Intersection theorem

In projective geometry, an intersection theorem or incidence theorem is a statement concerning an incidence structure – consisting of points, lines, and possibly higher-dimensional objects and their incidences – together with a pair of objects A and B (for instance, a point and a line). The "theorem" states that, whenever a set of objects satisfies the incidences (i.e. can be identified with the objects of the incidence structure in such a way that incidence is preserved), then the objects A and B must also be incident. An intersection theorem is not necessarily true in all projective geometries; it is a property that some geometries satisfy but others don't.

For example, Desargues' theorem can be stated using the following incidence structure:

The implication is then (R,PQ)—that point R is incident with line PQ.

Famous examples

Desargues' theorem holds in a projective plane P if and only if P is the projective plane over some division ring (skewfield} DP=\mathbb{P}_{2}D. The projective plane is then called desarguesian. A theorem of Amitsur and Bergman states that, in the context of desarguesian projective planes, for every intersection theorem there is a rational identity such that the plane P satisfies the intersection theorem if and only if the division ring D satisfies the rational identity.


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