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Uploaded by Harish Chandra Rajpoot

This formula is used for finding out the solid angle subtended by a rectangular plane at any point in the space. This formula has been derived by using a standard formula for a rectangular plane. This formula was derived using double integration in polar co-ordinates by H.C. Rajpoot (B Tech, ME) @ M.M.M. University of Technology, Gorakhpur-273010 (UP) India

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Madan Mohan Malaviya University of Technology, Gorakhpur-273010 (UP) India

Let there be a rectangular plane ABCD having length l & width b ( ) and a given

point say P (observer) at a distance r from the centre O of the plane

(as shown in the figure below)

Fig: Solid Angle subtended by a rectangular plane at any point P in the space

Now, draw a perpendicular PQ from the given point P to the plane of rectangle ABCD &

join the given point P & the foot of perpendicular Q to the centre O such that

is the angle of inclination of the line OP with OQ (or with the given plane ABCD)

(Also called angle of elevation of the given point P in the space)

is the angle between the line OQ & the reference line*

(Also called angle of deviation of the given point P in the space)

(*Reference line: The line passing through the centre & parallel to the longer side (i.e. AB &

CD) of the given rectangular plane. )

Now, extend the sides AB & CD and draw the lines QK & FE passing through the point Q &

parallel to the sides AB & BC respectively. Extended lines AB, CD, QK & the reference line

intersecting the line FE at the points E, F, Q & L respectively.

In right

Where PQ is the normal height of the given point P from the rectangular plane ABCD

In right

It is clear from the above figure that the solid angle subtended by the rectangular plane

ABCD at the given point P lying on the axis PQ at a normal height

Now, for ease of calculation lets assume

&

Here, we would directly use the formula for solid angle subtended by a rectangular plane of

size at any point lying at a normal height h from any of the vertices given as follows

)(

)

)

*Above result is directly taken from the book which has its derivation & explanation in details.

)(

)

}

)(

)

}

)(

)

}

)(

)

}

Now, on setting the corresponding values we can find the solid angle subtended by the

given rectangular plane ABCD at the point P as follows

.. (1)

We find that the value of depends on the following variables

Case 1: The solid angle subtended by the square plane having each side of length a at any

point in the space can be obtained by putting l = b = a in the above expressions of eq(1) as

follows

& and

) (

)

}

) (

)

}

) (

)

}

) (

)

}

Now, on setting the corresponding values we can find the solid angle subtended by the

given square plane at the given point as follows

Case 2: The solid angle subtended by the rectangular plane at any point lying on the axis

normal to the plane & passing through the centre O is obtained by setting

in the above expressions of eq(1) as follows

&

and

) (

((

)((

)

}

) (

((

)((

)

}

) (

((

)((

)

}

) (

((

)((

)

}

) (

)

}

) (

)

}

) (

)

}

) (

)

}

Now, on setting the corresponding values we can find the solid angle subtended by the

given rectangular plane at any point lying on the axis normal to the plane & passing through

the centre as follows

) (

)

}

) (

)

}

) (

)

}

) (

)

}

) (

)

}

Case 3: The solid angle subtended by the rectangular plane at a point lying on the centre of

the plane is obtained by setting in the above expressions of the

eq(1) as follows

()

()

()

()

& () height and

) (

)

((

()

)((

()

)

}

) (

)

((

()

)((

()

)

}

) (

)

((

()

)((

()

)

}

) (

)

((

()

)((

()

)

}

*+

*+

*+

*+

Now, on setting the corresponding values we can find the solid angle subtended by the

given rectangular plane at a point lying on the centre of the plane as follows

*Its also true for any point lying on the plane inside the boundary of rectangular plane.

Note: Above results have been taken from the book Advanced Geometry by Harish

Chandra Rajpoot copyrighted by the Notion Press publication Chennai, India in December,

2013. ISBN-13: 9789383808151, ISBN-10: 9383808152 (www.notionpress.com)

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