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360 degree

  1. May 27, 2009 #1
    Where did the 360 degree for a circle convention come from? By any chance, is it from the ~360 days for the earth to revolve around the sun?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 27, 2009 #2

    mathman

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    Could be. 360 deg. seems to come from the ancient Babylonians.
     
  4. May 27, 2009 #3

    HallsofIvy

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    The Babylonians used a numeration system based on multiples of 60. That, together with the fact that 365 is close to 360 influenced the choice.
     
  5. May 27, 2009 #4
    they worked in base 60 didn't they?

    *got there too late*
     
  6. May 28, 2009 #5

    mathman

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    Yes. That's how we get 60 sec. = 1 min. and 60 min. = 1 hr. for time, and also 60 sec. = 1 min. and 60 min = 1 deg. for angle.
     
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