Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

4-30-1977

Abstract

This paper examines the foundational crises that have haunted twentieth-century mathematics, beginning with a brief review of the effects generated by Gauss, Lobachevsky, and Bolyai who each developed non-Euclidean parallel axiom. Though of mathematical interest in their own right, the significance of the new geometries was greatly magnified when it was discerned that they could be used to adequately model physical space, even to the extent that Einstein’s theory of relativity later employed as its model a non-Euclidean geometry developed by Riemann. The question that obviously presented itself was how could any given geometry be called true when it and others contradictory to it all could be interpreted so as to fit physical space?

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