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x-axis. *It is always positive Regardless of which quadrant we are in, the reference angle is always made positive. Drag the point clockwise to make negative angles, and note how the reference angle remains positive. *It is always <= 90° As you can see from the figure above, the reference angle is always less than or equal to 90°, even for very large angles. Drag the point around the origin several times. Note how the reference angle always remain less than or equal to 90°, even for large angles. *Finding the reference angle* If necessary, first "unwind" the angle: Keep subtracting 360 from it until it is lies between 0 and 360°. (For negative angles add 360 instead). Sketch the angle to see which quadrant it is in. 2 1 3 4 Depending on the quadrant, find the reference angle: Quadrant Reference angle for θ 1 Same as θ 2 180 - θ 3 θ - 180 4 360 - θ Radians If you are working in radians, recall that 360° is equal to 2π radians, and 180° is equal to π radians. What is it used for? In trigonometry we use the functions of angles like sin, cos and tan. It turns out that angles that have the same reference angles always have the same trig function values (the sign may vary). So for example sin(45) = 0.707 The angle 135° has a reference angle of 45°, so it's sin will be the same. Checking on a calculator: sin(135) = 0.707 This comes in handy because we only then need to memorize the trig function values of the angles less than 90°. The rest we can find by first finding the reference angle. Also, when solving trigonometric equations we may notice one term,such as sin(x) and another, sin(π-x), and realize they are going to be equal, because the second is the reference angle of the first.

Reference angles may appear in all four quadrants.) If two angles in standard position have the same terminal side. 90�.com/reference-angle. The reference angle is the acute angle formed by the terminal side of the given angle and the x-axis. 180�. If measured in a clockwise direction the measurement is negative. If the terminal side of an angle lies "on" the axes (such as 0 �. If measured in a counterclockwise direction the measurement is positive.html Standard Position: An angle is in standard position if its vertex is located at the origin and one ray is on the positive x-axis.regentsprep. it is called a quadrantal angle. 360� ). Remember: The reference angle is measured from the terminal side of the original angle "to" the x-axis (not the y-axis). they are called coterminal angles. Reference Angles: Associated with every angle drawn in standard position (except quadrantal angles) there is another angle called the reference angle. The ray on the x-axis is called the initial side and the other ray is called the terminal side.org/Regents/math/algtrig/ATT3/referenceAngles. clockwise.http://www.htm . http://www. Angles in quadrant I are their own reference angles. 270�. The angle shown at the right is referred to as a Quadrant II angle since its terminal side lies in Quadrant II. (A negative associated with an angle's measure refers to its "direction" of measurement.mathopenref. The angle is measured by the amount of rotation from the initial side to the terminal side.

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