All these while we are familiar with degrees. We know that a straight line is 180^{\circ}, and for a full circle it is 360^{\circ}.

There is another unit to represent degrees, it is known as radians.

The short form of radians can be written in several ways. Take 1 radian for example. The most formal way would be written as1^{c}. It can be written as 1\ \mathrm{rad} as before, or the most common way, 1 (without any units).

The term ‘radian’ actually originated when we wanted to find a neat expression for the angle when the corresponding arc length of a circle with 1 unit radius, for this angle, is also 1 unit. Using degrees, the number will not look nice, hence a new unit called radians are invented.

Radians are useful as it can be treated as numbers (without units).

Radians are defined as positive for angles moving anticlockwise. For the diagram at the right, that is a positive angle (1 rad). It is similar to how we define 90^{\circ} and -90^{\circ}.