Degrees, Minutes, Seconds
Date: 08/26/97 at 04:15:49 From: laura vickers Subject: Basic trigonometry We have just started trigonometry and they mention degrees, minutes and seconds. I know that degrees are what you use to measure angles but I thought minutes and seconds were time measurements. Are they fractions of a degree or something else? Do the little flicks at the end of an angle measurement (5*14' - the star representing a degree sign - have anything to do with them? If these are not minutes, what are they? One last thing - we are meant to be able to calculate the sin, cos and tan of the angles with the 's in them but my calculator doesn't have the button they say to press (o'"). On various other models of calculator how do you do this? Thanks for your help. Laura
Date: 08/26/97 at 11:33:50 From: Doctor Marko Subject: Re: Basic trigonometry Hi Laura, Yes, minutes and seconds are measures of time, but they are also the way one measures angles. The conversion table is really simple and resembles that of time: 1 degree = 60 minutes (denoted 60') 1' = 60 seconds (also 60") As far as the calculators are concerned mine (Casio fx-85n, about 5-10 years old) has an option to input degrees, minutes, and seconds, but you can do these problems by converting minutes and seconds to decimal numbers of degrees. For example, 30 minutes = .5 degrees In general, when given an angle measurement in minutes and seconds, you can use the formula x'y" = x/60 + y/3600 degrees where x and y are numbers of minutes and seconds, respectively. Hope that this has helped, -Doctor Marko, The Math Forum Check out our web site!
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