Scale Factor

Scale Factor

Positive or negative number that characterizes a dilation.

The scale factor is the ratio between an algebraic measure of the image figure and the corresponding algebraic measure on the initial figure.

Here is an example where k>1:In this illustration, \(k = \dfrac{\textrm{m}\textrm{(O, P}^{\prime})}{\textrm{m}\textrm{(O, P)}}\) = −\(\dfrac{\textrm{m}\textrm{(O, P}^{\prime\prime})}{\textrm{m}\textrm{(O, P)}}\).



  • If a scale factor k applies a figure F on a figure F’, then the ratio of similarity of F to F’ is given by \(\left| {\dfrac{1}{k}} \right|\).
  • A negative dilation with centre C and scale factor k can be expressed as the composition of a positive dilation with scale factor −k from centre C and a rotation of 180° around centre C.

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