# Confusing double angle identity

How would I solve the following double angle identity.

$$\cos^4x=\frac{3}{8}+\frac{1}{2}\cos(2x)+\frac{1}{8}\cos(4x)$$

So far my work is

$$\frac{3}{8}+\frac{2\cos^x-1}{2}+\frac{1}{8}(2\cos^2x-1)$$

But how would I proceed.

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Is "indentity" the new, cool way to spell that word these days? – J. M. Jul 27 '12 at 15:52
I thought spell check correct it....... I think its spelled correctly. – Fernando Martinez Jul 27 '12 at 15:53
Off course which a spell chequer you can knot have any Miss spellings. :-) (BTW, my spell checker tells me "indentity" is wrong). – celtschk Jul 27 '12 at 15:56
how is it spelled? – Fernando Martinez Jul 27 '12 at 15:57
Use latex. Is it $\cos^4 x = \frac{3}{8} + \frac{1}{2}\cos 2x + \frac{1}{8}\cos 4x$? Where did you get $\cos^x$ in your work? – Karolis Juodelė Jul 27 '12 at 15:58

Notice that \begin{eqnarray} \cos(2x)&=& \cos^2 x - \sin^2 x \\ &=& 2 \cos^2 x - 1.\\ \end{eqnarray} Then $$\cos^2 x = \dfrac{1}{2}(1+\cos(2x)).$$ Hence, \begin{eqnarray} \cos^4 x &=& (\cos^2 x)^2\\ &=& \left[\dfrac{1}{2}(1 + \cos(2x))\right]^2\\ &=& \dfrac{1}{4}(1 +2 \cos(2x)+ \cos^2(2x))\\ &=& \dfrac{1}{4} +\dfrac{1}{2} \cos(2x) + \dfrac{1}{4}\dfrac{1}{2}(1+\cos(4x))\\ &=& 3/8 + 1/2 \cos(2x) +1/8 \cos(4x) \end{eqnarray}