If you are a student with an inclination and interest towards math and geometry then you will certainly find the next few lines of interest. If we look back at our school and college days we certainly would have come across terms such as angle and degrees. We may not have shown much interest about it. Anyhow we would like to reopen the topic once again and try to understand these terms from a layman’s perspective. We will also try and learn about the history pertaining to these geometrical measurement terms which are so commonly. They are extremely useful in various day to day activities. For example when it comes to building homes, building, bridges, roads, railway lines, airports, shipyards and other infrastructure constructions they are very much in use and extremely vital and critical. There also would be the need to convert degree to radian and vice-versa. Hence we will also find out how this can be done.
History Of Degree
Though the exact reason for choosing degree as a unit of angle and rotation is not known there are reasons to believe that it was a part of the sexagesimal numeric system. There are evidences to suggest that the earliest trigonometry which was used by Babylonian astronomers and also their Greek successors made use of Degree as a unit of measurement. There are also empirical evidences to suggest that Indian might also have used degrees and it is clearly mentioned in the Rigveda an ancient collection of Hindu Hymns. It must have been written sometime during the 1500 – 2000 BCE.
History Of Radians
Radians are another commonly used and standard unit for measuring and are extensively used in mathematics. According to this measurement the arc length of a unit circle must be equivalent numerically to the radian measurement of the angle which it subtends. To put in other words one radian is roughly equivalent to around 57.3 degrees. Formerly this unit was referred to as a supplementary unit, but eventually this was abolished sometime during 1995. Hence today when we talk about radian it is considered as SI derived unit measurement.
The entire concept of radian measure is perhaps the brainchild of Roger Cotes and he discovered it in 1714. He was able to describe and explain everything pertaining to radian but was not able to name it. He understood that it was a natural unit for the purpose of angular measurements. So it might not be wrong to mention that Radians might have come into use from 1714. It would be pertinent to mention that the practice of measuring angles using the length of an arc was already in vogue and many other mathematicians were practicing it. This practice in fact was around from 1400 and hence it might be right to suggest that radian has been in use for more than 600 years now.
How To Convert Radians To Degrees and Back
There are some simple and readymade formulas available which could be useful in converting radians to degrees and degrees to radians. One needs to understand the same and if this is made possible it would only be a few minutes before one can convert the same from one to another quite easily. Though there are some complex formulas involved in the conversion process let us try and find out more about the simple methodology that is used for the conversion.
Conversion From Degrees To Radians
The readymade formula for converting is also fixed and easy to understand. In other words 1 degree is equal to 0.0174533 radians. Hence if you have a situation where you have to convert 20 degrees into radians the answer will be 0.349066 radians. To make matters simple if you have 1 degree you have to divide it by 0.0174533 radians and you will get 57.2958 degrees.
Hence it is quite easy to convert radian to degrees and degrees to radians quite easily. It will certainly help you in your daily geometric and other measuring activities.