## The Lesson

The length of an arc of a circle is given by the formula: In this formula, r is the radius of the circle and θ is the angle (in radians) subtended by the arc. The image below shows what we mean by the length of an arc:

## How to Find the Length of an Arc of a Circle (Radians)

Finding the length of an arc of a circle, when the angle is in radians, is easy.

## Question

What is the length of the arc with an angle of 1 radian and a radius of 5 cm, as shown below?

# 1

Length of arc = rθ

# 2

Substitute the radius and the angle into the formula. In our example, r = 5 and θ = 1.
Length of arc = 5 × 1 Length of arc = 5 cm

The length of an arc of a circle with a radius of 5 cm, which is subtended by an angle of 1 radian, is 5 cm.

## Lesson Slides

The slider below shows another real example of how to find the length of an arc of a circle when the angle is in radians. Open the slider in a new tab

## What Is an Arc?

An arc is a portion of the circumference.

Radians are a way of measuring angles. 1 radian is the angle found when the radius is wrapped around the circle.

## Why Does the Formula Work?

An angle in radians can be found using the formula:
Angle = Arc length ⁄ Radius
We can rearrange this formula to make the arc length the subject:
Arc length = Angle × Radius Arc length = θ × r

## Is the Angle Given in Degrees or Radians

The formula to find the length of an arc of a circle depends on whether the angle at the center of the arc is given in degrees or radians. Make sure you check what units the angle is given in.