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### Perimeter of an Oval

```
Date: 04/08/99 at 11:11:08
From: Mrs.Suprin's Class
Subject: The name for the perimeter of an oval

We wanted to know what the name for the perimeter of an oval is. We
lookeed in a high school geometry book and found no answer. Please
help us if you can.

Thanks,
```

```
Date: 04/08/99 at 12:40:14
From: Doctor Peterson
Subject: Re: The name for the perimeter of an oval

Hi, Class!

The shape you are talking about is probably an ellipse, which looks
like an elongated circle:

*****************
******                 ******
***                             ***
***                                   ***
*                                         *
*                                           *
*                                           *
*                                         *
***                                   ***
***                             ***
******                 ******
*****************

If you just want the name of this shape, "ellipse" is the answer.

If you really mean a name for the perimeter, that is, the length of
the curve, then not only can't I give you a name for it, I can't even
tell you how to calculate it! This is one of those problems that
mathematicians have found can't be solved using normal things like
addition and multiplication, so they just defined new things called
elliptic integrals. On our FAQ page we give only an approximation:

http://mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/formulas/faq.ellipse.html

There's another formula here:

Formula for the Circumference of an Ellipse
http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/54847.html

archives for the words "ellipse" or "conic section". Have fun!

- Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
```
Associated Topics:
Elementary Circles
Elementary Definitions
Elementary Geometry
High School Conic Sections/Circles
High School Definitions
High School Geometry
Middle School Conic Sections/Circles
Middle School Definitions
Middle School Geometry

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