Differences Between Circumference & Diameter

The distance around the plate is the circumference; the fork marks the diameter.
••• Photos.com/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

In geometry, the terms circumference and diameter refer to the length of specific parts of a circle. They are two different measurements of length, but they share a special mathematical relationship with the constant pi.

Diameter

The diameter is the length, or distance, across the circle at its widest point, passing through the center. Another related measurement, the radius, is a line that goes from the center to the circle's edge. The diameter is equal to 2 times the radius. (A line that goes across the circle, but not at its widest point, is called a chord.)

Circumference

The circumference is the perimeter, or distance around the circle. Imagine wrapping a string all the way around a circle. Now imagine removing the string and pulling it out into a straight line. If you were to measure this string, that length is the circumference of your circle.

Pi

The quantity pi is a mathematical constant defined as the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. This ratio is always the same. If you divide the circumference of any circle by its diameter, you always get pi. Mathematicians use the number 3.14 when using pi in calculations.

Relationship Between Diameter and Circumference

If you know a circle's diameter, you can calculate its circumference with this equation: Circumference = diameter times pi (3.14).

Related Articles

How to Calculate Circumference in Inches
How to Convert Square Dimensions to Round
How to Calculate the Radius From the Circumference
How to Find the Cross Sectional Area of a Pipe
Characteristics of Aquatic Plants
How to Calculate the Volume and Circumference of a...
How to Find Radius From Diameter
How to Calculate the Height of a Cone From the Volume
How to Find the Volume of a Sphere in Terms of Pi
How to Figure the Diameter of a Circle
How to Find the Perimeter of a Circle
How to Find the Radius of a Circle
How to Find the Distance Between Two Points on a Circle
How to Find the Circumference of an Octagon
How to Calculate the Area & Circumference of a Circle
How to Convert the Area of a Circle to Square Feet
How to Convert Diameter to Square Centimeters
How to Find the Radius
How to Calculate the Volume of an Octagon
How to Figure the Cubic Yards in a Circle