometry had been well studied from two thousand years ago, since the geometry of the sphere had been a main concern for all astronomers.