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Trigonometry (trig) means measurement of triangles; it is usually studied as measurements of sides and angles of triangles and as points on a unit

circle; this study guide is basically separated into these two main sections: trig with triangles and trig with a unit circle; in trigonometry, the measures of angles are usually represented by letters from the Greek alphabet; the Greek letters 8. a, v, and 13 will be used throughout this study guide to represent angle measures


A. Right Triangle I. A right triangle is a triangle with exactly one 90 (right) angle 2. The hypotenuse is the longest side of a right triangle, and is always located opposite the right (90) angle 3. The two shorter sides of a right triangle are both called legs 4. The Pythagorean Theorem (Ieg'+ leg' = hypotenuse' or a' + b' = c' where a and b are leg lengths and c is the hypotenuse length) may be used to find the length of any third side of a right triangle when any two side lengths are known a. When the two leg lengths a2 + bI = c2 are known, square the length of each leg, add 2 9 + 162 = c2 these two squares together 81 + 256 = c2 and square root the result337 = c2 ing sum; for example:


3. The opposite leg of a right triangle is the leg which does not touch the vertex of the angle that is named in the trig function 4. The adjacent leg of a right triangle is the leg A "'-----'-----,-, C which does touch the vertex of the angle that is named in the trig function; for example: When evaluating the trig functions for angle A in this right triangle, leg y is the opposite leg r for angle A because it does not touch point A; however, leg x is the adjacent leg for angle A because it does touch point A; the hypotenuse B is sidez In the same-right triangle, leg x is the opposite leg for angle B because it does not touch point B; however, leg y is the adjacent leg for angle B because it does touch point B (NOTICE: The leg thai is the opposite leg for angle A is the same leg that is the adjacent legfor angle B, and the leg that is the adjacent leg for angle A is the same leg that is the opposite leg for angle B; the hypotenuse is '/lever considered (IS the opposite side 1101' as the adjacent side because it is not a leg) 5. Since trig functions are ratios, and ratios can be written as decimal numbers, trig functions are either converted to decimal numbers or left as radical expressions in lowest terms (for example, or .866); for example, in the right triangles above, if: -




= 7, and x =


= 4-,J2 then

sin A

cas B




..Jill = c

18.36 b. When the length of the hypotenuse and either leg are known, square the length of the hypotenuse, square the length of the leg, subtract these two squares, and square root the resulting difference; for example:

= c = hypotenuse

cas A = sin B = ~ = 4--/2 == .6285


a2 + b2 = c2 82 + b2 = ]02 64 + b2 = 100 b2 = 100 - 64

tall A =


7[,_ == 1.2374 4'12 == .8081

tanB=~=4-,J2 Y 7


= 36 b =..J36

leg = b = 6 5. Special right triangles exist that are used so often that the relationships of the side lengths should be memorized a. 30"-60-90" triangles have side lengths with c = hypotenuse = 2x ratios of I: -J3 :2; that is. b = longest leg = x...f3 the longest leg is always a = shortest leg = x -J3 times the length of the If a = 5 then c = 2 5 = 10 shortest leg, and the c hypotenuse is always 2 and b = 5 '-13 '" 8.7 times the shortest leg. If b = 8 then a = 8 + '-13 '" 4.6 This relationship can he and c = 2 8 + '-13 '" 9.2 used to find all side lengths when given only one side length; for example: a b. 45_45_90 triangles have side lengths with ratios of I: 1:.,f2; that is, the two legs have the same length (if two angles of a right triangle are equal, then the two legs are equal), and the hypotenuse is -J2 times the length of either leg; for example: a=]eg=x ~ b = leg = x c = hypotenuse = x{2 If a = 7 then b = 7

6. Using the trig function decimal number values to find or use angle measures requires either a trig function chart or a calculator with trig function options; for example, if you have found that sin a = .7778 then, by using either a trig chart or calculator the measure of anale a. is about 51 o b tdegrees


51 00' 10 20 30 40 50 52 00'

.7771 .7790 .7808 .7826 .7844 .7862 .7880 .7898




.6293 ,6271 .6248 .6225 .6202 .6180 ,6157 .6134


1.235 1.242 1.250 1.257 1.265 1.272 1.280 1.288



If using a calculator, follow the calculator directions C. Triangle Trig Applications There are two basic ways in which trig functions are used with triangles: to find angle measures and to find side lengths 1. Right Triangles a. Finding Acute Angle Measures To find the two acute angle measures A when given two SIdes of a right triangle, II ~ 82 + b2 = 202 IS easiest to find the length of the third side a. 64 + b2 = 400 first: for example, in the following rig ht b 20 b2 = 336 tnangle, if you know the length of any two sides, then you may use the Pythagorean ~ b = ..J336 == 18.33 Theorem (leg- + leg'= hypotenuse') to C 8 B find the length of the third side Once the three side lengths are found (it is not necessary to find the three side lengths in order to find the angle measures, but it is easier), then use the trig functions to find the degree measure of one acute angle; using the same right triangle above, the measure of a can be found using any of the trig functions, so just pick one of them; for example: The measure of the second acute angle may sin o. = .4000 so a. = 23 30' be found by simply subtracting the measure of 20 the acute angle just found from 90 because the f3 = 90 - 23 )0' = 66 30' sum of the three angles of any triangle is 180

and c = 7 {2 '" 9.9 If c = 12 then a = 12 + {2 '" 8.5

andb=85 B. Right Tnangle Trigonometry I The trigonometl'ic (trig) functions of an angle are related 10 the ranos of the SIdes of a right tnangle I 2. The trig functions are defined in the following manner where 8 stands for either of the acute (less than ~OO) angles in the right triangle; these definitions should be memorized:

sine El =

sin El

opposite leg hypotenuse

cosecant El =

csc 8

= hYllot~nute opposite eg hypotenuse d' I a jacent eg opp adjacent leg osite leg


8 = cas 8

adjacent leg


8 = see 8 =

opposite leg tangent 8 = tan 8 = ~d~' ~--t ]a jacen eg

cotangent 8 = cot 8 =

(NOTE: The leg of the right triangle which is considered either the opposite leg or the adjacent leg changes depending 011 which of the acute angles is being evaluated in the trig function)



c. Law of Cosines I. The law of cosines states that in a triangle ABC: a' =b2 +c" -2bccos0: b2 = a2 + c2 - 2ac cos ~ c1 = a2 + b2 - 2ab cos v A B


b. Finding Side Lengths To find the side lengths of a right triangle when given only one side length and one acme angie. first, subtract the given acute angle measure from 90" because the sum of the three angles of any triangle is 180; second, use the trig functions to find the length of another side of the triangle; for example:

~ = 90 - 35 = 55 so now we use either acute angle with a llig function a



Lse a trig chart or or calculator to get this decimal value.

= 14(.5736)

Use the cos )50, sin 55, or cos 35, but not the tangent function because neither leg length is given

a = 8.0304
Once two sides of the right triangle are known, the Pythagorean Theorem can be used 10 fin . the Ienerh of the third side c. Applying Sample Situations i, Definition: The angle of elevation is the angle formed by a horizontal line (either real or imagined) and the line of sight looking up from the horizontal: for example: Problem: Anna stood 4,800 feet from a rocket launching pad; she measured the angle of elevation as 73 when the rocket was at its highest poinr: if Anna measured the angle of elevation from a height of 5.5 feet. find the greatest height that the rocket reached

ii. When to apply the law of cosines The law of cosines may be used either when all three side lengths of the triangle are known (SSS), or when only two side lengths and the measure of the angle formed by these two sides are known (SAS, that is, two sides and the included angle) d. Law of Sines I. The law of sines states that in: L'1ABC (as a b c indicated in MBC above in the law of sill (J. sin v sin ~ cosines): ii. When to apply the law of sines: The law of sines may be used either when one side length and two angle measures are known (SAA, that is. one of the angles must be opposite the side) or when two side lengths and one angle measure are known (SSA, that is, the angle must be opposite one of the two sides) iii, Caution When using the law of sines, occasionally there will be no solution; this is because not all combinations of angle measures and side lengths actually form triangles; remember that the third side of any triangle must have a length longer than the difference of the other two sides and shorter than the sum of these other two sides


A. Circles I. Definitions a. A circle is the set of points in a plane that are equidistant (the same distance) from one point, the center of the circle (which is not actually a point on the circle, but only the center) b. A radius (r) is a line segment whose endpoints are a point on the circle and the center ofthe circle c. A chord is a line segment whose endpoints are both points on the circle; all other points 011 the chord are points in the interior of the circle d. A diameter (d) is a chord that contains the center of the circle

-3' is the angle of ele:ti~l>

r r



tan 73
3.2709 1



\lma s


to her eyes is 5.S1eeL ./

~ 2; ii.

-SOL J!9rizontal .
-i800 h

15700.32 ft + 5.50 ft view -L-l 15705.82 feet c!L,b d


h Anna

I a ove groun

Definition: The angle of depression is the angle formed by a horizontal line (either real or imagined) and the line of sight looking down from the horizontal; for example: Problem: A Coast Guard crew was flying a rescue mission in a helicopter: a member of the crew spotted a boat in trouble; this crewmember was looking down at about a 25 angle of depression; if the helicopter was about 300 feet above water level, how far did the helicopter have to travel to be above the boat?

~B D C

AD is a chord. Ae" is a chord and a diameter. EB is a radius.



~I I'g I =-

tan 25
.4663 1


____ -----------


.A...-- --------

643.36 ft

15 is me angle of depression.

2. Oblique Triangles Oblique triangles do not contain a right angle; therefore, any triangle that is not a right mangle is an oblique triangle a. Acute Triangles Any acute triangle (triangle with all acute angles I can be sep rated into two right triangles o . onszructins a line segment from one of the vertices ami j)~rpendicul'iir to the side opposite the Y"TIe:\.: fur example. 6..ABC can be formed into rish triangles A13D and BCD by drawing BD perpendicular to side A<:' A C ..en


trig function definitions

for right triangles can be applied as discussed

aOOye.YOTE: Another OPtion tor solving acute triangles is 10 leave the triangles as they are (acme) and to applv 'the law of cosines or the law ofsines, both of which are discussed at the top ofthe next column) b. Obtuse Trianzles .-"ny obtuse triangle c'iriangle with exactly B one obtuse aneler can be converted into a right rriansle bv constructinz a line segment from one vertices and perpendicular to the line containing the side opposite the vertex; L for example. in .lABC, LC is obtuse; extend L.. L side AC __ then draw BD perpendicular to the A - - - - ..L D extension: the result 1S right MBD. C Then the trig function definitions for right triangles can be applied as discussed above {SOTE: .~nOiheroption for solving obtuse triangles is to leave the triangles, as they are tobtuse) and to apply either the law of cosines or the law of sines, both ofwhicn

of the



.. __.J

_~ ~1.


"- __ 1.._ . ~.\

e. The circumference (C) of a circle is the distance around the circle, and may be found by using the formula C =red where 1!is approximately equal to 3.14 f. The area (A) of a circle is the number of square units that are needed to cover the interior of the circle, and may be found by using the formula A =m.:! g. The arc of a circle is the set of all points on the circle between any two points on the circle; a minor arc measures less than 180; a semicircle is an arc that measures exactly 180; a major arc measures more than 1800 B. Central Angles I. A central angle is an angle whose vertex is the center of a circle and whose sides contain points on the circle 2. A central angle has the same degree measure as the circular arc it A intercepts (the arc located. in the angle interior); additionally, an arc has the same degree meas.ure as the central angle that interB cepts it; for example, LABC intercepts arc AC and their degree measure is equal C 3. Degrees a. One degree is 1/360" of the 3600 contained ill a complete circle; a degree may be subdivided into 60 minutes (written 60'); a minute may be subdivided into 60 seconds (written 60") b. The degree measure of an angle is the degree measure of the intercepted circular arc of the circle for which it is a central angle 4. Radians a. One radian is the measure of a central angle that intercepts an arc equal in length to the radius of the circle b. The radian measure of a central angle is A the ratio of the circular arc length to the s radius of the circle. Remember the disB C 4ABC = - radians tance around a circle is nd; for example: r r 5. Degree and Radian Conversions a. A semicircle has a degree measure of 180' and a length equal to half the circle, .51!dor nr; the radian measure is the ratio between the circular arc length and the radius; therefore, the radian measure of a semicircle is m/r=rt; so: i. 180 = 1t radians ii. I radian = 180/n iii. 1= nit so radians b. Degree and radian conversions can be accomplished using these proportions or equations: ~ree measure of the angle i. radian measure of the angle 180 n radians 1!(degree measure of the angle) 11. the radian measure of an angle 180 1800(radian measure of the angle') iii. the degree measure of an angle 1t


- J[j{j

For example:

If LA = 40 then LA = ni40) = n(2) = 2n radians



The domain of the sine function is the set of real numbers; the range is the set of real numbers between -I and], inclusively; i.e., -I ~ Y ~ 1

c. See the radians and degrees chart under the topic of Unit Circle for the Measurements of Special Angles C. Generated Angles J. A generated angle (another type of angle often used in trigonometry) is a central angle with the vertex placed at the origin of the coordinate plane, and one of the two sides placed and kept on the positive x-axis, while the second side is rotated in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction a. The side that does not rotate is called the initial side b. The side that does rotate is called the terminal side c. Negative angles are formed when the terminal side rotates clockwise d. Positive angles are formed when the terminal side rotates counterclockwise


Both the domain and the range of the cosine function are the same as the domain and the range ofthe sine function

initial side

D. Unit Circle 1. The unit circle is a circle whose center is the origin (0,0) of the rectangular coordinate plane and whose radius is equal to exactly one unit (radius = I and diameter = 2) 2. The equation of the unit circle is x=+ v= I 3. A point, P, is on the unit circle ifand only if the distance from the center of the circle to the point is equal to the radius of exactly one unit 4. The unit circle is symmetric with respect to the x-axis, the y-axis, and the origin; therefore, if y-axis point P = (a,b) is on the unit circle, then these points are also on the unit circle (-a,b), (-a,-b), and (a,-b); for example:

The domain of the tangent function is the set of all real numbers except those values where the function is undefined and goes off asymptotically, such as rrl2, 3rr/2, ... The range is the set of all real numbers; the dashed lines are the vertical asymptotes



(a, -b) 5. The distance between any two points on the rectangular coordinate plane may be found by using the formula: "(Xl - x2)l + (YI - Yz)2 where the points are (XI' YI) and (x2' Y2)' 6. The length of an arc of the unit circle is based on the circumference, xd = 1t2 = 17(; because, d=2 7. Points on the Unit Circle a. Points can be labeled using the appropriate order pair, (x.y) b. Points can also be labeled using the circular arc length determined by the generated angle whose terminal side contains the point, (x.y); for example:

-2n I I I I
Periods of the functions a. A function, f, is periodic if there is a positive number z- f such that j (t+ v)=f(t) for all tin the domain of the function; this may also be stated using" in place of the evalue. The smallest value of o is called the period of the function; that is, the smallest value at which a function begins to repeat its range values, and thus repeat its graphing pattern, is the period of the function b. The period of the sine function,j(t)=sill t, is 2n: because sin(t+2n:)=sin t c. The period of the cosine function, f (t)=COSt, is-also 2n: because cos (t+21t)=cos t d. The period of the tangent function,j(t)=tan f; is rt because tonte+ixv=tan t (NOTE: These periods COilbe observed in the graphs cf thefunctions as indicated above) e. The period of a function, f(t)=sin Be, is 2rr/B; the effect of the value of B is that it stretches the graph out horizontally when O<B< I and shrinks the graph horizontally when B> I

Remember the radius of a unit circle

. y = sill x: where B = I

is one; r
c. Constructing a right triangle by drawing a perpendicular to determining the side lengths of the triangle results in the circle trig function definitions 8. Unit circle trig function definitions (see the diagram above): \'i11eret= radians sill t= a = degrees cas t= ,YOTE: Thesefunctions are reciprocals: sin and csc; csc a = '/,ill a cas and see; see a = '/eos a tan and cot; cot a = i/lall a 9. Frequently used angles and trig functions cated in the following chart

the x-axis, and following unit

y = sill 2x; where B = 2

(NOTE: The red section of the graph indicates one period of y=sinx; and the blue section is aile period of y=sin b) 12. Amplitude a. The amplitude ofa trig function, y=j(t)=Asint or y=j(t)=Acost can be defined as IA 1 Notice that when IA 1>1, the maximum and the minimum values ofy equal A, so the graph gets taller; likewise, when IA 1<], the maximum and the minimum values of y equal A, so the graph gets shorter; in the function f(t)= Arant, the value of A does affect the curve of the tangent graph, but not the maximum and the minimum values

sin a = y cas a= X tan t= tall a= L; x l' 0


csc e+csc o. =.!.


see t= see a
are indi-


cot t= cot a. =~;


= degree


radians qj

0= undefined






150 t80


Zl) ,rr 4


2 \'2

2 1

2 1


V.l -t


270 J.zL 2

300 1 31;
.2IL 0 -\.; JJ1. 4



e;T .:il





T T -.i3 1



T ..J3

"2 -.,J3


= -l.Sill



10. Trig function graphs a. Graphing the values of.l~e trig f~mc~i~~s ~ind!c~led. in the chart above) on

b. The amplitude may be considered

_:_:_ _ ~_..l .. 1.. .:. .L. __

10 be half the difference

between the



cset=J... sill t sect=1

cos ( ~ 2 sill (~ 2

t;) =

sill t

cos t cot t=J... tall t

- t) = eos
t;) =

tall (! 2




-II -



tallt= s!!!...t
COSt; J-_C


8shi t to {he left because C=TC,and B=:!.

sinl-e + cos'

or or or


1- cos' I 1

without ilifo __ :. tb im rses of the trig functions would not be 'eh -: ic that the range of each inverse function is a ~~h]oif'l':;c= ;:~= orresponding trig function _tn~,.~,j;:e j~'~~fiflfl..'-i-:"t Q 'the inejunction while (sill xr! ='/';IIX. - siB<' - nction: DO SOT confuse these because):

mncncns are denoted by arc or by -I exponents:

tmzlt + 1 = secte

cot! +



tan' = sec'ecot! = csc-e-




* (tall ,,)-1
::; Y

COS(r t)
sint): t)

= cas

s cose s sin sin t




= sill rCOSt cas sin ): t) = fall r+ fall t

1 + tan.s tan i:

it -


0 ::; v ::; it


- < v < 2 2


sin(-t) cas ( -t) tall (-t)

= -sin

sill2t = 2sintcost cosse- sin' cosl = 1 - 2sill1t



-11I~~;~;~~~:g;~~::~~~~= ~ -

cos t t


ement. Y. in !he range whose trig x. z r example. arcsin .J4 = the angle whose

= -tan


eos2t= 2eos2t- 1

y = arctan x



fall2t= sin2t=


1 - tan!e 1 - cos2t


-- --

.t =_ +~ --S/l12 2

-V 1 + cas t 2 fall!. = -V I -cas t

cas!. = 2
2 1 + COSt

2 1 + cos2t cos'e 2

= tan:
PRODUCT - SUM FORMULAS sint + t;) + stntr- t) stnrcose 2 sints t) -sin(r- t;) coss sine 2 COS(r+ t) + COS(r- t) coss cose 2 COS(r- t) - COS(r+ t) sin, sine = 2 sinr v sine 2Sil1(r; t) t) cosE sinE

'f:::IC!lI~,~l"d re ationships,

but no = , < or >; they

uals ign: they may be solved to hniques. such as factoring, may


I =0 = -1 so

in the

interval 0::;

t;::; 2n:
sinr-sine 2eos(


r; r;

t) t)

tb domain: they may be proven or =:_ ntiti include working the left side of ri_ : side: working the right side until it '4'1 side - until they are identical

eosr+ COSt= 2eos C+t) COSr-COSt= -_S/11

t )

cos cot) -2S/11

/ . C+ ---z- C---z. t )
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ISBN-13: 978-157222610-4 ISBN-10: 157222610-2


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