Is it right to take in account that the Universe might be similar to the Earth regarding curvature so when we look at two galaxies equidistant to Earth but at a right angle observed from Earth their distance one from the other could not be calculated by the Pythagorean theorem. Could it be as draw two meridians from the North pole towards the equator oriented at a right angle to one another and when we calculate the distance of two intersections at the equator we don't get a^2+b^2=c^2 but a equal distance compared to the lengths of the meridians from the pole to the equator making a rectangle-like area with 3 right angles?


1 Answer 1


Yes in principle, but no in actuality.

Our universe has spacetime curvature, so the spacetime version of the Pythagorean theorem doesn’t hold. Our universe does not have a Minkowski metric.

But our universe does not appear to have any measurable spatial curvature, so in only the three spatial dimensions the Pythagorean theorem does hold.

However, we can easily imagine a universe where the 3D Pythagorean theorem would not hold, because of spatial curvature.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.