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The three Steiner-Lehmus theorems

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 June 2019

A. F. Beardon*
Affiliation:
Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Wilberforce Road, Cambridge CB3 0WB e-mail: afb@dpmms.cam.ac.uk

Extract

Steiner’s proof of what is now called the Steiner-Lehmus theorem was published in 1844, the same year as the book The three musketeers, written by the French author Alexandre Dumas. The motto One for all, all for one (Einer für alle, alle für einen; Un pour tous, tous pour un; Uno per tutti, tutti per uno) of the three musketeers came into widespread use in Europe in the 19th century, and its essence is that the three musketeers are inseparable; each member pledges to support the group, and the group supports each member. Now there are three classical geometries of constant curvature, namely Euclidean, spherical and hyperbolic geometries, and one can argue that, like the three musketeers, these geometries should be considered as being inseparable; that is, an idea, theorem or proof in any one of them should automatically be considered in the other two. The issue here should be not only to decide whether a particular result is true, or false, in a given geometry, but to understand which particular properties of the geometries make it so.

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Articles
Copyright
© Mathematical Association 2019 

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References

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