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Geometry

Geometry is all about shapes and their properties.

If you like playing with objects, or like drawing, then geometry is for you!
Geometry can be divided into:

Plane Geometry is about flat shapes like lines, circles and triangles ... shapes that can be drawn on a piece of paper

Solid Geometry is about three dimensional objects like cubes, prisms and pyramids.

Plane
A plane is a flat surface with no thickness.

Our world has three dimensions, but there are only two dimensions on a plane. Examples: • • length and height, or x and y

And it goes on forever.

Examples
It is actually hard to give a real example!

When we draw something on a flat piece of paper we are drawing on a plane ... ... except that the paper itself is not a plane, because it has thickness! And it should extend forever, too.

So the very top of a perfect piece of paper that goes on forever is the right idea!
Also, the top of a table, the floor and a whiteboard are all like a plane.

Regular 2-D Shapes - Polygons
Move the mouse over the shapes to discover their properties.

Triangle

Square

Pentagon

Hexagon

Heptagon

Octagon

Nonagon

Decagon

Hendecagon

Dodecagon

These shapes are known as regular polygons. A polygon is a many sided shape with straight sides. To be a regular polygon all the sides and angles must be the same.

Perimeter
Perimeter is the distance around a two-dimensional shape. Example 1: the perimeter of this rectangle is 7+3+7+3 = 20

Example 2: the perimeter of this regular pentagon is 3+3+3+3+3 = 5×3 = 15

The perimeter of a circle is called the circumference:

Triangles
A triangle has three sides and three angles The three angles always add to 180°

Equilateral, Isosceles and Scalene
There are three special names given to triangles that tell how many sides (or angles) are equal. There can be 3, 2 or no equal sides/angles:

Equilateral Triangle
Three equal sides Three equal angles, always 60°

Isosceles Triangle
Two equal sides Two equal angles

Scalene Triangle

and also two equal angles Can you guess what the equal angles are? . for example: Right Isosceles Triangle Has a right angle (90°).No equal sides No equal angles What Type of Angle? Triangles can also have names that tell you what type of angle is inside: Acute Triangle All angles are less than 90° Right Triangle Has a right angle (90°) Obtuse Triangle Has an angle more than 90° Combining the Names Sometimes a triangle will have two names.

but you don't need to!) Two Types There are two types of right angled triangle: • • An isosceles right angled triangle A scalene right angled triangle . Right Angled Triangles A right angled triangle is (you guessed it). Another way of writing the formula is bh/2 Example: What is the area of this triangle? Height = h = 12 Base = b = 20 Area = bh/2 = 20 × 12 / 2 = 120 Just make sure that the "h" is measured at right angles to the "b". • • "b" is the distance along the base "h" is the height (measured at right angles to the base) Area = ½bh The formula works for all triangles. The little square in the corner tells us that it is a right angled triangle (I wrote 90°. a triangle which has a right angle (90°) in it.Area The area is half of the base times height.

5 Triangle" has a right angle: (It is a scalene right angled triangle) A very useful triangle to draw if you need a right angle! Triangles Contain 180° In a triangle.Isosceles right angled triangle One right angle Two other equal angles always of 45° Two equal sides Scalene right angled triangle One right angle Two other unequal angles No equal sides The 3.5 Triangle The "3.4. the three angles always add to 180°: A + B + C = 180° We can use that fact to find a missing angle in a triangle .4.

85° C = 57° Proof This is a proof that the angles in a triangle equal 180°: The top line (that touches the top of the triangle) is running parallel to the base of the triangle.Example: Find the Missing Angle "C" Start With: Fill in what we know: Rearrange Calculate: A + B + C = 180° 38° + 85° + C = 180° C = 180° .38° . So: • • A are the same angles B are the same angles And you can easily see that A + C + B does a complete rotation from one side of the straight line to the other. or 180° Pythagoras' Theorem .

... and you made a square on each of the three sides.. . ... then . the biggest square had the exact same area as the other two squares put together! It is called "Pythagoras' Theorem" and can be written in one short equation: a2 + b2 = c2 Note: • • c is the longest side of the triangle a and b are the other two sides .Years ago... a man named Pythagoras found an amazing fact about triangles: If the triangle had a right angle (90°) .

. Example: A "3.. ? Let's see if it really works using an example. Sure . (But remember it only works on right angled triangles!) How Do I Use it? Write it down as an equation: a2 + b2 = c2 Now you can use algebra to find any missing value.4. as in the following examples: . so the formal definition is: In a right angled triangle: the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides...5" triangle has a right angle in it.Definition The longest side of the triangle is called the "hypotenuse". we can find the length of the third side. Let's check if the areas are the same: 32 + 42 = 52 Calculating this becomes: 9 + 16 = 25 It works . like Magic! Why Is This Useful? If we know the lengths of two sides of a right angled triangle.

a2 + Example: Does this triangle have a Right Angle? Does • • a2 + b2 = c2 ? a2 + b2 = 102 + 242 = 100 + 576 = 676 c2 = 262 = 676 They are equal. so . Yes. a2 + b2 = c2 52 + 122 = c2 25 + 144 = c2 169 = c2 c2 = 169 c = √169 c = 13 You can also read about Squares and Square Roots to find out why √169 = 13 Example: Solve this triangle... then the triangle is right angled. too: when the three sides of a triangle make b2 = c2..4142.Example: Solve this triangle. It works the other way around. it does have a Right Angle! .. a2 + b2 = c2 92 + b2 = 152 81 + b2 = 225 Take 81 from both sides: b2 = 144 b = √144 b = 12 Example: What is the diagonal distance across a square of size 1? a2 + b2 = c2 12 + 12 = c2 1 + 1 = c2 2 = c2 c2 = 2 c = √2 = 1.

it does! So this is a right-angled triangle Pythagorean Triples A "Pythagorean Triple" is a set of positive integers. 16 triangle have a Right Angle? Does 82 + 152 = 162 ? • • 82 + 152 = 64 + 225 = 289.Example: Does an 8. a. but 162 = 256 So. 4 and 5. Let's check it: 32 + 42 = 52 Calculating this becomes: 9 + 16 = 25 And that is true . NO. b and c that fits the rule: a2 + b2 = c2 Example: The smallest Pythagorean Triple is 3. 15. it does not have a Right Angle Example: Does this triangle have a Right Angle? Does a2 + b2 = c2 ? Does (√3)2 + (√5)2 = (√8)2 ? Does 3 + 5 = 8 ? Yes.

Triangles And when you make a triangle with sides a. called the "hypotenuse" a and b are the other two sides • Example: The Pythagorean Triple of 3. 4 and 5 makes a Right Angled Triangle: Here are some more examples: 5. 13 9. b and c it will be a right angled triangle (see Pythagoras' Theorem for more details): Note: • c is the longest side of the triangle. 40. 41 Introduction to Trigonometry Trigonometry (from Greek trigonon "triangle" + metron "measure") . 12.

. Right Angled Triangle A right-angled triangle (the right angle is shown by the little box in the corner) has names for each side: • • • Adjacent is adjacent to the angle "θ". Here are some examples: Angle Right Angle __ Straight Angle Full Rotation Degrees 90° 180° 360° Radians π/2 π 2π "Sine.. and the longest side is the Hypotenuse. Cosine and Tangent" The three most common functions in trigonometry are Sine. Angles Angles (such as the angle "θ" above) can be in Degrees or Radians. or go to Trigonometry Index Trigonometry . Cosine and Tangent.Want to Learn Trigonometry? Here are the basics! Follow the links for more. is all about triangles. You will use them a lot! . Opposite is opposite the angle.

This makes the sine.57.. cosine and tangent And you will also see why trigonometry is also about circles! Notice that the sides can be positive or negative according to the rules of cartesian coordinates.They are simply one side of a triangle divided by another. cosine and tangent vary between positive and negative also. cos and tan.9 = 0. View Larger . For any angle "θ": Sine Function: sin(θ) = Opposite / Hypotenuse Cosine Function: cos(θ) = Adjacent / Hypotenuse Tangent Function: tan(θ) = Opposite / Adjacent Example: What is the sine of 35°? Using this triangle (lengths are only to one decimal place): sin(35°) = Opposite / Hypotenuse = 2.8/4.. Sine. Cosine and Tangent are often abbreivated to sin. Try It! Have a try! Drag the corner around to see how different angles affect sine.

When you need to calculate the function for an angle larger than a full rotation of 2π (360°) just subtract as many full rotations as you need to bring it back below 2π (360°): Example: what is the cosine of 370°? 370° is greater than 360° so let us subtract 360° 370° . Repeating Pattern Because the angle is rotating around and around the circle the Sine.Unit Circle What we have just been playing with is the Unit Circle.360° = 10° cos(370°) = cos(10°) = 0. Here you can see the sine function being made by the unit circle: You can see the nice graphs made by sine. Because the radius is 1. it is easy to measure sine. cosine and tangent. It is just a circle with a radius of 1 with its center at 0. Cosine and Tangent functions repeat once every full rotation. cosine and tangent.985 (to 3 decimal places) .

Secant. just add full rotations. Other Functions (Cotangent. Cosine and Tangent.34° = 70° It is also possible to find missing side lengths and more. Example: Find the Missing Angle "C" It's easy to find angle C by using angles of a triangle add to 180°: So C = 180° . Cosecant) Similar to Sine.76° . By "solving" I mean finding missing sides and angles. The general rule is: If you know any 3 of the sides or angles you can find the other 3 (except for the three angles case) See Solving Triangles for more details.283) = -0. there are three other trigonometric functions which are made by dividing one side by another: Cosecant Function: csc(θ) = Hypotenuse / Opposite Secant Function: sec(θ) = Hypotenuse / Adjacent Cotangent Function: cot(θ) = Adjacent / Opposite .Likewise if the angle is less than zero.141 (to 3 decimal places) Solving Triangles A big part of Trigonometry is Solving Triangles.283 = 3.283 radians sin(-3) = sin(3. Example: what is the sine of -3 radians? -3 is less than 0 so let us add 2π radians -3 + 2π = -3 + 6.

so just one is ½bh). The Triangle Identities are equations that are true for all triangles (they don't have to have a right angle).Trigonometric and Triangle Identities The Trigonometric Identities are equations that are true for all right-angled triangles. . like this: Sine. Why is the Area "Half of bh"? Imagine you "doubled" the triangle (flip it around one of the upper edges) to make a square-like shape (it would be a "parallelogram" actually). but same idea. Cosine and Tangent Three Functions. THEN the whole area would be bh (that would be for both triangles.

To calculate them: Divide the length of one side by another side . cos and tan. Cosine and Tangent The three main functions in trigonometry are Sine. it helps to give a name to each side of a right triangle: • • • "Opposite" is opposite to the angle θ "Adjacent" is adjacent (next to) to the angle θ "Hypotenuse" is the long one Adjacent is always next to the angle And Opposite is opposite the angle Sine.. but you must know which sides! For a triangle with an angle θ. Cosine and Tangent. Cosine and Tangent are all based on a Right-Angled Triangle Before getting stuck into the functions. the functions are calculated this way: ..Right Triangle Sine. They are often shortened to sin.

. to make it easy for you. cosine and tangent of 30° ? The classic 30° triangle has a hypotenuse of length 2. Good calculators have sin. Just put in the angle and press the button. cos and tan on them..9 = 0..8 / 4..Sine Function: sin(θ) = Opposite / Hypotenuse Cosine Function: cos(θ) = Adjacent / Hypotenuse Tangent Function: tan(θ) = Opposite / Adjacent Example: What is the sine of 35°? Using this triangle (lengths are only to one decimal place): sin(35°) = Opposite / Hypotenuse = 2.57. an opposite side of length 1 and an adjacent side of √(3): . But you still need to remember what they mean! "Why didn't sin and tan go to the party?" ". just cos!" Examples Example: what are the sine.

.577. cos(45°) = 1 / 1.707..707.414 = 0...5 Cosine Tangent cos(30°) = 1.732 = 0. cosine and tangent of 45° ? The classic 45° triangle has two sides of 1 and a hypotenuse of √(2): Sine Cosine Tangent sin(45°) = 1 / 1.. tan(45°) = 1 / 1 = 1 Sohcahtoa Sohca.414 = 0.. we can calculate the functions: Sine sin(30°) = 1 / 2 = 0.what? Just an easy way to remember which side to divide by which! Like this: .732 / 2 = 0. (get your calculator out and check them!) Example: what are the sine.. tan(30°) = 1 / 1..866...Now we know the lengths.

.. The depth "d" is 18. Start with: Swap Sides: Use a calculator to find sin 39°: Multiply both sides by 30: sin 39° = opposite/hypotenuse = d/30 d/30 = sin 39° d/30 = 0. ...Soh. ..88 to 2 decimal places.6293… x 30 = 18. but please remember "sohcahtoa" ..cah.6293… d = 0....88 m Sohcahtoa "Sohcahtoa" is the easy way to remember how Sine.... Cosine and Tangent work. And we want to know "d" (the distance down).it could help in an exam ! Why? Why are these functions important? • • Because they let you work out angles when you know sides And they let you work out sides when you know angles Example: Use the sine function to find "d" We know * The angle the cable makes with the seabed is 39° * The cable's length is 30 m.toa Sine = Opposite / Hypotenuse Cosine = Adjacent / Hypotenuse Tangent = Opposite / Adjacent You can read more about sohcahtoa .. .

..Sohcahtoa Sohca...toa Sine = Opposite / Hypotenuse Cosine = Adjacent / Hypotenuse Tangent = Opposite / Adjacent Right Triangle The names Opposite. Cosine and Tangent work: Soh.... Cosine and Tangent are the three main functions in trigonometry.... .cah.what? Just an easy way to remember how Sine. Cosine and Tangent And the names Sine. Adjacent and Hypotenuse come from the right triangle: • • • "Opposite" is opposite to the angle θ "Adjacent" is adjacent (next to) to the angle θ "Hypotenuse" is the long one Adjacent is always next to the angle (andopposite is opposite the angle): Sine. ..

Some Old Hen Caught Another Hen Taking One Away. but here’s another way to help you remember: Sailors Often Have Curly Auburn Hair Till Old Age. an opposite side of length 1 and an adjacent side of √(3): Now we know the lengths.. the functions are calculated this way Sine Function: sin(θ) = Opposite / Hypotenuse Cosine Function: cos(θ) = Adjacent / Hypotenuse Tangent Function: tan(θ) = Opposite / Adjacent How to Remember Well....5 . sin(30°) = 1 / 2 = 0... Example How do you use it? Example: what are the sine.The calculation is simply one side divided by another side . cosine and tangent of 30° ? The classic 30° triangle has a hypotenuse of length 2. Or perhaps you prefer one of these: • • Some Old Horses Can Always Hear Their Owners Approach. "sohcahtoa" may be easy for you to remember . you just have to know which sides! For a triangle with an angle θ . we can calculate the functions: Sine soh.

then put those points on a graph.Cosine Tangent . Cosine and Tangent Now you will know that the sine of any angle is simply the length of the far side of the triangle (the "opposite") divided by the long side (the "hypotenuse"): Sine of θ = Opposite / Hypotenuse Draw Triangles To make the graph. read our page on Sine. but don't take our word for it. . make your own! Sine Function First.577 (get your calculator out and check them!) Sine Function .. we need to calculate the sine for different angles.732 / 2 = 0.Graph Exercise The Sine Function produces a very beautiful curve.866 tan(30°) = 1 / 1. and then "join the dots"..732 = 0. .cah.toa cos(30°) = 1.....

it is simply a matter of measuring the lines. using a protractor. Remember that the sine is the length of the line opposite the angle divided by the hypotenuse (which should all be the same length if you have drawn it well) . example: Measure Triangles When you have completed each triangle. Then rotate the protractor and mark from 180° around to the start again. Then draw lines radiating from the center to each of your marks so that you end up with an illustration like this: Lines at 15° (click to enlarge) Or. Step 2: Draw and Measure the Triangles We can now turn each of those lines into a triangle. mark every 15 degrees from 0° to 180° in a semi-circle. then. you can click on the above illustration.Step 1: Draw the Angled Lines Place a mark at the center of a piece of paper. then print out the result.

You have : • • • • learned about one of the most important functions in mathematics learned that you don't have to believe what people say ... .50 You can print a table ready to fill in here. Result The result should look something like the graph at the very top. and scaling off -1 to +1 on the y-axis..Write all your measurements in a table. you can take advantage of the symmetry of 0-90.26 0. 90180. Tip: if you have drawn it well.00 0. Graph The Results Get some graph paper and prepare it by scaling off 0 to 360 in 15 increments along the x-axis. You can use your own graph paper. but your measurements may be different: Angle 0° 15° 30° Opposite 0 mm 22 mm 43 mm Hypotenuse 86 mm 86 mm 86 mm etc . 180-270 and 270-360. This is what I got. had experience plotting graphs learned how symmetry can save effort Hope you enjoyed ! Graphs of Sine. Opposite / Hypotenuse 0. Important: When the "opposite" line goes downwards it is negative. But you have done much more than draw a nice curve. Cosine and Tangent Here are some nice graphs to look at .you can try it for yourself. Then join the dots as neatly as you can. or print out this graph paper Now plot each point from the table on the graph..

heads up to 1 by π/2 radians (90°) and then heads down to -1. or 360°). . Plot of Sine and Cosine In fact Sine and Cosine are like good friends: they follow each other. or 90°. Plot of Cosine Cosine is just like Sine. apart. exactly "π/2" radians. but it starts at 1 and heads down until π radians (180°) and then heads up again. It starts at 0.Plot of Sine The Sine Function has this beautiful up-down curve (which repeats every 2π radians.

. etc) the function is officially undefined. it goes between negative and positiveInfinity. Cosine and Tangent The Inverse Sine. 3π/2. Cosine and Tangent graphs are: Inverse Sine Inverse Cosine .. because it could be positive Infinity or negative Infinity. as shown on this plot. or 180°).Plot of the Tangent Function The Tangent function has a completely different shape . Inverse Sine. crossing through 0 (every π radians. At π/2 radians. or 90° (and -π/2.

Being so simple. Can you see this in the graphs above? Unit Circle The "Unit Circle" is just a circle with a radius of 1. The center is put on a graph where the x axis and y axis cross. it is a great way to learn and talk about lengths and angles. . so we get this neat arrangement here.Inverse Tangent Mirror Images Here is Cosine and Inverse Cosine plotted on the same graph: Cosine and Inverse Cosine They are mirror images (about the diagonal)! The same is true for Sine and Inverse Sine and for Tangent and Inverse Tangent.

sin=0 and tan=0 What happens when θ is 90°? • cos=0. Cosine and Tangent Because the radius is 1. cosine and tangent. you can directly measure sine. sin=1 and tan is undefined Try It! Have a try! Drag the corner around to see how different angles (inradians or degrees) affect sine.Sine. View Larger . What happens when the angle. Also try the Interactive Unit Circle. θ is 0°? • cos=1. cosine and tangent Notice that the "sides" can be positive or negative according to the rules of cartesian coordinates. This makes the sine. cosine and tangent change between positive and negative values also.

45° and 60°. These are the values you should remember! Angle 30° 45° 60° Sin Cos Tan=Sin/Cos 1 /√3 1 √3 . but it will make life easier when you know them. the square of the long side equals the sum of the squares of the other two sides: x2 + y2 = 12 But 12 is just 1. so: x2 + y2 = 1 (the equation of the unit circle) Also. cos and tan for the angles 30°. but other times when you need to do quick estimates. we get: cos2 + sin2 = 1 (a useful "identity") Important Angles: 30°. 45° and 60° You should try to remember sin. Yes. it is a pain to have to remember things. etc.Pythagoras Pythagoras' Theorem says that for a right angled triangle. yes. not just in exams. since x=cos and y=sin.

3" : • • • sin(30°) = sin(45°) = sin(60°) = √1 √2 /2 = 1/2 (because √1 = 1) /2 √3 /2 And cos goes "3. Cosine and Tangent in Four Quadrants Sine.2.How To Remember? To help you remember. we can use the equation x + y = 1 to find the lengths of x and y (which are equal to cos and sinwhen the radius is 1): 2 2 Sine.1" • • • cos(30°) = cos(45°) = cos(60°) = √3 √2 /2 /2 √1 /2 = 1/2 (because √1 = 1) What about tan? tan = sin/cos. Cosine and Tangent The three main functions in trigonometry are Sine. Cosine and Tangent. so you think "tan of 60° is sin(60°)/cos(60°) = √3/2 divided by ½ = √3" Calculating 30°. 45° and 60° Where did those values come from? Well. think "1.2. .

9 = 0..8/4.57..They are easy to calculate: The length of one side of a right angled triangle. Cartesian Coordinates Using Cartesian Coordinates you mark a point on a graph by how far along and how far up it is: .. divided by another side . but you must know which sides! For a triangle with an angle θ. the functions are calculated this way: Sine Function: sin(θ) = Opposite / Hypotenuse Cosine Function: cos(θ) = Adjacent / Hypotenuse Tangent Function: tan(θ) = Opposite / Adjacent Example: What is the sine of 35°? Using this triangle (lengths are only to one decimal place): sin(35°) = Opposite / Hypotenuse = 2..

Four Quadrants When we include negative values.5) is 12 units along. and 5 units up. while y is negative. II.. • • • in Quadrant II x is negative (y is still positive). in Quadrant III both x and y are negative. but . Like this: . III and IV (They are numbered in a counter-clockwise direction) In Quadrant I both x and y are positive..The point (12. the x and y axes divide the space up into 4 pieces: Quadrants I. and in Quadrant IV x is positive again.

negative direction). so that point is in "Quadrant III" Sine. and both cosine and tangent . and Sine.-1) is 2 units along in the negative direction.-1) Example: The point "C" (-2.732 / 2 = 0. In Quadrant I everything is normal. Cosine and Tangent in the Four Quadrants Now let us look at what happens when we place a 30° triangle in each of the 4 Quadrants. cosine and tangent of 30° Sine Cosine Tangent sin(30°) = 1 / 2 = 0.2) (-2.5 cos(30°) = 1.Quadran X Y Example t (horizontal) (vertical) I II III IV Positive Negative Negative Positive Positive Positive Negative Negative (3. Cosine and Tangent are all positive: Example: The sine.866 tan(30°) = 1 / 1. the x direction is negative. Both x and y are negative.e.577 But in Quadrant become negative: II.732 = 0. and 1 unit down (i.

732 / 2 = -0.Example: The sine. cosine and tangent of 150° Sine Cosine Tangent sin(150°) = 1 / 2 = 0. cosine and tangent of 210° Sine Cosine Tangent sin(210°) = -1 / 2 = -0.866 tan(330°) = -1 / 1.577 In Quadrant III. sine and cosine are negative: Example: The sine.732 = -0.577 There is a pattern! Look at when they are positive .. sine and tangent are negative: Example: The sine.5 cos(150°) = -1.866 tan(150°) = 1 / -1. In Quadrant IV.577 Note: Tangent is positive because dividing a negative by a negative gives a positive.866 tan(210°) = -1 / -1.732 = 0..5 cos(330°) = 1.732 / 2 = -0. . cosine and tangent of 330° Sine Cosine Tangent sin(330°) = -1 / 2 = -0.5 cos(210°) = -1.732 / 2 = 0.732 = -0.

Or just remember ASTC.• • • • All three of them are positive in Quadrant I Sine only is positive in Quadrant II Tangent only is positive in Quadrant III Cosine only is positive in Quadrant IV This can be shown even easier by: Some people like to remember the four letters ASTC by one of these: • • • • • All Students Take Chemistry All Students Take Calculus All Silly Tom Cats All Stations To Central Add Sugar To Coffee You can remember one of these. or maybe you could make up your own. This graph shows "ASTC" also. Two Values Have a look at this graph of the Sine Function:: There are two angles (within the first 360°) that have the same value! .

8º (Quadrant III) 45 Degrees For 45 degrees.5 We get the first solution from the calculator = sin-1(0. but you can use these rules to find the other value: First value Second value Sine Cosine Tangent θ θ θ 180º .180º = 127..6º (Quadrant IV) The other solution is 307. . x and y are equal.θ 360º ..4º This is less than 0º.. then add 360º.5) = 30º (it is in Quadrant I) The other solution is 180º .2º (Quadrant II) The other solution is 360º . We can now solve equations for angles between 0º and 360º (using Inverse Sine Cosine and Tangent) Example: Solve sin θ = 0. so we add 360º: -52.4º + 360º = 307.And this is also true for Cosine and Tangent.3) = -52.85 We get the first solution from the calculator = cos-1(-0. The trouble is: Your calculator will only give you one of those values .θ θ .30º = 150º (Quadrant II) Example: Solve tan θ = -1.2º = 211.85) = 148.148..6º .180º And if any angle is less than 0º.6º (Quadrant II) Example: Solve cos θ = -0. so y=x: x2 + x2 = 1 2x2 = 1 x2 = ½ x = y = √½ .3 We get the first solution from the calculator = tan-1(-1.

60 Degrees Take an equilateral triangle (all sides are equal and all angles are 60°) and split it down the middle. The "x" side is now ½. so x = √¾ and y = ½ Summary √½ is usually changed to this: And √¾ is usually changed to this: So we get the table we saw before: Angle 30° 45° 60° Sin Cos Tan=Sin/Cos 1 /√3 1 √3 . And the "y" side will be: (½)2 + y2 = 1 ¼ + y2 = 1 y2 = 1-¼ = ¾ y = √¾ 30 Degrees 30° is just 60° with x and y swapped.

Inverse Sine. Cosine.Putting it All Together And here they are for every quadrant. Tangent Sine. sin): And this is the same Unit Circle in radians. With the correct sign (plus or minus) as per Cartesian Coordinates. Note that cos is first and sin is second. so it goes (cos. Cosine and Tangent are all based on a Right-Angled Triangle .

8/4.. And we want to know "d" (the distance down).. The Sine Function can help us solve things like this: Example: Use the sine function to find "d" We know * The angle the cable makes with the seabed is 39° * The cable's length is 30 m.And they are very similar functions .57. Sine Function The Sine of angle θ is: • • the length of the side Opposite angle θ divided by the length of the Hypotenuse Or more simply: sin(θ) = Opposite / Hypotenuse Example: What is the sine of 35°? Using this triangle (lengths are only to one decimal place): sin(35°) = Opposite / Hypotenuse = 2.9 = 0. ... so we will look at the Sine Function and then Inverse Sine to learn what it is all about.

88 m...Start with: Swap Sides: Use a calculator to find sin 39°: Multiply both sides by 30: sin 39° = opposite/hypotenuse = d/30 d/30 = sin 39° d/30 = 0.88 m Inverse Sine But what if we don't know the angle? This is where "Inverse Sine" comes in.6293.6293. It answers the question "what angle has sine equal to opposite/hypotenuse?" Note: the symbol for inverse sine is sin-1 Example: Find the angle "a" We know * The distance down is 18..88/30 Calculate 18.? The Inverse Sine will tell us..6293..6293..6293… x 30 = 18. * The cable's length is 30 m.): a° = 39. Inverse Sine: a° = sin-1(0.0° (to 1 decimal place) .) Use a calculator to find sin-1(0. The depth "d" is 18..88 to 2 decimal places.88/30: sin a° = 0. And we want to know the angle "a" Start with: sin a° = opposite/hypotenuse = 18.. What angle has sine equal to 0.6293… d = 0.

The angle "a" is 39.0°

They Are Like Forward and Backwards!

• •

The Sine function sin takes an angle and gives us the ratio “opposite/hypotenuse” Inverse Sine the angle.

sin-1 takes the ratio “opposite/hypotenuse” and gives us

Example:
Sine Function: Inverse Sine: sin(30°) = 0.5 sin-1(0.5) = 30°

Calculator
On the calculator you would press one of the following (depending on your brand of calculator): either '2ndF sin' or 'shift sin'. On your calculator, try using

sin and then sin-1 to see what happens

More Than One Angle!
Inverse Sine only shows you one angle ... but there are more angles that could work.

Example: Here are two angles where opposite/hypotenuse = 0.5

In fact there are infinitely many angles, because you can keep adding (or subtracting) 360°:

Remember this, because there are times when you actually need one of the other angles!

Summary
The Sine of angle θ is:

sin(θ) = Opposite / Hypotenuse
And Inverse Sine is :

sin-1 (Opposite / Hypotenuse) = θ

What About "cos" and "tan" ... ?
Exactly the same idea.

The Cosine of angle θ is:

cos(θ) = Adjacent / Hypotenuse
And Inverse Cosine is :

cos-1 (Adjacent / Hypotenuse) = θ

Example: Find the size of angle a°
cos a° = Adjacent / Hypotenuse cos a° = 6,750/8,100 = 0.8333... a° = cos-1 (0.8333...) = 33.6° (to 1 decimal place)

The Tangent of angle θ is:

tan(θ) = Opposite / Adjacent
So Inverse Tangent is :

tan-1 (Opposite / Adjacent) = θ

Example: Find the size of angle x°
tan x° = Opposite / Adjacent tan x° = 300/400 = 0.75 x° = tan-1 (0.75) = 36.9° (correct to 1 decimal place)

Other Names
Sometimes sin-1 is called asin or arcsin. Likewise cos-1 is called acos or arccos And tan-1 is called atan or arctan.

The Graphs
And lastly, here are the graphs of Sine, Inverse Sine, Cosine and Inverse Cosine:

Sine

Inverse Sine

Cosine Inverse Cosine
Did you notice anything about the graphs?

Here is Cosine and Inverse Cosine plotted on the same graph: Cosine and Inverse Cosine They are mirror images (about the diagonal)! But why does Inverse Cosine get chopped off at top and bottom? (I have showed it as dots. So yes there are infinitely many answers . ..• • They look similar somehow. and the dotted line on the graph shows this. but it's not really part of it).. right? But the Inverse Sine and Inverse Cosine don't "go on forever" like Sine and Cosine do . and you are supposed to know there could be other answers. Tangent and Inverse Tangent And here is the tangent function and inverse tangent... Can you see how they are mirror images (about the diagonal) . Let us look at the example of Cosine.. but imagine you type 0. Because to be a function it must only give one answer when we ask "what is cos1 (x) ?" One Answer or Infinitely Many Answers But we saw earlier that there are infinitely many answers.. press cos-1 and it gives you a never ending list of possible answers . So.. by chopping it off like that we get just one answer..? ... So we have this rule that a function can only give one answer.5 into your calculator.

It is simply half of b times h Area = ½bh (The Triangles page tells you more about this). or any triangle where we are given the base and the height.Inverse Tangent Tangent Area of Triangles Without Right Angles If You Know Base and Height It is easy to find the area of a right-angled triangle. Example: What is the area of this triangle? Height = h = 12 Base = b = 20 .

the formula can be written in three ways: Either Area = ½ab sin C Or Area = ½bc sin A Or Area = ½ac sin B They are really the same formula. If You Know Two Sides and the Included Angle If we know two sides and the included angle (SAS). Depending on which sides and angles we know. just with the sides and angle changed. there is another formula (in fact three equivalent formulas) we can use. This can be found on the Heron's Formula page. Example: Find the area of this triangle: First of all we must decide what we know. .Area = ½ bh = ½ × 20 × 12 = 120 If You Know Three Sides There's also a formula to find the area of any triangle if we know the lengths of all three of its sides.

We know angle C = 25º. Area = 14. So let's get going: Start with: Area = ½ab sin C Put in the values we know: Area = ½ × 7 × 10 × sin(25º) Do some calculator work: Area = 35 × 0..4226..8 to one decimal place How to Remember Just think "abc": Area = ½ a b sin C How Does it Work? Well. and sides a = 7 and b = 10. we know that we can find an area if we know a base and height: Area = ½ × base × height In this triangle: • • Putting that together gets us: the base is: c the height is: b × sin A Area = ½ × (c) × (b × sin A) Which is (more simply): Area = ½bc sin A By changing the labels on the triangle we can also get: • • Area = ½ab sin C Area = ½ca sin B One more example: .

The angle between fence AB and fence BC is 123º.Example: Find How Much Land Farmer Jones owns a triangular piece of land. What is the angle between the ladder and the wall? This is surprisingly easy to solve by using Reflection: .838..325 × 0.530 m2 Solving Triangles by Reflection A 5ft ladder leans against a wall as shown. BC = a = 231 m. The length of the fence AB is 150 m. How much land does Farmer Jones own? First of all we must decide which lengths and angles we know: • • • AB = c = 150 m. and angle B = 123º So we use: Area = ½ca sinB Start with: Area = ½ca sinB Put in the values we know: Area = ½ × 150 × 231 × sin(123º) m2 Do some calculator work: Area = 17.. m2 Area = 14. The length of the fence BC is 231 m.

Alex has a laser that measures distance. The angles in an equilateral triangle are all 60° So the angle between the ladder and the wall is half of 60º = 30º Finding Length We can use the same idea to find an unknown length.Here is the triangle with its reflection Together they make an equilateral triangle (all sides equal). What is the height of the tree? Here is the triangle and its reflection: . By standing some distance from the tree Alex measures42m to the top of the tree at an angle of 30º.

we know the height of the tree must be half of 42m = 21m These examples show that the same triangle can occur in many different situations! Finding an Angle in a Right Angled Triangle You can find the Angle from Any Two Sides We can find an unknown angle in a right-angled triangle. as long as we know the lengths of two of its sides.Once again the triangle and its reflection make an equilateral triangle.) . What is the angle between the ladder and the wall? (Note: we also solve this on Solving Triangles by Reflection but now we solve it in a more general way. So. Example A 5ft ladder leans against a wall as shown.

Example: in our ladder example we know the length of: • • the side Opposite the angle "x" (2..CAH. called the “Hypotenuse” (5 ft) Step 2: now use the first letters of those two sides (Opposite and Hypotenuse) and the phrase "SOHCAHTOA" to find which one of Sine..The answer is to use Sine. Cosine or Tangent to use: SOH.TOA Sine: sin(θ) = Opposite / Hypotenuse Cosine: cos(θ) = Adjacent / Hypotenuse Tangent: tan(θ) = Opposite / Adjacent In our example that is Opposite and Hypotenuse..5 Step 4: Now solve that equation! sin (x) = 0.5 Next (trust me for the moment) we can re-arrange that into this: x = sin-1 (0. and we use it like this: Step 1: find the names of the two sides you know • • • Adjacent is adjacent to the angle..5 ft) the long sloping side.5 and use the sin-1 button to get the answer: . and that gives us “SOHcahtoa”. and the longest side is theHypotenuse.5 / 5 = 0. key in 0... which tells us we need to use Sine. Opposite is opposite the angle.. Cosine or Tangent! But which one to use? We have a special phrase "SOHCAHTOA" to help us.5) And then get our calculator. .. Step 3: Put our values into the Sine equation: Sin (x) = Opposite / Hypotenuse = 2. .

the Sine function "sin" takes an angle and gives us the ratio “opposite/hypotenuse”.x = 30° What is sin-1 ? But what is the meaning of sin-1 … ? Well. Adjacent and Hypotenuse. . That is why we we use sin-1. try using "sin" and "sin-1" to see what results you get! Step By Step These are the four steps we need to follow: • • Step 1 Decide which two sides we know – out of Opposite. On your calculator. But in this case we know the ratio “opposite/hypotenuse” but want to know the angle. Cosine or Tangent to use in this question. So we want to go backwards.5) = 30° On the calculator you would press one of the following (depending on your brand of calculator): either '2ndF sin' or 'shift sin'. which means “inverse sine”. Step 2 Use SOHCAHTOA to decide which one of Sine.5 Inverse Sine Function: sin-1(0. Example: • • Sine Function: sin(30°) = 0.

angles are usually rounded to one place of decimals. Example Find the size of angle a° • Step (8. cos-1 or tan-1 Examples Let’s look at a couple more examples: Example Find the size of the angle of elevation of the plane from point A on the ground. 3 Use your calculator to calculate Opposite/Adjacent = 300/400 4 Find the angle from your calculator using tan-1 Tan x° = opposite/adjacent = 300/400 = 0. Step 4 Find the angle from your calculator.750) and Hypotenuse 2 SOHCAHTOA tells us we must use Cosine. • Step • Step = 0.• • Step 3 Use your calculator to calculate the fraction Opposite/Hypotenuse.750/8. Adjacent/Hypotenuse orOpposite/Adjacent (whichever is appropriate).8333 • Step 1 The two sides we know are Adjacent (6.9° (correct to 1 decimal place) Unless you’re told otherwise. • Step • Step • Step = 0.75 tan-1 of 0.100).75 = 36. using one of sin-1. 2 SOHCAHTOA tells us we must use Tangent.100 4 Find the angle from your calculator using cos-1 of 0.8333: . 3 Use your calculator to calculate Adjacent / Hypotenuse = 6.75 • Step 1 The two sides we know are Opposite (300) and Adjacent (400).

We know one length (1000) and one angle (60°). that is).6° (to 1 decimal place) Finding a Side in a Right Angled Triangle You can find a Side if you know another Side and Angle We can find an unknown side in a right-angled triangle if we know: • • one length. Opposite is opposite the angle.8333 cos-1 of 0. In our example: • the one we know is the Hypotenuse . and one angle (apart from the right angle. Example Find the height of the plane. and the side you are trying to find: • • • Adjacent is adjacent to the angle. and the longest side is theHypotenuse.100 = 0. Cosine or Tangent! But which one to use? We have a special phrase "SOHCAHTOA" to help us.cos a° = 6. so we should be able to solve it.8333 = 33. and we use it like this: Step 1: find the names of the two sides you are working on: the side you already know. but how? The answer is to use Sine.750/8.

.5" instead of "cos 60°": 0. Cosine or Tangent to use: SOH.5 (by my calculator) So now we can put "0... ... and that gives us “sohCAHtoa”. ? You use your calculator! type in 60 and then use the "cos" key.5 Multiply both sides by 1000: h = 0.5 = h / 1000 Now all that is left is to rearrange it a little bit: Start with: 0.. which tells us we need to use Cosine.CAH. .TOA Sine: sin(θ) = Opposite / Hypotenuse Cosine: cos(θ) = Adjacent / Hypotenuse Tangent: tan(θ) = Opposite / Adjacent In our example that is Adjacent and Hypotenuse. That's easy! cos 60° = 0.• the one we are trying to find is Adjacent to the angle (check for yourself that "h" is adjacent to the angle 60°) Step 2: now use the first letters of those two sides (Adjacent and Hypotenuse) and the phrase "SOHCAHTOA" to find which one of Sine.5 x 1000 = 500 The height of the plane = 500 meters Step By Step These are the four steps to follow: . Step 3: Put our values into the Cosine equation: cos 60° = Adjacent / Hypotenuse = h / 1000 Step 4: Now solve that equation! But how do we calculate "cos 60°" .5 = h / 1000 Swap sides: h / 1000 = 0.....

Step 2 Use SOHCAHTOA to decide which one of Sine. Cosine or Tangent to use in this question.32704… × 7 = 9.29 (to 2 decimal places) Side "a" = 9.29 .• Step 1 Decide which two sides we are using . Step 3 Write down the fraction Opposite/Hypotenuse. Adjacent and Hypotenuse. Adjacent/Hypotenuse or Opposite/Adjacent.32704… a = 1. Step 2 SOHCAHTOA tells us we must use Tangent. whichever is appropriate (one of the values will be the unknown length) Step 4 Solve using your calculator and your skills with Algebra • • • Examples Let’s look at a few more examples: Example: Find the length of the side a: • • • • Step 1 The two sides we are using are Opposite (a) and Adjacent (7). Step 3 Write down the fraction for tan 53° = Opposite/Adjacent = a/7 Step 4 Solve: Start with: Swap: Calculate tan 53°: Multiply both sides by 7: tan 53° = a/7 a/7 = tan 53° a/7 = 1.one we are trying to find and one we already know – out of Opposite.

Step 2 SOHCAHTOA tells us we must use Sine.88 to 2 decimal places.6293… x 30 = 18.6293… d = 0. Step 3 Write down the fraction for sin 39° = opposite/hypotenuse = d/30 Step 4 Solve: Start with: Swap: Calculate sin 39°: Multiply both sides by 30: sin 39° = d/30 d/30 = sin 39° d/30 = 0. How long is the wire? • • Step 1 The two sides we are using are Opposite (70) and Hypotenuse (x). • • • • Step 1 The two sides we are using are Opposite (d) and Hypotenuse (30). Find the depth "d" that the anchor ring lies beneath the hole in the ship’s side. Step 2 SOHCAHTOA tells us we must use Sine. . A wire goes to the top of the mast at an angle of 68°.88 m Example 3 There is a mast that is 70 m high.Example 2 The angle the cable makes with the seabed is 39° and the cable's length is 30 m. The depth the anchor ring lies beneath the hole is 18.

and also equal to side c divided by the sine of angle C Sure .5 m The Law of Sines The Law of Sines (or Sine Rule) is very useful for solving triangles: It works for any triangle: a. side b faces angle B and side c faces angle C).5 m (to 1 place) The length of the wire = 75. let's do the calculations for a triangle I prepared earlier: . ? Well. A.9271.. (Side a faces angle A. b and c are sides.... B and C are angles. = 75. So if you divide side a by the sine of angle A it is equal to side b divided by the sine of angle B.• • Step 3 Write down the fraction for sin 68° = 70/w Step 4 Solve: The unknown length is on the bottom (the denominator) of the fraction! So we need to follow a slightly different approach when solving : Start with: Multiply both sides by w: Divide both sides by "sin 68°": Calculate: sin 68° = 70/w w × (sin 68°) = 70 w = 70 / (sin 68°) w = 70 / 0.

.. So now you can see that: a/sin A = b/sin B = c/sin C How Do I Use It? Let us see an example: Example: Calculate side "c" Law of Sines: a/sin A = b/sin B = c/sin C Put in the values we know: a/sin A = 7/sin(35°) = c/sin(105°) Ignore a/sin A (not useful to us): 7/sin(35°) = c/sin(105°) Now we use our algebra skills to rearrange and solve: Swap sides: c/sin(105°) = 7/sin(35°) . The answers are almost the same! (They would be exactly the same if I used perfect accuracy)... c/sin C = 9 / sin (84.a/sin A = 8 / sin (62.. = 9...06.3°) = 9 / 0.. = 9... = 9.885.5°) = 5 / 0.2°) = 8 / 0.552. b/sin B = 5 / sin (33...04.995.05.

Inverse Sine: B = sin-1(0..7614.. Calculate: c = 11. ) × 0. In this case it is best to turn the fractions upside down (sin A/a instead of a/sin A..5) × 4.) B = 49..8 (to 1 decimal place) Finding an Unknown Angle In the previous example we found an unknown side ..5 Ignore "sin A / a": sin B / 4.6º Sometimes There Are Two Answers ! There is one very tricky thing you have to look out for: ...7: sin B = (sin63º/5..7614. but we can also use the Law of Sines to find an unknown angle.5 Multiply both sides by 4.574...966.Multiply both sides by sin(105°): c = ( 7 / sin(35°) ) × sin(105°) Calculate: c = ( 7 / 0. .7 = sin(63º) / 5.7 = sin(63º) / 5.7 Calculate: sin B = 0. etc): Example: Calculate angle B Start with: sin A / a = sin B / b = sin C / c Put in the values we know: sin A / a = sin B / 4...

We just use P. Let us say you know angle A.9215. and even then not always. Just think "could I swing that side the other way to also make a correct answer?" Example: Calculate angle R The first thing to notice is that this triangle has different labels: PQR instead of ABC..9215.) R = 67.9215. But that's not a problem.... Inverse Sine: R = sin-1(0. Start with: sin R / r = sin Q / q Put in the values we know: sin R / 41 = sin(39º)/28 Multiply both sides by 41: sin R = (sin39º/28) × 41 Calculate: sin R = 0.. but you have to watch out for it. You could swing side a to left or right and come up with two possible results (a small triangle and a much wider triangle) Both answers are right! This only happens in the "Two Sides and an Angle not between" case. and sides a and b. .. B and C in The Law of Sines.Q and R instead of A.Two possible answers.1º But wait! There's another angle that also has a sine equal to 0.

. like this: 180° .1º and 112. and sides of 41 and 28. always check to see whether the alternative answer makes sense.. but no other solution makes sense.5" line around.9º: Both are possible! Each one has the 39º angle..1° = 112. So. sometimes it will (like above) and there will be two solutions . • • ...9° So there are two possible answers for R: 67. As you can see. (try it!) So .67..1º away from 180°.. The Law of Cosines The Law of Cosines (also called the Cosine Rule) is very useful for solving triangles: .9º) is also equal to 0. take 67. sometimes it won't (see below) and there is one solution We looked at this triangle before.Your calculator won't tell you this but sin(112..9215. So this has only one solution. you can try swinging the "5..9º? Easy .. how do you discover the vale 112.

? We know angle C = 37º.67 How to Remember How can you remember the formula? Well.44 = 6..176 × 0.It works for any triangle: a. Take the square root: c = √44.798… Which gives us: c2 = 44. it helps to know that it is the Pythagoras Theorem with something extra so it works for all triangles: .2 × 8 × 11 × cos(37º) Do some calculations: c2 = 64 + 121 .2ab cos(C) Put in the values we know: c2 = 82 + 112 . C is the angle opposite side c Let's see how to use it in an example: Example: How long is side "c" .67 (to 2 decimal places) Answer: c = 6.... b and c are sides. a = 8 and b = 11 The Law of Cosines says: c2 = a2 + b2 .44.

so it is side c.90 × cos(C) Calculate some more: 64 = 106 .Pythagoras Theorem: Law of Cosines: So.. Now let us put what we know into The Law of Cosines: Start with: c2 = a2 + b2 . then another "abc": 2ab cos(C).2 × 9 × 5 × cos(C) Calculate: 64 = 81 + 25 . b and c 82 = 92 + 52 . to remember it: • • • a2 + b2 = c2 a2 + b2 .2ab cos(C) Put in a.2ab cos(C) = c2 When to Use The law of cosines is useful for finding: the third side of a triangle when you know two sides and the angle between them (like the example above) • the angles of a triangle when you know all three sides (as in the following example) Example: What is Angle "C" .90 × cos(C) Now we use our algebra skills to rearrange and solve: Subtract 64 from both sides: 0 = 42 .? • The side of length "8" is opposite angle C.. The other two sides are a and b.90 × cos(C) Add "90 × cos(C)" to both sides: 90 × cos(C) = 42 Divide both sides by 90: cos(C) = 42/90 .2ab cos(C) = c2 (only for Right-Angled Triangles) (for all triangles) think "abc": a2 + b2 = c2. and put them together: a2 + b2 .

53125 C = cos-1(0.9° correct to one decimal place. you can rewrite the "b 2 c2 = a2 + b2 . Use The Law of Cosines (angle version) to find angle C : cos C = (a² + b² . Versions for a. Here are all three: .49)/96 = 51/96 = 0. It is simply a rearrangement of the c2 = a2 + b2 .Inverse cosine: C = cos-1(42/90) Calculator: C = 62.2ab cos(C) formula into "a 2 =" and =" form. b and c Also.2ab cos(C) formula like this: Example: Find Angle "C" In this triangle we know the three sides: • • • a = 8.2° (to 1 decimal place) In Other Forms Easier Version For Angles There is a version that is easier to use when finding angles.7²)/2×8×6 = (64 + 36 .53125) = 57. b = 6 and c = 7.c²)/2ab = (8² + 6² .

52 .. +(plus)? The cosine of an obtuse angle is always negative (see Unit Heron's Formula Area of a Triangle from Sides You can calculate the area of a triangle if you know the lengths of all three sides.36 + 42.42 + 6.5 Did you notice that cos(131º) is negative and this changes the last sign in the calculation to Circle). z2 = 210. We can easily substitute x for a.25 . .. y for b and z for c z2 = x2 + y2 . Answer: z = 14.78... z = √210.2ab cos(C) x for a.4×6. using a formula that has been know for nearly 2000 years.656.61 + 80.But it is easier to remember the "c2=" form and change the letters as needed ! As in this example: Example: Find the distance "z" The letters are different! But that doesn't matter..2xy cos(Z) Put in the values we know: z2 = 9.5 to 1 decimal place.2×(-0. = 14.) z2 = 130. y for b and z for c Start with: c2 = a2 + b2 .17..78.2×9.5×cos(131º) Calculate: z2 = 88.122...

5 × 2.It is called "Heron's Formula" after Hero of Alexandria (see below) Just use this two step process: Step 1: Calculate "s" (half of the triangles perimeter) using: Step 2: Then calculate the Area using: Example: What is the area of a triangle where every side is 5 long? Step 1: s = (5+5+5)/2 = 7. but it was treated as a toy! Congruent Triangles What is "Congruent" .5 × 2.. Angles In the calculator above I have also used a special formula to calculate the angles (to provide a complete solution).5) = √(117..5 Step 2: A = √(7. The formula is: Where "C" is the angle opposite side "c". Flips and/or Slides: . the first known steam engine..825. who was a Greek Engineer and Mathematician in 10 – 70 AD. ? It means that one shape can become another using Turns..5 × 2. Hero of Alexandria The formula is credited to Hero (or Heron) of Alexandria.1875) = 10. Amongst other things. he developed the Aeolipile.

For example: is congruent to: and because they all have exactly the same sides. but they will be there.Rotation Turn! Reflection Flip! Translation Slide! (see Congruent for more info) Congruent Triangles If two triangles are congruent they will have exactly the same three sides and exactly the same three angles. . Same Sides If the sides are the same then the triangles are congruent. The equal sides and angles may not be in the same position (if there is a turn or a flip).

.But: is not congruent to: because the two triangles do not have exactly the same sides. one is larger than the other. Same Angles Does this also work with angles? Not always! Two triangles can have the same angles but be different sizes: is not congruent to: because. even though all angles match. But they could be congruent if they are the same size: is congruent to: because they are (in this case) the same size So just having the same angles is no guarantee they are congruent.

read more at How To Find if Triangles are Congruent Marking If two triangles are congruent.Other Combinations There are other combinations of sides and angles . Similarly for the sides marked with two lines and three lines. Similar Triangles Two triangles are Similar if the only difference is size (and possibly the need to turn or flip one around). Similarly for the angles marked with two arcs and three arcs. These triangles are all similar: (Equal angles have been marked with the same number of arcs) .. The angles marked with one arc are equal in size.. we often mark corresponding sides and angles like this: is congruent to: The sides marked with one line are equal in length.

We need to: • • Step 1: Find the ratio of corresponding sides in pairs of similar triangles.4 are corresponding (they face the angle marked with two arcs) The lengths 6 and b are corresponding (they face the angle marked with three arcs) Calculating the Lengths of Corresponding Sides It may be possible to calculate lengths we don't know yet. For example: Triangles R and S are similar. The equal angles are marked with the same numbers of arcs. What are the corresponding lengths? • • • The lengths 7 and a are corresponding (they face the angle marked with one arc) The lengths 8 and 6. Step 2: Use that ratio to find the unknown lengths. the sides facing the equal angles are always in the same ratio.Some of them have different sizes and some of them have been turned or flipped. Similar triangles have: • • all their angles equal corresponding sides have the same ratio Corresponding Sides In similar triangles. .

and We know the side 6. . The 6.. b faces the angle with three arcs as does the side of length 6 in triangle R.4 faces the angle marked with two arcs as does the side of length 8 in triangle R.4 with 8. If you know any 3 of the sides or angles .. Step 2: And we can then work out a and b: • • a faces the angle with one arc as does the side of length 7 in triangle R.. Therefore: • • Done! a = 4/5 × 7 = 28/5 = 5. So we can match 6.8 Solving Triangles By "solving" I mean finding missing sides and angles.4 to 8 = 64 : 80 = 4 : 5 Now we know that the lengths of sides in triangle S are all 4/5 times the lengths of sides in triangle R.) . because you need at least one side to find how big the triangle is..4 in Triangle S (the other sides we call "a" and "b"). you can find the other 3 (Except for 3 angles.Step 1: We know all the sides in Triangle R. and so the ratio of sides in triangle S to triangle R is: 6.6 b = 4/5 × 6 = 24/5 = 4.

.. paper and calculator) you have these 3 equations: .Six Different Types If you need to solve a triangle right now. the one they ask for when a triangle needs solving! In your solving toolbox (along with your pen. then choose one of the six options below: Which Sides or Angles do you know already? (Click on the image. or link) AAA AAS ASA SAS SSA SSS Three Angles Two Angles and Two Angles and a a Side between Side notbetween Two Sides and Two Sides and an an Angle Angle notbetwee between n Three Sides . or read on to find out how you can become an expert triangle solver: Your Solving Toolbox Want to learn to solve triangles? Imagine you are "The Solver" ...

Law of Sines (the Sine Rule): If there is an angle opposite a side. this equation will come to the rescue. and C is opposite c. Six Different Types (More Detail) There are SIX different types of puzzles you may need to solve. Get familiar with them: 1. AAA: This means we are given all three angles of a triangle. Law of Cosines (the Cosine Rule): This is the hardest to use (and remember) but it is sometimes needed to get you out of difficult situations. . 2.1. but no sides. Note: angle A is opposite side a. 3. It is an enhanced version of the Pythagoras Theorem that works on any triangle. B is opposite b. The angles always add to 180°: A + B + C = 180° When you know two angles you can find the third.

You are going to need to know at least one side to proceed further. which is not the side adjacent to the two given angles. 3. and The Law of Sinesto find each of the other two sides.A AAA triangle is impossible to solve further since there are is nothing to show us size . which is the side adjacent to the two given angles.. ASA This means we are given two angles of a triangle and one side. See Solving "AAS" Triangles. . 2. See Solving "AAA" Triangles . Such a triangle can be easily solved by using Angles of a Triangle to find the other angle. we know the shape but not how big it is. AAS This mean we are given two angles of a triangle and one side..

See Solving "SAS" Triangles . SAS This means we are given two sides and the included angle. . 4. we must use The Law of Cosines first to calculate the third side of the triangle.In this case we find the third angle by using Angles of a Triangle. SSA This means we are given two sides and one angle that is not the included angle. For this type of triangle. and finally use Angles of a Triangle to find the last angle. then use The Law of Sines to find each of the other two sides. See Solving "ASA" Triangles . then we can use The Law of Sines to find one of the other two angles. 5.

use the former. then The Law of Sines again to find the last remaining side. use The Law of Sines first to find either one of the other two angles.that is usually much simpler. 6. See Solving "SSS" Triangles . then use Angles of a Triangleto find the third angle.In this case. Angle. if you have a choice. In this case. then the type of triangle will determine whether we use The Law of Sines or The Law of Cosines. but no angles. so. Tips to Solving Here is some simple advice: • • If the triangle has a right angle. • Solving AAA Triangles "AAA" means "Angle. then use it . Usually The Law of Sines is easier to use than The Law of Cosines. See Solving "SSA" Triangles . If the triangle has no right angle. we have no choice. SSS This means we are given all three sides of a triangle. Angle" . We must use The Law of Cosines first to find any one of the three angles. then we can use The Law of Sines (or use The Law of Cosines again) to find a second angle. and finally Angles of a Triangle to find the third angle.

An "AAA" triangle is impossible to solve further since there are is nothing to show us size ..This means we are given all three angles of a triangle. To solve an AAS triangle • • use the three angles add to 180° to find the other angle then The Law of Sines to find each of the other two sides.. Angle.. we know the shape but not how big it is. Side" This means we are given two angles and one side (which isnot between the angles). You are going to need to know at least one side to proceed further . Example 1 In this triangle we know: . sorry! Solving AAS Triangles "AAS" means "Angle. but no sides..

35° .87 to 2 decimal places. What if we had made a mistake in finding a? Then our answer for b would also be wrong! As a rule.105° = 34° Now find side c by using The Law of Sines: c/sin C = b/sin B . Also we can find b by using The Law of Sines: b/sin B = c/sin C b/sin(83°) = 7/sin(62°) b = (7 × sin(83°))/sin(62°) = 7. Example 2 This is also an AAS triangle. Now we have completely solved the triangle! Did you notice that we used b/sin B = c/sin C rather than b/sin B = a/sin A for the last calculation? There's a good reason for that.• • • angle A = 35° angle C = 62° and side c = 7 It's easy to find angle B by using 'angles of a triangle add to 180°': B = 180° .62° = 83° We can also find side a by using The Law of Sines: a/sin A = c/sin C a/sin(35°) = 7/sin(62°) a = (7 × sin(35°))/sin(62°) = 4. it is always better to use the sides and angles that are given rather than ones we've just worked out. First find angle A by using 'angles of a triangle add to 180°': A = 180° .55 (to 2 decimal places).41° .

To solve an ASA Triangle • • find the third angle using the three angles add to 180° then use The Law of Sines to find each of the other two sides.56 to 2 decimal places.6 × sin(41°))/sin(105°) = 8.6/sin(105°) c = (12. Angle" This means we are given two angles and a side betweenthe angles.6 × sin(34°))/sin(105°) = 7. Similarly we can find side a by using The Law of Sines and using the given side b = 12.c/sin(41°) = 12.6 rather than c that we just worked out: a/sin A = b/sin B a/sin(34°) = 12.29 to 2 decimal places.6/sin(105°) a = (12. Example 1 In this triangle we know: • • angle A = 76° angle B = 34° . Done! Solving ASA Triangles "ASA" means "Angle. Side.

76° . Similarly we can find z by using The Law of Sines: z/sinZ = x/sin X So z/sin(42°) = 18.29 to 2 decimal places. we have found all its angles and sides.36 to 2 decimal places.42° = 51° Now find side y by using The Law of Sines: y/sinY = x/sin X So y/sin(87°) = 18.9/sin(51°) So a = (18. Similarly we can find side b by using The Law of Sines: b/sinB = c/sin C b/sin34° = 9/sin70° b = (9 × sin34°)/sin70° = 5.• and c = 9 It's easy to find angle C by using 'angles of a triangle add to 180°': So C = 180° . Solving SAS Triangles .e. Now we have completely solved the triangle i.9/sin(51°) So y = (18. First find angle X by using 'angles of a triangle add to 180°': X = 180° .9 × sin(87°))/sin(51°) = 24.34° = 70° We can now find side a by using The Law of Sines: a/sinA = c/sin C a/sin76° = 9/sin70° a = (9 × sin76°)/sin70° = 9.29 to 2 decimal places. Example 2 This is also an ASA triangle.9 × sin(42°))/sin(51°) = 16.87° .27 to 2 decimal places.

Side" This means we are given two sides and the included angle. To solve an SAS triangle • • • use The Law of Cosines first to calculate the third side of the triangle. Example 1 In this triangle we know: • • • angle A = 49° b=5 and c = 7 To solve the triangle we need to find side a and angles B and C..075.. so wemust use The Law of Cosines to find side a first: a² = b² + c² .70 × 0.924."SAS" means "Side.70 × cos(49°) 74 . .2 × 5 × 7 × cos(49°) 25 + 49 ..2bc cosA a2 a2 a2 a2 = = = = 52 + 72 .. and finally use the three angles add to 180° to find the last angle. then use The Law of Sines to find the smaller of the other two angles. = 28. Angle. Because we don't know the angles facing the other two sides we can't use The Law of Sines. 74 .45..6560..

That number is rounded to 2 decimal places..9 × 2.4° to one decimal place.76 . r = 8.41 to 2 decimal places .30.2 × 6.075.659.35. = 5.49° .4° = 85.6 × cos(117°) r2 = 47.... r = √70.. Example 2 This is also an SAS triangle.... a = 5.61 + 6..298..659.88 × cos(117°) r2 = 54.) = 45.a = √28. = 0...) Note: the smaller angle is the one facing the shorter side. we have found all its angles and sides.) r2 = 54.. = 8.. Did you notice that we didn't use a = 5. which you should still have on your calculator from the last calculation. First of all we will find r using The Law of Cosines: r2 = p2 + q2 . By choosing the smaller angle we avoid this problem (you can't have two angles greater than 90° in a triangle..2pq cos R r2 = 6..298.298..289..88 × (-0.6° to one decimal place.405.... Now we find angle C.. B = sin-1(0.92 + 2.4539. = 70..45.e.37 .. sin B = (sin(49°) × 5) / 5.30 to 2 decimal places Now we use the The Law of Sines to find the smaller of the other two angles Why the smaller angle? Because the inverse sine function gives answers less than 90° even for angles greater than 90°. It's much better to use the unrounded number 5.7122.7122. Now we have completely solved the triangle i.62 .298. Choose angle B: sin B / b = sin A / a sin B / 5 = sin(49°) / 5.35.37 + 16. which is easy using 'angles of a triangle add to 180°': C = 180° .

... . Side" This means we are given two sides and the included angle.405.117° .9 ) / 8. Choose the smaller angle? We don't have to! Angle R is greater than 90°.47.7313. Now we will find angle Q using 'angles of a triangle add to 180°': Q = 180° .= 0. and finally use the three angles add to 180° to find the last angle.. sin P / p = sin R / r sin P / 6.0° = 16..9 = sin(117°) / 8.0° to one decimal place Solving SAS Triangles "SAS" means "Side.405. then use The Law of Sines to find the smaller of the other two angles. so angles P and Q must be less than 90°.Now The Law of Sines..0° to one decimal place. P = sin-1(0..) = 47. To solve an SAS triangle • • • use The Law of Cosines first to calculate the third side of the triangle.7313. Angle. sin P = ( sin(117°) × 6..

2bc cosA a2 = 52 + 72 .) = 45. so wemust use The Law of Cosines to find side a first: a² = b² + c² ..298.30. Now we find angle C.. which you should still have on your calculator from the last calculation.) Note: the smaller angle is the one facing the shorter side. a2 = 74 . Choose angle B: sin B / b = sin A / a sin B / 5 = sin(49°) / 5. It's much better to use the unrounded number 5. a = 5. = 28.. Because we don't know the angles facing the other two sides we can't use The Law of Sines. By choosing the smaller angle we avoid this problem (you can't have two angles greater than 90° in a triangle....30 to 2 decimal places Now we use the The Law of Sines to find the smaller of the other two angles Why the smaller angle? Because the inverse sine function gives answers less than 90° even for angles greater than 90°.. which is easy using 'angles of a triangle add to 180°': .298.2 × 5 × 7 × cos(49°) a2 = 25 + 49 .7122....6560..298. = 0.70 × cos(49°) a2 = 74 .. B = sin-1(0.Example 1 In this triangle we know: • • • angle A = 49° b=5 and c = 7 To solve the triangle we need to find side a and angles B and C. sin B = (sin(49°) × 5) / 5.075..7122.298...4° to one decimal place. Did you notice that we didn't use a = 5..924.70 × 0.. a = √28.45.. = 5. That number is rounded to 2 decimal places..075..

Now we have completely solved the triangle i. Now we will find angle Q using 'angles of a triangle add to 180°': Q = 180° .405.. r = √70.37 ..= 0. = 70. sin P = ( sin(117°) × 6. = 8. Example 2 This is also an SAS triangle.0° to one decimal place....76 . sin P / p = sin R / r sin P / 6..e.4539...62 .88 × (-0.405. so angles P and Q must be less than 90°.47.7313.6° to one decimal place.45.C = 180° .2pq cos R r2 = 6.9 ) / 8..9 × 2.2 × 6. First of all we will find r using The Law of Cosines: r2 = p2 + q2 .6 × cos(117°) r2 = 47.9 = sin(117°) / 8..7313.49° .. Angle" .289.405. Choose the smaller angle? We don't have to! Angle R is greater than 90°..37 + 16.) = 47...92 + 2.61 + 6.35.. Side.88 × cos(117°) r2 = 54..117° .659.41 to 2 decimal places Now The Law of Sines..4° = 85. P = sin-1(0.35.0° to one decimal place Solving SSA Triangles "SSA" means "Side.) r2 = 54.0° = 16. we have found all its angles and sides. r = 8..659.

.31° .° = 92..818. To solve an SSA triangle • • • use The Law of Sines first to calculate one of the other two angles. .181. (*See below) Next.8369.° = 56...818..8° correct to one decimal place. then use the three angles add to 180° to find the other angle.. Example 1 In this triangle we know • • • angle B = 31° b=8 and c = 13 In this case. we can use 'angles of a triangle' to find angle A: A = 180° .. we can use The Law of Sines first to find angle C: sinC/c = sinB/b sinC/13 = sin(31°)/8 So sinC = (13×sin(31°))/8 = 0.56.8369..) = 56.. finally use The Law of Sines again to find the unknown side..2° correct to one decimal place.° = 92.This means we are given two sides and an angle that isnot the angle between the sides. So C = sin-1(0.

°) × 8)/sin(31°) = 15....52 correct to 2 decimal places So..181.....° = 25... It's much better to use the unrounded number 92.123.8369.2° correct to one decimal place With a new value for C we should also re-calculate angle A and side a Use 'angles of a triangle add to 180°' to find angle A: A = 180° . or have we? Back when we calculated: So C = sin-1(0.76 correct to 2 decimal places Here you can see why we have two possible answers: . So a = (sin(92. ..Now we can use The Law of Sines again to find a: a/sinA = b/sinB So a/sin(92...°) = 8/sin(31°) Did you notice that we didn't use A = 92.2°.. = 123....56.° = 123.°×8)/sin31° = 6.° which you should still have on your calculator screen from the last calculation.818.56.181.° We didn't think that sin-1(0.31° ..181...818.8369.818.818.818..) might have two answers (see Law of Sines) The other answer for C is 180° . That angle is rounded to 1 decimal place.818.8° correct to one decimal place......° = 8/sin31° So a = (sin25..181.) = 56. we have completely solved the triangle .. Now we can use The Law of Sines again to find a: a/sinA = b/sinB So a/sin25.° So let's go back and continue our example: The other possible angle is: C = 180° .° = 25...181.

4 = 0. Side. The "12.863..° = 12. Now we will use The Law of Sines again to find n: n/sinN = m/sinM So n/sin24.4" line only joins up one place..136.By swinging side "8" left and right we can join up with side "a" in two possible locations. Angle" triangle you need to check if there might be another possible answer! ..30. The other "possible" answer for L would be 149..125° . Example 2 This is also an SSA triangle...° = 30....6×sin125°)/12. We already have M = 125° and we can't have two obtuse angles in a triangle (they would add to more than 180°) Conclusion: When solving a "Side.° = 24.4)/sin125° = 6.9° correct to one decimal place.863.°×12. So L = 30.6 = sin125°/12.6 We will use The Law of Sines to find angle L first: sinL/l = sinM/m sinL/7.863. In this triangle we know angle angle M = 125°. we will use 'angles of a triangle' to find angle N: N = 180° . m = 12.1° correct to one decimal place..5020.9° which is impossible.4 So sinL = (7. Next..4/sin125° So n = (sin24..136.4 and l = 7.° = 24.36 correct to 2 decimal places Note there is only one answer in this case.

25 A = cos-1(0. Let's find angle Afirst: cos A = (b2 + c2 . Side" When you know three sides of the triangle.Solving SSS Triangles "SSS" means "Side. .25) = 75.5° correct to one decimal place. and want to find the missing angles.64)/84 = 21/84 = 0. Use The Law of Cosines first to find one of the angles. To solve an SSS triangle: • • • use The Law of Cosines first to calculate one of the angles then use The Law of Cosines again to find another angle and finally use angles of a triangle add to 180° to find the last angle. It doesn't matter which one. Side. Example 1 In this triangle we know the three sides: • • • a = 8.a2)/2bc = (62 + 72 . b = 6 and c = 7.82)/(2×6×7) = (36 + 49 .

6764.25 + 26.15/35.9×3..e.5674. we have found all its angles.6764.41 + 12.) = 28.25 .7 = -24..3881.° = 28.° = 19..8797.Next we will find another side.65/55.28.9° correct to one decimal place.62)/(2×7×8) = (49 + 64 .° = 132..1) = (12.62. this time for angle B: cos B = (c2 + a2 .36)/112 = 77/112 = 0.4° correct to one decimal place.3 = 48.1)2 .7 = -0.. Now we have completely solved the triangle i.. Next we will use The Law of Cosines again to find angle Y: cosY = (z2 + x2 ..6875 So B = 46. Use The Law of Cosines to find angle X first: cos X = (y2 + z2 . we can find angle Z by using 'angles of a triangle add to 180°': So Z = 180° .5)2 ... .° = 46.8797.(7.01)/55.° = 57. y = 7..6° correct to one decimal place.3881.b2)/2ca = (72 + 82 .5×5...26.75..9 and z = 3..9)2 + (3.5674.3 = 0.5)2 + (5.° .46...5) = (62..x2)/2yz = ((7. Finally.9)2)/(2×3.) = 132.5224. So Y = cos-1(-0.1)2)/(2×7.5.5684. we can find angle C by using 'angles of a triangle add to 180°': So C = 180° . We use The Law of Cosines again.° .41)/35.5684... Example 2 This is also an SSS triangle.. In this triangle we know the three sides x = 5..01 ..132. Finally.(5.0° correct to one decimal place. So X = cos-1(0.6° correct to one decimal place.y2)/2zx = ((3.1.

62 + 7. so find B first using the Law of Cosines: cos B = (a2 + c2 – b2) / 2ac cos B = (11. but your calculator will only give you the smaller one. the Law of Sines is difficult to use with angles above 90°.4 sin 104..68 cos B = -41.2430. sinC/c = sinB/b. You see..2 sin C = (7.6×7.4) cos B = (134.04) / 171.72 / 171.4 = sin 104. So by calculating the largest angle first using the Law of Cosines.2° .22) / (2×11. to find angle A: sin C / 7. Example 3 B is the largest angle.4722..Another Method Here is another (slightly faster) way to solve an SSS triangle: • • • use The Law of Cosines first to calculate the largest angle then use The Law of Sines to find another angle and finally use angles of a triangle add to 180° to find the last angle. the remaining angles will be less than 90° and the Law of Sines can be used on either of them without difficulty..1° Use the Law of Sines.68 cos B = -0.56 + 54. B = 104. There can be two answers either side of 90° (example: 95° and 85°).76 – 231. Largest Angle? Why do we try to find the largest angle first? That way the other two angles must be acute (less than 90°) and the Law of Sines will give correct answers.42 – 15. C = 28.1°) / 15.2 = 0.1° / 15.

7°. B = 104.3° A = 47.1° + 28.7° Therefore A = 47.) . then AB/BD = AC/CE To show this is true.132. and C = 28.Find angle A using "angles of a triangle add to 180": A = 180° .2° Theorems about Similar Triangles 1. The Side-Splitter Theorem If ADE is any triangle and BC is drawn parallel to DE.(104.1°.2°) A = 180° . draw the line BF parallel to AE to complete a parallelogram BCEF: Triangles ABC and BDF have exactly the same angles and are therefore similar (Why? See the section called AAon the page How To Find if Triangles are Similar.

y)° . Therefore AB/BD = AC/BF But BF = CE Therefore AB/BD = AC/CE The Angle Bisector Theorem If ABC is any triangle and AD bisects the angle BAC. then AB/BD = AC/DC To show this is true. we can label the triangle like this: • • • Angle BAD = Angle DAC = x° Angle ADB = y° Angle ADC = (180 .y)° By the Law of Sines in triangle ABD: sin x°/BD = sin y°/AB Therefore AB × sin x° = BD × sin y° Therefore: AB/BD = sin y°/sin x° By the Law of Sines in triangle ACD: sin x°/DC = sin(180 .• • • • Side AB corresponds to side BD and side AC corresponds to side BF.y)°/AC Therefore AC × sin x° = DC × sin(180 .

Therefore AC/DC = sin(180 .y)° = sin y° Therefore: AC/DC = sin y°/sin x° Combining AC/DC = sin y°/sin x° with AB/BD = sin y°/sin x° gives: AC/DC = sin y°/sin x° = AB/BD Therefore AB/BD = AC/DC In particular. then their areas are in the ratio x2:y2 Example: These two triangles are similar with sides in the ratio 2:1 (the sides of one are twice as long as the other): . Area and Similarity If two similar triangles have sides in the ratio x:y.y)°/sin x° But sin(180 . then triangles ABD and ACD are congruent triangles And the same result is true: AB/BD = AC/DC 3. if triangle ABC is isosceles.

the area is four times as big Therefore the ratio of their areas is 4:1 We can also write 4:1 as 22:1 The General Case: Triangles ABC and PQR are similar and have sides in the ratio x:y We can find the areas using the formula from Finding the area of a triangle that has no right angle. .What can we say about their areas? The answer is simple if we just draw in three more lines: You can see that the small triangle fits into the big triangle four times. So when the lengths are twice as long.

angles A and P are the same: A=P We can now do some calculations: Area of triangle PQR: ½qr sin P Put in "q = by/x". "r = cy/x" and "P=A": ½(by/x)(cy/x) sin A Combine (by/x) and (cy/x): Simplify: Rearrange: ½(bycy/xx) sin A ½(bcy2/x2) sin A y2/x2 × ½(bc) sin A Which is: So we end up this ratio: y2/x2 × Area of Triangle ABC Area of triangle ABC : Area of triangle PQR = x2 : y2 Trigonometric Identities You might like to read our page on Trigonometry first! Right Triangle The Trigonometric Identities are equations that are true for Right Angled Triangles .. . so: q = by/x and r/c = y/x. so r = cy/x Also.ABC's Area = ½bc sin A PQR's Area = ½qr sin P And we know the lengths of the triangles are in the ratio x:y Therefore q/b = y/x. since the triangles are similar..

Each side of a right triangle has a name: (Adjacent is adjacent to the angle... if we divide Sine by Cosine we get: . of course!) Important: We are soon going to be playing with all sorts of functions and it can get quite complex. Cosine and Tangent. but remember it all comes back to that simple triangle with: • • • • Angle θ Hypotenuse Adjacent Opposite Sine. and Opposite is opposite . Cosine and Tangent The three main functions in trigonometry are Sine. if it is not a Right Angled Triangle refer to our Triangle Identities page. They are just the length of one side divided by another For a right triangle with an angle θ : Sine Function: sin(θ) = Opposite / Hypotenuse Cosine Function: cos(θ) = Adjacent / Hypotenuse Tangent Function: tan(θ) = Opposite / Adjacent Also....

and csc(θ) = 4/2 Because of all that we can say: sin(θ) = 1/csc(θ) And the other way around: csc(θ) = 1/sin(θ) And we also have: cot(θ) = cos(θ)/sin(θ) sec(θ) = 1/cos(θ) cot(θ) = 1/tan(θ) cos(θ) = 1/sec(θ) tan(θ) = 1/cot(θ) Pythagoras Theorem For the next trigonometric identities we start with Pythagoras' Theorem: The Pythagorean Theorem states that.. There is More! We can also divide "the other way around" (such as Adjacent/Opposite instead of Opposite/Adjacent): Cosecant Function: csc(θ) = Hypotenuse / Opposite Secant Function: sec(θ) = Hypotenuse / Adjacent Cotangent Function: cot(θ) = Adjacent / Opposite Example: if Opposite = 2 and Hypotenuse = 4 then sin(θ) = 2/4..the square of a (a²) plus the square of b (b²) is equal to the square of c (c²): a2 + b2 = c2 .So we can also say: tan(θ) = sin(θ)/cos(θ) That is our first Trigonometric Identity. in a right triangle. But Wait .

considering we only used 3 decimal places) Related identities include: • • • • • • sin2θ = 1 − cos2θ cos2θ = 1 − sin2θ tan2θ + 1 = sec2θ tan2θ = sec2θ − 1 1 + cot2θ = csc2θ cot2θ = csc2θ − 1 .292 = 0. then square it.0/100 = 0. then do the sine function" Example: when the angle θ is 1 radian (approximately 57°): sin(θ) = 84.707 + 0.841 + 0. a/c is Opposite / Hypotenuse. which is cos(θ) So (a/c)2 + (b/c)2 = 1 can also be written: sin2 θ + cos2 θ = 1 Note: writing sin2 θ means to find the sine of θ. If I had written sin θ2 I would have meant "square θ.540 2 0.Dividing through by c2 gives a2 + c2 This can be simplified to: c2 b2 = c2 c2 Now.999 (Close enough to 1.5402 = 0. which is sin(θ) And b/c is Adjacent / Hypotenuse.841 cos(θ) = 54.1/100 = 0.

tan (θ) Double Angle Identities Half Angle Identities Note that "±" means it may be either one...sin (θ) cos (-θ) = cos (θ) tan (-θ) = .More Identitites There are many more identities . depending on the value of θ/2 . here are some of the more useful ones: Opposite Angle Identities sin (-θ) = .

For the identities involving right angles triangles see Trigonometric Identities. and the opposite sign. means to use the Triangle Identities There are also Triangle Identities which apply to all triangles (not just Right Angled Triangles) Triangle Identities You might like to read our page on Trigonometry first! Triangle Identities The triangle identities are equations that are true for all triangles (they don't have to have a right angle). .Angle Sum and Difference Identities Note that means you can use plus or minus.

Law of Sines The Law of Sines (also known as The Sine Rule) is: it can also be this way around: Law of Cosines The Law of Cosines (also known as The Cosine Rule) is an extension of the Pythagorean Theorem to any triangle: which can also be re-arranged to: Law of Tangents The Law of Tangents is: Quadrilaterals .

Try for Yourself View Larger (You can also play with Interactive Quadrilaterals) Properties • Four sides (or edges) . lateral means side). Any four-sided shape is a Quadrilateral.Quadrilateral just means "four sides" (quad means four. and it has to be2-dimensional. But the sides have to be straight.

Also opposite sides are parallel and of equal length. See below for more details.• • Four vertices (or corners). . Let us look at each type in turn: The Rectangle means "right angle" and show equal sides A rectangle is a four-sided shape where every angle is a right angle (90°). and measure the angles. The interior angles add up to 360 degrees: Try drawing a quadrilateral. They should add to 360° Types of Quadrilaterals There are special types of quadrilateral: Some types are also included in the definition of other types! For example a square. rhombus and rectangleare also parallelograms.

Another interesting thing is that the diagonals (dashed lines in second figure) of a rhombus bisect each other at right angles. A square also fits the definition of a rectangle (all angles are 90°). The Parallelogram . The Square means "right angle" show equal sides A square has equal sides and every angle is a right angle (90°) Also opposite sides are parallel. and a rhombus (all sides are equal length). Also opposite sides are parallel and opposite angles are equal.The Rhombus A rhombus is a four-sided shape where all sides have equal length.

Language Note: In the US a "trapezium" is a quadrilateral with NO parallel sides! The Kite . as shown.Opposite sides are parallel and equal in length. Rectangles and Rhombuses are all Parallelograms! Example: A parallelogram with: • • all sides equal and angles "a" and "b" as right angles is a square! The Trapezoid (UK: Trapezium) Trapezoid Isosceles Trapezoid A trapezoid (called a trapezium in the UK) has one pair of opposite sides parallel. and angles "b" are the same) NOTE: Squares. and opposite angles are equal (angles "a" are the same. It is called an Isosceles trapezoid if the sides that aren't parallel are equal in length and both angles coming from a parallel side are equal.

. Example: a square is also a rectangle. The "Family Tree" Chart Quadrilateral definitions are inclusive.. but in mathematics itis. it looks like a kite. Using the chart below you can answer such questions as: • • Is a Square a type of Rectangle? (Yes) Is a Rectangle a type of Kite? (No) . It has two pairs of sides... Each pair is made up of adjacent sides that are equal in length.Hey. and that's it for the special quadrilaterals. Irregular Quadrilaterals The only regular quadrilateral is a square. (We don't say "A rectangle has all 90° angles. Diagonals (dashed lines) meet at a right angle. The angles are equal where the pairs meet. So we include a square in the definition of a rectangle. except if it is a square") This may seem odd because in daily life we think of a square as not being a rectangle . and one of the diagonal bisects (cuts equally in half) the other. So all other quadrilaterals are irregular..

you call it a "Complex" or "Self-Intersecting" quadrilateral like these: They still have 4 sides. but two sides cross over. .Complex Quadrilaterals Oh Yes! when two sides cross over.

and so on. "hexagon". etc. Other Names A quadrilateral can sometimes be called: • • a Quadrangle ("four angles"). a pentagon is a 5-sided polygon. Circle A circle is easy to make: Draw a curve that is "radius" away from a central point. . And so: All points are the same distance from the center. so it sounds like "pentagon".Polygon A quadrilateral is a polygon. so it sounds like "triangle" a Tetragon ("four and polygon"). just like a triangle is a 3sided polygon. In fact it is a 4-sided polygon. Play with Them Now that you know the different types. you can play with the Interactive Quadrilaterals.

the circle is a plane shape (two dimensional). Definition In fact the definition of a circle is: The set of all points on a plane that are a fixed distance from a center. put a loop of string around it. and insert a pencil into the loop.You Can Draw It Yourself Put a pin in a board. . Keep the string stretched and draw the circle! Also.

goes through the center and ends on the other side.Radius and Diameter The Radius is the distance from the center to the edge. The Diameter starts at one side of the circle. So the Diameter is twice the Radius: Diameter = 2 × Radius Circumference The Circumference is the distance around the edge of the circle. so: Circumference = And so these are also true: π × Diameter π × Radius π Circumference = 2 × Circumference / Diameter = . It is exactly Pi (the symbol is π) times the Diameter.

goes through the center and ends on the other side" when a word like "Diameter" would do. Nobody wants to say "that line that starts at one side of the circle. . If a line "just touches" the circle as it passes it is called aTangent. If that line passes through the center it is called a Diameter. which is written: A= π×r Or. So here are the most common special names: Lines A line that goes from one point to another on the circle's circumference is called a Chord. Names Because people have studied circles for thousands of years special names have come about. in terms of the Diameter: A = (π/4) × D2 It is easy to remember if you think of the area of the square that the circle would fit inside.Area The area of a circle is π times the 2 Radius squared.

And a part of the circumference is called an Arc.

Slices
There are two main "slices" of a circle The "pizza" slice is called a Sector. And the slice made by a chord is called a Segment.

Common Sectors
The Quadrant and Semicircle are two special types of Sector: Quarter of a circle is called a Quadrant. Half a circle is called a Semicircle.

Inside and Outside
A circle has an inside and an outside (of course!). But it also has an "on", because you could be right on the circle. Example: "A" is outside the circle, "B" is inside the circle and "C" is on the circle.

Pi
Pi (the symbol is the Greek letter π) is:

The ratio of the Circumference to the Diameter of a Circle.
In other words, if you measure the circumference, and then divide by the diameter of the circle you get the number π It is approximately equal to:

3.14159265358979323846…
The digits go on and on with no pattern. In fact, π has been calculated to over one trillion decimal places and still there is no pattern.

Approximation
A quick and easy approximation to

π is 22/7

22/7 = 3.1428571...
But as you can see, 22/7 is not exactly right. In fact

π is not equal to the ratio of

any two numbers, which makes it an irrational number.

Remembering
I usually just remember "3.14159", but you can also count the letters of:

"May I have a large container of butter today" 314159265

To 100 Decimal Places
Here is

π with the first 100 decimal places:

3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751 0 58209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679. ..

Circle Sector and Segment

Slices
There are two main "slices" of a circle: • •

The "pizza" slice is called a Sector.

And the slice made by a chord is called a Segment.

Common Sectors
The Quadrant and Semicircle are two special types of Sector: Quarter of a circle is called a Quadrant. Half a circle is called a Semicircle.

Area of a Sector
You can work out the Area of a Sector by comparing its angle to the angle of a full circle. Note: I am using radians for the angles.

This is the reasoning: • • • A circle has an angle of 2π and an Area of: πr2 So a Sector with an angle of θ (instead of 2π) must have an area of: (θ/2π) × Which can be simplified to: (θ/2) × r2

πr

2

Area of Sector = ½ ×
Area of Sector = ½ × (θ

θ×r

2

(when

θ is in radians)

× π/180) × r2

(when θ is in degrees)

Arc Length
By the same reasoning, the arc length (of a Sector or Segment) is:

L=

θ×r

(when

θ is in radians)

L = (θ

× π/180) × r

(when θ is in degrees)

sin θ) × r2 (when θ is in degrees) Circle Theorems There are some interesting things about angles and circles that I want to share with you: Inscribed Angle First off. There is a lengthy reason.Area of Segment The Area of a Segment is the area of a sector minus the triangular piece (shown in light blue here). . but the result is a slight modification of the Sector formula: Area of Segment = ½ × (θ . a definition: Inscribed Angle: an angle made from points sitting on the circle's circumference.sin radians) Area of Segment = ½ × ( (θ θ) × r 2 (when θ is in × π/180) .

. no matter where it is on the circumference: . ..A and C are "end points" B is the "apex point" Inscribed Angle Theorems An inscibed angle a° is half of the central angle 2a° (Called the Angle at the Center Theorem) And (keeping the endpoints fixed) ... the angle a° is always the same.

(Called the Angles Subtended by Same Arc Theorem) Example: What is the size of Angle POQ? (O is circle's center) Angle POQ = 2 × Angle PRQ = 2 × 62° = 124° Example: What is the size of Angle CBX? Angle ADB = 32° is the same angle as Angle XCB Now use angles of a triangle add to 180° in triangle BXC Angle CBX + Angle BXC + Angle XCB = 180° Angle CBX + 85° + 32° = 180° Angle CBX = 63° Angle in a Semicircle An angle inscribed in a semicircle is always a right angle: .Angle a° is the same.

) Why? Because: The inscibed angle 90° is half of the central angle 180° (Using "Angle at the Center Theorem" above) Another Good Reason Why It Works We could also rotate the shape around 180° to make a rectangle! It is a rectangle. it is always 90° . the apex point can be anywhere on the circumference. And so its internal angles are all right angles (90°). and both diagonals are equal. because all sides are parallel. So there you go! No matter where that angle is on the circumference.(The end points are either end of a circle's diameter.

Example: What is the size of Angle BAC? The Angle in the Semicircle Theorem tells us that Angle ACB = 90° Now use angles of a triangle add to 180° to find Angle BAC: Angle BAC + 55° + 90° = 180° Angle BAC = 35° Cyclic Quadrilateral A "Cyclic" Quadrilateral has every vertex on a circle's circumference: A Cyclic Quadrilateral's opposite angles add to 180°: • • a + c = 180° b + d = 180° Example: What is the size of Angle WXY? Opposite angles of a cyclic quadrilateral add to 180° Angle WZY + Angle WXY = 180° 69° + Angle WXY = 180° Angle WXY = 111° .

as shown: Area of a Circle by Cutting into Sectors Here is a way to find the formula for the area of a circle: Cut a circle into equal sectors (12 in this example) Divide just one of the sectors into two equal parts. You now have thirteen sectors – number them 1 to 13: .Tangent Angle A tangent is a line that just touches a circle at one point. It always forms a right angle with the circle's radius.

We know that: Circumference = 2 × And so the width is about: π × radius π × radius Half the Circumference = .Rearrange the 13 sectors like this: Which resembles a rectangle: What are the (approximate) height and width of the rectangle? The height is the circle's radius: just look at sectors 1 and 13 above.. The width (actually one "bumpy" edge) is half of the curved parts along the circle's edge . in other words it is about half the circumference of the circle.. When they were in the circle they were "radius" high.

Conclusion Area of Circle = πr 2 Area The size of a surface! Area is the amount of space inside the boundary of a flat object (such as a square or circle). the closer we would get to being exactly right.5°). And the more we divided the circle up.And so we have (approximately): Now we just multply the width by the height to find the area of the rectangle: Area = (π × radius) × (radius) = π × radius 2 Note: The rectangle and the "bumpy edged shape" made by the sectors are not an exact match. But we could get a better result if we divided the circle into 25 sectors (23 with an angle of 15° and 2 with an angle of 7. Example: These shapes all have the same area of 9: .

and the height is 3. Finding Area by Counting Squares You can count the number of squares to find an area. . So: Area = 5 × 3 = 15 Read Area of Plane Shapes for more information. so we know w = 5 and h = 3.Area of Plane Shapes There are special formulas for certain shapes: Example: What is the area of this rectangle? The formula is: Area = w × h w =width h = height The breadth is 5.

then the area would be 15 cm2 (15 square cm) The squares may not match the shape exactly. One way is: • • more than half a square counts as 1 less than half a square counts as 0 Like this: This pentagon has an area of approximately 17 Or just use your eyes and count a whole square when the areas seem to add up.This rectangle has an area of 15 If each square was 1 cm on a side. like with this circle. so you will need to "approximate" an answer. where the area marked "4" seems equal to about 1 whole square (also for "8"): .

This circle has an area of approximately 14 Area of Plane Shapes Triangle Area = ½b × h b = base h = vertical height Rectangle Square Area = a2 a = length of side Parallelogram Area = w × h w = width h = height Trapezoid (US) Trapezium (UK) Area = b × h b = base h = vertical height Circle Area = ½(a+b) × h h = vertical height Area = πr2 Circumference=2πr r = radius Sector Ellipse Area = πab Area = ½r2θ r = radius θ = angle in radians Here is an example: .

and then click "Calculate Area" Area = ½b × h b = base h = vertical height Rectangle Triangle Square Area = a2 a = length of side Area = w × h w = width h = height Trapezoid (US) Trapezium (UK) Area = b × h b = base h = vertical height Circle Parallelogram Area = ½(a+b) × h h = vertical height Area = πr2 Circumference=2πr r = radius Sector Ellipse Area = πab Area = ½r2θ r = radius θ = angle in radians .Example: What is the area of this rectangle? The formula is: Area = w × h w = width h = height We know w = 5 and h = 3. enter the lengths. Choose the shape. so: Area = 5 × 3 = 15 Area Calculation Tool Here is a handy little tool you can use to find the area of common shapes.

so what can I do? If you don't have a garden. Squares. and your brains.. How accurate should my measurements be? Try to measure to the nearest centimeter (or half-inch). as long as you are careful with your measuring.. so the error will be as small as possible. a tape measure. or your relatives have one. Is there a simple way to find the area of my garden? If your garden is a rectangle.For Triangles. You should get a good estimate. pen and paper . so use theirs. then you have a simple calculation. I don't have a garden. I'm sure a friend has one. etc: The base "b" or width "w" is: The height "h" is: The length "a" is: For Circle or Sector: The radius "r" is: The angle "θ" in radians is: Activity: Garden Area Have you ever wondered what the area of your garden is? Let us try and find out! You will need a garden. You just have to measure its width and length and multiply them together: .

Area = ½b × h) and add them all But my garden is different ... .. and use the formula... then you just have to decide which shape... so go find another garden with a more interesting shape! My garden is a difficult shape. It may be one of the shapes on the page Area of Plane Shapes. it has some straight edges and some curved parts. .. make the measurements.Rectangle: Area = W × L • • W = width L = length But that makes this activity just too easy . so how can I find its area? Good! This activity just got interesting .. Now go inside and calculate each area (using up... in fact it's not any shape at all . What should I do? . But you could also break up your difficult shape into triangles: Then measure the base (b) and height (h) of each triangle: Write down each measurement carefully so you know which triangle it belongs to..

Maybe it looks something like this:

You could try covering your garden with a grid of squares – these could be 1 metre squares or 1 foot squares, something like this:

How do I make a grid?
Try using pegs in the ground and join them up with string. Make sure they are the right distance apart and all angles are right angles.

How does this help? The grid and the outline of the garden don't match. There are lots of corners and curved parts.
Count the squares! There are special methods talked about on the Area page. The simplest method is: • • more than half a square counts as 1 less than half a square counts as 0

An estimate for this area is 41 m2. This is just an example. Your garden will be different. (If your grid was 1 foot, then the area will be in square feet)

Why should I want to know the area of my garden?
There might be lots of reasons: • • You want to re-turf the garden. How much grass should you order? How much will it cost? You want to plant the garden with tomato plants. These have to be planted a certain distance apart. How many plants could you plant? What will be your expected yield of tomatoes? You want to hold a barbeque party. How many people could comfortably fit into your garden? You can now do Activity: Grass for the Garden

I am finished ... what have I learned?
You have learned about measuring, recording data, drawing, and calculating area, well done!

Activity: Dropping a Coin onto a Grid
A few hundred years ago people enjoyed betting on coins tossed on to the floor ... would they cross a line or not?

A man called "Buffon" (see "Buffon's Needle") started thinking about this and worked out how to calculate the probability. Now it is your turn to have a go! You will need:

A small round coin, such as a US penny, a 1c Euro or 5 Rupee.

A sheet of paper with a grid of 30 mm squares.

Steps

Measure the diameter of your coin: ____ mm a US Penny is 19mm, a 1c Euro is 16.25mm, a Rs 5 is 23mm

Also measure the spacing of your grid (it may not print at exactly 30mm): ____ mm

Put your sheet of paper on a flat surface such as a table top or the floor.

From a height of about 5cm, drop the coin onto the paper and record whether it lands:

A: Completely inside a square (not touching any grid lines) B: Crosses one or more lines
The exact height from which you drop the coin is not important, but don't drop it so close to the paper that you are cheating! If the coin rolls completely off the paper, then do not count that turn.

100 Times
Now we will drop the coin 100 times, but first ...

... what percentage do you think will land A, or B?
Make a guess (estimate) before you begin the experiment: Your Guess for "A" (%): Your Guess for "B" (%): OK let's begin. Drop the coin 100 times and record using Tally Marks: Coin lands Tally

A (does not touch a line) or B (touches a line)
Frequency Percentage

A

B
Totals: 100 100%

Now draw a Bar Graph to illustrate your results. You can create one at Data Graphs (Bar, Line and Pie). • • • Are the bars the same height? Did you expect them to be? How does the result compare with your guess?

We Can Calculate What It Should Be ...
Here are some positions for the coin to land so it does not quite touch one of the lines:

.Place your coin on your grid (like above). but we can use S for grid size: • • The area of the grid square is S × S = S2 mm2 The area of the yellow box is (S-d)2 mm2 Example: A 1c Euro (d=16. (Read about a Circle's Radius and Diameter.25 mm) on a 29mm grid (S=29 mm): Grid Square = 292 = 841 mm2 Yellow Box = (29-16.) Make lots of "center marks" then draw a box connecting them all like below: d = Coin's diameter (2 × r) When a coin's center is within the yellow box it won't touch any line. So what are the areas? • • The area of the grid square is 30 × 30 = 900 mm2 The area of the yellow box is (30-d) × (30-d) = (30-d)2 mm2 The above calculation was for a 30 mm grid.19. See how the coin's center is one radius r away from a line. and then put a mark on the paper where the center of the coin is (just a rough estimate will do).752 = 162 mm2 (to the nearest mm2) So you should expect the coin to land not crossing a line of the grid approximately: "A" = 162 / 841 = 19.25)2 = 12. The yellow box is smaller than the grid by two radiuses (= one diameter) of the coin.3% of the time And "B" = 100% .3% = 80.7% Now do the calculations for your own grid size and coin size.

Grid Spacing S (mm): Diameter of Coin d (mm): Area of Grid Square = Area of Yellow Box = S2 (mm2): "A" (%): "B" (%): (S-d)2 (mm2): How do these theoretical results compare with your experimental results? It won't be exact (because it is a random thing) but it may be close. Different Sizes of Coin Try repeating the experiment using a different sized coin. how does this affect the values for A and B? Then do the experiment to see how close it gets. And you have seen the relationship between theory and reality. . Pentagon A pentagon has 5 straight sides Pentagon A pentagon is a 5-sided polygon (a flat shape with straight sides).. You have done some geometry. What You Have Done You have (hopefully) had fun running an experiment. • • First calculate the theoretical value . and had some experience calculating areas and probabilities..

This is a pentagon: And this is also a pentagon: So long as it has 5 straight sides. then it is regular. otherwise it is irregular Regular Pentagon Irregular Pentagons Is it a Pentagon? A pentagon has 5 straight lines. The shape must also be closed (all the lines connect up). not closed) . it is still a pentagon Regular or Irregular If all angles are equal and all sides are equal. Pentagon (straight sides) Not a Pentagon (has a curve) Not a Pentagon (open.

. Carefully tighten the knot while keeping the paper flat. . and all angles should be the same too. Trim off (or fold back) any excess. The Pentagram .Make a Regular Pentagon You can make a regular pentagon with a strip of paper! Start with a long strip of paper.. All sides are now of equal length. make sure it is the same width all along (if you want the pentagon to be regular): Make a "pretzel" knot with the paper...

which equals approximately 1.608. c/d = 1..The Pentagram (or Pentangle) is a 5-pointed star..618. .. You may think it has something to do with witchcraft.. but in fact it is more famous as a magical symbol and is also a holy symbol in many religions. So let's check to see what the ratios are: • • • 216/133 = 1. Or by drawing lines from corner to corner inside a pentagon.618 • • • a/b = 1..... I measured the 4 lengths and I got a=216. Inside a Pentagram is a Pentagon You can make a pentagram by first drawing a pentagon. this simple figure is quite amazing. c=82..618.. When I drew this.. Ratios But the pentagram has a special number hidden inside called the Golden Ratio. b=133.622. then extending the edges.618. 133/82 = 1..624. d=51. In fact. 82/51 = 1. b/c = 1.

If I had drawn and measured more accurately. This is a hexagon: And this is also a hexagon: So long as it has 6 straight sides. I would have been even closer! Why not have a go yourself: • • • Draw a regular pentagram Measure the lengths Calculate the ratios Irregular Pentagram So far we have only been looking at the regular pentagram (all sides and angles equal). it is still a hexagon . Hexagon A hexagon has 6 straight sides Hexagon A hexagon is a 6-sided polygon (a flat shape with straight sides). but there are also irregular pentagrams.

Here are the most common geometrical symbols: Symbol Meaning Triangle Angle Perpendicular Example ABC has 3 equal sides ABC is 45° AB CD In Words Triangle ABC has three equal sides The angle formed by ABC is 45 degrees. not closed) Symbols in Geometry Common Symbols Used in Geometry Symbols save time and space when writing. The line AB is perpendicular to line CD . The shape must also be closed (all the lines connect up). then it is regular.Regular or Irregular If all angles are equal and all sides are equal. otherwise it is irregular Regular Hexagon Irregular Hexagons Is it a Hexagon? A hexagon has 6 straight lines. Hexagon (straight sides) Not a Hexagon (has a curve) Not a Hexagon (open.

then the two shapes are called Congruent: . the angle BAC is a right angle" Congruent If one shape can become another using Turns. when someone writes: You know they are saying: In ABC. goes through B and continues on ABC DEF a=b DEF MNO b=a Triangle ABC is congruent to triangle DEF Triangle DEF is similar to triangle MNO a equals b. BAC is "In triangle ABC. different size) Therefore EF GH 360° makes a full circle is 90° AB The line EF is parallel to line GH A right angle is 90 degrees The line between A and B The infinite line that includes A and B The line that starts at A. Short Example So now. Flips and/or Slides. For example when you see " ABC is 45°".Parallel Degrees Right Angle (90°) Line Segment "AB" Line "AB" Ray "AB" Congruent (same shape and size) Similar (same shape. then the point "B" is where the angle is. therefore b equals a Naming Angles For angles the central letter is where the angle is.

area. Examples These shapes are all Congruent: Rotated Reflected and Moved Reflected and Rotated Congruent or Similar? The two shapes need to be the same size to be congruent. If you . . angles and line lengths. When you need to resize one shape to make it the same as the other....Rotation Turn! Reflection Flip! Translation Slide! After any of those transformations (turn. Then the shapes are . the shapes are called Similar. flip or slide). the shape still hasthe same size..

Just the same angle. These angles are congruent. That is all.. "to agree".. They don't have to point in the same direction. "to agree". Reflect and/or Translate Congruent Similar .. So the angles "agree" Similar Two shapes are Similar if the only difference is size (and possibly the need to turn or flip one around)..why such a funny word that basically means "equal"? Probably because they would only be "equal" if laid on top of each other. also need to Resize Congruent? Why such a funny word that basically means "equal"? Probably because they would only be "equal" if laid on top of each other. Anyway it comes from Latin congruere. only Rotate. So the shapes "agree" Congruent Angles Congruent Angles have the same angle (in degrees or radians). Congruent . They don't have to be on similar sized lines. .. Anyway it comes from Latincongruere.

contraction. compression.Resizing is the Key If one shape can become another using Resizing (also called dilation. Rotation Turn! Reflection Flip! Translation Slide! Examples These shapes are all Similar: . because you may need to turn. Too! Sometimes it can be hard to see if two shapes are Similar. enlargementor even expansion). Flips or Slides. flip or slide one shape as well as resizing it. then the shapes are Similar: These Shapes are Similar! There may be Turns.

and we can calculate: ? = 80 × (130/127) = 81. just common sense!) Congruent or Similar? But when you don't need to resize to make the shapes the same. This can make life a lot easier when solving geometry puzzles. they both have one right angle. and a shared angle in the left corner In fact you could flip over the red triangle. then resize it and it would fit exactly on top of the main triangle. then: • • corresponding angles are equal. So the line lengths will be in proportion. . they are called Congruent..9 (No fancy calculations. .. as in this example: Example: What is the missing length here? Notice that the red triangle has the same angles as the main triangle . rotate it a little.Resized Resized and Reflected Resized and Rotated Why is it Useful? When two shapes are similar. So they are similar triangles.. and the lines are in proportion..

Congruent Similar ...... also need to Resize Angles An angle measures the amount of turn Names of Angles As the Angle Increases. the Name Changes Type of Angle Acute Angle Right Angle Obtuse Angle Straight Angle Reflex Angle Description an angle that is less than 90° an angle that is 90° exactly an angle that is greater than 90° but less than 180° an angle that is 180° exactly an angle that is greater than 180° .. .So. if the shapes become the same: When you .. only Rotate. Reflect and/or Translate Then the shapes are ..

. And this is a Reflex Angle. so when naming the angles make sure that you know which angle is being asked for! Parts of an Angle The corner point of an angle is called the vertex And the two straight sides are called arms The angle is the amount of turn between each arm. But the lines are the same .Try It Yourself! View Larger Be Careful What You Measure This is an Obtuse Angle...

Labelling Angles There are two main ways to label angles: 1. For example 90° means 90 degrees One Degree This is how large 1 Degree is . (Angles can also be measured in Radians) (Note: "Degrees" can also mean Temperature. usually a lower-case letter like a or b. with the middle letter being where the angle actually is (its vertex). or sometimes a Greek letter like α (alpha) or θ (theta) 2. or by the three letters on the shape that define the angle. but here we are talking about Angles) The Degree Symbol: ° We use a little circle ° following the number to mean degrees. by giving the angle a name. Example angle "a" is "BAC". and angle "θ" is "BCD" Degrees (Angles) We can measure Angles in Degrees. There are 360 degrees in one Full Rotation (one complete circle around).

The Full Circle A Full Circle is 360° Half a circle is 180° (called a Straight Angle) Quarter of a circle is 90° (called a Right Angle) Why 360 degrees? Probably because old calendars (such as the Persian Calendar) used 360 days for a year . Measuring Degrees We often measure degrees using a protractor: The normal protractor measures 0° to 180° .when they watched the stars they saw them revolve around the North Star one degree per day.

But they are not as commonly used because they are a bit big and don't do anything special. Acute Angles Different Angles have different names: An Acute Angle is less than 90° This is an acute angle All the angles below are acute angles: .You can also get full-circle protractors.

Which Angle? Remember to look carefully at which angle you are being asked to name: The acute angle is the small angle which is less than 90°. If you choose the larger angle you would have a Reflex Angle instead: The smaller angle is an Acute Angle. but the larger angle is a Reflex Angle Right Angles A right angle is an internal angle which is equal to 90° .

If you see the box in the corner. you are being told it is a right angle. If you see this. it is a right angle. All the angles below are right angles: A right angle can be in any orientation or rotation as long as the internal angle is 90° Types of Angles Read more about Angles Obtuse Angles . The 90° is rarely written in.This is a right angle Note the special symbol like a box in the angle.

It is more than 90° and less than 180°. The obtuse angle is the smaller angle. .Different Angles have different names: An Obtuse Angle is more than 90° but less than 180° This is an obtuse angle ! All the angles below are obtuse angles: Which Angle? Remember to look carefully at which angle you are being asked to name.

idea or direction. . Sometimes people say "You did a complete 180 on that!" ... but the larger angle is a Reflex Angle Straight Angle A straight angle is 180 degrees This is a straight angle A straight angle changes the direction to point the opposite way.If you choose the larger angle you would have a Reflex Angle instead: The smaller angle is an Obtuse Angle. meaning you completely changed your mind.

All the angles below are straight angles: Reflex Angles Different Angles have different names: A Reflex Angle is more than 180° but less than 360° This is a reflex angle All the angles below are reflex angles: .

The reflex angle is the larger angle.Which Angle? Remember to look carefully at which angle you are being asked to name. and Pairs of Angles . but the smaller angle is an Obtuse Angle Parallel Lines. It is more than 180° but less than 360° If you choose the smaller angle you might have an Acute Angle. or an Obtuse Angle instead: The larger angle is a Reflex Angle. but the smaller angle is an Acute Angle The larger angle is a Reflex Angle.

as in this example: These angles can be made into pairs of angles which have special names. Testing for Parallel Lines Some of those special pairs of angles can be used to test if lines really are parallel: . you can see that many angles are the same.Parallel Lines Lines are parallel if they are always the same distance apart (called "equidistant"). The red line is parallel to the blue line in both these cases: Example 1 Parallel lines also point in the same direction. Example 2 Pairs of Angles When parallel lines get crossed by another line (which is called aTransversal). and will never meet. Just remember: Always the same distance apart and never touching.

because a pair of Consecutive Interior Angles do not add up to 180° (81° + 101° =182°) ...If Any Pair Of . then the lines are Parallel Examples These lines are parallel. because a pair of Corresponding Anglesare equal... These lines are not parallel. or Alternate Exterior Angles are equal. or Consecutive Interior Angles add up to 180° Example: a=e c=f b=g d + f = 180° . or Alternate Interior Angles are equal. Corresponding Angles are equal.

because a pair of Alternate Interior Angles are equal Transversals A Transversal is a line that crosses at least two other lines. The red line is the transversal in each example: Transversal crossing two lines this Transversal crosses two parallel lines .. and this one cuts across three lines Supplementary Angles Two Angles are Supplementary if they add up to 180 degrees. .These lines are parallel..

because they add up to 180°. to complete or "supply" what is needed. and "S" of Supplementary stands for "Straight" (180 degrees is a straight line) You could also think "Supplement" (like a Vitamin Supplement) is something extra. they add up to 90° How can you remember which is which? Easy! Think: • • "C" of Complementary stands for "Corner" (a Right Angle). Angles Around a Point . so it it bigger. Spelling: be careful. These two are supplementary because 60° + 120° = 180° If the two angles add to 180°.These two angles (140° and 40°) are Supplementary Angles. Supplement comes from Latin supplere. Notice that together they make a straight angle. we say they "Supplement" each other. But the angles don't have to be together. it is not "Supplimentary Angle" (with an "i") Complementary vs Supplementary A related idea is Complementary Angles.

The angles above all add to 360° 53° + 80° + 140° + 87° = 360° Because of this.Angles around a point will always add up to 360 degrees. we can find an unknown angle. . If a line is split into 2 and you know one angle you can always find the other one. Example: What is angle "c"? To find angle c we take the sum of the known angles and take that from 360° Sum of known angles = 110° + 75° + 50° + 63° Sum of known angles = 298° Angle c = 360° − 298° Angle c = 62° Angles On One Side of A Straight Line Angles on one side of a straight line will always add to 180 degrees.

.30° + 150° = 180° Example: If we know one angle is 45° what is angle "a" ? Angle a is 180° − 45° = 135° This method can be used for several angles on one side of a straight line. Sum of known angles = 45° + 39° + 24° Sum of known angles = 108° Angle b = 180° − 108° Angle b = 72° Interior Angle An Interior Angle is an angle inside a shape. Example: What is angle "b" ? Angle b is simply 180° less the sum of the other angles.

Note: If you add up the Interior Angle and Exterior Angle you get a straight line. Note: If you add up the Interior Angle and Exterior Angle you get a straight line. 180°. and a line extended from the next side.. ". . In Mathematics we often say "the set of all points that .. (See Supplementary Angles) Set of All Points That .. surface or other interesting thing.. Points can make a line Example: A Circle is: "the set of all points on a plane that are a fixed distance from a central point". If you collect ALL points that share a property you can end up with a line. What does it mean? A set is just a collection of things with some common property. 180°. (See Supplementary Angles) Exterior Angle The Exterior Angle is the angle between any side of a shape.

. let them be in 3D space .. you will actually have a circle. a circle is "the locus of points on a plane that are a fixed distance from the center". So. Example: An ellipse is the locus of points whose distance from two fixed points add up to a constant. (The points "A" and "B" are called the foci of the ellipse) . Surface Now imagine all the points that are a fixed distance from a center (like the circle) but no longer just on a plane." is used so much it even has a name: Locus. So. just a few points start to look like a circle. no matter where you are on the ellipse. you can add up the distance to point "A" and to point "B" and it will always be the same result... Note: "Locus" usually means that the points make a continuous curve or surface. but if you collect ALL the points. you would have a sphere! Locus The idea of "the set of all points that . A Locus is a set of points that share a property.As you can see.

The idea of "Locus" can be used to create some weird and wonderful shapes! Conic Sections Conic Section: a section (or slice) through a cone. so the . the ratio is 1. • • For an ellipse. Did you know that by taking different slices through a cone you can create a circle. a parabola or a hyperbola? Cones Circle straight through Ellipse slight angle Parabola parallel to edge of cone Hyperbola steep angle So all those curves are related! Focus! The curves can also be defined using a straight line and a point (called the directrix and focus). the ratio is less than 1 For a parabola. If you measure the distance: • • from the focus to a point on the curve. and perpendicularly from the directrix to that point the two distances will always be the same ratio. an ellipse.

Latus Rectum The latus rectum (no. is 2b2/a (where a and b are one half of the major and minor diameter). for eccentricity = 1 a parabola. is the diameter In an ellipse. • For a hyperbola. A circle has an eccentricity of zero. and for eccentricity > 1 a hyperbola. the less curved it is. Its length: • • • In a parabola. so the eccentricity shows you how "un-circular" the curve is. is four times the focal length In a circle. The bigger the eccentricity. it is not a rude word!) runs parallel to the directrix and passes through the focus. so we can say that any conic section is: "all points whose distance to the focus is equal to the eccentricity times the distance to the directrix" • • • For 0 < eccentricity < 1 we get an ellipse. .two distances areequal. the ratio is greater than 1 Eccentricity That ratio above is called the "eccentricity".

that should do it! And each one needs a factor (A. we need to go to the next level. x and y together (xy) and a constant term. so just "x" and "y" will not do . parabola and hyperbola . ellipse... y (without x). General Equation In fact. But these are not straight lines.. So the general equation that covers all conic sections is: And from that equation we can create equations for the circle.. and also x (without y). There. There is not just one focus and directrix. Because they are plane curves (even though cut out of the solid) we only have to deal with Cartesian ("x" and "y") Coordinates.C etc) . we can make an equation that covers all these curves. and have: • • • • x2 and y2. but a pair of them (one each side).Here you can see the major axis andminor axis of an ellipse. .. but that is beyond the scope of this page. Ellipse An ellipse is like a squashed circle..B.

.. put a loop of string around them. . when you go from point "F" to any point on the ellipse and then go on to point "G". and together they are called foci. Keep the string stretched so it forms a triangle. and insert a pencil into the loop. an ellipse has two "centers" called foci. you will always travel the same distance. The distance f+g is always the same value In other words. "G" is a focus. and draw a line .Just like a Circle has one center. It works because the string naturally forces the same distance from pin-to-pencilto-other-pin. You Can Draw It Yourself Put two pins in a board. "F" is a focus. you will draw an ellipse.

Section of a Cone You can also get an ellipse when you slice through a cone (but not too steep a slice. In fact the ellipse is a conic section (a section of a cone) with an eccentricitybetween 0 and 1. and you get π × r × r = πr2. Calculations Area The area of an ellipse is π × a × b (If it is a circle. which is right!) . or you get a parabola or hyperbola). Ellipses Rule! Definition An ellipse is the set of all points on a plane whose distance from two fixed points F and G add up to a constant. where both foci are at the same point (the center). a circle is a "special case" of an ellipse.A Circle is an Ellipse In fact a Circle is an Ellipse. In other words. then a and b are equal to the radius.

) .y2/b2 = 1. the equation of the curve is: x2/a2 + y2/b2 = 1 (very similar to the equation of the hyperbola: x2/a2 ...Perimeter Approximation Rather strangely.. except for a "+" instead of a "-") Parabola If you kick a soccer ball (or shoot an arrow.. so I created a special page for the subject: read Perimeter of an Ellipse for more details. the perimeter of an ellipse is very difficult to calculate. this is only a rough approximation! Equation By placing an ellipse on an x-y graph (with its major axis on the x-axis and minor axis on the y-axis). fire a missile or throw a stone) it will arc up into the air and come down again . But a simple approximation that is within about 5% of the true value (so long as a is not more than 3 times longer than b) is as follows: Remember. following the path of a parabola! (Except for how the air affects it. .

Keep going until you have lots of little dots. then join the little dots and you will have a parabola! Names Here are the important names: • • the directrix and focus (explained above) the axis of symmetry (goes through the focus. Now play around with some measurements until you have another dot that is exactly the same distance from the focus and the straight line. at right angles to the directrix) the vertex (where the parabola makes its sharpest turn) is halfway between the focus and directrix. • . and a fixed straight line (the directrix) Get a piece of paper.Definition A parabola is a curve where any point is at an equal distance from: • • a fixed point (the focus). draw a straight line on it. then make a big dot for the focus (not on the line!).

the reflector on spotlights and torches. So the parabola can be used for: • • • • • satellite dishes. Therefore. because that's where all the rays get focused! You can also get a parabola when you slice through a cone (the slice must be parallel to the side of the cone). concentrating the sun's rays to make a hot spot.Reflector And a parabola has this amazing property: Any ray parallel to the axis of symmetry gets reflected off the surface straight to the focus. etc And that explains why that dot is called the focus .. . the parabola is a conic section (a section of a cone). radar dishes..

what measurments do you need? To make it easy to build. And we want "a" to be 200. let's have it pointing upwards. and the focus of y2=5x is: F = (a. then the curve is defined by: y2 = 4ax Example: Where is the focus in the equation y2=5x ? Converting y2 = 5x to y2 = 4ax form. and so we choose the x2 = 4ay equation. we get y2 = 4 (5/4) x. so the equation becomes: .0) The equations of parabolas in different orientations are as follows: y2 = 4ax y2 = -4ax x2 = 4ay x2 = -4ay Measurements for a Parabolic Dish If you want to build a parabolic dish where the focus is 200 mm above the surface. so a = 5/4.0) = (5/4.Equations If you place the parabola on the cartesian coordinates (x-y graph) with: • • its vertex at the origin "O" and its axis of symmetry lying on the x-axis.

If this happens. then the path of the spacecraft is a hyperbola. . (See this happen in Gravity Freeplay) Definition A hyperbola is a curve where the distances of any point from: • • a fixed point (the focus).0 mm If you build one tell me.x2 = 4ay = 4 × 200 × y = 800y Rearranging so we can calculate heights: y = x2/800 And here are some height measurments as you run along: Distance Along ("x") 0 mm 100 mm 200 mm 300 mm 400 mm 500 mm 600 mm Height ("y") 0.5 mm 200.5 mm 50.0 mm 12.5 mm 450. and a fixed straight line (the directrix) are always in the same ratio.0 mm 112. and I can include a picture of it! Hyperbola Did you know that the orbit of a spacecraft can sometimes be a hyperbola? A spacecraft can use the gravity of a planet to alter its path and propel it at high speed away from the planet and back out into space using a technique called "gravitational slingshot".0 mm 312.

But that isn't the full story! Because a hyperbola is actually two separate curves in mirror image like this: On the diagram you can see: .This ratio is called the eccentricity. The hyperbola is an open curve (has no ends). and for a hyperbola it is always greater than 1.

except for a "-" instead of a "+") . strictly speaking. at right angles to the directrix) two vertices (where each curve makes its sharpest turn) The "asymptotes" (shown on the diagram) are not part of the hyperbola. the hyperbola is a conic section (a section of a cone). Conic Section You can also get a hyperbola when you slice through a cone (the slice must be steep . and the other is at (-a. Equation By placing a hyperbola on an x-y graph (centered over the x-axis and y-axis). And. the equation of the curve is: x2/a2 . 0) The asymptotes are the straight lines: • • y = (b/a)x y = -(b/a)x And the equation is also similar to the equation of the ellipse: x2/a2+ y2/b2 = 1.steeper than that for a parabola). but show where the curve would go if continued indefinitely in each of the four directions. 0).• • • a directrix and a focus (one on each side) an axis of symmetry (that goes through each focus. there is also another axis of symmetry that reflects the two separate curves of the hyperbola.y2/b2 = 1 Also: One vertex is at (a. Therefore.

F is the focus and N is the point on the directrix so that PN is perpendicular to the directrix. It can also given by the formula: e= Using "a" and "b" from the diagram above Latus Rectum The Latus Rectum is the line through the focus and parallel to the directrix. Transformations . The length of the Latus Rectum is 2b2/a. it shows how On this diagram: • • • P is a point on the curve.Eccentricity We already mentioned the eccentricity (usually shown as the letter "uncurvy" (varying from being a circle) the hyperbola is. e). The ratio PF/PN is the eccentricity of the hyperbola (for a hyperbola the eccentricity is always greater than 1).

The shape becomes bigger or smaller: Resizing If you have to Resize to make one shape become another then the shapes are not Congruent. Resizing The other important Transformation is Resizing (also called dilation. then the two shapes are called Congruent. compression. area. the shape still hasthe same size. flip or slide). angles and line lengths.The three main Transformations are: Rotation Turn! Reflection Flip! Translation Slide! After any of those transformations (turn. contraction. enlargement or even expansion). . but they are Similar. Flips and/or Slides. If one shape can become another using Turns.

glass. in mirrors. . Reflect and/or Translate ... and here in a lake... Here a triangle is rotated around the point marked with a "+" Reflection Reflections are everywhere .. what do you notice ? .. need to Resize Then the shapes are .. if one shape can become another using transformation.. the two shapes might be Congruent or just Similar If you .. Congruent Similar Rotation "Rotation" means turning around a center: The distance from the center to any point on the shape stays the same.. only Rotate.Congruent or Similar So... . Every point makes a circle around the center.

Can A Mirror Line Be Vertical? Yes.....Every point is the same distance from the central line ! . The reflection has the same size as the original image The central line is called the Mirror Line ... and . Here my dog "Flame" shows a Vertical Mirror Line (with a bit of photo magic) .

the reflected image is always the same size.. it just faces the other way: A reflection is a flip over a line You can try reflecting some shapes about different mirror lines here: View Larger ...In fact Mirror Lines can be in any direction. . Imagine turning the photo at the top in different directions ..

just change each (x. Then connect the new dots up! Labels It is common to label each corner with letters.-y) Y-Axis If the mirror line is the y-axis. Measure the same distance the mirror line (must hit the mirror line at a right angle) again on the other side and place a dot. Here the original is ABC and the reflected image is A'B'C' Some Tricks X-Axis If the mirror line is the x-axis.How Do I Do It Myself? Just approach it step-by-step. For each corner of the shape: 1. Measure from the point to 2. just change each (x. and to use a little dash (called aPrime) to mark each corner of the reflected image.y) into (-x.y) into (x.y) . 3.

without rotating. resizing or anything else.. To Translate a shape: Every point of the shape must move: • • the same distance in the same direction..Fold the Paper And if all else fails. . try translating different shapes here: . To see how this works. just moving. just fold your sheet of paper along the mirror line and then hold it up to the light ! Translation In Geometry.. "Translation" simply means Moving ..

Example: if we want to say that the shape gets moved 30 Units in the "X" direction. we can write: This says "all the x and y coordinates will become x+30 and y+40" . Writing it Down Sometimes we just want to write down the translation. Try both to see what happens. or by x-and-y.View Larger Note: You can translate either by angle-and-distance. and 40 Units in the "Y" direction. without showing it on a graph.

contraction.) To resize.Resizing When you resize a shape it gets bigger or smaller. compression. but it still looks similar: • • all angles stay the same relative sizes are the same (for example the face and body are still in proportion) Note: here we call it resizing. . just do this for every corner: • • • draw a line from the central point to the corner increase (or decrease) the length of that line put a dot at the new point Then just connect the dots for the resized shape! Symmetry [syn. enlargement or even expansion! Same idea.. because one half is the reflection of the other half. It is easy to recognise. .. but other people call it dilation. just different names.together + metron measure] Reflection Symmetry The simplest symmetry is Reflection Symmetry (sometimes called Line Symmetry or Mirror Symmetry).

go to Reflection Symmetry. because the image is changed a little by the lake surface. Rotational Symmetry With Rotational Symmetry. Here are some examples (they were made using Symmetry Artist. but in this case: • • the Line of Symmetry is the horizon it is not perfect symmetry. it can be in any direction. To learn more. How many times it appears is called the Order. the image is rotated (around a central point) so that it appears 2 or more times.Here my dog "Flame" has her face made perfectly symmetrical with a bit of photo magic. and you can try it yourself!) Order Example Shape Artwork . The Line of Symmetry does not have to be up-down or left-right. The white line down the center is the Line of Symmetry The reflection in this lake also has symmetry.

Here my dog "Flame" has her face made perfectly symmetrical with a bit of photo magic.... 5. (Note: this is the same as "Rotational Symmetry of Order 2" above) Reflection Symmetry Reflection Symmetry Reflection Symmetry (sometimes called Line Symmetry or Mirror Symmetry) is easy to recognise. etc .. and there is Order 4. The white line down the center is the Line of Symmetry (also called the "Mirror Line") . because one half is the reflection of the other half. Point Symmetry Point Symmetry is when every part has a matching part: • • the same distance from the orgin but in in the opposite direction..

because the image is changed a little by the lake surface. it can be in any direction. and they are named for the line they make on the standard XY graph. Line of Symmetry The Line of Symmetry (also called the Mirror Line) does not have to be updown or left-right. but in this case: • • the Line of Symmetry is the horizon it is not perfect symmetry. See these examples (the artwork was made using Symmetry Artist) : Line of Symmetry Sample Artwork Example Shape .The reflection in this lake also has symmetry. But there are four common directions.

no angles equal) 3 Lines of Symmetry 1 Line of Symmetry No Lines of Symmetry I have collected some more examples at Lines of Symmetry of Plane Shapes. all angles equal) Isosceles Triangle (two sides equal. or 1 or no lines of symmetry: Equilateral Triangle (all sides equal.Plane Shapes Not all shapes have lines of symmetry. two angles equal) Scalene Triangle (no sides equal. a Triangle can have 3. or they may have several lines of symmetry. Rotational Symmetry . For example.

the shape or image can be rotated and it still looks the same. How many matches there are as you go once around is called the Order.Rotational Symmetry With Rotational Symmetry. Examples of Different Rotational Symmetry Order Order Example Shape Artwork (using Symmetry Artist) . If you think of propeller blades (like below) it makes it easier.

because the word "Symmetry" comes from syn. and there is also Order 5. . and .. 6.. 10. oops. and so on ... and there can't be "together" if there is just one thing... 7.. Real World Examples A Dartboard has Rotational Symmetry of Order 10 The US Bronze Star Medal has Order 5 The London Eye has Order . Is there Rotational Symmetry of Order 1 ? Not really! If a shape only matches itself once as you go around (ie it matches itself after one full rotation) there is really no symmetry at all... and then there is Order 9.together and metron measure... I lost count! Point Symmetry .

so that they look the same from the top or bottom. Examples Playing Cards often have Point Symmetry. These Letters have Point Symmetry. too! ... or from any two opposite directions*) Point Symmetry Point Symmetry is when every part has a matching part: • • the same distance from the central point but in the opposite direction.It looks the same Upside Down! (. (It is the same as "Rotational Symmetry of Order 2") Note: Point Symmetry is sometimes called Origin Symmetry. because the "Origin" is the central point about which the shape is symmetrical.

Example: If cut at 45°. . and anything with Point Symmetry will look the same from the opposite direction. In other words the view from 45°. pick a direction. the two halves of this card are identical. too. and the opposite direction of 45° (which is 225°) are the same.*Same from Opposite Direction? Yes. Lines of Symmetry of Plane Shapes Line of Symmetry Here my dog "Flame" has her face made perfectly symmetrical with a bit of photo magic. The white line down the center is theLine of Symmetry Read more at Reflection Symmetry.

then the fold line is a Line of Symmetry. all edges matching): So this is a Line of Symmetry Triangles A Triangle can have 3. and it didn't work. So this is not a Line of Symmetry But when I try it this way. all angles equal) Isosceles Triangle (two sides equal. When the folded part sits perfectly on top (all edges matching). or 1 or no lines of symmetry: Equilateral Triangle (all sides equal. Here I have folded a rectangle one way. two angles equal) Scalene Triangle (no sides equal. it does work (the folded part sits perfectly on top. no angles equal) 3 Lines of Symmetry 1 Line of Symmetry No Lines of Symmetry .Folding Test You can find if a shape has a Line of Symmetry by folding it.

Quadrilaterals Different types of Quadrilaterals (a 4-sided plane shape): Square (all sides equal. all angles 90°) Rectangle (opposite sides equal. and all angles equal: An Equilateral Triangle (3 sides) has 3 Lines of Symmetry . all angles 90°) Irregular Quadrilateral 4 Lines of Symmetry 2 Lines of Symmetry No Lines of Symmetry Kite Rhombus (all sides equal length) 1 Line of Symmetry 2 Lines of Symmetry Regular Polygons A regular polygon has all sides equal.

.A Square (4 sides) has 4 Lines of Symmetry A Regular Pentagon (5 sides) has 5 Lines of Symmetry A Regular Hexagon (6 sides) has 6 Lines of Symmetry A Regular Heptagon (7 sides) has 7 Lines of Symmetry A Regular Octagon (8 sides) has 8 Lines of Symmetry And the pattern continues: • • • • A regular polygon of 9 sides has 9 Lines of Symmetry A regular polygon of 10 sides has 10 Lines of Symmetry .. A regular polygon of "n" sides has "n" Lines of Symmetry .

Cube (Hexahedron) Cube (Hexahedron) Facts Notice these interesting things: It has 6 Faces Each face has 4 edges. and is actually a square It has 12 Edges It has 8 Vertices (corner points) and at each vertex 3 edges meet And for reference: Surface Area = 6 × (Edge Length)2 Volume = (Edge Length)3 A cube is called a hexahedron because it is a polyhedron that has 6 (hexameans 6) faces. Instructions: In "spin" mode it freely spins and will respond to your mouse. So a Circle has infinite Lines of Symmetry.Circle A line (drawn at any angle) that goes through its center is a Line of Symmetry. Note: If you have more than one hexahedron they are calledhexahedra (and the plural of cube is cubes of course!) . In "drag" mode it stops spinning and you can use your mouse to move it.

and each face is the same size. It is also a prism because it has the same cross-section along a length. you can make fair dice out of all of the Platonic Solids. In fact it is a rectangular prism. because they are regular in shape. You can even fit them inside other cuboids! A box with a slot cut Cuboids in a cuboid room as a handle Boxes for model trains Now that's just silly! Volume and Surface Area The volume of a cuboid is found using the formula: Volume = Height × Width × Length Which is usually shortened to: . Examples of Cuboids Cuboids are very common in our world. from boxes to buildings we see them everywhere.Cubes make nice 6-sided dice. In fact. Rectangular Prisms and Cubes A cuboid is a box-shaped object. And all of its faces are rectangles. Cuboids. It has six flat sides and all angles are right angles.

(Note: this doesn't stop it from also being called a rectangular prism if you want!) . V = 4×5×10 = 200 A = 2×4×5 + 2×5×10 + 2×10×4 = 40+100+80 = 220 Square Prism When at least two of the lengths are equal it can also be called a square prism.V=h×w×l Or more simply: V = hwl Surface Area And the surface area is found using the formula: A = 2wl + 2lh + 2hw Example: Find the volume and surface area of this cuboid.

but close). Another use of -oid is when we talk about the Earth being a spheroid (not exactly a sphere. and A square prism is just a special case of a rectangular prism. So: • • A cube is just a special case of a square prism. Length Volume = Height × Width × Length . Look at this shape. or resembling") and so indicates "it is like a cube". They are all cuboids! and • Note: The name "cuboid" comes from "cube" and -oid (which means "similar to. There are 3 different measurements: Height. The volume is found using the formula: Width. So to work out the volume we need to know 3 measurements.Cube If all three lengths are equal it can be called a cube (or hexahedron) and each face will be a square. A cube is still a prism. Volume of a Cuboid A cuboid is a 3 dimensional shape. And a cube is one of the Platonic Solids.

Which is usually shortened to: V=h×w×l Or more simply: V = hwl In Any Order It doesn't really matter which one is length. cut them out. width or height. and you will have your own platonic solids. The Platonic Solids For each solid we have two printable nets (with and without tabs). tape the edges. so long as you multiply all three together. Example: What is the volume: The volume is: 4 × 5 × 10 = 200 units3 10 × 5 × 4 = 200 units3 It also works out the same like this: Platonic Solids A Platonic Solid is a 3D shape where: • • each face is the same regular polygon the same number of polygons meet at each vertex (corner) Example: the Cube is a Platonic Solid • • each face is the same-sized square 3 squares meet at each corner There are only five platonic solids. . You can make models with them! Print them on a piece of card.

Tetrahedron • • • • • • • 3 triangles meet at each vertex 4 Faces 4 Vertices 6 Edges Tetrahedron Net Tetrahedron Net (with tabs) Spin a Tetrahedron Cube • • • • • • • 3 squares meet at each vertex 6 Faces 8 Vertices 12 Edges Cube Net Cube Net (with tabs) Spin a Cube Octahedron • • • • • • • 4 triangles meet at each vertex 8 Faces 6 Vertices 12 Edges Octahedron Net Octahedron Net (with tabs) Spin an Octahedron Dodecahedron • • • • • • • 3 pentagons meet at each vertex 12 Faces 20 Vertices 30 Edges Dodecahedron Net Dodecahedron Net (with tabs) Spin a Dodecahedron .

..that's a prism ! . it has the same cross section all along its length .. The cross section of this object is atriangle .Icosahedron • • • • • • • 5 triangles meet at each vertex 20 Faces 12 Vertices 30 Edges Icosahedron Net Icosahedron Net (with tabs) Spin an Icosahedron Prisms A prism has the same cross section all along its length ! A cross section is the shape you get when cutting straight across an object. Then imagine it extending up from the sheet of paper... . ... and so it's a triangular prism. Try drawing a shape on a piece of paper (using straight lines!)..

a cube is a prism. which means the cross section will be a polygon (a straight-edged figure) . because it has curved sides... For example. a cylinder is not a prism.No Curves! A prism is a polyhedron. because it is a square all along its length) (Also see Rectangular Prisms ) . so all sides will be flat! No curved sides. These are all Prisms: Square Prism: Cross-Section: Cube: Cross-Section: (yes.

) Here is an example of an Irregular Prism: Irregular Pentagonal Prism: Cross-Section (It is "irregular" because the Pentagon is not "regular"in shape) Volume of a Prism The Volume of a prism is simply the area of one end times the length of the prism . because the cross section is regular (in other words it is a shape with equal edge lengths. and equal angles.Triangular Prism: Cross-Section: Pentagonal Prism: Cross-Section: Regular and Irregular Prisms All the previous examples are Regular Prisms.

and the sides are still parallelograms! But if the two ends are not parallel it is not a prism.Volume = Area × Length Example: What is the volume of a prism whose ends have an area of 25 in2 and which is 12 in long: Answer: Volume = 25 in2 × 12 in = 300 in3 (Note: we have an Area Calculation Tool) Other Things to Know The sides of a prism are parallelograms (flat shapes that have opposites sides parallel). Pyramids . making it anoblique prism. A prism can lean to one side. but the two ends are still parallel.

because their base is a Square. They are actually Square Pyramids. Parts of a Pyramid A pyramid is made by connecting a base to an apex Types of Pyramids There are many types of Pyramids.When we think of pyramids we think of the Great Pyramids of Egypt. Pyramid Base . and they are named after the shape of their base.

and so on . If the apex is directly above the center of the base. then it is a Right Pyramid..Triangular Pyramid: Details >> Square Pyramid: Details >> Pentagonal Pyramid: Details >> .. Right vs Oblique Pyramid This tells you where the top (apex) of the pyramid is. otherwise it is an Oblique Pyramid. Right Pyramid Oblique Pyramid ...

If the base is a regular polygon. then it is a Regular Pyramid. Regular Pyramid Irregular Pyramid Base is Regular Base is Irregular Area and Volume The Volume of a Pyramid • 1 /3 × [Base Area] × Height The Surface Area of a Pyramid When all side faces are the same: • [Base Area] + 1/2 × Perimeter × [Slant Length] When side faces are different: • [Base Area] + [Lateral Area] Notes On Surface Area The Surface Area has two parts: the area of the base (the Base Area). otherwise it is an Irregular Pyramid.Regular vs Irregular Pyramid This tells us about the shape of the base. and the area of the side faces .

This is because the side faces are always triangles and the triangle formula is "base times height divided by 2" But if the side faces are different (such as an "irregular" pyramid) then add up the area of each triangular shape to find the total lateral area. etc. or our Area Calculation Tool For Lateral Area : When all the side faces are the same: • Just multiply the perimeter by the "slant length" and divide by 2.(the Lateral Area). there are different formulas for triangle. square. Balls and marbles are shaped like spheres. See Area for formulas. . Sphere Sphere Facts Notice these interesting things: It is per fec tly It has no edges or vertices (corners) sy m me tric al It is not a polyhedron All points on the surface are the same distance from the center Glass Sphere. For Base Area : It depends on the shape.

An d for ref ere nc e: Su rfa ce Ar ea = 4 Volume = (4/3) × × π × r3 π × r2 .

Largest Volume for Smallest Surface
Of all the shapes, a sphere has the smallest surface area for a volume. Or put another way it can contain the greatest volume for a fixed surface area. Example: if you blow up a balloon it naturally forms a sphere because it is trying to hold as much air as possible with as small a surface as possible. Press the Play button to see.

In Nature
The sphere appears in nature whenever a surface wants to be as small as possible. Examples include bubbles and water drops, can you think of more?

The Earth
The Planet Earth, our home, is nearlya sphere, except that it is squashed a little at the poles.

It is a spheroid, which means it just misses out on being a sphere because it isn't perfect in one direction (in the Earth's case: North-South)

Other Cool Spheres

Torus
Torus Facts
Notice these interesting things:

It ca n be ma de by rev olv ing a sm all cir cle It has no edges or vertices alo ng a lin e ma de by an oth er cir cle .

It is not a polyhedron

An d for ref er en ce:

Su rfa ce Ar ea = 4 Volume = 2 × ×

π2 × R × r2

π2
× R × r
Note: Area and volume formulas only work when the torus has a hole!

And did you know that Torus was the Latin word for a cushion? (This is not a realroman cushion, just an illustration I made)

Torus in the Sky. The Torus is such a beautiful solid, this one would be fun at the beach !

Note: If you have more than one torus they are called tori

More Torus Images
As the small radius (r) gets larger and larger, the torus goes from looking like a Tire to a Donut:

Cylinder
Cylinder Facts
Notice these interesting things:

I The base is the same as the top, and also int between h a s a f l a t b a s e a n d a f l a

t t o p It has one curved side Because it has a curved surface it is not a polyhedron. A n d f o r r e f e r e n c e : Surface Area of One End = π × r2 Surface Area of Side = 2 × π × r × h S u r f a c e A r e a = 2 × • • .

π × r × ( r + h ) Volume = π × r2 × h Instructions: In "spin" mode it freely spins and will respond to your mouse. An object shaped like a cylinder is said to be cylindrical Volume of a Cylinder Just multiply the area of the circle by the height of the cylinder: • • • Area of the circle: Height: π×r 2 h Volume = Area × Height = π×r 2 ×h . In "drag" mode it stops spinning and you can use your mouse to move it.

but you can also have Elliptical Cylinders... and z × z as z2. then it will still be a cylinder. like this one: You can even have stranger cylinders: if the cross-section is curved and is the same from one end to the other. what is the volume? Answer: pi ×z×z×a (we would normally write "pi" as π.There is an easy way to remember: Imagine you just cooked a pizza. and the thickness "a" is the same everywhere . but you get the idea!) It Doesn't Have to Be Circular Usually when we say Cylinder we mean a Circular Cylinder. The radius is "z". More Cylinders Cone .

In "drag" spinning and you can use your mouse to move it. An d for refe ren ce: Surf ace Are a of B Surface Area of Side = π × r × s ase =π × r2 or Surface Area of Side = π × r × √(r2+h2) Volume = π × r2 × (h/3) In "spin" mode it freely spins and will respond to your mouse. .Cone Facts Notice these interesting things: It has a It has one curved side flat base Because it has a curved surface it is not a polyhedron.

• • • The pointy end of a cone is called the vertex orapex The flat part is the base An object shaped like a cone is said to be conical .

A Cone is a Rotated Triangle A cone is made by rotating a triangle! The triangle has to be a right-angled triangle. the only difference is that a cone's volume is one third (1/3) of a cylinder's. you get 3 times more! Different Shaped Cones . The side it rotates around is the axis of the cone. in future. and it gets rotated around one of its two short sides. So. Volume of a Cone vs Cylinder The volume formulas for cones and cylinders are very similar: The volume of a cylinder is: π × r2 × h The volume of a cone is: π × r2 × (h/3) So. not cones. order your ice creams in cylinders.

Edges and Faces A vertex is a corner An edge joins one vertex with another A face is an individual surface Let us look more closely at each of those: Vertices A vertex (plural: vertices) is a point where two or more straight lines meet. And this pentagon has 5 vertices . This tetrahedron has 4 vertices.Vertices. It is a Corner.

This tetrahedron has 6 edges. And this pentagon has 5 edges It can also be the boundary of a shape. This tetrahedron has 4 faces (there is one face you can't see) Euler's Formula For many solid shapes the • • • Number of Faces plus the Number of Vertices minus the Number of Edges . Such as the circumference of a circle. Faces A face is any of the individual surfaces of a solid object.Edges An edge is a line segment that joins two vertices.

8 Vertices. and 12 Edges.E = 2 Try it on the cube: A cube has 6 Faces. this page is about the one used in Geometry and Graphs) Euler's Formula For any polyhedron that doesn't intersect itself. the • • • Number of Faces plus the Number of Vertices (corner points) minus the Number of Edges always equals 2 This can be written: F + V . so: 6 + 8 .12 = 2 . 8 Vertices. so: 6 + 8 . and 12 Edges.always equals 2 This can be written: F + V .12 = 2 (To find out more about this read Euler's Formula.E = 2 Try it on the cube: A cube has 6 Faces.) Euler's Formula (There is another "Euler's Formula" about complex numbers.

.To see why this works. read on!) Example With Platonic Solids Let's try with the 5 Platonic Solids (Note: Euler's Formula can be used to prove that there are only 5 Platonic Solids): Name Tetrahedron Faces Vertices Edges 4 4 6 F+V-E 2 Cube 6 8 12 2 Octahedron 8 6 12 2 Dodecahedron 12 20 30 2 Icosahedron 20 12 30 2 .13 = 2. You will have an extra edge. 6 + 9 .13 = 2 Likewise if you included another vertex (say halfway along a line) you would get an extra edge. you always end up with 2" (But only for this type of Polyhedron . too. "No matter what you do. plus an extra face: 7 + 8 . imagine taking the cube and adding an edge (say from corner to corner of one face)..

you can reshape them so that they become a Sphere (move their corner points... Now. Now that you see how this works.... for F+V-E=1) So. and 0 vertices and edges. ..! What if I joined up two opposite corners of the icosahedron? It is still an icosahedron (but no longer convex). then curve their faces a bit).. but one less vertex! So: F+V-E=1 Oh No! It doesn't always add to 2! The reason it didn't work was that this new shape is basically different .The Sphere All Platonic Solids (and many other solids) are like a Sphere ... there would be the same number of edges and faces .. the result is 2 again .. you can not simply say a sphere has 1 face. But Not Always . .. In fact it looks a bit like a drum where someone has stitched the top and bottom together.. that joined bit in the middle means that two vertices get reduced to 1. For this reason we know that F+V-E = 2 for a sphere (BE careful. I am going to show you how it doesn't work ..

This is the "Cubohemioctahedron": It has 10 Faces (it may look like more. so: F + V . or 1. but some of the "inside" faces are really just one face).Euler Characteristic So. and maybe other values.E = -2 In fact the Euler Characteristic is a basic idea in Topology (the study of the Nature of Space . 24 Edges and 12 Vertices. so the more general formula is F+V-E= Where Here are a few examples: χ χ is called the "Euler Characteristic". F+V-E can equal 2. Shape χ 2 Sphere Torus 0 Mobius Strip 0 And the Euler Characteristic can also be less than zero.