Drexel dragonThe Math ForumDonate to the Math Forum

Ask Dr. Math - Questions and Answers from our Archives
_____________________________________________
Associated Topics || Dr. Math Home || Search Dr. Math
_____________________________________________

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,
Mrs. Suprin's Fifth Grade Class


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   

If you want to learn more about ellipses, search the Dr. Math 
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

Search the Dr. Math Library:


Find items containing (put spaces between keywords):
 
Click only once for faster results:

[ Choose "whole words" when searching for a word like age.]

all keywords, in any order at least one, that exact phrase
parts of words whole words

Submit your own question to Dr. Math

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

_____________________________________
Math Forum Home || Math Library || Quick Reference || Math Forum Search
_____________________________________

Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994-2013 The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/