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Sources of Hyperbolic Geometry

John Stillwell, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia

This book presents, for the first time in English, the papers of Beltrami, Klein, and Poincaré that brought hyperbolic geometry into the mainstream of mathematics. A recognition of Beltrami comparable to that given the pioneering works of Bolyai and Lobachevsky seems long overdue--not only because Beltrami rescued hyperbolic geometry from oblivion by proving it to be logically consistent, but because he gave it a concrete meaning (a model) that made hyperbolic geometry part of ordinary mathematics.

The models subsequently discovered by Klein and Poincaré brought hyperbolic geometry even further down to earth and paved the way for the current explosion of activity in low-dimensional geometry and topology.

By placing the works of these three mathematicians side by side and providing commentaries, this book gives the student, historian, or professional geometer a bird's-eye view of one of the great episodes in mathematics. The unified setting and historical context reveal the insights of Beltrami, Klein, and Poincaré in their full brilliance.

Co-published with the London Mathematical Society. Members of the LMS may order directly from the AMS at the AMS member price. The LMS is registered with the Charity Commissioners.



© Copyright 1996, American Mathematical Society.