Trigonometric functions (both geometric and circular), relationships between lengths and angles in triangles, and other topics relating to measuring triangles.

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104
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9answers
10k views

Why is cos(90)=0.4 in WebGL?

I'm a graphical artist who is completely out of my depth on this site. However, I'm dabbling in WebGL (3D software for internet browsers) and trying to animate a bouncing ball. Apparently we can ...
78
votes
3answers
5k views

A 1,400 years old approximation to the sine function by Mahabhaskariya of Bhaskara I

The approximation $$\sin(x) \simeq \frac{16 (\pi -x) x}{5 \pi ^2-4 (\pi -x) x}\qquad (0\leq x\leq\pi)$$ was proposed by Mahabhaskariya of Bhaskara I, a seventh-century Indian mathematician. I ...
62
votes
13answers
7k views

How to prove that $\lim\limits_{x\to0}\frac{\sin x}x=1$?

How can one prove the statement $$\lim\limits_{x\to 0}\frac{\sin x}x=1$$ without using the Taylor series of $\sin$, $\cos$ and $\tan$? Best would be a geometrical solution. This is homework. In my ...
56
votes
6answers
4k views

Ways to evaluate $\int \sec \theta \, \mathrm d \theta$

The standard approach for showing $\int \sec \theta \, \mathrm d \theta = \ln |\sec \theta + \tan \theta| + C$ is to multiply by $\frac{\sec \theta + \tan \theta}{\sec \theta + \tan \theta}$ and then ...
54
votes
2answers
886 views

Ramanujan log-trigonometric integrals

I discovered the following conjectured identity numerically while studying a family of related integrals. Let's set $$ R^{+}:= \frac{2}{\pi}\int_{0}^{\pi/2}\sqrt[\normalsize{8}]{x^2 + \ln^2\!\cos x} ...
51
votes
2answers
1k views

Integral $\int_1^\infty\frac{\operatorname{arccot}\left(1+\frac{2\pi}{\operatorname{arcoth}x-\operatorname{arccsc}x}\right)}{\sqrt{x^2-1}}\mathrm dx$

Consider the following integral: $$\mathcal{I}=\int_1^\infty\frac{\operatorname{arccot}\left(1+\frac{2\,\pi}{\operatorname{arcoth}x\,-\,\operatorname{arccsc}x}\right)}{\sqrt{x^2-1}}\mathrm dx,$$ where ...
50
votes
1answer
3k views

Trigonometric sums related to the Verlinde formula

Original question (see also the revised, possibly simpler, version below): Let $g > 1, r > 1$ be integers. Playing around with the Verlinde formula (see below), I came across the expression ...
44
votes
5answers
3k views

Why does $\tan^{-1}(1)+\tan^{-1}(2)+\tan^{-1}(3)=\pi$?

Playing around on wolframalpha shows $\tan^{-1}(1)+\tan^{-1}(2)+\tan^{-1}(3)=\pi$. I know $\tan^{-1}(1)=\pi/4$, but how could you compute that $\tan^{-1}(2)+\tan^{-1}(3)=\frac{3}{4}\pi$ to get this ...
43
votes
6answers
2k views

How to prove this identity $\pi=\sum\limits_{k=-\infty}^{\infty}\left(\frac{\sin(k)}{k}\right)^{2}\;$?

How to prove this identity? $$\pi=\sum_{k=-\infty}^{\infty}\left(\dfrac{\sin(k)}{k}\right)^{2}\;$$ I found the above interesting identity in the book $\bf \pi$ Unleashed. Does anyone knows how to ...
38
votes
3answers
868 views

Prove that $\int_0^{\infty} \frac{\sin(2013 x)}{x(\cos x+\cosh x)}dx=\frac{\pi}{4}$

Prove that $$\int_0^{\infty} \frac{\sin(2013 x)}{x(\cos x+\cosh x)}dx=\frac{\pi}{4}$$
37
votes
6answers
3k views

$\sin 1^\circ$ is irrational but how do I prove it in a slick way? And $\tan(1^\circ)$ is …

In the book 101 problems in Trigonometry, Prof. Titu Andreescu and Prof. Feng asks for the proof the fact that $\cos 1^\circ$ is irrational and he proves it. The proof proceeds by contradiction and ...
36
votes
4answers
772 views

Proving $\sum\limits_{l=1}^n \sum\limits _{k=1}^{n-1}\tan \frac {lk\pi }{2n+1}\tan \frac {l(k+1)\pi }{2n+1}=0$

Prove that $$\sum _{l=1}^{n}\sum _{k=1}^{n-1}\tan \frac {lk\pi } {2n+1}\tan \frac {l( k+1) \pi } {2n+1}=0$$ It is very easy to prove this identity for each fixed $n$ . For example let $n = 6$; ...
36
votes
1answer
779 views

Why does this ratio of sums of square roots equal $1+\sqrt2+\sqrt{4+2\sqrt2}=\cot\frac\pi{16}$ for any natural number $n$?

Why is the following function $f(n)$ constant for any natural number $n$? $$f(n)=\frac{\sum_{k=1}^{n^2+2n}\sqrt{\sqrt{2n+2}+{\sqrt{n+1+\sqrt ...
35
votes
3answers
2k views

Do “Parabolic Trigonometric Functions” exist?

The parametric equation $$\begin{align*} x(t) &= \cos t\\ y(t) &= \sin t \end{align*}$$ traces the unit circle centered at the origin ($x^2+y^2=1$). Similarly, $$\begin{align*} x(t) ...
33
votes
4answers
1k views

Integral $\int_0^\infty\frac{\operatorname{arccot}\left(\sqrt{x}-2\,\sqrt{x+1}\right)}{x+1}\mathrm dx$

Is it possible to evaluate this integral in a closed form? $$\int_0^\infty\frac{\operatorname{arccot}\left(\sqrt{x}-2\,\sqrt{x+1}\right)}{x+1}\mathrm dx$$
33
votes
3answers
992 views

Making trigonometric substitutions rigorous

I've been tutoring some basic calculus, and it made me think about something pretty basic. Let me explain the problem by example: Say we are given the integral $\int \frac{x^2}{\sqrt{1-x^2}}\ ...
33
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there an interpretation for this trigonometric identity?

A while ago I came across the following identity in an online math forum (of which I don't remember the name): $$\tan\left(\frac{\pi}{11}\right)+4\sin\left(\frac{3\pi}{11}\right)=\sqrt{11}.$$ It is ...
32
votes
7answers
10k views

How can I understand and prove the “sum and difference formulas” in trigonometry? (cos(a ± b) = …, etc.)?

The "sum and difference" formulas often come in handy, but it's not immediately obvious that they would be true. \begin{align} \sin(\alpha \pm \beta) &= \sin \alpha \cos \beta \pm \cos \alpha ...
31
votes
3answers
604 views

$\sum_{n=1}^\infty(n\ \text{arccot}\ n-1)$

Is it possible to calculate the following infinite sum in a closed form? If yes, please point me to the right direction. $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty(n\ \text{arccot}\ n-1)$$
31
votes
2answers
2k views

Integral $\int_0^1\frac{\arctan^2x}{\sqrt{1-x^2}}\mathrm dx$

Is it possible to evaluate this integral in a closed form? $$I=\int_0^1\frac{\arctan^2x}{\sqrt{1-x^2}}\mathrm dx$$ It also can be represented as $$I=\int_0^{\pi/4}\frac{\phi^2}{\cos \phi\,\sqrt{\cos ...
30
votes
2answers
1k views

Integral $\int_0^{\pi/2}\arctan^2\left(\frac{6\sin x}{3+\cos 2x}\right)\mathrm dx$

Is it possible to evaluate this integral in a closed form? $$I=\int_0^{\pi/2}\arctan^2\left(\frac{6\sin x}{3+\cos 2x}\right)\mathrm dx$$
30
votes
2answers
711 views

Fekete's conjecture on repeated applications of the tangent function

A high-school student named Erna Fekete made a conjecture to me via email three years ago, which I could not answer. I've since lost touch with her. I repeat her interesting conjecture here, in case ...
30
votes
2answers
672 views

Finding integer solutions for trigonometric equation $8\sin^2\left(\frac{(k+1)\pi}{n}\right)=n\sin\left(\frac{2\pi}{n}\right)$

I thought up the problem of finding a regular $n$-sided polygon that has a diagonal with lenght $d_k$ such that the area of the polygon equals ${d_k}^2$. By doing some easy trigonometry within the ...
27
votes
3answers
760 views

$\int_0^\pi\frac{3\cos x+\sqrt{8+\cos^2 x}}{\sin x}x\ \mathrm dx$

Please help me to solve this integral: $$\int_0^\pi\frac{3\cos x+\sqrt{8+\cos^2 x}}{\sin x}x\ \mathrm dx.$$ I managed to calculate an indefinite integral of the left part: $$\int\frac{\cos x}{\sin ...
26
votes
15answers
5k views

Intuitive understanding of the derivatives of $\sin x$ and $\cos x$

One of the first things ever taught in a differential calculus class: The derivative of $\sin x$ is $\cos x$. The derivative of $\cos x$ is $-\sin x$. This leads to a rather neat (and convenient?) ...
26
votes
7answers
2k views

Where are the values of the sine function coming from?

On high school, I was taught that I could obtain any sine value with some basic arithmetic on the values of the following image: But I never really understood where these values where coming from, ...
26
votes
1answer
1k views
25
votes
6answers
2k views

If we define $\sin x$ as series, how can we obtain the geometric meaning of $\sin x$?

In Terry Tao's textbook Analysis, he defines $\sin x$ as below: Define rational numbers Define Cauchy sequences of rational numbers, and equivalence of Cauchy sequences Define reals as the ...
25
votes
4answers
647 views

Geometric explanation of $\sqrt 2 + \sqrt 3 \approx \pi$

Just curious, is there a geometry picture explanation to show that $\sqrt 2 + \sqrt 3 $ is close to $ \pi $?
24
votes
1answer
492 views

$\int_0^1\arctan\,_4F_3\left(\frac{1}{5},\frac{2}{5},\frac{3}{5},\frac{4}{5};\frac{1}{2},\frac{3}{4},\frac{5}{4};\frac{x}{64}\right)\,\mathrm dx$

I need help with calculating this integral: $$\int_0^1\arctan\,_4F_3\left(\frac{1}{5},\frac{2}{5},\frac{3}{5},\frac{4}{5};\frac{1}{2},\frac{3}{4},\frac{5}{4};\frac{x}{64}\right)\,\mathrm dx,$$ where ...
23
votes
8answers
2k views

Reasoning that $ \sin2x=2 \sin x \cos x$

In mathcounts teacher told us to use the formula $ \sin2x=2 \sin x \cos x$. What's the math behind this formula that made it true? Can someone explain?
22
votes
5answers
4k views

Why is $\sin(d\Phi) = d\Phi$ where $d\Phi$ is very small?

I haven't touched Physics and Math (especially continuous Math) for a long time, so please bear with me. In essence, I'm going over a few Physics lectures, one which tries to calculate the Force ...
22
votes
6answers
3k views

How to prove that: $\tan(3\pi/11) + 4\sin(2\pi/11) = \sqrt{11}$

How can we prove the following trigonometric identity? $$\displaystyle \tan(3\pi/11) + 4\sin(2\pi/11) =\sqrt{11}$$
22
votes
5answers
1k views

Evaluating $\int_0^\infty \sin x^2\, dx$ with real methods?

I have seen the Fresnel integral $$\int_0^\infty \sin x^2\, dx = \sqrt{\frac{\pi}{8}}$$ evaluated by contour integration and other complex analysis methods, and I have found these methods to be the ...
22
votes
2answers
1k views

Possibility to simplify $\sum\limits_{k = - \infty }^\infty {\frac{{{{\left( { - 1} \right)}^k}}}{{a + k}} = \frac{\pi }{{\sin \pi a}}} $

Is there any way to show that $$\sum\limits_{k = - \infty }^\infty {\frac{{{{\left( { - 1} \right)}^k}}}{{a + k}} = \frac{1}{a} + \sum\limits_{k = 1}^\infty {{{\left( { - 1} \right)}^k}\left( ...
22
votes
2answers
308 views

Disproving an “almost true” trigonometric identity

The plausible looking "identity" $$\sin(\frac{\pi}{51})+\cos(\frac{\pi}{74})=\frac{3}{2\sqrt 2}$$ is not true, but it is close indeed: $$LHS=1.0606\color{blue}{598...}$$ ...
22
votes
2answers
509 views

Is the Maclaurin series expansion of $\sin x$ related to the inclusion-exclusion principle?

When I see the alternating signs in the infinite series expansion of $\sin x$, I'm reminded of the inclusion-exclusion principle. Could there be any way to visualize it in such a way? Also, is there ...
21
votes
8answers
840 views

Mental estimate for tangent of an angle (from $0$ to $90$ degrees)

Does anyone know of a way to estimate the tangent of an angle in their head? Accuracy is not critically important, but within $5%$ percent would probably be good, 10% may be acceptable. I can ...
21
votes
1answer
646 views

A definite integral $\int_0^\infty\frac{2-\cos x}{\left(1+x^4\right)\,\left(5-4\cos x\right)}dx$

I need to find a value of this definite integral: $$\int_0^\infty\frac{2-\cos x}{\left(1+x^4\right)\,\left(5-4\cos x\right)}dx.$$ Its numeric value is approximately $0.7875720991394284$, and lookups ...
21
votes
2answers
458 views

Is $\{\tan(x) : x\in \mathbb{Q}\}$ a group under addition?

A student asked me the following today : Is $S:= \{\tan(x) : x\in \mathbb{Q}\}$ a group under addition? I am quite perplexed by it. Clearly, the only non-trivial part is to check For any $x, ...
21
votes
2answers
567 views

an integer sum of products of tangents

This question arose from my initial attempts at answering this question. I later found a way to transform the desired sum into a sum of squares of tangents, but before I did, I found numerically that ...
21
votes
3answers
556 views

Evaluating $\int{ \frac{\arctan\sqrt{x^{2}-1}}{\sqrt{x^{2}+x}}} \,dx$

How to integrate? $$\int{ \frac{\arctan\sqrt{x^{2}-1}}{\sqrt{x^{2}+x}}}\, dx$$ I have no idea how to do it. Tried to get some information from wiki, but its too hard :|
20
votes
7answers
3k views

How to prove $\cos \frac{2\pi }{5}=\frac{-1+\sqrt{5}}{4}$?

I would like to find the apothem of a regular pentagon. It follows from $$\cos \dfrac{2\pi }{5}=\dfrac{-1+\sqrt{5}}{4}.$$ But how can this be proved (geometrically or trigonometrically)?
20
votes
4answers
1k views

Prove that $\sum_{k=1}^{n-1}\tan^{2}\frac{k \pi}{2n} = \frac{(n-1)(2n-1)}{3}$

How can you prove that: $$\sum_{k=1}^{n-1}\tan^{2}\frac{k \pi}{2n} = \frac{(n-1)(2n-1)}{3}$$ for every integer $n\geq 1$. PS: no, it's not a homework... :-)
19
votes
9answers
3k views

Solve $\cos^2x-\sin^2x= 1$

I am trying to solve for $x$ in the following equation: $$\cos^2x-\sin^2x= 1$$ Given that $\cos^2x+\sin^2x= 1$, is this something I could use to solve it?
19
votes
12answers
4k views

How to solve $4\sin \theta +3\cos \theta = 5$

Another problem that I already wasted hours on. Given $$4\sinθ +3\cosθ = 5$$ Find $$4\cosθ -3\sinθ$$ Help me guys (PS:I'm not that good in maths)
19
votes
2answers
3k views

Perfectly centered break of a perfectly aligned pool ball rack

This question is asked on Physics SE and MathOverflow by somebody else. I don't think it belongs there, but rather here (for reasons given there in my comments there; edit: now self-removed). ...
19
votes
2answers
704 views

Which functions satisfy the equation $\,\,f(x)\,f(y)-f(x+y)=\sin x\,\sin y\,$?

Find all continuous functions $f$ which satisfy the functional equation $$ f(x)\,f(y)-f(x+y)=\sin x\,\sin y, $$ for all $x,y\in\mathbb R$. I can prove that $f(n\pi)=\cos\left(n\pi\right)$ for all ...
19
votes
2answers
444 views

integrate square of $\arctan x$. Tricky

$$\int \left(\frac{\tan^{-1}x}{x-\tan^{-1}x}\right)^{2}dx$$ I ran across an integral I am having a time solving. The solution merely works out to $\displaystyle\frac{1+x\tan^{-1}x}{\tan^{-1}x-x}$, ...
19
votes
2answers
433 views

How to find the value of $\sin{\dfrac{\pi}{14}}+6\sin^2{\dfrac{\pi}{14}}-8\sin^4{\dfrac{\pi}{14}}$

Determine $$ \sin\left(\pi \over 14\right) + 6\sin^{2}\left(\pi \over 14\right) -8\sin^{4}\left(\pi \over 14\right) $$ My idea: Let $\displaystyle{\sin\left(\pi \over 14\right)} = x$.