Tagged Questions

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

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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Why do both sine and cosine exist?

Cosine is just a change in the argument of sine, and vice versa. $$\sin(x+\pi/2)=\cos(x)$$ $$\cos(x-\pi/2)=\sin(x)$$ So why do we have both of them? Do they both exist simply for convenience in ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Why does $\cos(x) + \cos(y) - \cos(x + y) = 0$ look like an ellipse?

The solution set of $\cos(x) + \cos(y) - \cos(x + y) = 0$ looks like an ellipse. Is it actually an ellipse, and if so, is there a way of writing down its equation (without any trig functions)? What ...
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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 ...
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Why does the google calculator give tan 90 degrees = 1.6331779e+16?

I typed in tan 90 degrees in google and it gave 1.6331779e+16. How did it come to this answer? Limits? Some magic?
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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 ...
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Are there theoretical applications of trigonometry?

I am a high school student currently taking pre-calculus. We have just finished a unit on analytic trig. I am curious to know if there are any purely theoretical uses for trigonometry. More ...
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Prove that $\int_0^{\infty} \frac{\sin(2013 x)}{x(\cos x+\cosh x)}dx=\frac{\pi}{4}$

Prove that $$\int_0^{\infty} \frac{\sin(2013 x)}{x(\cos x+\cosh x)}dx=\frac{\pi}{4}$$
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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 \...
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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 $n = 6$; ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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? $$I=\int_0^{\pi/2}\arctan^2\left(\frac{6\sin x}{3+\cos 2x}\right)\mathrm dx$$
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How does a calculator calculate the sine, cosine ,tangent using just a number?

Sine Θ = oposite/hypotenuse Cosine Θ = adjacent/hypotenuse Tangent Θ = oposite/adjacent So in order to calculate the Sine or the cosine or the tangent I need to ...
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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?) ...
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Axiomatic definition of sin and cos?

I look for possiblity to define sin/cos through algebraic relations without involving power series, integrals, differential equation and geometric intuition. Is it possible to define sin and cos ...
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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 $\pi$?
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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 ...
How can I find the value of $$\sin^{24}\frac{\pi}{24} + \cos^{24}\frac{\pi}{24}$$ Specifically, is there some easy method that I am overlooking?