# Is it true that there is no such thing as a "straight" line?

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There are no stupid questions, only stupid people.

A "line" is a mathematical definition. By definition, a line is straight.

If you make a qualification to that description and say "a line on a chalkboard", then you can presume there are imperfections to that line.

Also, a line from one point on a map to another point would be modified due to the curve of the planet.

In fact, a mathematical line IS an approximation of reality. However, within the definition, and for the purposes of calculation, it is ASSUMED to be straight. Therefore, when you encounter a straight line in a geometry book, it is straight. If you apply that line or the lesson it is apart of to the real world, approximations enter and the line represented in theory (in the geometry book) is not longer straight.

Therefore, it is TRUE that there is such a thing as a "straight" line, but it exists as a definition in mathematics and may be possibly too difficult to discover in nature.

To repose your question to be less confusing, you might say "Do straight lines exist?" The answer would be, "Only in thought, and never in reality". Yet since it can be imagined in thought, it is a thing, therefore that thing "is" and therefore the answer to your question is "No" or "False"...there is such a thing as a straight line.

A straight line is the shortest distance between two points.

Wikipedia says:

A line, or straight line, can be described as an (infinitely) thin, (infinitely) long, perfectly straight curve (the term curve in mathematics includes "straight curves"). In Euclidean geometry, exactly one line can be found that passes through any two points. The line provides the shortest connection between the points.

Source(s): Geomentry 1

Only in idealized mathematical terms.

Physically, we can only approximate it to whatever degree is within our technology and acceptable to our immediate needs, such as in a precision straight-edge ruler.

If it is short enough, depending on the medium it is written on and with, it is possible to have a straight line, or at least one whose deviation from straight cannot be measured.

math has absolutely and completely straight lines

depending on your definition of straight, you could claim that none exist physically in our universe (just like an infinitely long line, plenty in math, but probably not one physically in our universe)

i think so. when it comes down to a molecular level, then nothing is straight. or you could think of it as everything follows the curvature (sp?) of the earth.

• Anonymous

not at a microscopic level...of course not!

At somepoint things resolve to ATOMS.

• Grist
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