Angles are all over our world. Without the knowledge of how to measure and calculate between angles, we would have a difficult time engineering and using them in our everyday lives. One of the most important shapes in the engineering world is the triangle. Just the name itself is made up of tri (three) and angle. It’s fairly self-descriptive. But, moving on, let’s look at how angles are measured.
The first measurement of an angle is in regards to slope. If you look at the roof on your house you’ll notice that it probably has an angle to it. This angle is called slope and is measured in the amount of rise for a given amount of run. In other words, for every unit of lenght you have horizontally, how many units of height are there? A slope can also be described as pitch or percentage of slope. The percentage is the amount of rise divided by the amount of run. If your roof slope goes up 6 inches for every 12 inches of horizontal run, you have a 50% slope.
Another way of calculating an angle is with radians. If you take the radius of a circle and apply that length distance around the circumference of the circle, it will make a pie shape. The angle formed by that shape is one radian. Because it is related to the circle, you can also look at it this way. There are 2 x Pi radians in a full circle. That’s approximately 6.28 radians. It’s easiest to look at an illustration.
The final, and most common way of measuring an angle is with degrees. Again, we refer to a circle. Every circle has 360 degrees. An angle that is 90 degrees takes up on quarter of a circle and is also known as a right angle.
When you measure angles it is important to know what type of measurement is being used and how to decipher between them. After all if someone gives you a slope of 45 degrees, what would that convert to in a percentage? For more on how to convert between different angle measurements try the online conversion calculators below.
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