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Transcript
MATH 131 Assignment 3
Adrian Ilie
Show that this pair of statements is incorrect as stated and then expand
them to make them correct on planes and spheres:
Two points determine a unique straight line.
Two straight lines determine a unique point.
On a plane, two points determine a unique straight line. However, on a
sphere, this is not always true. If the two points are situated at opposite ends
of a sphere’s diameter, then they determine an infinity of great circles, which
are the correspondent to straight lines in spherical geometry.
So, the first statement should be reformulated as follows:
On a plane two points determine a unique straight line; on a sphere they
determine a unique great circle unless they are at the opposite ends of
one of the sphere’s diameters.
On a plane, two non-parallel lines determine a unique point, the point where
they intersect. Two parallel lines do not intersect (they “intersect at
infinity”), so they do not determine a point. On a sphere, there are no parallel
great circles, and two great circles always intersect in two points situated at
opposite ends of one of the sphere’s diameters.
The second statement should then be reformulated as follows:
On a plane two non-parallel lines determine a unique point; on a sphere
two great circles determine two points situated at the opposite ends of
one of the sphere’s diameters.