By accident I found (numerically) that the expression

$$\frac{\cos(\alpha + \beta) + \cos(-\alpha)}{\sin(\alpha + \beta) + \sin(-\alpha)}$$

only depends on $\beta$. This looks like it shouldn't be hard to prove, but I didn't manage. Can someone think of a nice proof?

Additionally, I would be interested in any geometric interpretation of this result.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't believe that this is true. If $\alpha=0$ and $\beta=\pi/2$, then the expression is $1$. If $\alpha=\pi/2$ and $\beta=0$, then the expression is $0$. $\endgroup$ – Josh B. Feb 6 at 22:42
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    $\begingroup$ Did you try using en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$ – N74 Feb 6 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ @JoshB. I think you misread $\endgroup$ – doetoe Feb 6 at 22:53
  • $\begingroup$ You're absolutely right, I did misread. Sorry for the confusion. $\endgroup$ – Josh B. Feb 6 at 23:05
  • $\begingroup$ mathworld.wolfram.com/ProsthaphaeresisFormulas.html $\endgroup$ – lab bhattacharjee Feb 7 at 1:07



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    $\begingroup$ I think you should put parentheses around $\alpha + \frac \beta 2$ $\endgroup$ – J. W. Tanner Feb 6 at 22:49

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