# A question about the number of intersections of lines in $R^{3}$

Suppose I have n lines in $R^{3}$ with the conditions that: no 3 lines in one plane, no 3 lines intersect at one point, for fixed 2 lines, no 3 lines intersect these 2 lines at the same time. what is the up bound of the number of intersections? The up bound $n^{\frac{3}{2}}$ is a simple corollary of Guth-Katz's paper or one can prove it directly by algebraic method. Is it possible to establish the up bound like $n^{\frac{4}{3}}$ or some better one?

The up bound will also be a up bound for Erdos's unit distance problem in $R^{2}$.

-
Maybe you could give a summary of or reference for the Guth-Katz paper and for the Erdos unit distance problem? – Gerry Myerson Apr 10 '11 at 0:14
The best summary of Guth-Katz paper I can think is the link in JSE's answer below, for unit distance problem, one can find reference in the reference of cs.tau.ac.il/~michas/pst5.pdf. – user13289 Apr 10 '11 at 4:14
If the lines are indexed by $1,\ldots,n$ and the set of lines intersecting line $i$ is called $A_i$, an upper bound is the maximum of [\sum_{i=1}^n|A_i|,] subject to $|A_i\cap A_j|\leqslant 2$ for all $i\neq j$. But it might be obvious that this bound is worse than $n^{3/2}$. – Thomas Kalinowski Apr 10 '11 at 7:51
George Purdy (U. Cincinnati) is an expert on this general topic. He is giving a seminar @NYU tomorrow on this. Maybe contact him? cs.nyu.edu/~raghavan/geometry/spring11/Purdy.pdf – Joseph O'Rourke Apr 11 '11 at 13:23

It looks like "no five lines in a quadric" but not exactly same. n lines in a (singly) ruled surface of degree $n^{\frac{1}{2}}$ is a situation appeared if one try to prove the up bound $n^{\frac{3}{2}}$, but still the full strength of that condition will not be used... – user13289 Apr 10 '11 at 15:26