Area of Circle Calculator
What is a Circle and How is it Measured?
A circle is a shape consisting of all points in a plane that are a given distance from a given point, the centre; equivalently it is the curve traced out by a point that moves in a plane so that its distance from a given point is constant. The distance between any point of the circle and the centre is called the radius.
The formula for the area of a circle (more properly called the area enclosed by a circle or the area of a disk) is based on a similar method. Given a circle of radius r, it is possible to partition the circle into sectors, as shown in the figure to the right. Each sector is approximately triangular in shape, and the sectors can be rearranged to form an approximate parallelogram. The height of this parallelogram is r, and the width is half the circumference of the circle, or πr. Thus, the total area of the circle is: πr^{2}
Area is the quantity that expresses the extent of a two-dimensional figure or shape or planar lamina, in the plane. Surface area is its analog on the two-dimensional surface of a three-dimensional object. Area can be understood as the amount of material with a given thickness that would be necessary to fashion a model of the shape, or the amount of paint necessary to cover the surface with a single coat. It is the two-dimensional analog of the length of a curve (a one-dimensional concept) or the volume of a solid (a three-dimensional concept).
Area | |
Common symbols | A |
SI unit | Square meter |
In SI base units | 1 m^{2} |
The area of a shape can be measured by comparing the shape to squares of a fixed size. In the International System of Units (SI), the standard unit of area is the square metre (written as m2), which is the area of a square whose sides are one metre long. A shape with an area of three square metres would have the same area as three such squares. In mathematics, the unit square is defined to have area one, and the area of any other shape or surface is a dimensionless real number.
There are several well-known formulas for the areas of simple shapes such as triangles, rectangles, and circles. Using these formulas, the area of any polygon can be found by dividing the polygon into triangles. For shapes with curved boundary, calculus is usually required to compute the area. Indeed, the problem of determining the area of plane figures was a major motivation for the historical development of calculus.
For a solid shape such as a sphere, cone, or cylinder, the area of its boundary surface is called the surface area. Formulas for the surface areas of simple shapes were computed by the ancient Greeks, but computing the surface area of a more complicated shape usually requires multivariable calculus.
Area plays an important role in modern mathematics. In addition to its obvious importance in geometry and calculus, area is related to the definition of determinants in linear algebra, and is a basic property of surfaces in differential geometry. In analysis, the area of a subset of the plane is defined using Lebesgue measure, though not every subset is measurable. In general, area in higher mathematics is seen as a special case of volume for two-dimensional regions.
Area can be defined through the use of axioms, defining it as a function of a collection of certain plane figures to the set of real numbers. It can be proved that such a function exists.
In geometry, the area enclosed by a circle of radius r is πr2. Here the Greek letter π represents the constant ratio of the circumference of any circle to its diameter, approximately equal to 3.14159.
One method of deriving this formula, which originated with Archimedes, involves viewing the circle as the limit of a sequence of regular polygons. The area of a regular polygon is half its perimeter multiplied by the distance from its center to its sides, and the corresponding formula–that the area is half the perimeter times the radius–namely, A = 1/2 × 2πr × r, holds in the limit for a circle.
Although often referred to as the area of a circle in informal contexts, strictly speaking the term disk refers to the interior of the circle, while circle is reserved for the boundary only, which is a curve and covers no area itself. Therefore, the area of a disk is the more precise phrase for the area enclosed by a circle.
History
Modern mathematics can obtain the area using the methods of integral calculus or its more sophisticated offspring, real analysis. However the area of a disk was studied by the Ancient Greeks. Eudoxus of Cnidus in the fifth century B.C. had found that the area of a disk is proportional to its radius squared. Archimedes used the tools of Euclidean geometry to show that the area inside a circle is equal to that of a right triangle whose base has the length of the circle's circumference and whose height equals the circle's radius in his book Measurement of a Circle. The formula is 2πr, and the area of a triangle is half the base times the height, yielding the area π r2 for the disk. Prior to Archimedes, Hippocrates of Chios was the first to show that the area of a disk is proportional to the square of its diameter, as part of his quadrature of the lune of Hippocrates, but did not identify the constant of proportionality.
Historical Arguments
A variety of arguments have been advanced historically to establish the equation to varying degrees of mathematical rigor. The most famous of these is Archimedes' method of exhaustion, one of the earliest uses of the mathematical concept of a limit, as well as the origin of Archimedes' axiom which remains part of the standard analytical treatment of the real number system. The original proof of Archimedes is not rigorous by modern standards, because it assumes that we can compare the length of arc of a circle to the length of a secant and a tangent line, and similar statements about the area, as geometrically evident.
Using Polygons
The area of a regular polygon is half its perimeter times the apothem. As the number of sides of the regular polygon increases, the polygon tends to a circle, and the apothem tends to the radius. This suggests that the area of a disk is half the circumference of its bounding circle times the radius.
Rearrangement Proof
Following Satō Moshun (Smith & Mikami 1914, pp. 130–132) and Leonardo da Vinci (Beckmann 1976, p. 19), we can use inscribed regular polygons in a different way. Suppose we inscribe a hexagon. Cut the hexagon into six triangles by splitting it from the center. Two opposite triangles both touch two common diameters; slide them along one so the radial edges are adjacent. They now form a parallelogram, with the hexagon sides making two opposite edges, one of which is the base, s. Two radial edges form slanted sides, and the height, h is equal to its apothem (as in the Archimedes proof). In fact, we can also assemble all the triangles into one big parallelogram by putting successive pairs next to each other. The same is true if we increase it to eight sides and so on. For a polygon with 2n sides, the parallelogram will have a base of length ns, and a height h. As the number of sides increases, the length of the parallelogram base approaches half the circle circumference, and its height approaches the circle radius. In the limit, the parallelogram becomes a rectangle with width πr and height r.
Unit disk area by rearranging n polygons. | |||||
polygon | parallelogram | ||||
n | side | base | height | area | |
4 | 1.4142136 | 2.8284271 | 0.7071068 | 2.0000000 | |
6 | 1.0000000 | 3.0000000 | 0.8660254 | 2.5980762 | |
8 | 0.7653669 | 3.0614675 | 0.9238795 | 2.8284271 | |
10 | 0.6180340 | 3.0901699 | 0.9510565 | 2.9389263 | |
12 | 0.5176381 | 3.1058285 | 0.9659258 | 3.0000000 | |
14 | 0.4450419 | 3.1152931 | 0.9749279 | 3.0371862 | |
16 | 0.3901806 | 3.1214452 | 0.9807853 | 3.0614675 | |
96 | 0.0654382 | 3.1410320 | 0.9994646 | 3.1393502 | |
∞ | 1/∞ | π | 1 | π |
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