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Geometry and location

  1. Apr 25, 2003 #1


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    A precise location is defined as a point with zero dimensions. So we can easily tell you where the location of something is, say at (x,y,z) from the starting point. But let's say you had a map of the solar system, and used a scale that is too small. The planet Jupiter would now be found at several locations at once.

    Anyway, the question is: does the word "location" only have one mathematical definition, being an exact point? In the case of Jupiter, are there there several locations where you will find the gas giant, or can you define a single location as a collection of points?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2003 #2


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    Most people would be happy with the definition that the center of the planet exists at a single point in space, while the planet itself exists at a set of points.

    - Warren
  4. Apr 26, 2003 #3


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    "Point" is, as you say, a mathematical concept. "Jupiter" is NOT a mathematical concept. You could, of course, set up a mathematical model that more or less accurately modeled Jupiter. Whether you could assign a single point to Jupiter would depend upon your mathematical model.
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