Basic Trig Identities
Date: 09/15/97 at 03:14:55 From: Joyce Subject: Basic Trig Identities I am 15 and a junior in high school and currently taking a trig class. It's only our 3rd week of school and I'm on question 1 and stuck already. The problem asks: Solve each of the following for values of (it's a zero with a slash, greek word theta) between ) 0 degrees and 90 degrees. 1. If sin (theta) = 3/4, find sec I tried the reciprocal identity but that didn't work. Thank you, Joyce
Date: 09/15/97 at 06:00:49 From: Doctor Mitteldorf Subject: Re: Basic Trig Identities Dear Joyce, If you know one trig function of an angle, you can get them all. To go from sin to cos, remember that the sum of the squares of the two is 1. That's a result closely related to Pythagoras's famous theorem. (The only trouble is that it sometimes leaves you wondering whether to use plus the square root or minus; in the case you describe, with the angle between 0 and 90, all the functions are positive.) So we've gone from cos to sin or from sin to cos. To get tangent, divide sin by cos. Sec is just 1/cos and Csc is just 1/sin (funny the way that works isn't it - that the "co" is in opposite places for the reciprocal functions.) One more trick you need to know: how are you to go from tan back to sin? The trick here is to use "sec squared minus tan squared = 1". That gets you from tan to sec, and then 1/sec is cos and 1-cos^2 is sin^2. Hope this helps. -Doctor Mitteldorf, The Math Forum Check out our web site! http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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