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A brief history of NON-EUCLIDEAN DANIEL MARSHALL & PAUL SCOTT

Euclid It is clear that the fifth postulate is very different to the other four. In fact, in The Around 300 BC, wrote The Elements, a Elements, the first 28 results are proved major treatise on the geometry of the time, and without it. As a result of this difference, many what would be considered ‘geometry’ for many attempts were made to try to prove the fifth years after. Arguably The Elements is the postulate using the previous four postulates. second most read book of the western world, One earlier attempt at this was made by falling short only to The Bible. In his book, (410–485). Despite his attempts even- Euclid states five postulates of geometry which tually resulting in failure, Proclus discovered he uses as the foundation for all his proofs. It an equivalent statement for the fifth postulate. is from these postulates we get the term This is now known as Playfair’s . It says , for in these Euclid strove the following: to define what constitutes ‘-’ geom- etry. These postulates are: Given a and a not on the line, it is 1. [It is possible] to draw a straight line possible to draw exactly one line through the from any point to any other. given point to the line. 2. [It is possible] to produce a finite straight line continuously in a straight line. 3. [It is possible] to describe a with Saccheri any centre and []. 4. That all right The attempts to try and prove the fifth postu- are equal to each late in terms of the other four continued. The other. first major breakthrough was due to Girolamo 5. That, if a straight Saccheri in 1697. His technique involves line falling on two assuming the fifth postulate false and straight lines makes attempting to derive a contradiction. What the interior angles Saccheri finds is shown in the diagram on on the same side page 3: the summit angles ADC and BCD are less than two right equal. This gives three cases for him to angles, the two consider: lines, if produced 1. The summit angles are > 90 degrees indefinitely, meet on (hypothesis of the obtuse ). that side on which 2. The summit angles are < 90 degrees the angles are less (hypothesis of the acute angle). than the two right 3. The summit angles are = 90 degrees Euclid angles. (hypothesis of the ).

Another mathematician, Lobachevsky, worked on the same problems as Gauss and Bolyai but again, despite working at the same time, he knew nothing of their work. Lobachevsky A B also assumed the fifth postulate was not necessary and from this formed a new geom- ∆ABD is congruent to ∆BAC (two sides and etry. In 1840, he explained how this new included angle). Hence AC = BD so ∆ADC is geometry would work (see diagram on page 4): congruent to ∆BCD (three sides). Therefore ∠ADC = ∠BCD. All straight lines which in a go out from a point can, with reference to a given straight line in the same plane, be divided into two Saccheri’s classes — into cutting and non-cutting. The

amt 60 (3) 3 E G H C Riemann and Klein F The next example of what we could now call a ‘non-euclidean’ geometry was given by D D Riemann. A lecture he gave which was A published in 1868, two years after his death, speaks of a ‘spherical’ geometry in which every F line through a point P not on a line AB meets Acquiring the essential life skills of managing the line AB. Here, no parallels are possible. H G E B Earning, money doesn’t come easily to any of us. Also, in 1868, wrote a paper But for many Australian students, it’s AD is the from A to BC. in which he puts forward a model called a becoming a lot easier. AE is perpendicular to AD. ‘pseudo-’. The importance of this model Within the angle EAD, some lines (such as AF) will is that it gave an example of the first four spending, Building on our School Banking program meet BC. Assume that AE is not the only line which postulates holding but not the fifth. From this, which has helped thousands of young people does not meet BC, so let AG be another such line. it can be seen that non-euclidean geometry is to save, the Commonwealth Bank actively AF is a cutting line and AG is a non-cutting line. just as consistent as euclidean geometry. supports financial literacy in Australian youth. There must be a boundary between cutting and non- In 1871, Klein completed the ideas of non- stashing, In consultation with State and Territory education cutting lines and we may take AH as this boundary. euclidean geometry and gave the solid departments, the Commonwealth Bank has underpinnings to the subject. He shows that developed www.DollarsandSense.com.au there are essentially three types of geometry: Part of Lobachevsky’s calculation. – a money management and life skills web • that proposed by Bolyai and growing, site for teenagers between 14 and 17 years. Lobachevsky, where straight lines have two infinitely distant points, Enhancing the curriculum. boundary lines of the one and the other class • the Riemann ‘spherical’ geometry, where protecting The content of www.DollarsandSense.com.au of those lines will be called parallel to the lines have no infinitely distant points, has been mapped to complement Australian upper given line. and secondary Mathematics and Business curricula. • Euclidean geometry, where for each line From this, Lobachevsky’s geometry has a there are two coincident infinitely and Site features include practical information about new fifth postulate, that is: distant points. managing money; budgeting for goals such as a car or going to uni; financial skill tests and There exist two lines parallel to a given line tips; and forums with experts such as Telstra’s through a given point not on the line. losing it. Business Woman of the Year Di Yerbury, Commonwealth Bank Chief Economist Michael Clearly, this is not equivalent to Euclid’s Blythe and young entrepreneur Ainsley Gilkes. geometry. Lobachevsky went on to develop many trigonometric identities for The web site is designed to be used which held in this geometry, showing that as independently by students and as a teaching tool the triangle becomes small the identities tend for teachers. Features of the teachers’ section to the usual trigonometric identities. include a guide for delivering learning outcomes; Pseudosphere a curriculum library; as well as quizzes and research questions to for students. Reference Now financial common sense is just a click away.

Eves, H. (1972). A Survey of Geometry. Allyn and Bacon.

Daniel Marshall Wayville, SA [email protected]

Paul Scott Georg Riemann Wattle Park, SA (1849–1925) (1826–1866) [email protected] Making sense of your money.

4 amt 60 (3) YOUTH0272 Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124

YOUTH0272_A4_Mag_new 1 13/7/04, 5:46:46 PM Acquiring the essential life skills of managing Earning, money doesn’t come easily to any of us. But for many Australian students, it’s becoming a lot easier. spending, Building on our School Banking program which has helped thousands of young people to save, the Commonwealth Bank actively supports financial literacy in Australian youth. stashing, In consultation with State and Territory education departments, the Commonwealth Bank has developed www.DollarsandSense.com.au growing, – a money management and life skills web site for teenagers between 14 and 17 years.

Enhancing the curriculum. protecting The content of www.DollarsandSense.com.au has been mapped to complement Australian upper secondary Mathematics and Business curricula. and Site features include practical information about managing money; budgeting for goals such as a car or going to uni; financial skill tests and tips; and forums with experts such as Telstra’s losing it. Business Woman of the Year Di Yerbury, Commonwealth Bank Chief Economist Michael Blythe and young entrepreneur Ainsley Gilkes.

The web site is designed to be used independently by students and as a teaching tool for teachers. Features of the teachers’ section include a guide for delivering learning outcomes; a curriculum library; as well as quizzes and research questions to set for students.

Now financial common sense is just a click away.