Euclid

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Byrne’s diagram for Euclid’s proof of the Theorem of Pythagoras, together with Rietveld’s Red and Blue Chair, made in 1918

Oliver Byrne (1810-1890) was a civil engineer and a prolific writer on science. He published more than 20 books on maths and several more on me(...)

A football and the geometric shape on which it is based, a truncated icosahedron with 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons

The highlight of the 13th and final book of Euclid’s Elements was the proof that there are just five “Platonic solids”. Recall that a regular polygon (...)

We live on a spherical Earth, so we cannot travel a straight-line path: we have to stick to the surface of the globe. Photograph: Thinkstock

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. This is one of the basic principles of Euclidean geometry. But we live on a spherical Ear(...)