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An excellent document for understanding the correct approach to Height & Distance questions with practise questions.

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You are on page 1of 12

This topic explains and explores the relation between horizontal, vertical and tangential

distances. We knowledge of some basic Trigonometric ratios i.e.

Sin

Cos

Tan

to understand these relations. Let us see what do these mean.

There is a triangle ABC, right-angled at B.

They are the ratios of the length of sides of the triangle.

AB

is

perpendicular, the side opposite to angle

BC

is

base, the side at 900 with the perpendicular

AC

is

hypotenuse, the side opposite to 900 angle

is

the angle between base and hypotenuse.

So in a right angled triangle, for a given acute angle, BAC there are six possible ratios of

sides.

The values of all these ratios are constant.

These ratios are called trigonometric ratios.

[Type text]

Page 1

Opposite side

Hypotenuse

P

AB

=

AC

H

Cosine

i.e. cos

Adjacent side

Hypotenuse

B

BC

=

AC

H

Tangent

i.e. tan

Opposite side

Adjacent side

p

AB

=

AC

B

Cosecant

i.e. cosec

Hypotenuse

Opposite side

H

AC

=

AB

P

Secant

i.e. sec

Hypotenuse

Adjacent side

H

AC

=

BC

B

B

BC

=

AC

P

Cotangent

i.e. cot

Adjacent side

Opposite side

Sin ---------------> Cos -----------------> Tan

Pandit

Badri

Prasad

[Type text]

P

H

B

H

Har

Har

p

B

Bolen

Page 2

Now let us see some of the values of angles for trigonometric ratios:

These values are used in most of the height and distance questions and are very handy.

Trignometric identities

There are also some trigonometric identities, which are discussed as below:

(i)

sin2 + Cos2 = 1

(ii)

sec2 = 1 + tan2

(iii)

cosec2 = 1 + cot2

[Type text]

Page 3

(i)

Area of a triangle

= Product of 2 sides sine of included angle.

(ii)

(iii)

(iv)

In a ABC, where a, b and c are the lengths of the opposite sides of BAC, ABC and ACB.

a

b

c

[Type text]

Page 4

(v)

In ABC,1.11

a2

b2 + c2 - 2 bc cos A,

b2

c2 + a2 2 ca cos B,

a2 + b2 2 ab cos C.

c2

This is called cosine rule.

[Type text]

Page 5

Angle of Elevation : If a person on a lower level looks up at an object at a higher level, the line

of sight makes an angle with the horizontal called the angle of elevation.

Angle of Depression : If a person standing at a higher level observes an object at a lower level,

the line of sight makes an angle with horizontal called the angle of

depression.

[Type text]

Page 6

Example 1

Example 2.

cos 30 o . cos 60 o + sin 30 o. sin 60 o

Taking the values from the table of values of Sin and Cos,

we get the following values

3 1 1

3

3

3

3

2 2 2 2

4

4

2

From the to of a tower the angle of depression of a car on the ground 150

feet away from the bottom of the tower is 30.

Find the height of the tower ?

C

Let CA be the tower and O be the object.

Here we are given length of base, and we have to find the length of

perpendicular i.e. CA. So we shall use formula for Tan.

Therefore

Tan 30o

=>

[Type text]

=

1

3

OA

CA

OA

150

OA

150

20

OA

mts.

150

3

3

Page 7

Example 4.

is 30o.

The angle of elevation of the top of a building from a point on the ground

On walking 24m towards the building, the angle of elevation becomes 60o.

Find the height of the building? 2.3

Let us draw the figure first.

In ABD,

Tan 60o

So,

DA

[Type text]

BA

x

DA DA

BA

x

1

x

AC 24

3

3

x

3

o

Page 8

x

x

3x

24

3

3

2x

3x x

24

24

3

3

3 x 24

x 12 3mt.

[Type text]

3mt.

Page 9

Example 5. A person on the top of a light-house on the seashore finds that a ship coming

towards the light-house takes 10 minutes for the angle of depression to change from 30o to 60o.

Find the time taken by the ship to reach the shore from this position.

y

Here Tan 60o =

Tan 30o =

3 h

3 y ..(i)

h

1

xy

h

.(ii)

xy

3

3

xy

3y x y

3

x

2 y x or y , So if it takes 10 min to cover x distance, then for y distance it will take 5

2

3y

minutes.

Example 6. There are two houses, one on the each bank of the river, just opposite to each other.

One house is 54m high. From the top of this house, the angles of depression of the top and the

foot of the other house are 30 o and 60 o respectively. Find the width of river and the height of the

other house.

[Type text]

Page 10

DC = h be the height of house on the other side.

Also CA = DE.

Now in ABC

Tan 60o

=

54/CA =

=>

CA

=

54/ 3

So,

CA

=

DE

=

54/ 3 mt.

Now in EBD Tan 30o = BE/DE = BE / (54/ 3 )

3BE

54 3BE

54

So,

EA

[Type text]

=

=

=

BE

=

DC

AB BE

54 18

18mt.

=

36 mt.

Page 11

Example 7.

Sin y (1 + cot2y)

Sin y (Cosec2y)

= Siny

=

[Type text]

1

Sin 2 y

1

cos ecy

Siny

Page 12

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