August 6, 2024
Learn how to find the area of a rhombus step-by-step with a guide that includes real-world applications and a look at the history of this concept. Key terms, formulas, and manipulatives are used for easy understanding.

## Introduction

A rhombus is a geometric shape in which all four sides are equal in length. It is often compared to a square or a rectangle, but its unique angles and set-up make it stand out. In this article, we will explore how to find the area of a rhombus, using step-by-step guides, visual aids, real-world applications, and even a glimpse into the history of the concept.

Understanding how to find the area of a rhombus can be important in various professions and hobbies, including construction, carpentry, quilting, and more. By the end of this guide, you should have a clear idea of how to measure the area of a rhombus, and why it matters.

## Step-by-step guide to finding the area of a rhombus

Before diving into the formula for finding the area of a rhombus, it’s important to define and explain a few key terms. The base of a rhombus is one side, but for the purpose of finding the area, any side can be used as the base. The height of a rhombus is the perpendicular distance between the two parallel sides. Lastly, a diagonal is a line segment that connects two opposite vertices of a rhombus.

The formula for finding the area of a rhombus is:

Area = (Base x Height) / 2

Let’s look at an example:

In this rhombus, let’s say the base is 6 cm and the height is 8 cm. To find the area, we would plug in those values into the formula:

Area = (6 x 8) / 2 = 24 cm2

Therefore, the area of this rhombus is 24 square centimeters.

It’s also helpful to visually understand how the formula works. Here’s a diagram that shows why the formula works:

The area of a rhombus can also be calculated with the use of a diagonal. The formula looks like this:

Area = (Product of Diagonals) / 2

Let’s look at another example:

In this rhombus, let’s say one diagonal is 10 cm and the other diagonal is 14 cm. To find the area, we would plug those values into the formula:

Area = (10 x 14) / 2 = 70 cm2

Therefore, the area of this rhombus is 70 square centimeters.

## Comparison between finding the area of a rhombus and a rectangle

At first glance, it might seem like finding the area of a rhombus is similar to finding the area of a rectangle. After all, both shapes have four sides with two pairs of parallel sides. However, the approach to finding the area for each of these shapes is different.

For a rectangle, the formula for finding the area is simply:

Area = Length x Width

This formula is more straightforward than the formula for a rhombus, which requires finding the height before multiplying by the base. Additionally, while all four sides of a rhombus are equal, only the opposite sides of a rectangle are equal and parallel. This means that the diagonal of a rectangle cannot be used to find the area, unlike with a rhombus.

In real-world scenarios, the shape of an object or structure might necessitate either a rectangle or a rhombus for calculating area. For example, a quilt that uses diamond shapes would require calculations for the area of a rhombus, while a wall that needs new paint might use rectangular measurements to determine how much paint to buy.

## Visual guide to finding the area of a rhombus with manipulatives

Manipulatives are useful tools that can help visualize concepts in geometry. When it comes to finding the area of a rhombus, there are two types of manipulatives that are particularly helpful: geometric manipulatives and paper folding.

Geometric manipulatives, like pattern blocks or geoboards, can be used to provide a hands-on way to find the area of a rhombus. In a classroom setting, these manipulatives can be passed around for students to explore on their own.

Using paper folding can also help students find the area of a rhombus with a tactile approach. By folding paper into a rhombus, students can then measure the base and height themselves.

Here is a step-by-step guide to finding the area of a rhombus using paper folding:

1. Start with a rectangular piece of paper, like an index card or a sticky note.
2. Fold the paper in half diagonally to create a triangle.
3. Take one of the corners and fold it upwards, creating a crease to meet the opposite corner. This should make a rhombus shape.
4. Measure the base and the height of this rhombus.
5. Use the formula for finding the area of a rhombus to calculate the area.

As students or learners become more comfortable with this process, they can try it with different sizes and shapes of paper to see how the measurements of the rhombus and the area change.

## Real-world applications of rhombus area calculations

Knowing how to find the area of a rhombus can be useful in many professions and hobbies. Here are a few examples:

• Carpentry: When creating diamond shapes for woodwork or furniture, calculating the area of a rhombus is necessary.
• Quilting: Quilting patterns often require diamond shapes, which means knowing how to find the area of a rhombus is crucial.
• Construction: Some architectural designs call for the use of rhombus shapes in the building, such as in Art Deco-inspired structures.
• Crop measurement: When measuring the area of a field for crops, the rhombus shape might be used to get more accurate calculations.

By knowing how to find the area of a rhombus, people in these fields can be more precise with their measurements, leading to better and more successful outcomes.

## History of the concept of the rhombus

The concept of the rhombus dates back to early mathematicians, such as Euclid (300 BCE) and Archimedes (250 BCE). They explored the unique properties of the rhombus, including its symmetry and relationship to quadrilaterals.

In ancient Greece, the rhombus was referred to as an “oblique parallelogram” due to its placement. Later on, in the 17th century, mathematician John Wallis introduced the term “rhombus” to the English language by borrowing the Latin word “rhombus”, which referred to a spinning top or a die.

In terms of finding the area of a rhombus, historical methods included inscribing the shape within a circle or breaking the rhombus up into two triangles. These methods are still valid, but the formula using the base and height is more commonly used today.

## Advanced guide to finding the area of a rhombus

For those who want to take their knowledge of finding the area of a rhombus further, there are additional methods available. One method involves using trigonometry to find the height by using one of the angles and one of the diagonals. This can be useful if one already knows the angle and diagonal measurements.

Another method involves using the Pythagorean theorem to find the height by using either of the diagonals and the side length. This can be more challenging, but sometimes useful if the base or height is not given.

It’s important to remember that these advanced methods might not be necessary in every situation, but they can be useful in certain scenarios, especially in more complex structures and designs.

## Conclusion

In conclusion, finding the area of a rhombus can seem daunting at first, but with the help of key terms, formulas, visual aids, and real-world applications, it can be easily understood and applied. Whether for work or for personal interests, knowing how to find the area of a rhombus is an important tool to have in one’s toolbox. Practice with manipulatives, different shapes and sizes, and experiment with using diagonals for a more advanced understanding.