1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is this statement regarding mathematics true? (yes basic)

  1. Feb 28, 2010 #1
    I'm clueless on mathematics and will soon begin the long road into its academic study. I saw this statement on the following website:

    the last poster says this:

    "sometimes mathematics makes assumptions different to what holds in the real world. If I draw a triangle around the sun, the angles will add up to more than 180° because gravity curves space. Mathematics works only within the assumptions you put into it."

    Is this true? Kind of goes against what I would assume is the purpose of mathematics (I thought mathematics was a expression of reality not dependent upon variables of reality?)

    Thanks, and yes I know this is basic!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 28, 2010 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    It's not really all that basic; no need to apologize. The poster appears to be talking about non-Euclidean geometries, specifically elliptic geometry. So yes, it's real.
  4. Mar 1, 2010 #3
    Thanks =)

    Well, that completely shattered any thoughts I had on mathematics haha
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook