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What are gradients?

  1. Apr 4, 2007 #1
    Just a simple wondering here, the calculator that comes with Windows XP (and other versions) have three choices for trigonometry, degrees, radians, and gradients. I have never heard of this last one, what is it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 4, 2007 #2


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    It's a gradian-- a unit of angle such that the angle of a full circle is 400 gradians.
  4. Apr 4, 2007 #3

    Gib Z

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    [tex] 180 \mbox{degrees} = 200 \mbox{gradients} = \pi \mbox{radians} = \mbox{Angle of a Straight Line}[/tex]
  5. Apr 4, 2007 #4


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    I think the real point is that 90 degrees= [itex]\pi/2[/itex] radians= 100 gradians. "1 grad" is 1 % of "straight up" and grads are typically used by highway engineers to measure slopes.

    It is unfortunate that both "gradian" and "gradient" are abbreviated "grad"!
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