In mathematics, a metric space is a set for which distances between all members of the set are defined. Those distances, taken together, are called a metric on the set. A metric on a space induces topological properties like open and closed sets, which lead to the study of more abstract topological spaces.
The most familiar metric space is 3-dimensional Euclidean space. In fact, a “metric” is the generalization of the Euclidean metric arising from the four long-known properties of the Euclidean distance. The Euclidean metric defines the distance between two points as the length of the straight line segment connecting them. Other metric spaces occur for example in elliptic geometry and hyperbolic geometry, where distance on a sphere measured by angle is a metric, and the hyperboloid model of hyperbolic geometry is used by special relativity as a metric space of velocities.
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