Trigonometry is one of the most important branches of mathematics. Some of the applications of Trigonometry are:
- Measuring the heights of towers or big mountains
- Determining the distance of the shore from sea
- Finding the distance between two celestial bodies
- Determining the power output of solar cell panels at different inclinations
- Representing different physical quantities such as mechanical waves, electromagnetic waves, etc.
It is evident from the above examples that trigonometry has its involvement in a major part of our day-to-day life and much more. In most of the applications listed above, something was being measured and that is what trigonometry is all about. Actually, it is composed of two Greek words: Trigon and Metron, trigon meaning ‘triangle’ and metron meaning ‘to measure’. It is the study of sides and angles of triangles and relationships between them.
Definition 1: The ratios of sides of a right-angled triangle with respect to any of its acute angles are known as the trigonometric ratios of that particular angle.
As shown in fig. 1, Δ ABC is a right angled triangle or rectangular triangle. With respect to ∠A, BC is the opposite side and is the adjacent side. Similarly, with respect to ∠C , AB is the opposite side and BC is the adjacent side AC. is the hypotenuse of Δ ABC.
Figure 1: Δ ABC
We define trigonometric ratios as follows, with respect to angles of a right angled triangle as discussed above:
- sine: sine of an angle is defined as the ratio of the side opposite to that angle to the hypotenuse.
- cosine: cosine of an angle is defined as the ratio of the side adjacent to that angle to the hypotenuse.
- tangent: tangent of an angle is defined as the ratio of the side opposite to that angle to the side adjacent to that angle.
- cosecant: cosecant is multiplicative inverse of sine.
- secant: secant is multiplicative inverse of cosine.
- cotangent: cotangent is multiplicative inverse of tangent.
The above ratios are abbreviated as sin, cos, tan, cosec, sec and tan respectively in the order they are described. So, for Δ ABC, trigonometric ratios are defined as:
\( sin ~\angle C \)
\( cos ~\angle C \)
\( tan ~\angle C \)
\( cosec ~\angle~C\)
\( sec ~\angle~C\)
\( cot ~\angle~C\)
In right Δ ABC , if ∠A and ∠C are assumed as \( 30^\circ \)
Since the values of trigonometric ratios are constant for a given angle, they can be determined for some specific angles using properties of triangles. To learn more about trigonometry formulas, trigonometry table and thousands of concepts in an easy and fun way, visit www.byjus.com. To watch interesting videos, download Byju’s – The Learning App from Google Play Store.
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