Geometry
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"Nature is an infinite sphere, whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere" [...] "He said that the geometry of the dream-place he saw was abnormal, non-Euclidean, and loathsomely redolent of spheres and dimensions apart from ours." --"The Call of Cthulhu", H. P. Lovecraft "Let no one ignorant of geometry enter" --Plato "The difficulty that had to be overcome (…) was to avoid all geometrical evidence. In other words, I had to start with a sort of intimacy of roundness." --The Poetics of Space (1958) by Gaston Bachelard |
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Geometry (geo- "earth", -metron "measurement") is a branch of mathematics concerned with questions of shape, size, relative position of figures, and the properties of space. A mathematician who works in the field of geometry is called a geometer. Geometry arose independently in a number of early cultures as a body of practical knowledge concerning lengths, areas, and volumes, with elements of a formal mathematical science emerging in the West as early as Thales (6th Century BC). By the 3rd century BC geometry was put into an axiomatic form by Euclid, whose treatment—Euclidean geometry—set 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. Both geometry and astronomy were considered in the classical world to be part of the Quadrivium, a subset of the seven liberal arts considered essential for a free citizen to master.
See also
- Biomorphism
- Concerning the surface of God
- Impossible object
- Curvilinear
- Flatland
- Geometric abstraction
- Geometric studies by Leonardo da Vinci
- Graphical perspective
- List of geometric shapes
- Shape
- Squaring the circle
Namesakes
- The Impossible Geometry and The Terror Geometry by Jacques Sternberg
- Die Frage nach dem Ursprung der Geometrie als intentional-historisches Problem