### Trigonometry: Angles with sine, cosine and tangent

### Rules for right-angled triangles

There is an important rule for right-angled triangles pertaining the ratio between the sides.

When it comes to the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle with a right angle #\orange C#, legs #\blue a# and #\green b# and hypotenuse (the longest side of a right-angled triangle) #\orange c#, the following rule applies:

\[\blue a^2+\green b^2=\orange c^2\]

We call this rule the **Pythagorean theorem**.

With this theorem, we can calculate the remaining side of a right-angled triangle of which we already know two sides.

For example, if we want to calculate the hypotenuse, we isolate #\orange c# in the Pythagorean theorem:

\[\orange c = \sqrt{\blue a ^2 + \green b^2}\]

In a right-angled triangle #ABC# with right angle #C# is #AB# the #\orange{\textbf{hypotenuse}}# and are #AC# and #BC# the **legs** of the triangle:

- #AC# is the #\green{\textbf{adjacent leg}}# of #\blue \alpha#
- #BC# is the #\blue{\textbf{opposite leg}}# of #\blue \alpha#

In addition to the ratio between the sides of a right-angled triangle, there are important relationships between the sides and angles of a right-angled triangle.

In a right-angled triangle #\triangle ABC# with right angle #C# we define:

- #\sin(\alpha)=\frac{\text{opposite side}}{\text{hypotenuse}}=\frac{\blue a}{\orange c}#
- #\cos(\alpha)=\frac{\text{adjacent side}}{\text{hypotenuse}}=\frac{\green b}{\orange c}#
- #\tan(\alpha)=\frac{\text{opposite side}}{\text{adjacent side}}=\frac{\blue a}{\green b}#

We call #\sin# (sine), #\cos# (cosine) and #\tan# (tangent) trigonometric functions.

With these trigonometric functions we can calculate, using an angle and a side, the remaining sides in a right-angled triangle. We can also calculate the angle using two sides and the inverse.

# \begin{array}{rcl}AB^2+BC^2&=&AC^2 \\ &&\phantom{xxx}\blue{\text{Pythagorean theorem}} \\

4^2+3^2&=&AC^2 \\ &&\phantom{xxx}\blue{AB=4 \text{ en } BC=3} \\

25&=&AC^2 \\ &&\phantom{xxx}\blue{\text{calculated}} \\

\sqrt{25}&=&AC \\ &&\phantom{xxx}\blue{\text{took root on both sides}} \\

AC&=&5 \\ &&\phantom{xxx}\blue{\text{swapped left and right, and simplified where possible}} \end {array} #

**Pass Your Math**independent of your university. See pricing and more.

Or visit omptest.org if jou are taking an OMPT exam.