## Degrees

**Abbreviation/Symbol:**

º

deg

**Unit of:**

**Wordwide use:**

Degrees are a widely used unit of measurement across the globe, particularly in the fields of mathematics, science, and geography. The concept of degrees originated from the ancient Babylonians, who divided a circle into 360 equal parts. This division has since become the standard for measuring angles and rotations.

In mathematics, degrees are used to measure angles, with a full circle consisting of 360 degrees. This system allows for precise calculations and comparisons of angles, making it an essential tool in trigonometry, geometry, and calculus. Degrees are also used in navigation and astronomy to determine the position of celestial bodies and to navigate on the Earth's surface.

Degrees are also used in geography to measure latitude and longitude, which help determine the exact location of a place on the Earth's surface. Latitude is measured in degrees north or south of the equator, while longitude is measured in degrees east or west of the Prime Meridian.

**Definition:**

Degrees are a unit of measurement used to quantify angles. A degree is defined as 1/360th of a full rotation around a point. This means that a complete circle is divided into 360 equal parts, with each part representing one degree. Degrees are commonly used in various fields such as mathematics, physics, engineering, and navigation to measure the size or position of an angle.

Degrees provide a standardized and easily understandable way to measure angles and temperatures. They allow for precise and accurate communication of measurements, making them an essential unit of measurement in various scientific, technical, and everyday applications.

**Origin:**

The concept of degrees originated from the ancient Babylonians, who divided a circle into 360 equal parts. This division has since become the standard for measuring angles and rotations.

It seems likely that the number 360 was chosen due to it's closeness to the number of days in a year, and because it has an unusually large number of numbers by which it can be divided. Timocharis of Alexandria is credited as one of the first Greeks to use 360 degrees and he lived between 320 and 260 BC. Before that, the Rigveda mentions a wheel divided into 360 pegs. The Rigveda was written somewhen between 1500 and 1200 BC.

**Common references:**

There are 90 degrees in a right angle

There are 180 degress in an about turn

If you put your index and middle finger in a 'V' shape, they make an angle of approx. 45 degrees.

**Usage context:**

In mathematics, degrees are used to measure angles, with a full circle consisting of 360 degrees. This system allows for precise calculations and comparisons of angles, making it an essential tool in trigonometry, geometry, and calculus. Degrees are also used in navigation and astronomy to determine the position of celestial bodies and to navigate on the Earth's surface.

Degrees are also used in geography to measure latitude and longitude, which help determine the exact location of a place on the Earth's surface. Latitude is measured in degrees north or south of the equator, while longitude is measured in degrees east or west of the Prime Meridian.

**Examples of using degrees:**

Degrees are a fundamental unit of measurement used extensively in geography to describe various aspects of the Earth's surface. One common application of degrees in geography is in the measurement of latitude and longitude. Latitude is measured in degrees north or south of the equator, with the equator itself being at 0 degrees. This measurement helps determine a location's distance from the equator and its position in the northern or southern hemisphere. Longitude, on the other hand, is measured in degrees east or west of the Prime Meridian, which passes through Greenwich, England. It helps determine a location's distance from the Prime Meridian and its position in the eastern or western hemisphere.

Degrees are also used to describe the tilt of the Earth's axis, known as axial tilt. The Earth's axis is tilted at an angle of approximately 23.5 degrees relative to its orbit around the sun. This tilt is responsible for the changing seasons and the variation in daylight hours throughout the year. The measurement of degrees is crucial in understanding the Earth's climate patterns and the distribution of sunlight across different regions.

In addition to latitude, longitude, and axial tilt, degrees are used in geography to measure the slope or gradient of landforms. For example, the steepness of a mountain slope or the incline of a riverbed can be expressed in degrees. This information is vital for understanding the topography of an area, predicting erosion patterns, and assessing the suitability of land for various purposes such as agriculture or construction.