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Calculus For Dummies, 2nd Edition by Mark Ryan

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Chapter 6

The Trig Tango

In This Chapter

arrow Socking it to ’em with SohCahToa

arrow Everybody’s got an angle: 30°, 45°, 60°

arrow Circumnavigating the unit circle

arrow Graphing trig functions

arrow Investigating inverse trig functions

Many calculus problems involve trigonometry, and the calculus itself is enough of a challenge without having to relearn trig at the same time. So, if your trig is rusty — I’m shocked — review these trig basics, or else!

Studying Trig at Camp SohCahToa

The study of trig begins with the right triangle. The three main trig functions (sine, cosine, and tangent) and their reciprocals (cosecant, secant, and cotangent) all tell you something about the lengths of the sides of a right triangle that contains a given acute angle — like angle x in Figure 6-1. The longest side of this right triangle (or any right triangle), the diagonal side, is called the hypotenuse. The side that’s 3 units long in this right triangle is referred to as the opposite side because it’s on the opposite side ...

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