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 ...

25th January 2012, 10:26 AM #1 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?

25th January 2012, 10:40 AM #2 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

25th January 2012, 10:51 AM #3 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?"

25th January 2012, 11:32 AM #4 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

25th January 2012, 11:36 AM #5 Originally Posted by
DaveP Have to say, it doesn't fill you with confidence that this child's math teacher didn't recognise the symbol for infinity!

25th January 2012, 11:42 AM #6 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

25th January 2012, 11:43 AM #7 I was always told 1 at school.

25th January 2012, 11:48 AM #8

25th January 2012, 11:58 AM #9 Originally Posted by
seacider 2 Inside and outside surley?,
Damn beat me to it! Grab my coat too please...

6th February 2012, 11:52 AM #10 Originally Posted by
LosOjos 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???

6th February 2012, 12:23 PM #11 Originally Posted by
LosOjos 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

6th February 2012, 01:22 PM #12 Originally Posted by
aerospacemango 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!
Originally Posted by
plexer 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 "∞"

6th February 2012, 01:51 PM #13 Originally Posted by
LosOjos 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!

7th February 2012, 10:57 AM #14
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7th February 2012, 11:30 AM #15 So which is it 0, 1 or infinite?
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