Area of Circular Sector

Area of Circular Sector

Shiken premium Upgrade Banner

The Secret Behind Pizza: Understanding Circular Sectors

Pizza lovers are all too familiar with the joy of sharing a pie with friends and family. But have you ever stopped to think about each slice being a sector of the whole pizza? In this article, we will delve into the world of circular sectors and learn how to calculate their size.

What Exactly is a Sector?

A sector is a portion of a circle bound by two radii and an arc. To visualize this, imagine cutting a pizza into 8 equal slices – each slice would represent a sector of the circular pizza. A sector also has an angle, formed where the two radii meet, which tells us the proportion of the circle it occupies.

The Two Types of Sectors

When a circle is divided, two types of sectors can be formed. The first is the major sector, with an angle larger than 180 degrees, occupying the larger portion of the circle. The second type is the minor sector, with an angle smaller than 180 degrees, occupying the smaller portion.

Calculating the Area of a Sector

The area of a sector involves finding the formula for the subtended angle, which covers the entire circle (360 degrees). Since the formula for the area of a full circle is πr², we can divide the circle into smaller portions, reducing it to an arc. For instance, dividing by 2 for a semicircle and by 4 for a quarter-circle. This pattern can be generalised to any angle θ, where the area of the sector is given by (θ/360) * πr².

Using the Formula for Specific Angles

Calculating the area of a sector for a specific angle is simple – just plug in the values. For example, if the angle is 60 degrees and the radius is 8cm, the area of the sector would be 33.49 cm². When the angle is given in radians, the formula changes to θ * r²/2.

Working Backwards with Arc Length

If you are given the arc length instead of the angle, you can use the formula 2πr (circumference of the circle) to determine θ, and then use it to find the area of the sector. This works for both degrees and radians.

In conclusion, sectors are unique portions of a circle with their distinct angles and areas. Calculating the area of a sector involves understanding the subtended angle and using the appropriate formula. Armed with this knowledge, you can now fully appreciate the size and calculation of circular sectors.

Explore More Subject Explanations

Try Shiken Premium
for Free

14-day free trial. Cancel anytime.
Get Started
Join 20,000+ learners worldwide.
The first 14 days are on us
96% of learners report x2 faster learning
Free hands-on onboarding & support
Cancel Anytime