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Digital Lesson

Inverse Trigonometric
Functions
Inverse Sine Function
Recall that for a function to have an inverse, it must be a
one-to-one function and pass the Horizontal Line Test.

f(x) = sin x does not pass the Horizontal Line Test


and must be restricted to find its inverse.

y y = sin x
1
  2
x

1

Sin x has an inverse


function on this interval.

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The inverse sine function is defined by
y = arcsin x if and only if sin y = x.
Angle whose sine is x

The domain of y = arcsin x is [–1, 1].


The range of y = arcsin x is [–/2 , /2].

Example:
a. arcsin 1    is the angle whose sine is 1 .
2 6 6 2

b. sin 1 3   sin   3
3 2
2 3
This is another way to write arcsin x.

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Inverse Cosine Function

f(x) = cos x must be restricted to find its inverse.

y
1
y = cos x
  2
x

1

Cos x has an inverse


function on this interval.

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The inverse cosine function is defined by
y = arccos x if and only if cos y = x.
Angle whose cosine is x

The domain of y = arccos x is [–1, 1].


The range of y = arccos x is [0 , ].

Example:
a.) arccos 1    is the angle whose cosine is 1 .
2 3 3 2
1  3  5
b.) cos     cos 5   3
 2  6 6 2

This is another way to write arccos x.

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Inverse Tangent Function
f(x) = tan x must be restricted to find its inverse.
y
y = tan x

 3
2 2
x
 3 
2 2

Tan x has an inverse


function on this interval.

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The inverse tangent function is defined by
y = arctan x if and only if tan y = x.
Angle whose tangent is x
The domain of y = arctan x is (, ) .
The range of y = arctan x is [–/2 , /2].

Example:
a.) arctan 3    is the angle whose tangent is
6 3
3.
3 6
b.) tan 1 3   tan   3
3
3
This is another way to write arctan x.

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Graphing Utility: Graph the following inverse functions.
Set calculator to radian mode.

a. y = arcsin x –1.5 1.5

–
2

b. y = arccos x –1.5 1.5

–

–3
c. y = arctan x 3

–
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Graphing Utility: Approximate the value of each expression.
Set calculator to radian mode.

a. cos–1 0.75 b. arcsin 0.19

c. arctan 1.32 d. arcsin 2.5

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Composition of Functions:
f(f –1(x)) = x and (f –1(f(x)) = x.
Inverse Properties:
If –1  x  1 and – /2  y  /2, then
sin(arcsin x) = x and arcsin(sin y) = y.
If –1  x  1 and 0  y  , then
cos(arccos x) = x and arccos(cos y) = y.
If x is a real number and –/2 < y < /2, then
tan(arctan x) = x and arctan(tan y) = y.

Example: tan(arctan 4) = 4

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Example:
a. sin–1(sin (–/2)) = –/2

b. sin 1 sin 5 
 3   
5 does not lie in the range of the arcsine function, –/2  y  /2.
3
y
However, it is coterminal with 5  2   
3 3
5 which does lie in the range of the arcsine
3
x function.


   
3
sin 1 sin 5   sin 1 sin      
 3   3  3

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 
Example:
Find the exact value of tan arccos 2 .
3
adj 2
Let u = arccos , then cos u 
2  .
3y hyp 3

3
32  22  5

u
x
2


tan arccos  tan u 
2
3
opp
adj
 5
2 
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