From Latin: centrum- "center"
Definition: The angle subtended
at the center of a circle by two given points on the circle.
Try this Drag any orange dot. Note that when moving the points A or B the angle at the center changes.
Given two points A and B, lines from them to center of the circle form the central angle ∠AOB.
The central angle is the smaller of the two at the center. It does not mean the
As you drag the points above, the angle will change to reflect this as it increases through 180°
Arcs and Chords
The two points A and B can be isolated points, or they could be the end points of an
When they are the end points of an arc, the angle is sometimes called the "arc central angle".
A similar concept is the inscribed angle. This is the angle subtended at a point on the circle by the two given points.
See Inscribed Angle definition
The central angle is always twice the inscribed angle.
See Central Angle Theorem.
Other circle topics
Equations of a circle
Angles in a circle
(C) 2009 Copyright Math Open Reference. All rights reserved
Math Open Reference now has a Common Core alignment.
See which resources are available on this site for each element of the Common Core standards.
Check it out