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Math Help - Radians or Degrees for this question?

  1. #1
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    Radians or Degrees for this question?

    I have this question:

    "A particle initially 4 metres to the right of the origin, has a velocity in metres per second (m/s) given by:
    \[v =  - 2\pi \sin \left( {\frac{\pi }{2}t} \right)\]
    Find the expression for the displacement of the particle as a function of the time and hence find when the particle first passes through the origin"

    So when i find t do i find it with the calculator on degrees or radians? see in radians it first passes through the origin at 1 second, but in degrees it first passes the origin at 57.29577951
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Educated's Avatar
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    Usually questions like these are in radians, unless specified otherwise.
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  3. #3
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    The trig functions, as functions, rather than in a triangle, are always in radians.

    (Strictly speaking they are defined, for all x, such that x is NOT an angle at all and so not in either "radians" or "degrees" but the definitions are such as to fit the "right triangle" definitions when x is in radians.)
    Last edited by HallsofIvy; October 15th 2010 at 03:41 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Wow thanks heaps Hallsofivy that description helps so much. Before you said that i had no idea it worked that way, but now that i think about it, that would make sense. Thanks also Educated
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