Solid angles in perspective

leave a comment »

Paul Quincey
The specialised uses of solid angles mean that they are quite unfamiliar quantities. This article, apart from making solid angles a little more familiar, brings out several topics of general interest, such as how units are interrelated and how equations depend on the choice of units. Although the steradian is commonly used as the unit for solid angle, another unit, the square degree, is used in astronomy, and a unit introduced here, the solid degree (with 360 solid degrees in a hemisphere) could be used with benefits that are similar to those of the degree when it is used as the unit for plane angle. The article, which is suitable for students at A-level and introductory undergraduate level, also shows how solid angles can provide a gentle introduction to crystal structure, spherical trigonometry and non-Euclidean geometry.


Written by physicsgg

August 12, 2021 at 5:45 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: