These are straight lines on the disk obtained from the interval on the real axis by the action of a one-parameter family of left shifts from SU(1,1). Since our geometry is, by definition, invariant under such transformations, all these lines are of equal length.

I thought it would be interesting to overlay these lines, obtained numerically, with Escher’s Angels and Demons picture to see how well Escher’s drawing corresponds to calculations. Here is the result:

As far as I can see angels and demons do not know how to use computers. They work using intuition and aesthetic feelings. And yet Escher’s drawing corresponds to calculations almost perfectly.

We can use it to find, say, the distance of a point on the vertical axis from the origin. Tha path is paramatrized by where varies from to Therefore the length of the path
is

So, we have

(2)

For producing Fig. 1 we used the family of SU(1,1) matrices;

implements fractional linear transformation

Thus

(3)

The distance from the origin to along the vertical axis, is therefore

It follows that the parallel lines in Fig. 1 are all equidistant, if the distance between them is measured along the vertical axis.

That was our first use of the formula for the line element of the non-Euclidean hyperbolic geometry of the Poincaré disk. We will have to play with it a little bit more, so that we will not be afraid that it will bite us.

“As far as I can see angels and demons do not know how to use computers.”Demons sometimes may disturb the vision.

(Especially when they are white. Or maybe black angels have their contribution too.)

Puting it in other words:

I see that Escher’s drawing corresponds to calculations almost perfectly.

You are right. I was wrong.

Thanks!