by Giulia Signorini, Michele Tocchet, both from “Liceo Filippo Buonarroti” in Pisa, and Anna Baccaglini-Frank, University of Pisa.
In 1871 Felix Klein published two papers, called “On the so-called non-Euclidean geometry”, in which he proposed to call the first type of geometry “elliptic geometry” (from the Greek ellipsis, that means omission) and the second type “hyperbolic geometry” (form the Greek hyperbola, that means excessive). A good model for elliptic geometry is the sphere.
Circle inversion provides an interesting example of geometric transformation that, unlike the affinities and isometries studied in high school, usually does not transform lines into lines (but into circles) and that can be presented in an elementary way since its properties can be explored with dynamic geometry software and easily proved in synthetic geometry. Indeed, some high school textbooks introduce circle inversion as an interesting topic of Euclidean geometry that can also be explored through dynamic geometry software.