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Triangle Trigonometry

Topics
◆ Basis of Trigonometry
◆ The Six Ratios
◆ Solving Right Triangles
◆ Special Right Triangles
◆ Law of Sines
◆ Law of Cosines
©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 2
Basis of Trigonometry
◆Trigonometry, or "triangle
measurement," developed as a means to
calculate the lengths of sides of right
triangles.
◆It is based upon similar triangle
relationships.

©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 3


Right Triangle Trigonometry
◆ You can quickly prove You could think of this as
that the two right the family of 25° right
triangles. Every triangle
triangles with an acute in the family 25°
is similar.
angle of 25°are similar
◆ All right triangles We could imagine such a
family of triangles for any
containing an angle of acute angle.
25° are similar 25°

©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 4


Right Triangle Trigonometry
◆ In any right triangle in the family, the
ratio of the side opposite the acute angle
to the hypotenuse will always be the
same, and the ratios of other pairs of sides
will remain constant.

©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 5


The Six Ratios
◆ If the three sides of the right
angle are labeled as

hy
■ the hypotenuse,

po
opposite

ten
■ the side opposite a particular

us
e
acute angle, A, and
■ the side adjacent to the acute
angle A, adjacent A

◆ six different ratios are possible.


©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 6
The Six Ratios
opposite hypotenuse
sin( A) = csc( A) =
hypotenuse opposite
adjacent hypotenuse
cos( A) = sec( A) =
hypotenuse adjacent
opposite adjacent
tan( A) = cot( A) =
adjacent opposite
©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 7
Solving Right Triangles
◆ With these six ratios, it is possible
■ to solve for any unknown side of the right
triangle, if another side and an acute angle are
known, or
■ to find the angle if two sides are known.

Once upon a time, students had to rely on


tables to look up these values. Now the sine,
cosine, and tangent of an angle can be found
on your calculator.
©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 8
Sample Problem
◆ In right triangle ABC, hypotenuse is 6 cm
long, and ∠A measures 32°. Find the length
of the shorter leg.
58° 6
■ Make a sketch
■ If one angle is 32°, the other is 58° 32°
■ The shorter leg is opposite the smaller angle, so
you need to find the side opposite the 32° angle.

©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 9


Choosing the Ratio
◆ ... Find the length of the
shorter leg.
■ You need a ratio that talks about
58° 6
opposite and hypotenuse
■ Can use sine (sin) or cosecant 32°
(csc), but since your calculator
has a key for sin, sine is more
convenient.

©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 10


Solving the Triangle
x
sin( 32 ) =
6
58° 6 From your calculator, you can
32° find that sin(32°) ≈ 0.53, so
x
0.53 =
6
x ≈ 3.2
©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 11
45
°
Special Right Triangles
◆ 45 – 45 – 90 Triangle s 2
sin( 45 ) = =
■ The legs are of equal s 2 2
length s 2
■ The length of the cos( 45 ) = =
s 2 2
hypotenuse is 2
s
tan( 45 ) = = 1
s
s 2 s
times
s the leg
©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 12
30
°
Special Right Triangles
1
◆ 30 – 60 – 90 Triangle 1 h
sin( 30 ) =2
=
■ The side opposite the h 2
30° angle is half the 1
hypotenuse h 3 3
cos( 30 ) =2
=
■ The side opposite the h 2
60° angle is half the 1
h 3
hypotenuse times 3 tan( 30 ) = 1 2
=
2
h 3 3

©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 13


60
°
Special Right Triangles
1
◆ 30 – 60 – 90 Triangle h 3 3
sin( 60 ) = 2
=
■ The side opposite the h 2
30° angle is half the 1
hypotenuse 1 h
cos( 60 ) = = 2

■ The side opposite the h 2


60° angle is half the 1
h 3
hypotenuse times 3 tan( 60 ) = 2
= 3
1
2
h

©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 14


Memory Work
◆ Know these values as well as you know your
own name.
sin cos tan
1 3 3
30° 2 2 3
2 2
45° 1
2 2
3 1
60° 2
3
2

©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 15


Non-Right Triangles
◆All these relationships are based on the
assumption that the triangle is a right
triangle.
◆It is possible, however, to use
trigonometry to solve for unknown
sides or angles in non-right triangles.

©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 16


Law of Sines
a b c
= =
sin( A) sin( B) sin( C)
◆ In geometry, you learned that the largest
angle of a triangle was opposite the longest
side, and the smallest angle opposite the
shortest side.
◆ The Law of Sines says that the ratio of a
side to the sine of the opposite angle is
constant throughout the triangle.
©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 17
Sample Problem
◆In ∆ABC, m∠A = 38°, m∠B = 42°,
and BC = 12 cm. Find the length of
side AC.
■ Draw a diagram to see the position of the
given angles and side. C
■ BC is opposite ∠A
A B
■ You must find AC, the side opposite ∠B.

©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 18


Sample Problem
◆.... Find the length of side AC.
■ Use
the Law of Sines with m∠A = 38°,
m∠B = 42°, and BC = 12
a b 12 sin( 42 ) = b sin( 38 )
=
sin( A) sin( B)
b=
b g
12 sin( 42 ) 12 .6691

12 b sin( 38 ) .6157
=
sin( 38 ) sin( 42 ) b ≈ 13.041
©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 19
Warning
◆The Law of Sines is useful when you
know
■ thesizes of two sides and one angle or
■ two angles and one side.

◆However, the results can be ambiguous if


the given information is two sides and an
angle other than the included angle (ssa).
©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 20
Warning
◆The Law of Sines gives a unique solution
when the given information is
■ sas Remember that these are
all sufficient conditions
■ asa
for congruent triangles.
■ aas

◆The ambiguous case is ssa, which is not a


way of proving triangles congruent.
©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 21
Law of Cosines
c 2 = a 2 + b 2 − 2ab cos(C )

◆ If you apply the Law of Cosines to a right


triangle, that extra term becomes zero,
leaving just the Pythagorean Theorem.
◆ The Law of Cosines is most useful
■ when you know the lengths of all three sides and
need to find an angle, or
■ when you two sides and the included angle.

©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 22


Largest angle
opposite
longest side
Sample Problem
◆Triangle XYZ has sides of lengths 15,
22, and 35. Find the measure of the
largest angle of the triangle.
c 2 = a 2 + b 2 − 2ab cos( C)
15 22 352 = 152 + 22 2 − 2 ⋅15 ⋅ 22 ⋅ cos( C )
1225 = 225 + 484 − 660 cos( C)
35
1225 = 709 − 660 cos( C)
©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 23
Sample Problem
◆... Find the measure of the largest angle
of the triangle.
516= − 660 cos( C)
15 22 −
516 −
cos( C) = = .7818
35 660
C = cos−1 ( − .7818) ≈ 1414
.

©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 24


Caution
◆Many people, when they reach the line
1225 = 709 − 660 cos(C )
will mistakenly subtract 660 from 709.
◆Don’t be one of them.
◆The multiplication should be done
before any addition or subtraction.

©Carolyn C. Wheater, 2000 25