Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Let's talk about angles

When I was writing about sine waves I asked you to imagine a ladder with a length of 1 metre lying on the floor. This time let's not use a ladder but the hands of a clock and let's talk about angles. However with this clock we can do whatever we want with the hands.

If the little hand is pointing to 3 then let's call that the starting point and in the following examples the little hand is not going to move. With our clock the big hand is going to move anti-clockwise but it does work equally well the other way round. If the big hand points to 12 you probably know that this is a right angle or 90 degrees. Now double the angle and the big hand is pointing to 9. This angle is 180 degrees.

Each five minutes is 30 degrees. So if the big hand points to 2 it is 30 degrees. If it points to 1 it is 60 degrees. Let the big hand continue anti-clockwise and let it point to 6. This angle is 90 + 90 + 90 = 270 degrees. If it continues back where it started from and completes a full circle it is 360 degrees.

That sums it up.

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