I was wondering if anyone knew of a common technique for parametrizing a regular polygon with an arbitrary number of sides. I figured such a problem would be easy or at least be well documented online, but that doesn't seem to be the case.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

I started by assuming that the polygon was centered at the origin of the Polar Plane and the sides were of length R. Then since the polygon has n vertices, we can draw n line segments, each starting at the center and protruding to a vertex. Now, we know that the sides are all equal, as well as the interior angles, and that the center is equidistant from each vertex, then the angles between the circumradii are multiples of 2pi/n. These contraints also require that the circumradii bisect the interior angles, and therefore they partition the polygon into n isosceles triangles. Then the magnitude of the interior angle situated at the ith vertex is then given by

[tex]\left| {\angle {V_i}\left( {{P_n}} \right)} \right| = \pi - \frac{{2\pi }}{n}[/tex]

we now use the law of sines to determine the length of the ith radius.

[tex]\left| {{R_i}\left( {{P_n}} \right)} \right| = \frac{{\sin \left( {\frac{\pi }{2} - \frac{\pi }{n}} \right)R}}{{\sin \left( {\frac{{2\pi }}{n}} \right)}} = \frac{R}{{2\sin \left( {\frac{\pi }{n}} \right)}}[/tex]

Next, I transformed these pairs into their Cartesian representation because parametrizing straight line segments in polar form seemed a little inefficient. Which is simple enough but then, in attempting to construct a unit vector, computation became cumbersome very quickly. I assumed that there was a more compact form since the magnitude must be independent of i, but after attempting to use the multiple angle formulae I gave up.

So, I went back to polar form and realized that the the radius vector oscillates back and forth between the circumradius and inradius as the polar angle varies, but I can't seem to put that statement into a parametrization of the polygon.

Anyone have any suggestions? I'm thinking this has to be something simple, and hopefully is somewhat elegant. My brain is just still in full reboot mode from midterms. :(

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# Parametrization of a regular planar polygon with an arbitrary number of sides

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