# Trigonometry

**Topics:**Trigonometry, Trigonometric functions, Law of cosines

**Pages:**3 (654 words)

**Published:**April 1, 2013

Trigonometry basics are often taught in school either as a separate course or as part of a precalculus course. The trigonometric functions are pervasive in parts of pure mathematics and applied mathematics such as Fourier analysis and the wave equation, which are in turn essential to many branches of science and technology. Spherical trigonometry studies triangles on spheres, surfaces of constant positive curvature, in elliptic geometry. It is fundamental to astronomy and navigation. Trigonometry on surfaces of negative curvature is part of Hyperbolic geometry. Contents

f one angle of a triangle is 90 degrees and one of the other angles is known, the third is thereby fixed, because the three angles of any triangle add up to 180 degrees. The two acute angles therefore add up to 90 degrees: they are complementary angles. The shape of a triangle is completely determined, except for similarity, by the angles. Once the angles are known, the ratios of the sides are determined, regardless of the overall size of the triangle. If the length of one of the sides is known, the other two are determined. These ratios are given by the following trigonometric functions of the known angle A, where a, b and c refer to the lengths of the sides in the accompanying figure:

Sine function (sin), defined as the ratio of the side opposite the angle to the hypotenuse.

\sin A=\frac{\textrm{opposite}}{\textrm{hypotenuse}}=\frac{a}{\,c\,}\,....

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