Concentric Circles: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:05 Playing Darts
  • 0:16 Concentric Circles
  • 0:56 Real World Concentric Circles
  • 1:21 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Joseph Vigil
In this lesson, you'll learn what concentric circles are, and you'll see a few examples of sets of concentric circles. Then, you can test your knowledge with a brief quiz.

Playing Darts

Many of us are familiar with a dartboard:

A dartboard has many circles in one!
dartboard with circles labeled

But we don't often think about a dartboard as several circles in one, forming the different rings. All of these circles happen to be drawn around a common center, the bullseye.

Concentric Circles

A dartboard is really a set of concentric circles, which are circles that share a common midpoint. When circles are concentric, smaller circles will lie inside larger circles, regardless of how many circles are in the set.

However, just because one circle is inside the other doesn't necessarily mean they're concentric circles. Take these circles, for example:

circles with different midpoints

Although one is inside the other, they have different midpoints. They're not concentric because they're not centered around the same point, like the circles in the dartboard. These circles, though, are concentric because they both have the same midpoint:

two circles with the same midpoint

Real-World Concentric Circles

The common image of a ship's wheel includes two concentric circles joined by spokes:

The grooves on a vinyl record also form concentric circles. They're all centered around the record's midpoint:

Similarly, the grooves on this manhole cover form concentric circles, all centered around the manhole's midpoint.

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