addition formula derivation

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addition formula derivation

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March 28, 2011

cos(a b) = cos a cos b + sin a sin b

From this formula we can easily derive the others. Consider two points P

and Q lying on a unit circle, (see Figure 1). Then the co-ordinates of P and

Q can be expressed in terms of the angles made with the x axis, a and b.

From Figure 2, P has co-ordinates:

P : P (cos b, sin b)

and similarly Q has co-ordinates:

Q : Q(cos a, sin a)

The distance d between P and Q can be found in terms of the angles a and

b:

d2 = (cos a cos b)2 + (sin a sin b)2

expanding

d2 = cos2 a 2 cos a cos b + cos2 b + sin2 a 2 sin a sin b + sin2 b

using

cos2 x + sin2 x = 1

1

P

X

ab

a

b

x

P : (cos b, sin b)

1

sin b

b

O

cos b

Figure 2: Co-ordinates of P in terms of angle b.

sin(a b)

ab

O

cos(a b)

we have

d2 = 2 2 cos a cos b 2 sin a sin b

(1)

to the line OP to meet at X. Working with the right-angled triangle QXP

(in Figure 1), then

d2 = |QX|2 + |XP |2

since |OP | = 1 = |XP | = |1 OX|

d2 = h2 + |(1 OX)|2

and using the right-angled triangle OQX, (see Figure 3)

d2 = sin(a b)2 + (1 cos(a b))2

d2 = sin2 (a b) + 1 2 cos(a b) + cos(a b)2

giving

d2 = 2 2 cos(a b)

Equating (1) and (2) gives:

2 2 cos(a b) = 2 2 cos a cos b 2 sin a sin b

2 cos(a b) = 2 cos a cos b 2 sin a sin b

(2)

cos x

1

0

5

4 3 2 1 0

1

5

x

finally giving

cos(a b) = cos a cos b + sin a sin b

(3)

f (x) = f (x)

Such a function would be symmetric about the y axis. This means that the

graph remains unchanged after a reflection in the y-axis. The function cos x

is even (see Figure 4) and so

cos(x) = cos x

An odd function however has

f (x) = f (x)

This type of function has rotational symmetry about the origin. Such a

graph is the same after a rotation of 180 about the origin. From Figure 5,

we see that sin x is an odd function and thus

sin(x) = sin x

So now we are in a position to derive a formula for cos(a+b). In equation

3 we use an angle b for b giving

cos(a (b)) = cos a cos(b) + sin(a) sin(b)

sin x

1

0

4 3 2 1 0

1

5

x

using the even and odd ideas above we get

cos(a (b)) = cos a cos b sin a sin b

cos(a + b) = cos a cos b sin a sin b

(4)

Using equation 4, we can find an expansion for cos(2a), the double angle

formula.

cos(a + a) = cos a cos a sin a sin a

cos(a + a) = cos2 a sin2 a

Hence we have

cos(2a) = cos2 a sin2 a

(5)

Remembering that

cos2 a + sin2 a = 1

We have two more formulae for cos(2a) Substituting for sin2 a in equation 5

we have

cos(2a) = cos2 a sin2 a

cos(2a) = cos2 a (1 cos2 a)

giving

cos(2a) = 2 cos2 a 1

5

(6)

C

(90 )

If we now substitute for cos2 a in equation 5 we have

cos(2a) = (1 sin2 a) sin2 a

giving

cos(2a) = 1 2 sin2 a

(7)

sin =

a

b

and

c

b

Now the angle (90 ) is the complementary angle for since both add to

give 90 . Now the sine of the complementary angle

cos =

sin(90 ) =

c

b

cosine and hence

cos = sin(90 )

We can see that also

sin = cos(90 )

6

Now we can derive a formula for sin(a + b). In equation 3 we use an angle

(90 a) for a giving

cos((90 a) b) = cos(90 a) cos b + sin(90 a) sin b

using the relationships for the complementary angles we get

cos((90 a) b) = sin a cos b + cos a sin b

but cos((90 a) b)) cos(90 (a + b)) so we have another formula

sin(a + b) = sin a cos b + cos a sin b

(8)

Now if we use our ideas about odd and even functions, then we can to derive

a formula for sin(a b). In equation 8 we use an angle (b) for b giving

sin(a + (b)) = sin a cos(b) + cos(a) sin(b)

using the even and odd ideas from before we get

sin(a + (b)) = sin a cos b cos a sin b

and so we have another formula

sin(a b) = sin a cos b cos a sin b

(9)

Using equation 8, we can find an expansion for sin(2a), the double angle

formula.

sin(a + a) = sin a cos a + sin a cos a

which simplifies to

(10)

Now that you feel comfortable with these trigonometric equations you should

try and derive them yourself, just starting with a blank sheet of paper. Then

you should try to derive the expansion formula for tan(a + b) using equation

8 and equation 4. You can also derive the formula for the tangent of the

double angle tan(2a) . Good luck!

7

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