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We could present spatially an atomic fact which contradicted the laws of physics, but not one which contradicted the laws of geometry.
Tractatus Logico Philosophicus, New York, 1922.
An Investigation of Historical Geometric Constructions
From ancient Greek times, mathematicians have considered three famous geometric construction problems. These problems are: (1) the duplication of the cube – construct the edge of a cube whose volume is twice that of a given cube; (2) the trisection of any angle – construct an angle that equals one-third of a given angle; and (3) the squaring of a circle – construct a square whose area equals the area of a given circle. Given the tools at the time, a compass and an unmarked ruler, these problems challenged mathematicians for centuries.
Although these three problems are closely linked, we choose to examine the latter two problems. We must divulge that the given problems do not have solutions if we limit ourselves to constructions using only compass and straightedge. However, using curves created by other means the Greeks resolved all three problems.
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