Euclid

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by joewatsonmt
Last updated 5 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Scientific Biographies
Grade:
9,10

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Euclid

Euclidean geometry is the same type of geometry you often see in high school - where rectangles exists and triangles have a total of 180 degrees. But why is it called 'Euclidean' geoemtry?

Euclid mid 4th - mid 3rd centruy BC

Referred to as 'the father of geomotery', Euclid was most known for his works in The Elements, a book that centered around concrete understandings of shapes, angles, etc.

In fact, Hilbert's discovery of Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometery was so huge, he is considered the founder of formal geometry.

The Elements by no means proved geometery as a whole. There were several flaws in it, but it did lay down the first foundations of formal mathematics within the subject.

Euclidean Geometry

For centuries Euclid's The Elements went uncontested, mainly because people found his book to be more-or-less obvious. Only until around the 19th century did mathemeticians begin attempting to formally prove his theories found in his book.

Upon attempting to prove Euclid's work in The Elements, mathematicians ran into a problem on his 5th postulate.

Infamously known as Euclid's 5th Postulate, it was eventually found to be unprovable.

Mathematicians such as Karl Gauss found, upon attempting to prove Euclid's 5th postulate, that there exists other goemetries, known as non-Euclidean geometry.

Mathematicians such as Karl Gauss found, upon attempting to prove Euclid's 5th postulate, that there exists other goemetries, known as non-Euclidean geometry.

Nonetheless it was David Hilbert who ultimately influenced the change in how we look at geometry today; the Euclidean vs. the non-Euclidean.

What is the 5th postulate? Click on the play button to hear.

Since Euclid's 5th postulate was found to be unprovable, we call it an axiom - a statement we assume to be true without formal proof. This specific axiom is what defines Euclidean goemetry from non-Euclidean geometry

Want to learn about other non-Euclidean geometries? Click the play button.


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