In this lesson, you added the formula for the area of a regular polygon to your catalog of area formulas for other polygons.

figure of a regular polygon and the area formula

You also compared the area formula for a regular polygon to the area formula for circles. In later mathematics courses, you will study how when lengths or areas change slightly but repeatedly, that impacts differently shaped objects.

Rock formations at Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland

Regular polygons are important in fields such as science and geography.

The picture to the right shows how volcanic rocks can cool in the shape of polygonal prisms. Many of these rocks have a cross-section, or a base, that is the shape of a regular hexagon. Rocks and crystals tend to show geometric structure, and geologists need to understand regular polygons in order to better describe features such as these.

The picture shows a series of rock formations in Northern Ireland known as Giant’s Causeway. These rocks were formed millions of years ago as magma buried beneath the ground cooled quickly. This resulted in the pillars of rock that today are exposed along the coast of County Antrim.