DEFINITION OF QUADRANT

The first thing we are going to do, before discovering the meaning of the term quadrant, is to know its etymological origin. In this case, we can state that it derives from Latin, exactly from “cuandrante”, which can be translated as “that fits”. It is the result of the sum of two different parts:

-The word “quadrum”, which means “of four”.

-The suffix “-nte”, which is used to indicate “agent”.

A quadrant is that which squares : that is to say, that allows the shape of the square to be obtained or that makes different elements coincide. Depending on the context, the term has different meanings.

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The instrument that presents a graduated quarter circle, used for measuring angles, is called a quadrant. Formerly used in navigation and astronomy, it consists of a graduated arch with two peepholes and a plumb line hanging from the vertex. Depending on the position of the plumb line on the bow, the measurement is obtained.

In this area, what is known as the Davis quadrant, which was invented in the 16th century, takes center stage. It came to act as a substitute for both the quadrant and the astrolabe and was used to measure the height above the horizon in degrees that the Sun or even a star presented. It gets its name from an English sailor named John Davis, who was its creator and who spoke of it for the first time in a work written in 1594.

In maritime, each part of the four into which the nautical rose and the horizon are divided is called a quadrant. From north to east, one can distinguish between the first quadrant, the second quadrant, the third quadrant, and the fourth quadrant.

Geometry also uses the idea of ​​a quadrant to refer to the regions that are formed from the division of a plane by the axes of the Cartesian System. They are numbered from I to IV, beginning with the upper right sector and moving counterclockwise.

Referring to the clock, precisely, we can add that the sundial that is drawn on a plane is known as a quadrant. In the Bible, in this framework, the quadrant of Achaz is mentioned.

In the same way, we cannot ignore that, colloquially, the term quadrant is used with another meaning. Specifically, in Spain, for example, that word is used to refer to the weekly or monthly document that in some companies comes to collect the hours and shifts of the workers.

Thus, for example, in a nursing home, a quadrant can be created in which each employee (cleaner, cook, assistant, nurse, psychologist…) can know which days of the following week they have to work and at what time, as well as which They are the days in which he has rest.

Quadrant, finally, was a coin of the Roman Empire that was equivalent to a quarter of the ace. The dial was made of copper, with an image of Janus on one side and a boat on the other.

QUADRANT