The Graphical Measurement of an Angle.

1. The chordal method using a Table of Chords.
By definition the chord of a circle is a straight line joining any two points on the circumference. The method. Firstly draw a base line and mark a point A as the origin. From A mark off a distance at a chosen scale. In this example a scale of 1000 units has been chosen. Name the two points A and B respectively. From point A use trammel heads to describe an arc using the measurement A - B as the radius. Now from point B describe an arc equal to 1000 times the value obtained from the Table of Chords relating to the required angle. Name the intersection of the two arcs C, then draw a line from the origin A through point C. The included angle BAC now represents the required angle.


765.4 45° A B


The Chord length of 45o is 0.7654

If a Table of Chords is unavailable, obtain the chordal value from a scientific calculator using the following method. 45deg  sin  If the required angle is 45o then  2  × 2 = 0.7654  

To explain the formula a basic understanding of trigonometry is required. The sine of an angle is the ratio of the length of the opposite side divided by the length of the hypotenuse, which in the example below is one unit.
sin ( θ) = opposite hypotenuse

The sine of an angle is half the chord of twice the angle.
sin ( 22.5 deg ) = 0.38268 0.382683× 2 = 0.7654

C 0.3826 0.7654

22.5° A



The unit circle

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful