You have studied in earlier classes about figures of different shapes such as squares,
rectangles, triangles and quadrilaterals. You have also calculated perimeters and the
areas of some of these figures like rectangle, square etc. For instance, you can find
the area and the perimeter of the floor of your classroom.
Let us take a walk around the floor along its sides once; the distance we walk is its perimeter. The size of the floor of the room is its area.
Heron was born in about 10AD possibly in Alexandria in Egypt. He worked in applied mathematics. His works on mathematical and physical subjects are so numerous and varied that he is considered to be an encyclopedic writer in these fields. His geometrical works deal largely with problems on mensuration written in three books. Book I deals with the area of squares, rectangles, triangles, trapezoids (trapezia), various other specialised quadrilaterals, the regular polygons, circles, surfaces of cylinders, cones, spheres etc. In this book, Heron has derived the famous formula for the area of a triangle in terms of its three sides.
Suppose that a farmer has a land to be cultivated and she employs some labourers for this purpose on the terms of wages calculated by area cultivated per square metre. How will she do this? Many a time, the fields are in the shape of quadrilaterals. We need to divide the quadrilateral in triangular parts and then use the formula for area of the triangle. Let us look at this problem:
In this chapter, you have studied the following points :
1. Area of a triangle with its sides as a, b and c is calculated by using Heron’s formula, stated as