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Category# Trigonometry

Summary

Trigonometry () is a branch of mathematics concerned with relationships between angles and ratios of lengths. The field emerged in the Hellenistic world during the 3rd century BC from applications of geometry to astronomical studies. The Greeks focused on the calculation of chords, while mathematicians in India created the earliest-known tables of values for trigonometric ratios (also called trigonometric functions) such as sine.
Throughout history, trigonometry has been applied in areas such as geodesy, surveying, celestial mechanics, and navigation.
Trigonometry is known for its many identities. These
trigonometric identities are commonly used for rewriting trigonometrical expressions with the aim to simplify an expression, to find a more useful form of an expression, or to solve an equation.
History of trigonometry
Sumerian astronomers studied angle measure, using a division of circles into 360 degrees. They, and later the Babylonians, studied the ratios of the sides of similar triangles and discovered some properties of these ratios but did not turn that into a systematic method for finding sides and angles of triangles. The ancient Nubians used a similar method.
In the 3rd century BC, Hellenistic mathematicians such as Euclid and Archimedes studied the properties of chords and inscribed angles in circles, and they proved theorems that are equivalent to modern trigonometric formulae, although they presented them geometrically rather than algebraically. In 140 BC, Hipparchus (from Nicaea, Asia Minor) gave the first tables of chords, analogous to modern tables of sine values, and used them to solve problems in trigonometry and spherical trigonometry. In the 2nd century AD, the Greco-Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy (from Alexandria, Egypt) constructed detailed trigonometric tables (Ptolemy's table of chords) in Book 1, chapter 11 of his Almagest. Ptolemy used chord length to define his trigonometric functions, a minor difference from the sine convention we use today.

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Related concepts (8)

Related categories (13)

Pythagorean trigonometric identity

The Pythagorean trigonometric identity, also called simply the Pythagorean identity, is an identity expressing the Pythagorean theorem in terms of trigonometric functions. Along with the sum-of-angles formulae, it is one of the basic relations between the sine and cosine functions. The identity is As usual, means . Any similar triangles have the property that if we select the same angle in all of them, the ratio of the two sides defining the angle is the same regardless of which similar triangle is selected, regardless of its actual size: the ratios depend upon the three angles, not the lengths of the sides.

Law of sines

In trigonometry, the law of sines, sine law, sine formula, or sine rule is an equation relating the lengths of the sides of any triangle to the sines of its angles. According to the law, where a, b, and c are the lengths of the sides of a triangle, and α, β, and γ are the opposite angles (see figure 2), while R is the radius of the triangle's circumcircle. When the last part of the equation is not used, the law is sometimes stated using the reciprocals; The law of sines can be used to compute the remaining sides of a triangle when two angles and a side are known—a technique known as triangulation.

Law of cosines

In trigonometry, the law of cosines (also known as the cosine formula or cosine rule) relates the lengths of the sides of a triangle to the cosine of one of its angles. For a triangle with sides and opposite respective angles and (see Fig. 1), the law of cosines states: The law of cosines generalizes the Pythagorean theorem, which holds only for right triangles: if is a right angle then and the law of cosines reduces to The law of cosines is useful for solving a triangle when all three sides or two sides and their included angle are given.

Euclidean geometry

Euclidean geometry is a mathematical system attributed to ancient Greek mathematician Euclid, which he described in his textbook on geometry, Elements. Euclid's approach consists in assuming a small set of intuitively appealing axioms (postulates) and deducing many other propositions (theorems) from these. Although many of Euclid's results had been stated earlier, Euclid was the first to organize these propositions into a logical system in which each result is proved from axioms and previously proved theorems.

Complex analysis

Complex analysis, traditionally known as the theory of functions of a complex variable, is the branch of mathematical analysis that investigates functions of complex numbers. It is helpful in many branches of mathematics, including algebraic geometry, number theory, analytic combinatorics, applied mathematics; as well as in physics, including the branches of hydrodynamics, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, and twistor theory. By extension, use of complex analysis also has applications in engineering fields such as nuclear, aerospace, mechanical and electrical engineering.

Trigonometric identities

In trigonometry, trigonometric identities are equalities that involve trigonometric functions and are true for every value of the occurring variables for which both sides of the equality are defined. Geometrically, these are identities involving certain functions of one or more angles. They are distinct from triangle identities, which are identities potentially involving angles but also involving side lengths or other lengths of a triangle. These identities are useful whenever expressions involving trigonometric functions need to be simplified.