As a result of city hall a child’s video, I formerly wrote a quick piece around the “corners” the a circle. The video clip was designed come teach youngsters the assorted shapes—how plenty of sides does a form have, and also how many corners?

The video clip maintained a circle has actually no corners. I called that into question. I still do. And yet, I perform not. I now think it’s every in how you look at it. Or, you could say, it’s every in the math perspective. Consider.

You are watching: Why is a circle not a polygon

## The circle by Definition

One can specify the two-dimensional circle together the complete collection or “set” of clues equidistant native a collection point, not component of the circle. In effect, a one is choose a symmetrically explosive point.1 because it bring away at the very least three point out to create a corner, by derivation in this fashion, part say the circle has no corners. However is that the finish of the discussion?

## Circle a Polygon? through the method of Limits

One deserve to visualize a circle through the procedure of incrementally including sides to a regular polygon. A triangle becomes a square; the square i do not care a pentagon; the pentagon becomes a hexagon; the hexagon i do not care a heptagon; the heptagon i do not care an octagon; and so on.

A 20-sided icosagon.## Overcoming a Contradiction

Even if it could be accomplished, the variety of sides would certainly be infinite, fairly than zero. There are two ways roughly this that I deserve to come increase with. Option one: it might be declared that a true circle deserve to never be achieved using the technique of limits. Therefore, a one is no a polygon.

However, over there is a snag to such a supposition: it says the technique of boundaries is no strictly legit for various other applications. Yet the ide of limits is the basis for the Calculus. Rather than monitor this heat of reasoning, probably it is much better to adopt option two. Ignore the totality issue.

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## Finally!

My final take on the issue is that mathematicians should take share on reality. Math is just a tool. It, like computers or also words, is no an finish in itself, just a tool. To say a polygon of ever before increasing sides never ever makes it to a true circle is short-sighted. A one is a polygon that has had its number of sides enhanced over unlimited time. That made it!

1 If one could say a suggest is “round”.

**Note:** girlfriend might additionally enjoy suggest on a Line, a heat on a Plane, and also a aircraft in Space