What are Angles?
The below video refers to the written content both for this tutorial (below) and the next one. We hope you enjoy it!
What are angles?
Angles are a measure of how far something has turned, or pivoted around a point.
Why are angles important?
Measuring angles allow us to express these turns easily and accurately. This is important for different reasons, including:
- they allow us to create accurate tools e.g. analog clock faces; and
- they can be used to measure and report inclines and declines e.g. in roads.
Being able to measure and report angles accurately also allows us to compare how far or easily different entities turn.
How far can you turn your neck?
Sit on your chair or stand up in a straight position. Turn your head to the left; now turn it to the right. How far can you turn your head?
Most of us can turn our head about 70 degrees to the right, and 70 degrees to the left. Roll your mouse over the image above to see this. If we didn't have angles, we wouldn't be able to express this easily, and it would be difficult to compare variations between species. Birds for example can turn their heads a lot further than humans can - up to 135 degrees around each way, or 90% more than us!
Birds can do this because they have more bones in their neck; this makes it so comfortable that many birds sleep with their faces turned to nestle in their back (roll over the image below to see).
Angles are also useful for measuring the rate of ascent or descent of a plane, and knowing what is safe and comfortable for the passengers on board.
Lastly, angles make sure that the plane is flying in the right direction when en route.
Now we know how important angles are, let's learn a bit more about their naming conventions.