The measure of a central angle tells us something around its intercepted arc: how "much of a circle" that arc is. The meacertain (sometimes called the level measure) of an arc is equal to the meacertain of the central angle that intercepts that arc.

You are watching: Difference between arc length and arc measure


In the number over, both ∠AOB and also arc AB have actually procedures of 90°. Both ∠COE and arc CDE have actually procedures of 180°.

Every arc falls right into exactly among the complying with categories, depending upon its meacertain.

1. An arc through meacertain less than 180° is a minor arc.2. An arc with measure better than 180° is a major arc.3. An arc through measure equal to 180° is a semicircle.

Note that a major arc"s buddy is constantly a minor arc, and vice versa. A semicircle"s buddy is always a semicircle. They"re basically twins, choose Lindsay Lohan and…uh…Lindsay Lohan.

Sample Problem

An arc has a measure of 73°. Is its buddy a minor arc, a major arc, or a semicircle arc? What is its measure?

Because 73° is much less than 180°, we recognize that the first arc is a minor one. Because the buddy of a minor arc is always a major arc, we recognize best off the bat that our arc is major. We can find its meacertain by subtracting our original arc from the complete meacertain of the circle. That provides us 360° – 73° = 287°. Our arc has actually a measure of 287°, much larger than 180° and also definitely significant.

In enhancement to its measure, arcs have actually another home referred to as arc length. The size of an arc is the distance an insect would have to crawl from one endallude of the arc to the various other, while remaining on the circle the entirety time.

See more: Distance From Boise Idaho To Portland Oregon To Boise, Idaho

It"s crucial to remember that arc length and also arc measure are NOT the very same.

If you"re ever uncertain whether you"re managing arc length or arc measure, examine the units. Arc measure is practically constantly provided in units of degrees. Arc size, on the various other hand, is a size, and also so it may be provided in units of meters, feet, inches, kilometers, or unhelpfully, "systems," but absolutely not levels. (Don"t be afrhelp of devices. They"re tright here to assist you.)

It"s pretty vital to be able to tell once two things are different and once they"re the very same. It"s an excellent skill to have actually, regardless of exactly how you feel about circles, geomeattempt, or Sesame Street.