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ideal element

any element added to a mathematical theory in order to eliminate special cases. The ideal element i = √–1 allows all algebraic equations to be solved and the point at infinity (ideal point) ensures that any two lines in projective geometry intersect
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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