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"Trig" redirects here. For other uses, see Trig (disambiguation).

controlling the angles of its joints. Calculating the final position of the astronaut at the

end of the arm requires repeated use of the trigonometric functions of those angles.

of a unit circle centered at O.

mathematics that studies triangles, particularly right triangles. Trigonometry deals with

relationships between the sides and the angles of triangles and with the trigonometric

functions, which describe those relationships, as well as describing angles in general and

the motion of waves such as sound and light waves.

of a precalculus course. It has applications in both pure mathematics and in applied

mathematics, where it is essential in many branches of science and technology. A branch

of trigonometry, called spherical trigonometry, studies triangles on spheres, and is

important in astronomy and navigation.

Contents

[hide]

• 1 History

• 2 Overview

o 2.1 Extending the definitions

o 2.2 Mnemonics

o 2.3 Calculating trigonometric functions

• 3 Applications of trigonometry

• 4 Common formulas

o 4.1 Law of sines

o 4.2 Law of cosines

o 4.3 Law of tangents

• 5 See also

• 6 Notes

• 7 References

• 8 External links

[edit] History

Main article: History of trigonometry

Pre-Hellenic societies such as the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians lacked the concept

of an angle measure, but they studied the ratios of the sides of similar triangles and

discovered some properties of these ratios. Ancient Greek mathematicians such as Euclid

and Archimedes studied the properties of the chord of an angle and proved theorems that

are equivalent to modern trigonometric formulae, although they presented them

geometrically rather than algebraically. The sine function in its modern form was first

defined in the Surya Siddhanta and its properties were further documented by the 5th

century Indian mathematician and astronomer Aryabhata.[2] These Indian works were

translated and expanded by medieval Islamic scholars. By the 10th century, Islamic

mathematicians were using all six trigonometric functions, had tabulated their values, and

were applying them to problems in spherical geometry. At about the same time, Chinese

mathematicians developed trigonometry independently, although it was not a major field

of study for them. Knowledge of trigonometric functions and methods reached Europe

via Latin translations of the works of Persian and Arabic astronomers such as Al Battani

and Nasir al-Din al-Tusi.[3] One of the earliest works on trigonometry by a European

mathematician is De Triangulis by the 15th century German mathematician

Regiomontanus. Trigonometry was still so little known in 16th century Europe that

Nicolaus Copernicus devoted two chapters of De revolutionibus orbium coelestium to

explaining its basic concepts.

[edit] Overview

If one angle of a triangle is 90 degrees and one of the other angles is known, the third is

thereby fixed, because the three angles of any triangle add up to 180 degrees. The two

acute angles therefore add up to 90 degrees: they are complementary angles. The shape of

a right triangle is completely determined, up to similarity, by the angles. This means that

once one of the other angles is known, the ratios of the various sides are always the same

regardless of the overall size of the triangle. These ratios are given by the following

trigonometric functions of the known angle A, where a, b and c refer to the lengths of the

sides in the accompanying figure:

• The sine function (sin), defined as the ratio of the side opposite the angle to the

hypotenuse.

• The cosine function (cos), defined as the ratio of the adjacent leg to the

hypotenuse.

• The tangent function (tan), defined as the ratio of the opposite leg to the adjacent

leg.

The hypotenuse is the side opposite to the 90 degree angle in a right triangle; it is the

longest side of the triangle, and one of the two sides adjacent to angle A. The adjacent

leg is the other side that is adjacent to angle A. The opposite side is the side that is

opposite to angle A. The terms perpendicular and base are sometimes used for the

opposite and adjacent sides respectively. Many people find it easy to remember what

sides of the right triangle are equal to sine, cosine, or tangent, by memorizing the word

SOH-CAH-TOA (see below under Mnemonics).

The reciprocals of these functions are named the cosecant (csc or cosec), secant (sec)

and cotangent (cot), respectively. The inverse functions are called the arcsine,

arccosine, and arctangent, respectively. There are arithmetic relations between these

functions, which are known as trigonometric identities.

With these functions one can answer virtually all questions about arbitrary triangles by

using the law of sines and the law of cosines. These laws can be used to compute the

remaining angles and sides of any triangle as soon as two sides and an angle or two

angles and a side or three sides are known. These laws are useful in all branches of

geometry, since every polygon may be described as a finite combination of triangles.

Graphing process of y =

sin(x) using a unit circle.

Graphing process of y = Graphing process of y =

tan(x) using a unit circle. csc(x) using a unit circle.

Graphs of the functions sin(x) and cos(x), where the angle x is measured in radians.

The above definitions apply to angles between 0 and 90 degrees (0 and π/2 radians) only.

Using the unit circle, one can extend them to all positive and negative arguments (see

trigonometric function). The trigonometric functions are periodic, with a period of 360

degrees or 2π radians. That means their values repeat at those intervals.

The trigonometric functions can be defined in other ways besides the geometrical

definitions above, using tools from calculus and infinite series. With these definitions the

trigonometric functions can be defined for complex numbers. The complex function cis is

particularly useful

[edit] Mnemonics

example, the sine, cosine, and tangent ratios in a right triangle can be remembered by

representing them as strings of letters, as in SOH-CAH-TOA.

Cosine = Adjacent ÷ Hypotenuse

Tangent = Opposite ÷ Adjacent

The memorization of this mnemonic can be aided by expanding it into a phrase, such as

"Some Officers Have Curly Auburn Hair Till Old Age".[4] Any memorable phrase

constructed of words beginning with the letters S-O-H-C-A-H-T-O-A will serve.

Trigonometric functions were among the earliest uses for mathematical tables. Such

tables were incorporated into mathematics textbooks and students were taught to look up

values and how to interpolate between the values listed to get higher accuracy. Slide rules

had special scales for trigonometric functions.

Today scientific calculators have buttons for calculating the main trigonometric functions

(sin, cos, tan and sometimes cis) and their inverses. Most allow a choice of angle

measurement methods: degrees, radians and, sometimes, grad. Most computer

programming languages provide function libraries that include the trigonometric

functions. The floating point unit hardware incorporated into the microprocessor chips

used in most personal computers have built-in instructions for calculating trigonometric

functions.

Main article: Uses of trigonometry

There are an enormous number of uses of trigonometry and trigonometric functions. For

instance, the technique of triangulation is used in astronomy to measure the distance to

nearby stars, in geography to measure distances between landmarks, and in satellite

navigation systems. The sine and cosine functions are fundamental to the theory of

periodic functions such as those that describe sound and light waves.

(especially, for locating the apparent positions of celestial objects, in which spherical

trigonometry is essential) and hence navigation (on the oceans, in aircraft, and in space),

music theory, acoustics, optics, analysis of financial markets, electronics, probability

theory, statistics, biology, medical imaging (CAT scans and ultrasound), pharmacy,

chemistry, number theory (and hence cryptology), seismology, meteorology,

oceanography, many physical sciences, land surveying and geodesy, architecture,

phonetics, economics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering,

computer graphics, cartography, crystallography and game development.

Marine sextants like this are used to measure the angle of the sun or stars with respect to

the horizon. Using trigonometry and a marine chronometer, the position of the ship can

then be determined from several such measurements.

Certain equations involving trigonometric functions are true for all angles and are known

as trigonometric identities. There are some identities which equate an expression to a

different expression involving the same angles and these are listed in List of

trigonometric identities, and then there are the triangle identities which relate the sides

and angles of a given triangle and these are listed below.

Triangle with sides a,b,c respectively opposite angles A,B,C, as described to the left

In the following identities, A, B and C are the angles of a triangle and a, b and c are the

lengths of sides of the triangle opposite the respective angles.

The law of sines (also known as the "sine rule") for an arbitrary triangle states:

Another law involving sines can be used to calculate the area of a triangle. If you know

two sides and the angle between the sides, the area of the triangle becomes:

The law of cosines ( known as the cosine formula, or the "cos rule") is an extension of

the Pythagorean theorem to arbitrary triangles:

or equivalently:

[edit] Law of tangents

Main article: Outline of trigonometry

• Generalized trigonometry

• Rational trigonometry

• List of triangle topics

• Trigonometric functions

• List of trigonometric identities

• Trigonometry in Galois fields

• Unit circle

• Uses of trigonometry

[edit] Notes

1. ^ "trigonometry". Online Etymology Dictionary.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=trigonometry.

2. ^ Boyer p215

3. ^ Boyer p237, p274

4. ^ "What does SOHCAHTOA stand for?". Acronym Finder.

http://www.acronymfinder.com/Some-Officers-Have-Curly-Auburn-Hair-Till-

Old-Age-(mnemonic-for-remembering-sine,-cosine-and-tangent)-

(SOHCAHTOA).html. Retrieved 2008-10-27.

[edit] References

• Boyer, Carl B. (1991). A History of Mathematics (Second Edition ed.). John

Wiley & Sons, Inc.. ISBN 0471543977.

• Christopher M. Linton (2004). From Eudoxus to Einstein: A History of

Mathematical Astronomy . Cambridge University Press.

• Weisstein, Eric W. "Trigonometric Addition Formulas". Wolfram MathWorld.

Find more about Trigonometry on Wikipedia's sister projects:

Textbooks from Wikibooks

Source texts from Wikisource

News stories from Wikinews

Learning resources from Wikiversity

version, in PDF format, full text presented.

• Trigonometry by Alfred Monroe Kenyon and Louis Ingold, The Macmillan

Company, 1914. In images, full text presented.

• Trigonometry on Mathwords.com index of trigonometry entries on

Mathwords.com

• Benjamin Banneker's Trigonometry Puzzle at Convergence

• Dave's Short Course in Trigonometry by David Joyce of Clark University

[hide]

v•d•e

Major fields of mathematics

Logic · Set theory · Category theory · Algebra (elementary – linear – abstract) · Number

theory · Analysis/Calculus · Geometry · Topology · Dynamical systems · Combinatorics ·

Game theory · Information theory · Numerical analysis · Optimization · Computation ·

Probability · Statistics · Trigonometry

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigonometry"

Categories: Trigonometry

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