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Trigonometry Basics

Trigonometry Basics

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Published by: kapil on Mar 05, 2011
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Trigonometry Basics
Definition of Trigonometry:Trigonometry considers the properties of angles and certain ratiosassociated with angles, and applies the knowledge of these properties to the solution of triangles andvarious other algebraic and geometric problems. Incidentally trigonometry considers also certaintime-saving aids in computation such as logarithms, which are generally employed in the solution of triangles. Briefly stated,
Trigonometry is the science of angular magnitudes and the art of applying the principles of thisscience to the solution of problems.
 The word Trigonometry comes from two Greek words, trigonon = triangle, and metron = measure.The method was originated in the second century B.C. by Hipparchus and other early Greek astronomers in their attempts to solve certain spherical triangles. The term trigonometry was notused until the close of the sixteenth century.Before we get into the basic definitions of Trigonometric Functions, let us look at the basicdefinition of a
.Definition of Function:When two variables are so related that the value of the one depends uponthe value of the other, the one is said to be a function of the other.EXAMPLES: The area of a square is a function of its side.The volume of a sphere is a function of its radius.The velocity of a falling body is a function of the time elapsed since it began to fall.The output of a factory is a function of the number of men employed.In the expression y depends upon x for its value, hence y is a function of x.Definition of Reciprocal:If the product of two quantities equals unity, each is said to be thereciprocal of the other.For example, if xy = 1, x is the reciprocal of y, and y is the reciprocalof x.1/2 is the reciprocal of 2, and 2 is the reciprocal of 1/2, for 1/2X2=1.In general, a/b and b/a are reciprocals since a/bxb/a=1 .From xy = 1 it follows that x = 1/y, and y = 1/x, that is,
The reciprocal of any quantity is unity divided by that quantity.
Six Trigonometric Functions of an AcuteAngle:Let A be any acute angle, B any pointon either side of the angle, and ABC the righttriangle formed by drawing a perpendicularfrom B to the other side of the angle. DenoteAC, the side adjacent to the angle A, by b (forbase), BC, the side opposite the angle A, by a(for altitude), and the hypotenuse AB by h.The three sides of the right triangle form sixdifferent ratios, namely,and their reciprocalsSince these ratios depend upon the angle for their values, they are the functions of the angleaccording to the general definition of a function that we discussed at the beginning of our lesson.Each of these functions has received a special name.The six functions just defined are variously known as the trigonometric, circular, or goniometricfunctions: trigonometric, because they form the basis of the science of trigonometry; circular,because of their relations to the arc of a circle; goniometric, because of their use in determiningangles, from gonia, a Greek word meaning angle.The terms sine of angle A, cosine of angle A, etc., are abbreviated to
sin A, cos A, tan A, cosec A , secA , and cot A
. The definitions of the first six trigonometric functions must be thoroughlymemorized. The first three are especially important and should be memorized.The remaining threefunctions may be remembered most readily by the aid of the reciprocal relations, reciprocalrelations,Sin A.Cosec A = 1Cos A.Sec A = 1Tan A.Cot A=1It should be noticed that while a, b, and h are lines, the ratio of any two of them is an abstractnumber; that is, the trigonometric functions are abstract numbers. Also, the expressions
sin A cosA, tan A etc.
, are single symbols which cannot be separated,
has no meaning except as it isassociated with some angle.EXAMPLE: The sides of a right triangle are 3, 4, 5. Find all the trigonometric functions of theangle A opposite the side 4.
Solution: The hypotenuse of the triangle equals5. Hence, applying the definitions, we haveBasic Identities Phythagorean Identities Symmetry Properties  Graphs of the Six Trigonometric Functions 

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