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Abbreviation/Symbol:

g

gon

Unit of:

Angle

Wordwide use:

Gradians, also known as gon or grad, are a unit of measurement for angles that are widely used in various fields around the world. While degrees are the most commonly used unit for measuring angles, gradians offer an alternative system that is particularly popular in certain professions and regions.

Gradians are also widely used in some countries, especially in Europe. In France, for example, gradians are commonly used in trigonometry and land surveying. Similarly, in Germany, gradians are often used in geodesy and cartography. The use of gradians in these regions can be attributed to historical reasons, as well as the influence of certain educational systems that emphasize the metric system and its related units of measurement.

Definition:

The gradian is an angular unit of angle, equal to 9⁄10 of a degree or 1⁄400 of a turn

The gradian system divides a circle into 400 equal parts, with each part being called a grad. This means that a full circle is equivalent to 400 gradians, making it a metric alternative to degrees.

Origin:

The Gradian originated as part of the metric system (and is sometimes called the metric degree). It is also commonly referred to as a gon.

The origin of gradians, also known as grads or gon, can be traced back to the French Revolution in the late 18th century. During this time, there was a push to create a decimal-based system of measurement to replace the traditional units that varied from region to region. The French mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace proposed the use of a circle divided into 400 equal parts, with each part representing one gradian.

The concept of gradians was based on the idea of dividing a circle into 100 equal parts, similar to the metric system's division of a meter into 100 centimeters. This decimal-based system was seen as more logical and easier to work with than the traditional degrees, which divided a circle into 360 parts.

Although the metric system eventually became the standard for most scientific and everyday measurements, the use of gradians did not gain widespread acceptance. Today, gradians are primarily used in certain fields such as surveying, navigation, and engineering, where precise angular measurements are required. They offer a convenient alternative to degrees and radians, especially when working with right angles, as a right angle is exactly 100 gradians.

Common references:

100g = 90 degrees (right angle)

400g = 360 degrees (full circle)

Usage context:

Gradians, also known as gons or grades, are a unit of measurement used in various fields, particularly in surveying, engineering, and navigation. While not as commonly used as degrees, gradians offer a unique perspective and have specific applications in certain contexts.

Another usage context of gradians is in navigation, particularly in marine and aviation industries. Gradians can be used to calculate bearings and headings, aiding in the navigation of ships, aircraft, and other vehicles. By using gradians, navigators can determine the direction of travel more accurately, ensuring safer and more efficient journeys.

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