Definition:Angle/Unit/Minute

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Definition

The minute (of arc) is a measurement of plane angles, symbolized by $'$.

\(\displaystyle \) \(\) \(\displaystyle 1\) minute
\(\displaystyle \) \(=\) \(\displaystyle 60\) seconds
\(\displaystyle \) \(=\) \(\displaystyle \dfrac 1 {60}\) degree of arc (by definition)


Also known as

A minute of arc is also known as an arc minute.


Historical Note

The division of the degrees into $60$ subdivisions originates from the Babylonians, who used a sexagesimal (base $60$) system for the purposes of mathematics and astronomy.


Linguistic Note

The word minute, in the context of the measurement of time and of angle, derives from its initial definition as a minute part of an hour or of a degree of arc.

In this context the word minute (meaning: the aggregation of $60$ seconds) is pronounced min-it.

The word minute (as used in the phrase minute part) is pronounced my-nyoot and means small.

So the fact that the two words are spelt identically is not a coincidence.


Sources