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In mathematics, projective geometry is the study of geometric properties that are invariant under projective transformations. This means that, compared to elementary geometry, projective geometry has a different setting, projective space, and a selective set of basic geometric concepts. The basic intuitions are that projective space has more points than Euclidean space, in a given dimension, and that geometric transformations are permitted that move the extra points (called "points at infinity") to traditional points, and vice versa. The properties that matter in projective geometry are those that are respected by this new idea of transformation, which is more radical in its effects than can be expressed by a transformation matrix and translations (the affine transformations); the first issue for geometers is what kind of geometric language would be adequate to the novel situation. It is not possible to talk about angles in projective geometry as it is in Euclidean geometry, because angle is an example of a concept not invariant under projective transformations, as is seen clearly in perspective drawing. One source for projective geometry was indeed the theory of perspective. Another difference from elementary geometry is the way in which parallel lines can be said to meet in a point at infinity, once the concept is translated into projective geometry's terms. Again this notion has an intuitive basic (railway tracks meeting at the horizon in a perspective drawing). See projective plane for the basics of projective geometry in two dimensions.

While the ideas were available earlier, projective geometry was mainly a development of the nineteenth century. A huge body of research made it the most representative field of geometry of that time. This was the theory of complex projective space, since the coordinates used (homogeneous coordinates) were complex numbers. Several major strands of more abstract mathematics (including invariant theory, the Italian school of algebraic geometry, and Felix Klein's Erlangen programme leading to the study of the classical groups) built on projective geometry. It was also a subject with a large number of practitioners for its own sake, under the banner of synthetic geometry. Another field that emerged from axiomatic studies of projective geometry is finite geometry.

The field of projective geometry is itself now divided into many research subfields, two examples of which are projective algebraic geometry (the study of projective varieties) and projective differential geometry (the study of differential invariants of the projective transformations).

Overview

Projective geometry is an elementary non-metrical form of geometry, meaning that it is not based on a concept of distance. In two dimensions it begins with the study of configurations of points and lines. That there is indeed some geometric interest in this sparse setting was seen as projective geometry was developed by Desargues and others in their exploration of the principles of perspective art[1]. In higher dimensional spaces there are considered hyperplanes (that always meet), and other linear subspaces, which exhibit the principle of duality. The simplest illustration of duality is in the projective plane, where the statements "two distinct points determine a unique line" (i.e. the line through them) and "two distinct lines determine a unique point" (i.e. their point of intersection) show the same structure as propositions. Projective geometry can also be seen as a geometry of constructions with a straight-edge alone[2]. Since projective geometry excludes compass constructions, there are no circles, no angles, no measurements, no parallels, and no concept of intermediacy[3]. It was realised that the theorems that do hold in projective geometry are simpler statements. For example the different conic sections are all equivalent in (complex) projective geometry, and some theorems about circles can be seen as special cases of these general theorems.

In the early 19th century the work of Poncelet, von Staudt and others established projective geometry as an independent field of mathematics [3]. Its axiomatic foundation was not developed until the work of Gino Fano and Mario Pieri late in the 19th century[4]. Projective geometry, like affine and Euclidean geometry, can also be developed from the Erlangen program of Felix Klein; projective geometry is characterized by invariants under transformations of the projective group.

After much work on the very large number of theorems in the subject, therefore, the basics of projective geometry became understood. The incidence structure and the cross-ratio are fundamental invariants under projective transformations. Projective geometry can be modeled by the affine plane (or affine space) plus a line (hyperplane) "at infinity" and then treating that line (or hyperplane) as "ordinary"[5]. An algebraic model for doing projective geometry in the style of analytic geometry is given by homogeneous coordinates.[6][7] On the other hand axiomatic studies revealed the existence of non-Desarguesian planes, examples to show that the axioms of incidence can be modelled (in two dimensions only) by structures not accessible to reasoning through homogeneous coordinate systems.

In a foundational sense, projective geometry and ordered geometry are elementary since they involve a minimum of axioms and either can be used as the foundation for affine and Euclidean geometry [8][9]. Projective geometry is not "ordered"[3] and so it is a distinct foundation for geometry.

History

The first geometrical properties of a projective nature were discovered in the third century by Pappus of Alexandria[3]. Filippo Brunelleschi (1404-1472) started investigating the geometry of perspective in 1425[10] (see the history of perspective for a more thorough discussion of the work in the fine arts which motivated much of the development of projective geometry). Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) and Gerard Desargues (1591–1661) independently developed the pivotal concept of the "point at infinity"[11]. Desargues developed an alternative way of constructing perspective drawings by generalizing the use of vanishing points to include the case when these are infinitely far away. He made Euclidean geometry, where parallel lines are truly parallel, into a special case of an all-encompassing geometric system. Desargues's study on conic sections drew the attention of 16-year old Blaise Pascal and helped him formulate Pascal's theorem. The works of Gaspard Monge at the end of 18th and beginning of 19th century were important for the subsequent development of projective geometry. The work of Desargues was ignored until Michel Chasles chanced upon a handwritten copy in 1845. Meanwhile, Jean-Victor Poncelet had published the foundational treatise on projective geometry in 1822. Poncelet separated the projective properties of objects in individual class and establishing a relationship between metric and projective properties. The non-Euclidean geometries discovered shortly thereafter were eventually demonstrated to have models, such as the Klein model of hyperbolic space, relating to projective geometry.

This early 19th century projective geometry was a stepping stone from analytic geometry to algebraic geometry. When treated in terms of homogeneous coordinates, projective geometry looks like an extension or technical improvement of the use of coordinates to reduce geometric problems to algebra, an extension reducing the number of special cases. The detailed study of quadrics and the "line geometry" of Julius Plücker still form a rich set of examples for geometers working with more general concepts.

The work of Poncelet, Steiner and others was not intended to extend analytic geometry. Techniques were supposed to be synthetic: in effect projective space as now understood was to be introduced axiomatically. As a result, reformulating early work in projective geometry so that it satisfies current standards of rigor can be somewhat difficult. Even in the case of the projective plane alone, the axiomatic approach can result in models not describable via linear algebra.

This period in geometry was overtaken by research on the general algebraic curve by Clebsch, Riemann, Max Noether and others, which stretched existing techniques, and then by invariant theory. Towards the end of the century the Italian school of algebraic geometry (Enriques, Segre, Severi) broke out of the traditional subject matter into an area demanding deeper techniques.

In the later part of the 19th century, the detailed study of projective geometry became less fashionable, although the literature is voluminous. Some important work was done in enumerative geometry in particular, by Schubert, that is now seen as anticipating the theory of Chern classes, taken as representing the algebraic topology of Grassmannians.

Description

Projective geometry is the most general and least restrictive in the hierarchy of fundamental geometries, i.e. Euclidean - metric (similarity) - affine - projective. It is an intrinsically non-metrical geometry, whose facts are independent of any metric structure. Under the projective transformations, the incidence structure and the cross-ratio are preserved. It is a non-Euclidean geometry. In particular, it formalizes one of the central principles of perspective art: that parallel lines meet at infinity and therefore are to be drawn that way. In essence, a projective geometry may be thought of as an extension of Euclidean geometry in which the "direction" of each line is subsumed within the line as an extra "point", and in which a "horizon" of directions corresponding to coplanar lines is regarded as a "line". Thus, two parallel lines will meet on a horizon line in virtue of their possessing the same direction.

Idealized directions are referred to as points at infinity, while idealized horizons are referred to as lines at infinity. In turn, all these lines lie in the plane at infinity. However, infinity is a metric concept, so a purely projective geometry does not single out any points, lines or plane in this regard — those at infinity are treated just like any others.

Because a Euclidean geometry is contained within a Projective geometry, with Projective geometry having a simpler foundation, general results in Euclidean geometry may be arrived at in a more transparent fashion, where separate but similar theorems in Euclidean geometry may be handled collectively within the framework of projective geometry. For example, parallel and nonparallel lines need not be treated as separate cases - we single out some arbitrary projective plane as the ideal plane and locate it "at infinity" using homogeneous coordinates.

Additional properties of fundamental importance include Desargues' Theorem and the Theorem of Pappus. In projective spaces of dimension 3 or greater there is a construction that allows one to prove Desargues' Theorem. But for dimension 2, it must be separately postulated.

Under Desargues' Theorem, combined with the other axioms, it is possible to define the basic operations of arithmetic, geometrically. The resulting operations will satisfy the axioms of a field — except that the commutativity of multiplication will require Pappus's hexagon theorem. As a result, the points of each line are in one to one correspondence with a given field, F, supplemented by an additional element, W, such that rW = W, −W = W, r+W = W, r/0 = W, r/W = 0, W−r = r−W = W. However, 0/0, W/W, W+W, W−W, 0W and W0 remain undefined.

Projective geometry also includes a full theory of conic sections, a subject already very well developed in Euclidean geometry. There are clear advantages in being able to think of a hyperbola and an ellipse as distinguished only by the way the hyperbola lies across the line at infinity; and that a parabola is distinguished only by being tangent to the same line. The whole family of circles can be seen as conics passing through two given points on the line at infinity — at the cost of requiring complex coordinates. Since coordinates are not "synthetic", one replaces them by fixing a line and two points on it, and considering the linear system of all conics passing through those points as the basic object of study. This approach proved very attractive to talented geometers, and the field was thoroughly worked over. An example of this approach is the multi-volume treatise by H. F. Baker.

There are many projective geometries, which may be divided into discrete and continuous: a discrete geometry comprises a set of points, which may or may not be finite in number, while a continuous geometry has infinitely many points with no gaps in between.

The only projective geometry of dimension 0 is a single point. A projective geometry of dimension 1 consists of a single line containing at least 3 points. The geometric construction of arithmetic operations cannot be carried out in either of these cases. For dimension 2, there is a rich structure in virtue of the absence of Desargues' Theorem.

The Fano plane is the projective plane with the fewest points and lines.

According to Greenberg (1999) and others, the simplest 2-dimensional projective geometry is the Fano plane, which has 3 points on every line, with 7 points and lines in all arranged with the following schedule of collinearities:

* [ABC]
* [AFG]
* [BDG]
* [BEF]
* [CDF]
* [CEG]

with the coordinates A = {0,0}, B = {0,1}, C = {0,W} = {1,W}, D = {1,0}, E = {W,0} = {W,1}, F = {1,1}, G = {W, W}. The coordinates in a Desarguesian plane for the points designated to be the points at infinity (in this example: C, E and G) will generally not be unambiguously defined.

However this geometry is not sufficiently complex to be consistent with Coxeter's (2003) approach, where the simplest example has 31 points, 31 lines, and 6 points on each line, which he writes as PG[2,5].

In Coxeter's notation, a finite projective geometry is written PG[a,b] where:

a is the number of dimensions, and
given a point on a line, b is the number of other lines through the point.

Thus, the example having only 7 points is written PG[2,2].

The term "projective geometry" is sometimes used to indicate the generalised underlying abstract geometry, and sometimes to indicate a particular geometry of wide interest, such as the metric geometry of flat space which we analyse through the use of homogeneous coordinates, and in which Euclidean geometry may be embedded (hence its name, Extended Euclidean geometry.

The fundamental property that singles out all projective geometries is the elliptic incidence property that any two distinct lines L and M in the projective plane intersect at exactly one point P. The special case in analytic geometry of parallel lines is subsumed in the smoother form of a line at infinity on which P lies. The line at infinity is thus a line like any other in the theory: it is in no way special or distinguished. (In the later spirit of the Erlangen programme one could point to the way the group of transformations can move any line to the line at infinity).

Given a line l and a point P not on the line, the elliptic parallel property contrasts with the Euclidean and hyperbolic parallel properties as follows:
Elliptic : any line through P meets l in just one point.
Euclidean : just one line through P may be found, which does not meet l.
Hyperbolic : more than one line through P may be found, which do not meet l.

The elliptic parallel property is the key idea which leads to the principle of projective duality, possibly the most important property which all projective geometries have in common.

Duality
For more details on this topic, see Duality (projective geometry).

In 1825, Joseph Gergonne noted the principle of duality characterizing projective plane geometry: given any theorem or definition of that geometry, substituting point for line, lie on for pass through, collinear for concurrent, intersection for join, or vice versa, results in another theorem or valid definition, the "dual" of the first. Similarly in 3 dimensions, the duality relation holds between points and planes, allowing any theorem to be transformed by swapping "point" and "plane", "is contained by" and "contains". More generally, for projective spaces of dimension N, there will exist a duality between the subspaces of dimension R and dimension N−R−1. For N = 2, this specializes to the most commonly known form of duality — that between points and lines. The duality principle was also discovered independently by Jean-Victor Poncelet.

To establish duality only requires establishing theorems which are the dual versions of the axioms for the dimension in question. Thus, for 3-dimensional spaces, one needs to show that (1*) every point lies in 3 distinct planes, (2*) every two planes intersect in a unique line and a dual version of (3*) to the effect: if the intersection of plane P and Q is coplanar with the intersection of plane R and S, then so are the respective intersections of planes P and R, Q and S (assuming planes P and S are distinct from Q and R).

In practice, the principle of duality allows us to set up a dual correspondence between two geometric constructions. The most famous of these is the polarity or reciprocity of two figures in a conic curve (in 2 dimensions) or a quadric surface (in 3 dimensions). A commonplace example is found in the reciprocation of a symmetrical polyhedron in a concentric sphere to obtain the dual polyhedron.

Axioms of projective geometry

Any given geometry may be deduced from an appropriate set of axioms. Projective geometries are characterised by the "elliptic parallel" axiom, that any two planes always meet in just one line, or in the plane, any two lines always meet in just one point. In other words, there are no such things as parallel lines or planes in projective geometry. Many alternative sets of axioms for projective geometry have been proposed (see for example Coxeter 2003, Hilbert & Cohn-Vossen 1999, Greenberg 1980).

These axioms are based on Whitehead, "The Axioms of Projective Geometry". There are two types, points and lines, and one "incidence" relation between points and lines. The three axioms are:

* G1: Every line contains at least 3 points
* G2: Every two points, A and B, lie on a unique line, AB.
* G3: If lines AB and CD intersect, then so do lines AC and BD (where it is assumed that A and D are distinct from B and C).

The reason each line is assumed to contain at least 3 points is to eliminate some degenerate cases. The spaces satisfying these three axioms either have at most one line, or are projective spaces of some dimension over a division ring, or are non-Desarguesian planes.

One can add further axioms restricting the dimension or the coordinate ring. For example, Coxeter's Projective Geometry[12], references Veblen[13] in the three axioms above, together with a further 5 axioms that make the dimension 3 and the coordinate ring a commutative field of characteristic not 2.

Axioms using a ternary relation

One can pursue axiomatization by postulating a ternary relation, [ABC] to denote when three points (not all necessarily distinct) are collinear. An axiomatization may be written down in terms of this relation as well:

* C0: [ABA]
* C1: If A and B are two points such that [ABC] and [ABD] then [BDC]
* C2: If A and B are two points then there is a third point C such that [ABC]
* C3: If A and C are two points, B and D also, with [BCE], [ADE] but not [ABE] then there is a point F such that [ACF] and [BDF].

For two different points, A and B, the line AB is defined as consisting of all points C for which [ABC]. The axioms C0 and C1 then provide a formalization of G2; C2 for G1 and C3 for G3.

The concept of line generalizes to planes and higher dimensional subspaces. A subspace, AB...XY may thus be recursively defined in terms of the subspace AB...X as that containing all the points of all lines YZ, as Z ranges over AB...X. Collinearity then generalizes to the relation of "independence". A set {A, B,...,Z} of points is independent, [AB...Z] if {A, B,...,Z} is a minimal generating subset for the subspace AB...Z.

The projective axioms may be supplemented by further axioms postulating limits on the dimension of the space. The minimum dimension is determined by the existence of an independent set of the required size. For the lowest dimensions, the relevant conditions may be stated in equivalent form as follows. A projective space is of:

* (L1) at least dimension 0 if it has at least 1 point,
* (L2) at least dimension 1 if it has at least 2 distinct points (and therefore a line),
* (L3) at least dimension 2 if it has at least 3 non-collinear points (or two lines, or a line and a point not on the line),
* (L4) at least dimension 3 if it has at least 4 non-coplanar points.

The maximum dimension may also be determined in a similar fashion. For the lowest dimensions, they take on the following forms. A projective space is of:

* (M1) at most dimension 0 if it has no more than 1 point,
* (M2) at most dimension 1 if it has no more than 1 line,
* (M3) at most dimension 2 if it has no more than 1 plane,

and so on. It is a general theorem (a consequence of axiom (3)) that all coplanar lines intersect — the very principle Projective Geometry was originally intended to embody. Therefore, property (M3) may be equivalently stated that all lines intersect one another.

It is generally assumed that projective spaces are of at least dimension 2. In some cases, if the focus is meant to be on projective planes, a variant of M3 may be postulated. The axioms of (Eves 1997: 111), for instance, include (1), (2), (L3) and (M3). Axiom (3) becomes vacuously true under (M3) and is therefore not needed in this context.

Axioms for projective planes

In incidence geometry, some authors[14][15] give a treatment that embraces the Fano plane PG(2,2) as the minimal finite projective plane. An axiom system that achieves this is as follows:

* (P1) Any line contains two distinct points.
* (P2) Any two distinct lines meet in a unique point.
* (P3) There exist at least four points of which no three are collinear.

Coxeter's Introduction to Geometry[16] gives a list of five axioms for the projective plane attributed to Bachmann, adding Pappus's theorem to the list of axioms above and excluding projective planes over fields of characteristic 2.

* Projective line
* Projective plane
* Projective space
* Incidence
* Cross-ratio
* Möbius transformation
* Projective transformation
* Homogeneous coordinates
* Duality (projective geometry)
* Fundamental theorem of projective geometry
* Projective configuration
* Desargues' theorem
* Pappus's hexagon theorem
* Pascal's theorem
* Inversive ring geometry
* Joseph Wedderburn
* Grassmann-Cayley algebra

Notes

1. ^ Ramanan 1997, p. 88
2. ^ Coxeter 2003, p. v
3. ^ a b c d Coxeter 1969, p. 229
4. ^ Coxeter 2003, p. 14
5. ^ Coxeter 1969, pp. 93,261
6. ^ Coxeter 1969, pp. 234-238
7. ^ Coxeter 2003, pp. 111-132
8. ^ Coxeter 1969, pp. 175-262
9. ^ Coxeter 2003, pp. 102-110
10. ^ Coxeter 2003, p. 2
11. ^ Coxeter 2003, p. 3
12. ^ Coxeter 2003, pp. 14-15
13. ^ Veblen 1966, pp. 16, 18, 24, 45
14. ^ Polster 1998, p. 5
15. ^ Cederberg 2001, p. 9-18
16. ^ Coxeter 1969, pp. 229-234

References

* F. Bachmann, 1959. Aufbau der Geometrie aus dem Spiegelungsbegriff, Springer, Berlin.
* Cederberg, Judith N. (2001). A Course in Modern Geometries. New York: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 0-387-98972-2.
* Coxeter, H. S. M., 1995. The Real Projective Plane, 3rd ed. Springer Verlag.
* Coxeter, H. S. M., 2003. Projective Geometry, 2nd ed. Springer Verlag. ISBN 978-0-387-40623-7.
* Coxeter, H. S. M. (1969). Introduction to Geometry. New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0471504580.
* Howard Eves, 1997. Foundations and Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics, 3rd ed. Dover.
* Greenberg, M.J., 2007. Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries, 4th ed. Freeman.
* Richard Hartley and Andrew Zisserman , 2003. Multiple view geometry in computer vision, 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-54051-8
* Hartshorne, Robin, 2009. Foundations of Projective Geometry, 2nd ed. Ishi Press. ISBN 978-4871878371
* Hartshorne, Robin, 2000. Geometry: Euclid and Beyond. Springer.
* Hilbert, D. and Cohn-Vossen, S., 1999. Geometry and the imagination, 2nd ed. Chelsea.
* D. R. Hughes and F. C. Piper, 1973. Projective Planes, Springer.
* Polster, Burkard (1998). A Geometrical Picture Book. New York: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 0-387-98437-2.
* Ramanan, S. (August 1997). "Projective geometry". Resonance (Springer India) 2 (8): 87–94. doi:10.1007/BF02835009. ISSN 0971-8044.
* Veblen, Oswald; Young, J. W. A. (1938). Projective geometry. Boston: Ginn & Co.. ISBN 978-1418182854. http://www.archive.org/details/117714799_001

* Notes based on Coxeter's The Real Projective Plane.
* Projective Geometry for Image Analysis — free tutorial by Roger Mohr and Bill Triggs.
* Projective Geometry.-free tutorial by Tom Davis.