Data-driven 4IR skills development

# Circles

A circle is all points in the same plane that lie at an equal distance from a center point. The circle is only composed of the points on the border. You could think of a circle as a hula hoop. It’s only the points on the border that are the circle. The points within the hula hoop are not part of the circle and are called interior points.

The distance between the midpoint and the circle border is called the radius. A line segment that has the endpoints on the circle and passes through the midpoint is called the diameter. The diameter is twice the size of the radius. A line segment that has its endpoints on the circular border but does not pass through the midpoint is called a chord.

The distance around the circle is called the circumference, C, and could be determined either by using the radius, r, or the diameter, d:

\C=2πr
C=πd

A circle is the same as 360°. You can divide a circle into smaller portions. A part of a circle is called an arc and an arc is named according to its angle. Arcs are divided into minor arcs (0° < v < 180°), major arcs (180° < v < 360°) and semicircles (v = 180°).

The length of an arc, l, is determined by plugging the degree measure of the Arc, v, and the circumference of the whole circle, C, into the following formula:

l=Cv360

When diameters intersect at the central of the circle they form central angles. Like when you cut a cake you begin your pieces in the middle.

Example

As in the cake above we divide our circle into 8 pieces with the same angle. The circumference of the circle is 20 length units. Determine the length of the arc of each piece.

First we need to find the angle for each piece, since we know that a full circle is 360° we can easily tell that each piece has an angle of 360/8=45°. We plug these values into our formula for the length of arcs:

l=Cv360
l=2045360=2.5

Hence the length of our arcs are 2.5 length units. We could even easier have told this by simply diving the circumference by the number of same size pieces: 20/8=2.5

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Edzai Conilias Zvobwo is passionate about empowering Africans through mathematics, problem-solving techniques and media. As such, he founded MathsGee. Through this organisation, he has helped create an ecosystem for disseminating information, training, and supporting STEM education to all African people. A maths evangelist who teaches mathematical thinking as a life skill, Edzai’s quest has seen him being named the SABC Ambassador for STEM; he has been invited to address Fortune 500 C-suite executives at the Mobile 360 North America; was nominated to represent Southern Africa at the inaugural United Nations Youth Skills Day in New York; was invited to be a contributor to the World Bank Group Youth Summit in 2016; has won the 2014 SADC Protocol on Gender and Development award for his contribution to women’s empowerment in education; and has partnered with local and global firms in STEM interventions.