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Other Stuff Thread, Maths Question in Fun Stuff; I know this is a KS1 maths question? how many sides does a circle have? I used to think it ...
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    stevenlong1985's Avatar
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    Maths Question

    I know this is a KS1 maths question? how many sides does a circle have?
    I used to think it was 1, (being told this when I was little) But I've been told its 0 as its has no sides but an arch, or has a infinity number of sides.

    is there a correct answer?

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    soveryapt's Avatar
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    Seems to be infinite ...

    For instance, 'a decagon (10 sides). It is starting to look round. As you add more and more sides to a polygon, it starts to look more and more like a circle. If you had a polygon with 1000 sides, would you be able to distinguish the different sides?'

    Source: How many sides does a circle have? - Yahoo! Answers

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    I'd also argue that a true circle has an infinite number of "sides"... although zero sides makes sense too. After all, what is a side? A measurable straight line between two points on a shape? Seems to me there can't really be a definite answer to this question, it's along the lines of "how much is infinity?"

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    DaveP's Avatar
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    It is difficult to give this question an answer I would be happy with. Perhaps the question should be asked another way or clarified.

    Here is a link to another website where users have posted their thought on the matter:

    Link: geometry - How many sides does a circle have? - Mathematics - Stack Exchange


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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveP View Post
    It is difficult to give this question an answer I would be happy with. Perhaps the question should be asked another way or clarified.

    Here is a link to another website where users have posted their thought on the matter:

    Link: geometry - How many sides does a circle have? - Mathematics - Stack Exchange

    Have to say, it doesn't fill you with confidence that this child's math teacher didn't recognise the symbol for infinity!

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    stevenlong1985's Avatar
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    Its just something the year 1 teachers just asked me, an I was like erm... 1 side? and told no
    but how do you explain to a 5 year old that a circle has a infinite number a sides. I think its a question to be avoided until secondary school perhaps :P

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    I was always told 1 at school.

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    2 Inside and outside surley?,

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    36Degrees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seacider View Post
    2 Inside and outside surley?,
    Damn beat me to it! Grab my coat too please...

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    aerospacemango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    I'd also argue that a true circle has an infinite number of "sides"... although zero sides makes sense too. After all, what is a side? A measurable straight line between two points on a shape? Seems to me there can't really be a definite answer to this question, it's along the lines of "how much is infinity?"
    Surely a sphere has an infinite amount of sides, but a circle only has one???

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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    Have to say, it doesn't fill you with confidence that this child's math teacher didn't recognise the symbol for infinity!
    I read that to mean that the teacher thought that the child didn't know that a "sideways 8" was the symbol for infinity not that the teacher didn't know what it was.

    Ben

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerospacemango View Post
    Surely a sphere has an infinite amount of sides, but a circle only has one???
    By that logic, a square has 5 sides including it's "front" you can't count the "flat" side of a 2 dimensional shape!

    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    I read that to mean that the teacher thought that the child didn't know that a "sideways 8" was the symbol for infinity not that the teacher didn't know what it was.

    Ben
    "She said that she thought my son had written a sideways '8' and didn't know that a sideways '8' means infinity"

    hmmm.... could be taken either way I suppose but I read it as the teacher didn't know a sideways '8' meant infinity, seeing as she previously said her son had written "∞"

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    aerospacemango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    By that logic, a square has 5 sides including it's "front" you can't count the "flat" side of a 2 dimensional shape!
    Not entirely true!

    The circle has 1 side....The "outside" of the circle, in the same way that a triangle would have 3, and a square would have 4!

    A sphere could have only 1 side but an infinite amount of "faces". A cube would only have 6 "faces"

    At least, that is my understanding of the whole thing!

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    I'd go with 2

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    So which is it 0, 1 or infinite?

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