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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 96 pages of information about An Elementary Course in Synthetic Projective Geometry.
parallel to a given line.  In the same sense we speak of all the points at infinity in a plane as lying on a line, “the line at infinity,” because the straight line is the simplest locus we can imagine which has only one point in common with any line in the plane.  Likewise we speak of the “plane at infinity,” because that seems the most convenient way of imagining the points at infinity in space.  It must not be inferred that these conceptions have any essential connection with physical facts, or that other means of picturing to ourselves the infinitely distant configurations are not possible.  In other branches of mathematics, notably in the theory of functions of a complex variable, quite different assumptions are made and quite different conceptions of the elements at infinity are used.  As we can know nothing experimentally about such things, we are at liberty to make any assumptions we please, so long as they are consistent and serve some useful purpose.

PROBLEMS

1.  Since there is a threefold infinity of points in space, there must be a sixfold infinity of pairs of points in space.  Each pair of points determines a line.  Why, then, is there not a sixfold infinity of lines in space?

2.  If there is a fourfold infinity of lines in space, why is it that there is not a fourfold infinity of planes through a point, seeing that each line in space determines a plane through that point?

3.  Show that there is a fourfold infinity of circles in space that pass through a fixed point. (Set up a one-to-one correspondence between the axes of the circles and lines in space.)

4.  Find the order of infinity of all the lines of space that cut across a given line; across two given lines; across three given lines; across four given lines.

5.  Find the order of infinity of all the spheres in space that pass through a given point; through two given points; through three given points; through four given points.

6.  Find the order of infinity of all the circles on a sphere; of all the circles on a sphere that pass through a fixed point; through two fixed points; through three fixed points; of all the circles in space; of all the circles that cut across a given line.

7.  Find the order of infinity of all lines tangent to a sphere; of all planes tangent to a sphere; of lines and planes tangent to a sphere and passing through a fixed point.

8.  Set up a one-to-one correspondence between the series of numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, ... and the series of even numbers 2, 4, 6, 8 ....  Are we justified in saying that there are just as many even numbers as there are numbers altogether?

9.  Is the axiom “The whole is greater than one of its parts” applicable to infinite assemblages?

10.  Make out a classified list of all the infinitudes of the first, second, third, and fourth orders mentioned in this chapter.

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