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Trigonometric Identities and Equations

I. Fundamental Trigonometric Identities

A. Reciprocal identities

1 1 1
1. secθ = 2. cscθ = 3. cot θ =
cos θ sin θ tan θ

B.Quotient identities

sin θ cos θ
1. tan θ = 2. . cot θ =
cos θ sin θ

C. Pythagorean identities

1. sin 2 θ + cos 2 θ = 1 2. tan 2 θ + 1 = sec 2 θ 3. 1 + cot 2 θ = csc 2 θ

D. Sum and difference identities

1. sin(θ ± φ ) = sin θ cos φ ± cos θ sin φ

2. cos(θ ± φ ) = cos θ cos φ m sin θ sin φ

tan θ ± tan φ
3. tan(θ ± φ ) =
1 m tan θ tan φ

E. Double angle identities

1. sin 2θ = 2 sin θ cosθ

2. cos 2θ = cos 2 θ − sin 2 θ = 1 − 2 sin 2 θ = 2 cos 2 θ − 1

2 tan θ
3. tan 2θ =
1 − tan 2 θ

F. Half angle identities

⎛ θ ⎞ 1 − cos θ ⎛ θ ⎞ 1 + cos θ ⎛ θ ⎞ 1 − cosθ


1. sin 2 ⎜ ⎟ = 2. cos 2 ⎜ ⎟ = 3. tan 2 ⎜ ⎟ =
⎝2⎠ 2 ⎝2⎠ 2 ⎝ 2 ⎠ 1 + cosθ

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G. Miscellaneous identities

1. sin( −θ ) = − sin θ

2. cos( −θ ) = cos θ

3. tan( −θ ) = − tan θ

⎛θ ± ϕ ⎞ ⎛θ m ϕ ⎞
4. sin θ ± sin ϕ = 2 sin ⎜ ⎟ cos⎜ ⎟
⎝ 2 ⎠ ⎝ 2 ⎠

⎛θ + ϕ ⎞ ⎛θ − ϕ ⎞
5. cos θ + cos ϕ = 2 cos⎜ ⎟ cos⎜ ⎟
⎝ 2 ⎠ ⎝ 2 ⎠

⎛θ + ϕ ⎞ ⎛θ − ϕ ⎞
6. cos θ − cos ϕ = −2 sin ⎜ ⎟ sin ⎜ ⎟
⎝ 2 ⎠ ⎝ 2 ⎠

1 1
7. sin θ cos ϕ = sin(θ + ϕ ) + sin(θ − ϕ )
2 2

1 1
8. cos θ sin ϕ = sin(θ + ϕ ) − sin(θ − ϕ )
2 2

1 1
9. cos θ cos ϕ = cos(θ + ϕ ) + cos(θ − ϕ )
2 2

1 1
10. sin θ sin ϕ = cos(θ − ϕ ) − cos(θ + ϕ )
2 2

⎛θ ⎞ sin θ 1 − cos θ
11. tan ⎜ ⎟ = =
⎝ 2 ⎠ 1 + cos θ sin θ

H. Useful suggestions for proving trigonometric identities

1. Avoid aimless transformations. Any transformation that is made in one of the


members should lead in some way to the form of the other.
2. Start with the more complicated member of the identity and transform it into
the form of the simpler member.
3. Where possible, express different functions in terms of the same function.
4. It is often useful to express all functions in terms of sines and cosines, or in
terms of tangents and secants.

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5. As a rule, trigonometric functions of a double angle, a half angle, or the sums
and differences of angles should be expressed in terms of functions of the
single angle.
6. Simplify expressions by utilizing basic identities and combining like terms.
7. Simplify fractions. For example, transform complex fractions into simple
fractions or divide the terms of a fraction by the common factors.

I. Examples

1. Using trigonometric identities and fundamental trigonometric function values,


find each of the following:

⎛ 30 o ⎞ 1 − cos 60 o 1− 3 2− 3 2− 3
o
(a) sin 15 = sin ⎜ ⎟ = = 2 = =
⎜ 2 ⎟ 2 2 4 2
⎝ ⎠

⎛ 2 ⎞⎛ 3 ⎞
(b) cos 75o = cos( 45o + 30 o ) = cos 45 o cos 30 o − sin 45 o sin 30 o = ⎜⎜ ⎟⎜ ⎟
⎟⎜ 2 ⎟ −
⎝ 2 ⎠⎝ ⎠
⎛ 2 ⎞⎛ 1 ⎞ 6− 2
⎜ ⎟
⎜ 2 ⎟⎜⎝ 2 ⎟⎠ = 4
⎝ ⎠

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(c) 2 sin 15 o cos 15o = sin[ 2(15o )] = sin 30 o =
2

⎛ 30 o ⎞ o 1
(d) tan 15 = tan ⎜
o ⎟ = sin 30 = 2 =
1
= 2− 3
⎜ 2 ⎟ 1 + cos 30 o 2+ 3
⎝ ⎠ 1+ 3
2

1 1
(e) cos 37.5o cos 7.5o = cos(37.5o + 7.5o ) + cos(37.5o − 7.5o ) =
2 2

1 1 ⎛ 1 ⎞⎛ 2 ⎞⎟ ⎛ 1 ⎞⎛⎜ 3 ⎞⎟ 2+ 3
cos 45 o + cos 30 o = ⎜ ⎟⎜⎜ +⎜ ⎟ =
2 2 ⎝ 2 ⎠⎝ 2 ⎟⎠ ⎝ 2 ⎠⎜⎝ 2 ⎟⎠ 4

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1 + sec x
2. Prove: = sin x + tan x
csc x

( )( )
1
1 + sec x 1 sec x
= + = sin x + cos x = sin x + 1 sin x = sin x +
csc x csc x csc x 1 cos x 1
sin x
sin x
= sin x + tan x
cos x

cos x sin x 2
3. Prove: + =
sin x cos x sin 2 x

cos x sin x cos x(cos x) sin x(sin x) cos 2 x + sin 2 x 1


+ = + = = =
sin x cos x sin x cos x sin x cos x sin x cos x sin x cos x

2 2
=
2 sin x cos x sin 2 x

sin( x + y ) tan x + tan y


4. Prove: =
sin( x − y ) tan x − tan y

sin x sin y ⎛ sin x sin y ⎞


+ ⎜ + ⎟(cos x)(cos y )
tan x + tan y cos x cos y ⎜⎝ cos x cos y ⎟⎠
= = =
tan x − tan y sin x sin y ⎛ sin x sin y ⎞
− ⎜ − ⎟(cos x)(cos y )
cos x cos y ⎜⎝ cos x cos y ⎟⎠

sin x cos y + sin y cos x sin( x + y )


=
sin x cos y − sin y cos x sin( x − y )

II. Solution of Trigonometric Equations

A. Useful suggestions for solving trigonometric equations

1. Simplify the equation by clearing fractions, removing parentheses, combining


like terms, and removing radicals.
2. Express functions of a double angle, a half angle, or the sums and differences
of angles in terms of functions of the single angle; then express the different
functions of the single angle in terms of a single function of that angle.

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3. Solve the resulting equation, whether it be linear or quadratic in nature, for all
the values of the angle in the given domain.
4. Checks the results by substituting into the original equation.

B. Examples

1. Solve for x in the interval [0,2π ) : 2 sin x + 3 = 0

− 3
2 sin x + 3 = 0 ⇒ 2 sin x = − 3 ⇒ sin x = . Get the reference angle
2
⎛ 3⎞ π
sin −1 ⎜⎜ ⎟ = (60 o ). Since sin x is negative, x lies in the 3rd and 4th

⎝ 2 ⎠ 3
π 4π
quadrants. Thus, x = π (180 o ) + (60 o ) = (240 o ) or x = 2π (360o ) −
3 3
π 5 π
(60 o ) = (300 o ) . Both of these values do check.
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2. Solve for x in the interval [0,2π ) : cos x = cos x tan x

cos x = cos x tan x ⇒ cos x − cos x tan x = 0 ⇒ cos x(1 − tan x ) = 0 ⇒


π
cos x = 0 or 1 − tan x = 0 ⇒ cos x = 0 or tan x = 1 . cos x = 0 ⇒ x = ( 90 o )
2
3π π
or x = (270 o ). tan x = 1 ⇒ reference angle = tan −1 (1) = (45 o ) . Since
2 4
π
tan x is positive, x lies in the 1st and 3rd quadrants. Thus, x = (45 o ) or x =
4
π 5π π π 5π 3π
π (180 o ) + (45 o ) = (225 o ). Thus, the solutions are x = , , , or
4 4 4 2 4 2

and they all check.

3. Solve for x in the interval [0,2π ) : 2 cos 3x = 1

1
2 cos 3 x = 1 ⇒ cos 3 x = . Since 0 ≤ x < 2π , 0 ≤ x < 6π . The reference angle
2
⎛1⎞ π
for 3x is cos −1 ⎜ ⎟ = (60 o ) and cos x is positive in the 1st and 4th quadrants.
⎝2⎠ 3
π π 5π
Thus, 3 x = (60 o ) , 3 x = 2π (360 o ) − (60 o ) = (300 o ) , 3 x = 2π (360 o ) +
3 3 3

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π 7π π 11π
(60 o ) = (420 o ) , 3 x = 4π (720 o ) − (60 o ) = (660 o ) , 3 x = 4π (720 o ) +
3 3 3 3

π 13π π 17π
(60 o ) = (780 o ) , and 3 x = 6π (1080 o ) − (60 o ) = (1020 o ) ⇒
3 3 3 3

π 5π 7π 11π 13π 17π


x= , , , , , or and they all check.
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4. Solve for x in the interval [0,2π ) : cos 2 x = cos x

cos 2 x = cos x ⇒ cos 2 x − cos x = 0 ⇒ (2 cos 2 x − 1) − cos x = 0 ⇒ 2 cos 2 x −

cos x − 1 = 0 ⇒ ( 2 cos x + 1)(cos x − 1) = 0 ⇒ 2 cos x + 1 = 0 or cos x − 1 = 0 ⇒

1 1 ⎛1⎞ π
cos x = − or cos x = 1 . cos x = − ⇒ reference angle is cos −1 ⎜ ⎟ = and
2 2 ⎝2⎠ 3

π 2π
x lies in the 2nd or 3rd quadrants since cos x is negative ⇒ x = π − = or
3 3

π 4π 2π 4π
x =π + = . cos x = 1 ⇒ x = 0 . Thus, x = 0, , or and they all
3 3 3 3
check.

5. Solve for x in the interval [0,2π ) : sin x = cos x

sin x π
sin x = cos x ⇒ = 1 ⇒ tan x = 1 ⇒ reference angle is tan −1 (1) = and
cos x 4

π
x lies in the 1st or 3rd quadrants since tan x is positive ⇒ x = or x = π +
4

π 5π
= and they both check.
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Practice Sheet – Trigonometric Identities and Equations
I. Verify the following identities:

1 + sec x ⎛π ⎞ cos 2 x
(1) = sin x + tan x (2) tan ⎜ + x ⎟ =
csc x ⎝4 ⎠ 1 − sin 2 x

sec x ⎛ x ⎞ sec x − 1
(3) csc 2 x = (4) sin 2 ⎜ ⎟ =
2 sin x ⎝ 2 ⎠ 2 sec x

cos 4 x − cos 2 x
(5) = tan 3 x
sin 2 x − sin 4 x

II. Solve the following equations for all values of x in the interval [0, 2π ) :

(1) 3 sin x − 4 = 5 sin x − 3 (2) 2 sin x cos x = 3 cos x

(3) 4 cos 2 x − 1 = 0 (4) 2 cos 2 x + 3 sin x = 3

(5) sin x − cos x = 1

Solution Key for Trigonometric Identities and Equations

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1 + sec x 1 sec x ⎛ 1 ⎞⎛ sin x ⎞
I. (1) = + = sin x + cos x = sin x + ⎜ ⎟⎜ ⎟ = sin x + tan x
csc x csc x csc x 1 ⎝ cos x ⎠⎝ 1 ⎠
sin x

⎛π ⎞
tan⎜ + x ⎟ =
(
tan π
4
) + tan x
=
1 + tan x
=
1+
sin x
cos x = cos x + sin x =
⎠ 1 − tan (π )tan x 1 − tan x 1 − sin x cos x − sin x
(2)
⎝4
4
cos x

(cos x + sin x)(cos x − sin x) cos 2 x − sin 2 x cos 2 x


= =
(cos x − sin x)(cos x − sin x) cos 2 x − 2 cos x sin x + sin 2 x 1 − sin 2 x

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1 1 1 1 1 sec x
(3) csc 2 x = = = ⋅ = ⋅ sec x =
sin 2 x 2 sin x cos x 2 sin x cos x 2 sin x 2 sin x

1 − cos x 1 cos x

⎛ x ⎞ 1 − cos x sec x − 1
(4) sin 2 ⎜ ⎟ = = cos x = cos x cos x =
⎝2⎠ 2 2 2 sec x 2 sec x
cos x

⎛ 4x + 2x ⎞ ⎛ 4x − 2x ⎞
− 2 sin ⎜ ⎟ sin ⎜ ⎟
cos 4 x − cos 2 x ⎝ 2 ⎠ ⎝ 2 ⎠ − 2 sin 3x sin x
(5) = = =
sin 2 x − sin 4 x ⎛ 2x − 4x ⎞ ⎛ 2x + 4x ⎞ 2 sin( − x) cos 3x
2 sin ⎜ ⎟ cos⎜ ⎟
⎝ 2 ⎠ ⎝ 2 ⎠
− 2 sin 3 x sin x sin 3 x
= = tan 3 x
− 2 sin x cos 3 x cos 3 x

1 7π 11π
II. (1) 3 sin x − 4 = 5 sin x − 3 ⇒ sin x = − ⇒x= , and they both check.
2 6 6

3 π 2π π 3π
(2) 2 sin x cos x = 3 cos x ⇒ sin x = or cos x = 0 ⇒ x = , or x = ,
2 3 3 2 2
and they all check.

1 π 2π 4π 5π
(3) 4 cos 2 x − 1 = 0 ⇒ cos x = ± ⇒x= , , , and they all check.
2 3 3 3 3

(4) 2 cos 2 x + 3 sin x = 3 ⇒ 2(1 − sin 2 x) + 3 sin x = 3 ⇒ 2 sin 2 x − 3 sin x + 1 = 0 ⇒


1 π 5π π
(2 sin x − 1)(sin x − 1) = 0 ⇒ sin x = or sin x = 1 ⇒ x = , or x = and
2 6 6 2
they all check.

(5) sin x − cos x = 1 ⇒ sin x = 1 + cos x ⇒ (sin x )2 = (1 + cos x )2 ⇒ sin 2 x = 1 +


2 cos x + cos 2 x ⇒ 1 − cos 2 x = 1 + 2 cos x + cos 2 x ⇒ 2 cos 2 x + 2 cos x = 0 ⇒
π 3π
2 cos x (cos x + 1) = 0 ⇒ cos x = 0 or cos x = −1 ⇒ x = , or x = π .
2 2
π 3π
x = or x = π are the solutions because they both check. However, x =
2 2
does not check in the original equation and thus is not a solution. [Note:

x= is an extraneous root created by squaring both sides of the original
2
equation.]
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