When we wander around our surroundings, we often come across various geometric shapes in all things around us. Be it the balcony of a house or the form of a leaf. One such shape is a circle. When you cut open an onion, you find its parts circled in a center. When a solar eclipse happens, you see a circle in the form of a diamond ring, right?
Now, let’s come to concentric circles. You know, every circle has a center. When two or more circles share the same center, they are called concentric circles. Suppose you drew a circle with a certain radius set on your compass. Now, you do not remove the compass from the center, and only pull your pencil a bit more or less and draw another circle. So, this circle will be either outside or inside the previous circle. These two circles will be concentric. Every circle will not share the same radius. But, the midpoint will be common for all.
Observing concentric circles around us
A stroll around your neighborhood will make you see concentric circles here and there. Let’s give you a few examples.
- Have you seen a tree trunk cut? You will see that on the trunk surface, there are circular formations like rings. Each circle denotes the years added to the tree’s age. These may not be perfect circles, but yes, circular. And those rings are formed one after another. These are concentric circles.
- If you have an acorn tree in your backyard or have ever found a perfect acorn, you will also find concentric circles there. Look into the cup, and there will be circles stacked one after another, sharing a common center. So, those are another set of concentric circles for you.
- As you walk past a lake and randomly throw a stone in the water, you may have seen how ripples spread from where the stone dropped. Consider that point as the center and the ripples around it as concentric circles.
- While you prepare the salad for dinner and cut onion rings, you see concentric circles again. If you look at the onion slices, there is a center, and you pull out the rings one after another. So, the onion is yet another example where you can find concentric circles.
- Flip through your book and find the solar system diagrams. The sun is in the middle, and all the planets move around it in their orbits. So, if you think of the sun as the common center the orbits share, these are concentric circles.
Where can we find concentric circles?
We can find concentric circles in nature and man-made things. As we mentioned above, if you look around you, there are concentric circles that you come across in your daily life. Here we present you with some more instances of these circles. While some exist in nature, some are manufactured by taking inspiration from nature. Scroll down for more.
- From Pirates of the Caribbean to Titanic, we have all seen sailors and pilots moving the wheel around to drive the ship. Now, think of the structure of the wheel. There are two concentric circles. The spokes join them. And, of course, its circular movement comes from its center attached to a single point. So, altogether, the ship wheel is an example of a concentric circle.
- Dart is a common game, and many of us have played it, too. Now imagine the dartboard. In the center, there is the red bull’s eye. Outwards there are two more circles, and there are numbers in a circular manner. So, the bull’s eye is the common center for all the circles on the dartboard. Thus, dartboard also uses the concept of concentric circles.
- Whether or not you are into sports, you must have seen the tracks your athlete friends run on in your school. A series of circular tracks arranged one after another, sharing the green field as the center- this is what you find. So, what do you call these tracks now? Simple, concentric circles.
- Have a look at your car wheel and disk brake. What do you see? A center and circles moving outwards form the wheel structure. Look at the steering wheel as well. Pretty much like the ship wheel, your car steering has circles joined together.
- Under your teacher’s supervision, if you take water in a watch glass and evaporate it, you will find concentric circles formed on the watch glass. It will be more clearly visible if you hold it against the light. There are salts dissolved in water. When you evaporate the water, the salts are left behind, and these present themselves as concentric rings.
The geometry wing in Mathematics might seem tricky to many if you do not put your heart into it. But, the fun fact is that the shapes you learn in geometry are nothing new. Instead, you have already seen them and probably already know them too. As for concentric circles, we just made it easy for you to look around and find them. Hope it helps!