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101+ Solved Problems

in
Trigonometry

I.

Angles and Triangles


1. Minutes to Seconds (Conversion of DMS)
Convert the following.
Questions

Answers

(1) 89 11' 15"


(2) 12 15' 0"
(3) 33 30'
(4) 71 0' 30"
(5) 42 24' 53"
(6) 33.9645
(7) 13.12345
(8) 21.5
(9) 59.7892
(10) 65.1836

89.1875
12.25
33.5
71.0083
42.4147
33 57' 52.2"
13 7' 24.42"
21 30' 0"
59 47' 21.12"
65 11' 0.96"

2. Degrees and Radians (Conversion of D to R and Vice Versa)


Exercises
1. Convert each of the following angles given in degrees, to radians. Give your answers
correct
to 2 decimal places.
a) 32 b) 95 c) 217
2. Convert each of the following angles given in radians, to degrees. Give your answers
correct
to 2 decimal places.
a) 3 radians, b) 2.4 radians, c) 1 radian.
3. Convert each of the following angles given in radians, to degrees. Do not use a
calculator.
a) 15 b) 5
4. Convert the following angles given in degrees, to radians. Do not use a calculator and
give
your answers as multiples of .

a) 90 b) 72
Answers
1. a) 0.56 radians, b) 1.66 radians, c) 3.79 radians.
2. a) 171.89 b) 137.51 c) 57.30
3. a) 12 b) 36
4. a) /2radians b) 2/5radians
II. Trigonometric Function
1. A surveyor measures a distance of 12.45 m to the base of a building.The angle of
elevation to the top of the building is 76.78 . What is the height of the building ?
2. The angle of depression from helicopter to a speeding car is 56 . If the helicopter is
flying 600m above the ground, how far is it from the car ?
3. A tightrope walker is about the cross a rope from a dock to the bridge of a boat that is
1.5m above the level of the dock. The rope is 15m long. At what angle of inclination will
the tightrope walker be climbing?
4. A person is standing halfway between two trees that a 3m apart. The angles of elevation
to the tops of the trees are 42 and 36. How much taller is one tree over the other?
5. From a point away from the base of a building, the angle of elevation is 51. From a
point 4m closer to the building, the angle of elevation increases to 67. How tall is the
building ?
6. While driving through the mountains you notice a sign that shows a hill with a 11%
grade. What angle does the road make with the horizontal?
7. A ladder with its foot on a horizontal flat surface rests against a wall. It makes an angle
of 30 with the horizontal. The foot of the ladder is 41 ft from the base of the wall. Find
the height of the point where the ladder touches the wall.
8. A man on the deck of a ship is 15 ft above sea level. He observes that the angle of
elevation of the top of a cliff is 70 and the angle of depression of its base at sea level is
50. Find the height of the cliff and its distance from the ship.
9. The angle of elevation of the top of a tree is 30 o from a point 28 ft away from the foot of
the tree. Find the height of the tree rounded to the nearest feet.

10. From the top of a spire of height 50 ft, the angles of depression of two cars on a straight
road at the same level as that of the base of the spire and on the same side of it are 25
and 40. Calculate the the distance between the two cars.
Answers:
1) 53 2) 724m 3) 5.7 4) 0.3m 5) 10.4m
6) 6.3 7) 24ft. 8) 50ft and 13ft. 9) 16ft. 10) 47ft.
III. Inverse Trigonometric Function
1.A 25 foot tall flagpole casts a 42 feet shadow. What is the angle that the sun hits the
flagpole?
Solution: First, draw a picture. The angle that the sun hits the flagpole is the acute angle
at the top of the triangle, . From the picture, we can see that we need to use the
inverse tangent ratio.

2. Elise is standing on the top of a 50 foot building and spots her friend, Molly across the
street. If Molly is 35 feet away from the base of the building, what is the angle of
depression from Elise to Molly? Elises eye height is 4.5 feet.
Solution: Because of parallel lines, the angle of depression is equal to the angle at
Molly, or . We can use the inverse tangent ratio.

3. To find the escalators angle of elevation, we need to use the inverse sine ratio.

4. The height of a building is 250 ft. What is the angle of elevation from a point on the
level ground 200 ft away from the base of the building?
Solution:

The lengths of opposite and the adjacent legs are known for angle which is the angle

of elevation.
= tan-1 (Opposite LegAdjacent Leg) = tan-1 250200
51.3.

Using inverse functions in the

calculator.
5. A person stands at the window of a building so that his eyes are 12.6 m above the
level ground in the vicinity of the building. An object is 58.5 m away from the building on
a line directly beneath the person. Compute the angle of depression of the persons line
of sight to the object on the ground.

Solution: The angle of depression of the line of sight is the angle, , that the line of sight
makes with the horizontal, as shown in the figure to the right. Since the ground is level,
it is parallel to any horizontal line, and so the angle that the line of sight makes with the
ground is equal to as well. As a result, we have
tan= 12.6/58.5
= tan-1 (12.6/58.5)
= tan-1 (0.22)
= 12.40
6. Find the size of angle a

Step 1 The two sides we know are Adjacent (6,750) and Hypotenuse (8,100).

Step 2 Use Cosine Function.

Step 3 Calculate Cos x= Adjacent / Hypotenuse = 6,750/8,100 = 0.8333

Step 4 Find inverse cos of 0.8333:


cos a = 6,750/8,100 = 0.8333
inverse cos of 0.8333 = 33.6

7. A girl is flying her kite with 42 angle of elevation. If she knows the length of the string
of her kitewhich is 300 m, how high is the kite? The triangle formed is shown on the left.
in x= opposite/hypotenuse
Sin42= opposite/300
Opposite= 300sin42
Opposite= 300(.67)
Opposite= 201 m
8. Chelsea walked up a road that has a 20% grade (she could feel it!) to get to her
favorite store. At what angle does the road come up from the ground (at what angle is
the road inclined from the ground)?

Solution:
Remember that the grade of a road can be thought of as

and you usually see it as

a percentage. So a 20% grade is the same as a grade of


road goes up vertically, it goes 100 feet horizontally.

; for every 20 feet the

IV. Trigonometric Identities


1. Proving of Identities
1.Simplify: sin3A + sin Acos2A
sin3A + sin Acos2A
= sin A(sin2A + cos2A)
[Factor out sin A.]

= sin A 1
[Substitute: sin2A + cos2A = 1.]
= sin A
2.Factorize: cos2A - sin2A cos2A
cos2A - sin2A cos2A
= cos2A (1 - sin2A)
[Factor out cos2A.]
= cos2A cos2A
[Substitute:1 - sin2A = cos2A.]
= cos4A
3.Simplify: sin B + cos2B/sinB
sin B + cos2 Bsin B
= sin2 B+cos2 Bsin B
= 1sin B
[Substitute: sin2 B + cos2 B = 1.]
= csc B
4.Simplify: sec - tan2/sec
sec - tan2sec = sec2-tan2sec
= 1sec
[Substitute: sec2 - tan2 = 1.]
= cos
5.Find the value of 1 + sec2(1-sin2).
1 + sec2(1-sin2)
= 1 + sec2 cos2
[Substitute: 1 - sin2 = cos2.]

= 1 + 1cos2 cos2
=1+1=2
6. - (sin A sec Atan A) = ___________.
1 - (sin A sec Atan A)
= 1 - sin A (1cos A)tan A
[Substitute: sec A = 1cos A.]
= 1 - (tan Atan A)
[Substitute sin Acos A = tan A.]
=1-1=0
7.Simplify: sin B 1/cos B
sin B - 1cos B = sin Bcos B - 1cos B
= tan B - sec B
[Substitute: sin Bcos B = tan B and 1cosB = sec B.]

8. Prove the identity

9. Prove the identity

10.Prove the identity (1 cos2())(1 + cos2()) = 2sin2() sin4()

1 cos2())(1 + cos2()) = sin2()[1 + cos2()]


= sin2()[1 + cos2() sin2() + sin2()]
= sin2()[1 sin2() + sin2() + cos2()]
= sin2()[1 sin2() + 1]
= sin2()[2 sin2()]
= 2sin2() sin4()

2.Sum and Difference Formula

1.The
Find

and

is in the

is in the

Solution: First, we need to find

and

. Using the Pythagorean Theorem,

missing lengths are 4 and 5, respectively. So,


quadrant and

quadrant and

because it is in the

. Now, use the appropriate formulas.

2.Using the information from 1, find


Solution: From the cosine and sine of

.
and

, we know that

and

3.Simplify

Solution: Expand this using the difference formula and then simplify.

4.What is the exact value of sin(105)?


We can use a sum angle formula noticing that 105 = 45 + 60.
We have sin(105) = sin(45 + 60) = sin(45 )cos(60) + cos(45 )sin(60).
We know the exact values of trig functions for 60 and 45.

Therefore, sin(45 )cos(60) + cos(45 )sin(60) =

This is the exact value because we are using the radicals to express exact square roots.
A decimal approximation is 0.9659.
5.What is the exact value of tan(15)?
We can use a difference angle formula noticing that 15 = 45 - 30.
tan(15)

= tan(45 - 30)

=
This expression, which represents the exact value of tan(15), can be rewritten as
follows so that there is no radical in the denominator.

6. Find the exact value of sin(15o)


Solution
15 o is not a special angle. However 15 = 45 - 30 and both 45 and 30 are special angles.
Hence

sin(15o) = sin (45o - 30o)

We now use the difference formula for sine.


= sin(45o)*cos(30o) - cos(45o)*sin(30o)

Substitute the values of sine snd cosine of 45 o and 30o in the above to obtain.
sin(15o) = [sqrt(2) / 2][sqrt(3) / 2] - [sqrt(2) / 2][1 / 2]

Common denominator and factoring.


sin(15o) = sqrt(2)[sqrt(3) - 1] / 4

7.Simplify cos(x - pi/2)


Solution

Use the difference formula for cosine to expand the given expression
cos(x - pi/2) = cos x * cos pi/2 + sin x * sin pi/2

cos pi/2 = 0 and sin pi/2 = 1, hence.


cos(x - pi/2) = sin x
8.Given sin x = 1 / 5 and sin y = -2 / 3, angle x is in quadrant II and angle y is in
quadrant III, find the exact value of sin(x + y).
Solution
Expand sin(x + y) using the sum formula of the sine.
sin(x + y) = sin x * cos y + cos x * sin y

We know sin x but not cos x, we use the identity sin 2x + cos2x = 1 to find cos x.
cos x = (+ or -) SQRT(1 - sin2x)

Since x is in quadrant II, cos x is negative.


cos x = - SQRT(1 - (1/5)2)

We know sin y but not cos y, we use the same identity as above sin 2y + cos2y = 1
to find cos y.
cos y = (+ or -) SQRT(1 - sin2y)

Since y is in quadrant III, cos y is negative.


cos y = - SQRT(1 - (-2/3)2)
= - SQRT(1 - 4/9)
= (-1/3)SQRT(5)

We now subtitute sin x, cos x, sin y and cos y by their values in the formula
above.
sin(x + y) = sin x * cos y + cos x * sin y
= [1/5]*[-(1 / 3)SQRT(5)] + [-(1 / 5)SQRT(24)][-2 / 3]
= [-SQRT(5) + SQRT(24)] / 15
9.Find the exact value of cos 15o
Solution:
Think of two angles that you know the value of, that either
add or subtract and give you 15. There are many. One that
comes to mind is 45 and 30.
let = 45 and = 30
Use the above formula for the difference of the cosine
cos 15 = cos(45 - 30) = cos 45 cos 30 + sin 45 sin 30

10. Find the exact value of sin 50o cos 10o + sin 10o cos 50o
Solution:
Match the problem to one of the formulas. Do you see that it
is the sum formula for the sine function?
= sin (50 + 10) = sin 60o
= \/ 3 / 2
2. Double Angle
3. Half Angle
4. Product to Sum

1. Express the product

as a sum of trigonometric functions.

Answer. We have

which gives

Note that the above formulas may be used to transform a sum into a product via the
identities

2. Express

as a product.

Answer. We have

Note that we used


3. Verify the formula

Answer. We have

and

Hence

which clearly implies

3. Find the real number x such that

and

Answer. Many ways may be used to tackle this problem. Let us use the above formulas.
We have

Hence

Since
equation

are

4. Verify the identity

Answer. We have

, the equation
gives

gives

and the

. Therefore, the solutions to the equation

Using the above formulas we get

Hence

which implies

Since

, we get

5. Verify that sin cos =

Start by adding the sum and difference identities for the sine.

The other three productsum identities can be verified by adding or subtracting other
sum and difference identities.
6. Write cos 3 x cos 2 x as a sum.

Alternate forms of the productsum identities are the sumproduct identities.

These identities are valid for degree or radian measure whenever both sides of the
identity are defined.

7.

Solve for by adding the following two equations and then dividing by 2. Solve for by
subtracting the two equations and then dividing by 2.

8. Write the difference cos 8 cos 2 as a product.

9. Find the exact value of sin 75 + sin 15.

10. Express the product cos(3x)sin(2x) as a sum of trigonometric functions.

V. Solution of Angles
1. Right Triangle
1. A 16 foot ladder is leaning against a house. It touches the bottom of a window that is
12 feet 6 inches above the ground. What is the measure of the angle that the ladder
forms with the ground?
Let x equal the measure of the angle the
ladder forms with the ground. A picture of
the problem is drawn to the right.
We have the side opposite to the angle in
question as well as the hypotenuse. I can
write the unknown in terms of the known
using the definition of sine:

. First I need to get every thing in terms of inches: 12 ft = 144 in. ,so 12 ft
6 in = 150 in. and
= 192 in so
. Notice the units cancel out.
You should always get a unitless number when you have a trigonometric ratio. Using the
inverse sin on a calculator I get the measure of the angle is equal to
.

2.
a. I would use the converse of the Pythagorean
Theorem to solve this problem.
b. The converse of the Pythagorean Theorem tells
me that if
then the pole would
be at a right angle with the ground when the string
was 17 ft.

So compute

and
since
when the string is 17 ft.

the pole would be at a right angle with the ground

3. Kaila is flying a kite whose string is making a


angle with the ground. The kite
string is 65 meters long. How far is the kite above the ground?
After reading the problem I would draw the following picture:
where h is the height, what I want to find. I know an angle, so I know I need
to use a trigonometric ratio to solve this problem. I am looking for the side
opposite the given angle and I know the hypotenuse. Looking at my
definitions I see I should use the sine ratio to write the unknown in terms of
knowns.

So I have

or

So using my calculator to compute sin


above the ground.

I find the kite is approximately 61 meters

4. The Brook's are installing a wide-screen television with a 60-inch diagonal. Their
entertainment center is 48 inches wide by 36 inches high, will the television fit in their
current entertainment center?
After reading the problem I draw the following:
I want to find d to see if the television with a 60inch diagonal will fit into a rectangle that is 48inches by 36 inches. I can use the Pythagorean
Theorem to put my knowns in terms of my
unknown:
or

so the television will fit exactly.


5. A surveyor is 100 meters from the base of a dam. The angle of elevation to the top of
the dam measures
. The surveyor's eye-level is 1.73 meters above the ground. Find
the height of the dam to the nearest hundredth of a meter.
After reading the problem I draw:
So the top of the dam will be
distance d + 1.73 m. I have and
angle, and the side adjacent to
the angle and I am looking for
the side opposite the angle.
Since
I will use this
trigonometric ratio to solve for d.

I get:
I am not quite done, I must add the distance the triangle is above the ground to get the
height I am looking for. The height of the dam is 48.77 m + 1.73 m = 50.50 m.
6. Given an acute angle and one side. Solve the right triangle ABC if angle A is
36, and side c is 10 cm.

Solution. Since angle A is 36, then angle B is 90 36 = 54.


To find an unknown side, say a, proceed as follows:
1.

Make the unknown side the numerator of a fraction, and make the known side the
denominator.
Unknown
Known

2.

Name that function of the angle.

a
10

Unknown
Known
3.

= sin 36

Use the trigonometric Table to evaluate that function.


Unknown
Known

4.

a
10

a
10

= sin 36 = .588

Solve for the unknown side.


a = 10 .588 cm = 5.88 cm
(Lesson 4 of Arithmetic.)

7. Solve the triangle for side b.

To see the answer, pass your mouse over the colored area.
To cover the answer again, click "Refresh" ("Reload").
To consult the Table, click here.
Unknown
Known

b
10

= cos 36 = .809
b = 10 .809 = 8.09 cm

8. To measure the width of a river. Two trees stand opposite one another, at points
A and B, on opposite banks of a river.

Distance AC along one bank is perpendicular to BA, and is measured to be 100 feet.
Angle ACB is measured to be 79. How far apart are the trees; that is, what is the
width w of the river?
Unknown
=
Known

w
100

=
w=

tan 79.
100 tan 79

100 5.145 = 514.5 ft,

from the Table.


(To measure the height of a flagpole, and for the meaning of theangle of
elevation, see the Example in Topic 3.)
9. Find the distance of a boat from a lighthouse if the lighthouse is 100 meters tall,
and the angle of depression is 6.

Solution. The angle of depression is the angle below straight ahead -- horizontal -that an oberver must look in order to see something below the observer. Thus in
order to see the boat, the lighthouse keeper must look down 6.
Now, the triangle formed by the lighthouse and the distance d of the boat from
the lighthouse, is right-angled. And since the angle of depression is 6, then the
alternate angle is also 6. (Euclid, I. 29.)
If d is the distance of a boat from the lighthouse, then
d
= cot 6
= 9.514, from the Table.
100
Therefore,
d = 951.4 meters.
10. Given two sides of a right triangle. Solve the right triangle ABC given that
side c = 25 cm and side b = 24 cm.

Solution. To find the remaining side a, use the Pythagorean theorem:


a2 + 242

252

=
a2 =

625 576 = 49

a=
Next, to find angle A, we have
cos A =

24

96

= 7.

, on multiplying each term by 4.

25

100
=

.96

(See Skill in Arithmetic: Fractions into decimals.)


We must now inspect the Table to find the angle whose cosine is closest to .96,
or, since this is a three place Table, .960.
We find
cos 16 = .961
Therefore,
Angle A
16.
Finally,
Angle B = 90 16 = 74.
We have solved the triangle.
2. Oblique Triangle