Letter | Published:

A Plane's Aspect

Nature volume 5, page 7 | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

I AGREE with Mr. Proctor that the disuse of the term “position” in geometry would be a serious misfortune; happily, however, it is not its disuse, but the prevention of its misuse which is contemplated. I cannot agree with him that “position” is a word “which no one can misunderstand,” for his own letter is a striking example of its being misunderstood, either by Mr. Proctor, or by others. “Aspect and slope,” he tells us, “indicate two elements, which, together, fix the position” of a plane. Geometers, however, certainly understand, when a plane is said to be given in position, that something more than its aspect and slope may be regarded as known. Parallel planes have necessarily the same slope and aspect, but surely not the same position. To be told that, because its slope and aspect are invariable, the plane of Saturn's rings has a fixed position in space, notwithstanding that the planet moves bodily in its orbit, would scarcely satisfy a student of astronomy accustomed to geometrical precision.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Athenæum Club, Oct. 31

    • T. ARCHER HIRST

Authors

  1. Search for T. ARCHER HIRST in:

About this article

Publication history

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/005007d0

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.