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What is Period in Maths?

Last updated date: 29th May 2024
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What is Period in Maths? - Definition, Examples, and FAQs

What is a Period? 

Have you ever wondered how long you have to wait before the lunch bell rings or your next birthday arrives? This time is known as the ‘period’ in maths. We all have attended classes where there are separate periods for different subjects to be taught, right?

How do you think the whole day is divided into these periods? This is done by calculating the time that a teacher needs to dedicate to a class every day in order to teach a subject properly to the students. Let us learn more about periods in this article.

Definition of Period in Mathematics

In mathematics, the time interval or gap between two given points is known as a period. This period can be as little as a few microseconds. For instance, the time gap or period between today and tomorrow is one day. There can be variations in the amount or span of time that makes up a period. 

In Physics and Maths, the period is generally calculated in terms of time or distance. However, in this article, we will concentrate on the time factor in calculating periods.

Celebrating 5th birthday after 5 years of being born.

Examples of Time Periods  

The following are a few examples of standard periods with respect to time. Learn the given examples thoroughly as these will help you throughout your life to count time periods for general cases. 

  • Second - A second can be defined in maths or physics as the time taken by one caesium-133 atom to complete 9192631770 full oscillations (oscillation means the to and fro movement of an object within a given space). Events like track races, blinking of eyes, and so on are generally timed using seconds. 

  • Minute - A minute is equal to 60 seconds. A minute is more time than a second, and this unit of the period is generally used in cases like short car rides, workouts, and so on.

  • Hour - An hour is equal to 60 minutes. Hours are usually used to time longer periods, for instance, cricket matches, surgeries, and so on. 

  • Day - A day comprises 24 hours. A day is usually the complete cycle of a person’s regular schedule. Starting from waking up in the morning, doing all the work, eating, resting, and so on, till the time a person wakes up again the next morning, is considered one day. The Earth completes one rotation around its axis in 1 day.  

  • Month - A month has 30 days on average, while some months have 31 days. February has 28 days (in a leap year, which comes every four years, February has 29 days). Months are longer periods of time that are generally used for calculating salary, rent, subscriptions, and so on. 

  • Year - A year consists of 12 months and it is a huge period of time where a lot can happen. Your birthday comes every year. The Earth completes one revolution around the Sun every year. 

The Earth completing 1 rotation in 24 hours or 1 day and the Earth revolving around the sun in 365 days or 1 year.


A period, in Maths, is generally measured in time and it is primarily known as the time taken to reach one point to another. Periods can even exceed years. For instance, a decade comprises 10 years and a century has 100 years in it.

The term period has a lot of different definitions, but in maths, the concept of the period is very important to deal with problems related to time. Hence, it is advisable that you learn this concept properly and try to memorise as many units and measures of standard periods as possible. 

FAQs on What is Period in Maths?

1. How long is a century?

A century comprises 100 years. We are currently living in the 21st century. 

2. Which standard unit of periods is generally used to calculate the time of rent payment?

The time of rent payment is usually calculated in months, that is, a person usually has to pay his or her rent every month.