# Solve $\sin(5A) + \cos(5A)\sin(A) - \cos(3A) = 0$

How do you solve this equation for A: $~~\sin(5A) + \cos(5A)\sin(A) - \cos(3A) = 0$

I've tried expanding it many times, but I can't seem to be able to reduce it to a format I can work with. Is there a simpler method of solution than repeated expansion?

-
Sketching the graph of the function suggests it has 10 real roots in $[0,2\pi)$ and is then periodic with period $2\pi$. Unless you enjoy solving order-10 polynomials, you may be restricted to numerical methods. – Henry Mar 13 '11 at 14:56
Multiplying out the brackets gives sin(6A)+2sin(5A)-sin(4A)-2cos(3A)=0. I don't know if that helps or not. – quanta Apr 12 '11 at 13:29
Where is this problem from? – Qiaochu Yuan May 12 '11 at 10:10

$$\sin(5A) + \cos(5A) \sin(A) - \sin(3A) = 0$$ Let $x = e^{iA}$ and use De Moivre's, $$\frac{x^5 - x^{-5}}{2i} + \frac{x^5 + x^{-5}}{2} \frac{x - x^{-1}}{2i} - \frac{x^3-x^{-3}}{2i} = 0$$ Multiply by $4i x^6$, $$2(x^{11} - x) + (x^{10} + 1)(x^2 - 1) - 2(x^9 - x^3) =$$ $$(x^2 - 1)(x^{10} + 2x^9 + 2x + 1) = 0$$ The phase of each root to the polynomial above (the ones with $| x | = 1$ at least) is a solution $A$ to your equation (up to an integer addition of $2\pi$).
Try using $\cos{A} = \sin\frac{\pi}{2}-A$ and the $\sin{A} + \sin{B}$ or $\cos{A} + \cos{B}$ formulas. You can also write $2 \cos{A}\sin{B} = \sin(A+B) - \sin(A-B)$, which actually will reduce $\cos{5A}\cdot\sin(A)$.
Wolfram Alpha gives an explicit $12^{\text{th}}$ order polynomial and finds ten real roots.