Maths Question

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• 25th January 2012, 10:26 AM
stevenlong1985
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.

• 25th January 2012, 10:40 AM
soveryapt
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
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?"
• 25th January 2012, 11:32 AM
DaveP
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
LosOjos
Quote:

Originally Posted by DaveP
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!
• 25th January 2012, 11:42 AM
stevenlong1985
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
FN-GM
I was always told 1 at school.
• 25th January 2012, 11:48 AM
seacider
2 Inside and outside surley?,:getmecoat:
• 25th January 2012, 11:58 AM
36Degrees
Quote:

Originally Posted by seacider
2 Inside and outside surley?,:getmecoat:

Damn beat me to it! Grab my coat too please...
• 6th February 2012, 11:52 AM
aerospacemango
Quote:

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
plexer
Quote:

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
LosOjos
Quote:

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" :p you can't count the "flat" side of a 2 dimensional shape!

Quote:

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
aerospacemango
Quote:

Originally Posted by LosOjos
By that logic, a square has 5 sides including it's "front" :p 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
trunten
I'd go with 2
• 7th February 2012, 11:30 AM
JJonas
So which is it 0, 1 or infinite?
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