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Finding the Exact Value of

Trigonometric Functions

Review: Special Right Triangles


Find the missing side Lengths:

60
/3

1
2

45
/4

30
/6
3
2

/4
45
2
2

2
2

Important Points on Unit Circle


1 0,1

90
/2
2 / 3
120
3 / 4
135

60
/3
45
/4

5 / 6
150

30
/6

1, 0 180

-1

0
0

11330
/6

7 / 6
210
5 / 4
225
4
/3
240

7315
/4
5
/3
300
3
/2
270

-1 0, 1

1, 0
1

Important Points on Unit Circle

3 1
,
2 2

1, 0
-1

2 2
,
2 2

3 1
,
2
2

1 3
,

2 2

1 0,1

/2
2 / 3
3 / 4

5 / 6

1 3
,

2 2

/3
/4
1

2 2
,

2 2

45
60
30
1/2 2 3

1, 0
1

22

11 / 6

7 / 6

2
2
,

2
2

5 / 4
4 / 3

1
3
,
2
2

7 / 4

5 / 3
3 / 2 1 3

-1 0, 1

3 1
3 / 6
,

2
2 2
2
2 1/2

3 1
,
2
2

2
2
,
2
2

Important Points on Unit Circle

2 2
,
2 2

3 1
,

2 2

1 3
,

2 2

120

1 0,1
90

1 3
,

2 2

135

2 2
,

2 2

60
45

150

1, 0 180
-1

3 1
,
2
2

330
315

225

2
2
,

2
2

240

3 1
,

2 2

210

30

1
3
,
2
2

270

300

-1 0, 1

1, 0
1

3 1
,
2
2

2
2
,
2
2

1
3
,
2
2

Important Points on Unit Circle

3 1
,
2 2

1, 0
-1

2 2
,
2 2

3 1
,
2
2

1 3
,

2 2

1 0,1

/2
2 / 3
3 / 4

1 3
,

2 2

/3
/4

5 / 6

2 2
,

2 2

3 1
,

2 2

/6

1, 0
1

11 / 6

7 / 6

2
2
,

2
2

5 / 4
4 / 3

1
3
,
2
2

7 / 4

5 / 3
3 / 2 1 3

-1 0, 1

3 1
,
2
2

2
2
,
2
2

Reference Angle
On the left are 3 reference angles that we know exact trig values
for. To find the reference angle for angles not in the 1 st quadrant
(the angles at right), ignore the integer in the numerator.

: 30
6

: 45
4

: 60
3

5 7 11
,
,
6 6 6
3 5 7
, ,
4 4 4
2 4 5
,
,
3 3 3

Then
multiply the
number in
the
numerator
by the
degree to
find the
angles
quadrant.

Stewarts Table: Finding Exact Values of


Trig Functions
R.A.

Sin

Cos

0
0
2
1 1

2
2
2
2

1
3
2
2
2

1
2

3
2

4 2
1
2
2

Each time the square root


number goes up by 1

Tan

Reverse the order of the


values from sine

1. Find the
value of the
Reference
Angle.

2. Find the
angles
quadrant to
figure out the
sign (+/-).

Example 1
Find the exact value of the following:

cos 34

Reference Angle:
4
Cosine of Reference Angle: cos 4

2
2

Quadrant of Reference Angle: 3 45 135 Second Quadrant

Sign of Cosine in Second Quadrant:

Therefore:

cos 34

2
2

Negative

Example 2
Solve:

2sin x 1 0
2sin x 1
1
sin x 2

Reference Angle that Makes sin x = 12 = 12 True:


Solutions in the interval 0 x 2 :

6 76
/6

All solutions:

7
6
11
6

2 n
2 n

/6

where n is an integer

2 6 116

Slope on the Unit Circle


1
(cos,sin)

-1

cos

sin

What is the slope


of the terminal side
of an angle on the
unit circle?

Opposite

Adjacent

opposite
tan
Slope = cos -1
adjacent
sin

A Definition of Tangent
The tangent function is defined as:

tan

sin

cos

There are values for which the tangent function are undefined:
Any that makes cos()=0.

In general:

3
2

5
2

7
2

9
2

11
2

,...

For any integer n.

Stewarts Table: Finding Exact Values of


Trig Functions
R.A.

Sin

Cos

0
0
2
1 1

2 2
2
2

1
3
2
2
2

1
2

3
2

4 2
1
2
2

Each time the square root


number goes up by 1

Tan

1. Find the
value of
0
0
the
1
Reference
12
1
1 2

3
Angle.
3 2 2 3
3
3
2 2
1
2 2
3 2
3 2

3
12
2 1

Reverse the order of the


values from sine

2. Find the
angles
quadrant
1

to figure
0
out +/-.
sin
tan
cos

Example 3
Find the exact value of the following:

Thought process

tan 53

Reference Angle:
3
Tangent of Reference Angle: tan 3 3
Quadrant of Angle: 5 60 300 Fourth Quadrant

Sign of Tangent in Fourth Quadrant:

Therefore:

tan 53 3

,
negative
positive

Negative

The only thing required for a correct


answer (unless the question says explain)