[FOM] Pure mathematics and humanity's collective curiosity

andre rodin andre.rodin at ens.fr
Fri Oct 19 11:19:48 EDT 2007

> Andrei Rodin:
>> Lobachevsky had in mind the
>> possibility that physical space could be non-euclidean to begin with.

Bill Taylor: 

> Gauss also, it is said.  I have read that he went to the trouble of
> triangulating from three mountain peaks to see if there was significant
> deviation from Euclidean angles.  Alas, I cannot find a reference;
> can anyone help out on this?

according to W.K. Buehler (GAUSS: A bibliographical study, Springer 1981)
the latter story is a myth (p. 100, footnote). However Gauss definitely
linked his ideas about non-euclidean geometry to his geodesic work. 

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