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

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106
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15answers
11k 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 ...
104
votes
9answers
11k 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 ...
86
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
61
votes
8answers
5k 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 ...
56
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
52
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 ...
50
votes
5answers
5k views

Compute $\int \frac{\sin(x)}{\sin(x)+\cos(x)}\mathrm dx$

I'm having trouble computing the integral: $$\int \frac{\sin(x)}{\sin(x)+\cos(x)}\mathrm dx.$$ I hope that it can be expressed in terms of elementary functions. I've tried simple substitutions such as ...
49
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 ...
47
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
41
votes
9answers
11k views

Is π equal to 180°?

$$ \begin{array}{ccc} \sin{(\theta+180^{\circ})}=-\sin{\theta} & \cos{(\theta+180^{\circ})}=-\cos{\theta} & \tan{(\theta+180^{\circ})}=\tan{\theta} \\ \sin{(\theta+\pi)}=-\sin{\theta} & ...
41
votes
3answers
947 views

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

Prove that $$\int_0^{\infty} \frac{\sin(2013 x)}{x(\cos x+\cosh x)}dx=\frac{\pi}{4}$$
40
votes
4answers
3k 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) ...
39
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 ...
38
votes
4answers
816 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 $n = 6$; ...
38
votes
2answers
1k 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} ...
38
votes
1answer
850 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 ...
37
votes
3answers
2k views

Why, although these functions have the same derivative, do they not differ by a constant?

I calculated the derivative of $\arctan\left(\frac{1+x}{1-x}\right)$ to be $\frac{1}{1+x^2}$. This is the same as $(\arctan)'$. Why is there no $c$ that satisfies $\arctan\left(\frac{1+x}{1-x}\right) ...
37
votes
4answers
2k 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? $$\int_0^\infty\frac{\operatorname{arccot}\left(\sqrt{x}-2\,\sqrt{x+1}\right)}{x+1}\mathrm dx$$
37
votes
2answers
1k views

Evaluate $ \int_{0}^{\pi/2}\frac{1+\tanh x}{1+\tan x}dx $

I need the method to evaluate this integral (the closed-form if possible). $$ \int_{0}^{\pi/2}\frac{1+\tanh x}{1+\tan x}\,dx $$ I used the relationship between $\tan x$ and $\tanh x$ but it didn't ...
36
votes
3answers
1k 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}}\ ...
35
votes
7answers
12k 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 ...
33
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a relationship between trigonometric functions and their “co” functions?

We all know that sine is one over cosecant, cosine is one over secant, etc. But is there any relationship between sine and cosine, secant and cosecant, and tangent and cotangent? What I am asking ...
33
votes
3answers
663 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. $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty(n\ \text{arccot}\ n-1)$$
33
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 ...
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
2answers
3k views

What is the limit of $n \sin (2 \pi \cdot e \cdot n!)$ as $n$ goes to infinity?

I tried and got this $$e=\sum_{k=0}^\infty\frac{1}{k!}=\lim_{n\to\infty}\sum_{k=0}^n\frac{1}{k!}$$ $$n!\sum_{k=0}^n\frac{1}{k!}=\frac{n!}{0!}+\frac{n!}{1!}+\cdots+\frac{n!}{n!}=m$$ where $m$ is an ...
31
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? $$I=\int_0^{\pi/2}\arctan^2\left(\frac{6\sin x}{3+\cos 2x}\right)\mathrm dx$$
31
votes
2answers
708 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 ...
30
votes
2answers
730 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 ...
28
votes
4answers
840 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 $?
28
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
28
votes
3answers
796 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 ...
27
votes
15answers
6k 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
2answers
2k 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( ...
26
votes
1answer
527 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 ...
26
votes
1answer
1k views
25
votes
8answers
3k 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?
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 ...
24
votes
2answers
327 views

Is Pythagoras the only relation to hold between $\cos$ and $\sin$?

Pythagoras says that $\cos^2 \theta + \mathrm{sin}^2\theta = 1$ for all real $\theta$. (Vague) Question. Is this the only relationship between the functions $\cos$ and $\sin$? More precisely: Let ...
24
votes
2answers
457 views

Can both $x$ and $\sin(x)$ be rational at the same time?

Can both $x$ and $\sin(x)$ be rational at the same time? Except, of course, trivial $x=0$ case ($\sin0=0$); $x$ is measured in radians. The question turned out to be more complicated than it ...
24
votes
2answers
356 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: $$LHS=1.0606\color{blue}{598...}$$ ...
23
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
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
2answers
511 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, ...
22
votes
1answer
638 views

Moriarty's calculator: some bizarre and deceptive graphical anomalies

Background: This is a problem I first came across a few years ago in a calculus textbook (a James Stewart one), where it addressed some of the pitfalls of using graphing calculators. The original ...
22
votes
2answers
528 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
12answers
5k 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)
21
votes
2answers
4k 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). ...
21
votes
4answers
2k 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... :-)