Trigonometry Help

Trigonometry is a branch of math which deals exclusively with triangles and the relation between their sides and angles. This discipline can be traced back to ancient Babylon and Egypt, where it aided the construction of the pyramids. Modern trigonometry has evolved to include measurement of three-dimensional spaces, which is studied under spherical trigonometry. 

Learn Trigonometry

Trigonometry is simple to understand and apply. There are a few set formulas covering the different types of relations, and once a students has learned them, they will be able to solve any trigonometry problem.

Solved Example

Question: A right triangle with a hypotenuse of 8 includes a 60$^o$ angle. Find the measure of the other two angles and the lengths of the other two sides.
Since it is a right angle triangle, one angle must be of 90$^O$.

Given: Right triangle with a hypotenuse of 8 includes a 60$^o$ angle.

So, third angle = 180 - (90 + 60) = 30$^o$.

(Sum of the angles of a triangle is 180$^o$)

Now, lets find the unknown sides of the triangle.
Trigonometry Example
Sin 60$^o$ = $\frac{AB}{AC}$ = $\frac{a}{8}$

$\frac{\sqrt{3}}{2}$ = $\frac{a}{8}$

[Sin 60$^o$ = $\frac{\sqrt{3}}{2}$]

a = 8 * $\frac{\sqrt{3}}{2}$ = 4 * $\sqrt{3}$ $\approx$ 6.92


Cos 60$^o$ = $\frac{BC}{AC}$ = $\frac{b}{8}$

$\frac{1}{2}$ = $\frac{b}{8}$

[Cos 60$^o$ = $\frac{1}{2}$]

b = 8 * $\frac{1}{2}$ = 4


Basic Trigonometry Help

Today trigonometry is used extensively by architects to find the height of buildings and towers and calculate the slope of various aspects of the building. In astronomy, the distance between planetary bodies is calculated using trigonometry and in navigation and geography, it helps us estimate the distance to be traveled to reach the shore, or find the height of a mountain. It is also used in some areas you may not normally think of, like in the theory of music, sound engineering and digital imaging.

Solved Examples

Question 1: Find Cos A and Tan A by using the given information to construct a reference triangle.

Sin A = $\frac{3}{5}$ and Tan A < 0
Given: Sin A = $\frac{3}{5}$ and Tan A < 0

Since Sin A is positive, the terminal side is either in first quadrant or in second quadrant.

In second condition, Tan A is negative means that the terminal side is in second quadrant.

Solving Trigonometric Problems
By Pythagorean Theorem

$5^2 = 3^2 + x^2$

25 = 9 + $x^2$

x = - 4 (x is in 2nd quadrant)


Cos A = $\frac{BC}{AC}$ = $\frac{-4}{5}$

Tan A = $\frac{P}{B}$ = $\frac{3}{-4}$ = $\frac{-3}{4}$


Question 2: The angle of depression of a boat from the top of the lighthouse 150 feet above the surface of the water is 10$^o$. Find the distance x from the base of the lighthouse to the boat.

Angle of elevation from the boat = Angle of depression from the lighthouse.

Solving Trigonometric Problem
Let us find algebraically the value of x using the tangent function.

Tan A = Tan 10$^o$ = $\frac{AB}{BC}$ = $\frac{150}{x}$

x = $\frac{150}{Tan\ 10^o}$ $\approx$  850.82.

(Using Tan 10$^o$ = 0.1763)

The value of x is 850.82 (approx).

Thus, the boat is about 850 feet from the base of the lighthouse.