September 26, 2012

In Pre-Calculus we have been discussing right triangle trigonometry. Under its simplest definition, a trigonometric function, is one of the many functions that relate one non-right angle of a right triangle to the ratio of the lengths of any two sides of the triangle.

To define the trigonometric functions for the angle A, start with a right triangle that contains the angle A. The three sides of the triangle are named as follows:

§  The hypotenuse is the side opposite the right angle, in this case side h. The hypotenuse is always the longest side of a right triangle.

§  The opposite side is the side opposite to the angle we are interested in (angle A), in this case side a.

§  The adjacent side is the side having both the angles of interest (angle A and right-angle C), in this case side b.