A circle is a geometric figure commonly used in Euclidean geometry.
A circle is defined as the set (or locus) of points in a plane with an equal distance from a fixed point. The fixed point is called the center and the distance from the center to a point on the circle is called the radius.
Using the traditional definition of a circle, we can find the general form of the equation of a circle on the coordinate plane given its radius, , and center . We know that each point, , on the circle which we want to identify is a distance from . Using the distance formula, this gives which is more commonly written as
Example: The equation represents the circle with center and radius 5 units.
Area of a Circle
The area of a circle is where is the mathematical constant pi and is the radius.
Archimedes envisioned cutting a circle up into many little wedges (think of slices of pizza). Then these wedges were placed side by side as shown below:
As these slices are made infinitely thin, the little green arcs in the diagram will become the blue line and the figure will approach the shape of a rectangle with length and width thus making its area .
Archimedes' actual claim was that a circle with radius and circumference had an area equivalent to the area of a right triangle with base and height . First let the area of the circle be and the area of the triangle be . We have three cases then.
Case 1: The circle's area is greater than the triangle's area.
Case 2: The triangle's area is greater than the circle's area.
Case 3: The circle's area is equal to the triangle's area.
Assume that . Let be the area of a regular polygon that is closest to the circle's area. Therefore we have so . Let the apothem be and the perimeter be so the area of a regular polygon is one half of the product of the perimeter and apothem. The perimeter is less than the circumference so and the apothem is less than the radius so . Therefore . However it cannot be both and . So .
Proof Using Calculus
Other Properties and Definitions
- A line that touches a circle at only one point is called the tangent of that circle. Note that any point on a circle can have only one tangent.
- A line segment that has endpoints on the circle is called the chord of the circle. If the chord is extended to a line, that line is called a secant of the circle.
- Chords, secants, and tangents have the following properties:
- The perpendicular bisector of a chord is always a diameter of the circle.
- The perpendicular line through the tangent where it touches the circle is a diameter of the circle.
- The Power of a point theorem.
Other interesting properties are:
- A right triangle inscribed in a circle has a hypotenuse that is a diameter of the circle.
- Any angle formed by the two endpoints of a diameter of the circle and a third distinct point on the circle as the vertex is a right angle.
- What is the area of a circle with radius
- Under what constraints is the circumference of a circle greater than its area? Assume they are both expressed in the same units.
- Circles with centers and have radii 3 and 8, respectively. A common internal tangent intersects the circles at and , respectively. Lines and intersect at , and . What is ?
. What is the ratio of the area of to the area of ?
- Consider a circle , and a point outside it. The tangent lines from meet at and , respectively. Let be the midpoint of . The perpendicular bisector of meets in a point lying inside the triangle . intersects at , and meets in a point lying outside the triangle . If is parallel to , show that is the centroid of the triangle .