# At a Glance - Circles

A **circle** is the collection of all points at a given distance *r* from a specified point. If you've grown tired of collecting baseball cards or Wii games and want to take up a new hobby, start collecting points, and perhaps you too can one day be a circle. It's a lofty goal, but who are we to tell you it'll never happen? Dream on, dreamer.

The specific point we're referring to is called the **center** of the circle, and the distance *r* is called the **radius** of the circle.

Here's a fun—and yet, at the same time, incredibly frustrating—puzzle to consider: how many sides does a circle have? Depending on how "side" is defined, potential answers may vary. If a "side" must be a straight line, then a circle clearly has no sides. If a "side" can be curved, then a circle has one side. Perhaps a circle has infinitely many sides? Or maybe it has a "good side" and a "bad side." It does look a little more handsome when it turns to the left. The question, "How many sides does a circle have?" is basically too ambiguous to answer. We'll answer it with an equally ambiguous, "Hmm...eh."

Since we can't add the side lengths of a circle to find its perimeter, we need a special formula and a fancy name to go along with it. The perimeter of a circle is called its **circumference**, and it's given by the formula:

*C* = 2π*r*

...where *C* means circumference, and *r* means radius.

The area *A* of a circle is given by *A* = π*r*^{2}. And don't forget, π is an irrational number that comes out to about 3.14 when we round it.