I have determined that there is a trigonometric identity (in radians) that goes as follows:


For $n,k\in\mathbb{C}$.

The derivation is found here for those who are interested.

I was wondering if this is a well known identity and if there are anything I should note, such as whether or not it will converge.

Also, as a bonus, I would be happy to see if someone could simplify this into something simpler. (Someone had mentioned "De Moivre" expansion, though I don't know what that means here...)

Some links would be nice, as I would like to read about this.


I am rewriting $\cos(nk)=2^k\cos^k(n)-\sum_{i=1}^{\infty}\frac{k!}{i!(k-i)!}(\cos(n(k-2i)))$ so that I may have $\cos(nk)=P_n(\cos(k))$ where $P_n$ is a polynomial, possibly with an infinite amount of terms if $n$ is not a whole number.

  • $\begingroup$ I am consider complex and irrational values for $n,k$. $\endgroup$ – Simply Beautiful Art Feb 18 '16 at 1:14
  • $\begingroup$ There is a lot of material on De Moivre's Theorem. You shouild be able to look it up on your own. The identity ! as it is written gives hint of De Moivre's being quite useful in establishing it. $\endgroup$ – Shailesh Feb 18 '16 at 1:18
  • $\begingroup$ Convergence is not an issue. The sum actually terminates at $i=k$ because of the $(k-i)!$ in the denominator. $\endgroup$ – Barry Cipra Feb 18 '16 at 1:19
  • $\begingroup$ @BarryCipra Actually, it won't if $k$ isn't a whole number, since $i$ must be a whole number. $\endgroup$ – Simply Beautiful Art Feb 18 '16 at 1:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Shailesh Thanks, I found it. The general idea behind it is very similar to mine and can be shown to become mine... but I have the problem of $n,k$ being irrational and possibly complex. How shall I proceed with De Moivre's method in those cases? $\endgroup$ – Simply Beautiful Art Feb 18 '16 at 1:21

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