There is no branch of mathematics, however abstract, which may not some day be applied to phenomena of the real world.

Quoted in N Rose

In geometry I find certain imperfections which I hold to be the reason why this science, apart from transition into analytics, can as yet make no advance from that state in which it came to us from Euclid.

As belonging to these imperfections, I consider the obscurity in the fundamental concepts of the geometrical magnitudes and in the manner and method of representing the measuring of these magnitudes, and finally the momentous gap in the theory of parallels, to fill which all efforts of mathematicians have so far been in vain.

*Geometric researches on the theory of parallels* (1840)

JOC/EFR February 2006

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