Circles, Measurement Of - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics

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Different Ways to Measure Circles

In degree measure, the circle is divided into 360 equal parts, while in gradient measure, 400 equal parts of a circle are used. Since there are four right angles in a circle, there are 100 gradients in a right angle, making gradients a better fit with the decimal system. Nevertheless, degree measure is the predominant system for measuring angles using fractional parts of a circle.

A different method for measuring angles based on a circle is radian measure. The importance of radian measure is that numerous results in calculus involving trigonometric functions—for example, sine, cosine, or tangent—require that the angle of the trigonometric function be measured in radians.

Using Radian Measure. To understand radian measure, it is necessary to understand that rather than using the fractional part of a circle cut off by the angle, the fractional part is converted to...

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This section contains 1,498 words
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Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics
Circles, Measurement Of from Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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