# Riemann sphere

## Model of the extended complex plane plus a point at infinity / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

#### Dear Wikiwand AI, let's keep it short by simply answering these key questions:

Can you list the top facts and stats about Riemann sphere?

Summarize this article for a 10 year old

In mathematics, the **Riemann sphere**, named after Bernhard Riemann,^{[1]} is a model of the **extended complex plane** (also called the **closed complex plane**): the complex plane plus one point at infinity. This extended plane represents the **extended complex numbers**, that is, the complex numbers plus a value $\infty$ for infinity. With the Riemann model, the point $\infty$ is near to very large numbers, just as the point $0$ is near to very small numbers.

The extended complex numbers are useful in complex analysis because they allow for division by zero in some circumstances, in a way that makes expressions such as $1/0=\infty$ well-behaved. For example, any rational function on the complex plane can be extended to a holomorphic function on the Riemann sphere, with the poles of the rational function mapping to infinity. More generally, any meromorphic function can be thought of as a holomorphic function whose codomain is the Riemann sphere.

In geometry, the Riemann sphere is the prototypical example of a Riemann surface, and is one of the simplest complex manifolds. In projective geometry, the sphere is an example of a complex projective space and can be thought of as the **complex projective line** $\mathbf {P} ^{1}(\mathbf {C} )$, the projective space of all complex lines in $\mathbf {C} ^{2}$. As with any compact Riemann surface, the sphere may also be viewed as a projective algebraic curve, making it a fundamental example in algebraic geometry. It also finds utility in other disciplines that depend on analysis and geometry, such as the Bloch sphere of quantum mechanics and in other branches of physics.