Transformation (geometry)

A geometric transformation is any bijection of a set having some geometric structure to itself or another such set. Specifically, "A geometric transformation is a function whose domain and range are sets of points. Most often the domain and range of a geometric transformation are both R2 or both R3. Often geometric transformations are required to be 1-1 functions, so that they have inverses." [1] The study of geometry may be approached via the study of these transformations.[2]

Geometric transformations can be classified by the dimension of their operand sets (thus distinguishing between planar transformations and those of space, for example). They can also be classified according to the properties they preserve:

Each of these classes contains the previous one.[4]

  • inversions preserve the set of all lines and circles in the planar case (but may interchange lines and circles), and Möbius transformations conserve all planes and spheres in dimension 3.
  • Diffeomorphisms (bidifferentiable transformations) are the transformations that are affine in the first order; they contain the preceding ones as special cases, and can be further refined.[5]
  • Homeomorphisms (bicontinuous transformations), preserve the neighborhoods of points.

Transformations of the same type form groups that may be sub-groups of other transformation groups.


  1. ^ Zalman Usiskin, Anthony L. Peressini, Elena Marchisotto – Mathematics for High School Teachers: An Advanced Perspective, page 84.
  2. ^ Venema, Gerard A. (2006), Foundations of Geometry, Pearson Prentice Hall, p. 285, ISBN  
  3. ^ a b Geometric transformation, p. 131, at Google Books
  4. ^ a b Leland Wilkinson, D. Wills, D. Rope, A. Norton, R. Dubbs – ''Geometric transformation, p. 182, at Google Books
  5. ^ stevecheng (2013-03-13). "first fundamental form" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-10-01. 
  6. ^ Geometric transformation, p. 191, at Google Books Bruce E. Meserve – Fundamental Concepts of Geometry, page 191.]

Further reading

  • John McCleary – Geometry from a Differentiable Viewpoint.
  • A.N. Pressley – Elementary Differential Geometry.
  • David Hilbert, Stephan Cohn-Vossen – Geometry and the Imagination.
  • David Gans – Transformations and geometries.
  • Irving Adler – A New Look at Geometry.
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