, Volume 186, Issue 3, pp 619–632 | Cite as

Logic for physical space

From antiquity to present days
  • Marco Aiello
  • Guram Bezhanishvili
  • Isabelle Bloch
  • Valentin Goranko
Open Access


Since the early days of physics, space has called for means to represent, experiment, and reason about it. Apart from physicists, the concept of space has intrigued also philosophers, mathematicians and, more recently, computer scientists. This longstanding interest has left us with a plethora of mathematical tools developed to represent and work with space. Here we take a special look at this evolution by considering the perspective of Logic. From the initial axiomatic efforts of Euclid, we revisit the major milestones in the logical representation of space and investigate current trends. In doing so, we do not only consider classical logic, but we indulge ourselves with modal logics. These present themselves naturally by providing simple axiomatizations of different geometries, topologies, space-time causality, and vector spaces.


Modal logic Geometry Topology Mathematical morphology 



We thank Elisabetta Pallante for fruitful discussion on the theory of quantum gravity and de Sitter space-time. We are also grateful to the referees for the suggestions which improved the presentation of the paper.

Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Aiello
    • 1
  • Guram Bezhanishvili
    • 2
  • Isabelle Bloch
    • 3
  • Valentin Goranko
    • 4
  1. 1.University of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.New Mexico State UniversityLas CrucesUSA
  3. 3.Telecom ParisTech (ENST), CNRS UMR 5141 LTCIParisFrance
  4. 4.Technical University of DenmarkLyngbyDenmark

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