Non-Euclidean geometry

Two geometries based on axioms closely related to those specifying Euclidean geometry
Behavior of lines with a common perpendicular in each of the three types of geometry

Another way to describe the differences between these geometries is to consider two straight lines indefinitely extended in a two-dimensional plane that are both perpendicular to a third line (in the same plane):

If a straight line falls on two straight lines in such a manner that the interior angles on the same side are together less than two right angles, then the straight lines, if produced indefinitely, meet on that side on which are the angles less than the two right angles.

Other mathematicians have devised simpler forms of this property. Regardless of the form of the postulate, however, it consistently appears more complicated than Euclid's other postulates:

2. To produce [extend] a finite straight line continuously in a straight line.

He finally reached a point where he believed that his results demonstrated the impossibility of hyperbolic geometry. His claim seems to have been based on Euclidean presuppositions, because no logical contradiction was present. In this attempt to prove Euclidean geometry he instead unintentionally discovered a new viable geometry, but did not realize it.

By formulating the geometry in terms of a curvature tensor, Riemann allowed non-Euclidean geometry to apply to higher dimensions. Beltrami (1868) was the first to apply Riemann's geometry to spaces of negative curvature.

Comparison of elliptic, Euclidean and hyperbolic geometries in two dimensions
On a sphere, the sum of the angles of a triangle is not equal to 180°. The surface of a sphere is not a Euclidean space, but locally the laws of the Euclidean geometry are good approximations. In a small triangle on the face of the earth, the sum of the angles is very nearly 180°.

In these models, the concepts of non-Euclidean geometries are represented by Euclidean objects in a Euclidean setting. This introduces a perceptual distortion wherein the straight lines of the non-Euclidean geometry are represented by Euclidean curves that visually bend. This "bending" is not a property of the non-Euclidean lines, only an artifice of the way they are represented.

Besides the behavior of lines with respect to a common perpendicular, mentioned in the introduction, we also have the following: