Questions tagged [euclidean-geometry]

Geometry assuming the parallel postulate: in a plane, given a line and a point not on that line, there is exactly one line parallel to the given line through the given point.

The geometry of Euclid is based on five axioms (Euclid called them postulates). Any geometry based on the first four of these is called an absolute geometry. The fifth one states:

If a line segment intersects two straight lines forming two interior angles on the same side that sum to less than two right angles, then the two lines, if extended indefinitely, meet on that side on which the angles sum to less than two right angles.

It was observed by Proclus that, in the presence of the the other four postulates, Euclid's fifth postulate can be replaced by Playfair's axiom:

Given a line and a point not on it, then one and only one line parallel to the given line can be drawn through the point.

The independence of the parallel postulate and its equivalent formulations from the first four axioms was shown by Beltrami in 1868.

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The Hole in One Pizza

In a recent issue of Crux, at the end of the editorial (which is public), it appears the following very nice problem by Peter Liljedahl. I couldn't resist sharing it with the MSE community. Enjoy!
Robert Z
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Slice of pizza with no crust

The following question came up at a conference and a solution took a while to find. Puzzle. Find a way of cutting a pizza into finitely many congruent pieces such that at least one piece of pizza has no crust on it. We can make this more…
Dan Rust
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Studying Euclidean geometry using hyperbolic criteria

You've spent your whole life in the hyperbolic plane. It's second nature to you that the area of a triangle depends only on its angles, and it seems absurd to suggest that it could ever be otherwise. But recently a good friend named Euclid has…
Zach Conn
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Probability that a stick randomly broken in five places can form a tetrahedron

Edit (June. 2015) This question has been moved to MathOverflow, where a recent write-up finds a similar approximation as leonbloy's post below; see here. Randomly break a stick in five places. Question: What is the probability that the resulting…
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What is the most elegant proof of the Pythagorean theorem?

The Pythagorean Theorem is one of the most popular to prove by mathematicians, and there are many proofs available (including one from James Garfield). What's the most elegant proof? My favorite is this graphical one: According to…
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Inscribing square in circle in just seven compass-and-straightedge steps

Problem Here is one of the challenges posed on Euclidea, a mobile app for Euclidean constructions: Given a $\circ O$ centered on point $O$ with a point $A$ on it, inscribe $\square{ABCD}$ within the circle — in just seven elementary steps. Euclidea…
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About Euclid's Elements and modern video games

Update (6/19/2014) $\;$ Just wanted to say that this idea that I posted more than a year ago, has now become reality at: 12.292 users have played it in 96 different countries, and 1232 people have reached level 20 :) Update…
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Check if a point is within an ellipse

I have an ellipse centered at $(h,k)$, with semi-major axis $r_x$, semi-minor axis $r_y$, both aligned with the Cartesian plane. How do I determine if a point $(x,y)$ is within the area bounded by the ellipse?
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Area of a square inside a square created by connecting point-opposite midpoint

Square $ABCD$ has area $1cm^2$ and sides of $1cm$ each. $H, F, E, G$ are the midpoints of sides $AD, DC, CB, BA$ respectively. What will the area of the square formed in the middle be? I know that this problem can be solved by trigonometry by using…
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The most effective windshield-wiper setup. (Packing a square with sectors)

I was on the bus on the way to uni this morning and it was raining quite heavily. I was sitting right up near the front where I could see the window wipers doing their thing. It made me think "what is the best configuration of window wipers for…
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A conjecture involving prime numbers and circles

Given the series of prime numbers greater than $9$, we organize them in four rows, according to their last digit ($1,3,7$ or $9$). The column in which they are displayed is the ten to which they belong, as illustrated in the following scheme. My…
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For $a$, $b$, $c$, $d$ the sides of a quadrilateral, show $ab^2(b-c)+bc^2(c-d)+cd^2(d-a)+da^2(a-b)\ge 0$. (A generalization of IMO 1983 problem 6)

Let $a$, $b$, $c$, and $d$ be the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral. Show that $$ab^2(b-c)+bc^2(c-d)+cd^2(d-a)+da^2(a-b)\ge 0 \tag{$\star$}$$ Background: The well known 1983 IMO Problem 6 is the following: IMO 1983 #6. Let $a$, $b$ and…
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What is the difference between Euclidean and Cartesian spaces?

For me those are references to the same thing. On Wikipedia there are references to both but I still don't see the difference. Is there any difference? If yes, is there a…
Aalex Gabi
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What is the modern axiomatization of (Euclidean) plane geometry?

I have heard anecdotally that Euclid's Elements was an unsatisfactory development of geometry, because it was not rigorous, and that this spurred other people (including Hilbert) to create their own sets of axioms. I have two related questions: 1)…
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Book recommendation on plane Euclidean geometry

I consider myself relatively good at math, though I don't know it at a high level (yet). One of my problems is that I'm not very comfortable with geometry, unlike algebra, or to restate, I'm much more comfortable with algebra than geometry. I think…
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