The Construction Of Polygons
Fig. 71 a.
The term polygon is applied to figures having flat sides equidistant from a common centre. From this centre a circle may be struck that will touch all the corners of the sides of the polygon, or the point of each side that is central in the length of the side. In drawing a polygon, one of these circles is used upon which to divide the figure into the requisite number of divisions for the sides. When the dimension of the polygon across its corners is given, the circle drawn to that dimension circumscribes the polygon, because the circle is without or outside of the polygon and touches it at its corners only. When the dimension across the flats of the polygon is given, or when the dimension given is that of a circle that can be inscribed or marked within the polygon, touching its sides but not passing through them, then the polygon circumscribes or envelops the circle, and the circle is inscribed or marked within the polygon. Thus, in Figure 71 a, the circle is inscribed within the polygon, while in Figure 72 the polygon is circumscribed by the circle; the first is therefore a circumscribed and the second an inscribed polygon. A regular polygon is one the sides of which are all of an equal length.
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