mollykins | 17:04 Wed 06th Apr 2011 | Science

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You usually leave University with a Degree molly, the Radian is the Angle you walk at after a load of Drinks to celebrate.
Degrees are simpler and more easily dealt with by those with a less mathematical bent.
to what degree is the bend?
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Degrees may be slightly simpler to work with but IMO radians make more sense and will probably be just as easy to use for me when I have more practice.
It depends on what kind of calculation you are doing. For navigation calculations degrees are easier as 15 degrees of longitude = 1hour and 1 min of longitude = 1 nautical mile.
I know there are 180 degrees in a triangle, I wouldn't know what to do with a radian.
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360* is 2pi radians, 180* is simply pi radians, it makes a lot of equations ofr circles a dam site simpler.
Degrees tend to be used for 'general purpose' measurement. Radians are more common in scientific and mathematical calculations.
Surely one of the biggest advantages of degrees is that 360 has so many factors and so it is easy to divide angles into fractions of 360 and still use whole numbers:
2x180, 4x90, 6x60, 12x30 etc
Really radians are for mathematicians and degrees for engineers etc
This was also one of the advantages of old money:
12 was easy to divide by 2, 3, 4, 6.
and 240 (pennies in a £) also has lots of factors.
Also 60 minutes in an hour allows us to dived it by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 etc
All very useful
Try labelling a protractor in radians, Molly, and then teaching primary school children about the measurement of angles using one of those protractors. Then you'll understand why degrees are easier to use. (Telling young children that a full turn can be divided, courtesy of the Babylonians, into 360 degrees is easy enough. You try explaining to them that a full turn can be divided into an irrational number of units!).
Just a point of correction, jomifl, to avoid anybody getting confused:

“..15 degrees of longitude = 1hour and 1 min of longitude = 1 nautical mile.”

First part correct. Second part incorrect. One minute of Latitude is approximately equal to a nautical mile.

The distance covered by one minute of longitude varies depending on latitude. It is approximately one nautical mile at the equator but reduces to zero at the poles.
New judge you are absolutely correct.. can't think how I said such a silly thing. Just as well I'm not navigating in high latitudes!
Thinking about it, degrees are exact, but anything incorporating the use of π must be an approximation!
Hi heathfield-I'm not sure why you say anything using pi must be an approximation?
I say an approximation, (with tongue firmly in my cheek), because nobody has yet produced an exact value for π. The full number of digits after the decimal point still hasn't been determined. 2.7 trillion, and still counting, according to this...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8442255.stm
Saying that the area of a circle is pi x R ^2 is not an approximation - it's exact. When you substitute numbers for a particular case then it becomes an approximation.
Agreed, Vascop, but you can't ever perform the actual calculation without substituting an 'approximate' number for the π symbol. ;-)
The Three Radians just doesn't have the same ring to it!

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