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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Trigonometry by Izolda Fotiyeva, Dmitriy Fotiyev

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The Law of Cosines

In This Chapter

  • Defining the cosine of an obtuse angle
  • Finding the triangle elements using the law of cosines
  • Measuring the compass bearing
  • Using the three sides to find the area of a triangle

In Chapter 6, we discussed some situations where the law of sines was unable to help you to find the missing elements of oblique triangles. This is where the law of cosines steps in to fix things up. The law of cosines is an old mathematical law; it is even older than the law of sines.

In this chapter, we introduce the law of cosines and discuss how it works and what kind of problems it helps to solve. We also apply both the law of sines and the law of cosines to tackle problems related to navigation and surveying. Finally, we learn ...

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