Sources of Hyperbolic Geometry
This book presents, for the first time in English, the papers of Beltrami, Klein, and Poincare that brought hyperbolic geometry into the mainstream of mathematics. It sets out to provide recognition of Beltrami comparable to that given the pioneering works of Bolyai and Labachevsky, not only because Beltrami rescued hyperbolic geometry from oblivion by proving 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 Poincare 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 Poincare in their full brilliance.
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