How geometry created modern physics – with Yang-Hui HeHere is the Q & A.
The Royal Institution
2,019 views Apr 13, 2023 THE ROYAL INSTITUTION
What's the story behind the five axioms of Euclidean geometry - and how is post-Euclidean geometry linked to modern physics?
From geometry’s classical beginnings, via the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, to the present day, Yang-Hui He takes us on a journey through time and space, culminating in our understanding of spacetime itself. In the 19th century, mathematicians such as Carl Gauss and Bernhard Riemann considered what would happen if we relaxed Euclid’s axioms. The result was the explosion of post-Euclidean geometry, which paved the way for Einstein’s theory of relativity and the birth of modern physics.
It is a nice expository lecture. It makes me wonder if modern Physics would have even been created, if not for Euclid's Elements. He says it is the most read book ever written, next to the Bible.
Historically, I wonder who first realized that XX century Physics was so dependent on geometry. Surely Hermann Weyl understood it a century ago. Einstein did not accept it, and particle physicists of the 1960s were slow to accept it.
Eventually the theorists were taken over by string theorists who want to do everything with geometry.