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Math Help - Difference between theta and x?

  1. #1
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    Difference between theta and x?

    I'm so confused with trig...

    Why is the graph of sin(theta) different from the graph of sin(x)?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Difference between theta and x?

    Quote Originally Posted by explodingtoenails View Post
    I'm so confused with trig...
    Why is the graph of sin(theta) different from the graph of sin(x)?
    There is no difference.
    If each of \theta,~t,~&~x is a real variable
    then the graphs \sin(\theta),~\sin(t),~&~\sin(x) are identical.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Difference between theta and x?

    Quote Originally Posted by explodingtoenails View Post
    I'm so confused with trig...

    Why is the graph of sin(theta) different from the graph of sin(x)?
    It isn't different, provided that \theta and x are measured in the same units. But if \theta is measured in radians and x is measured in degrees (say), then the scale of the horzontal axis will be different.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Difference between theta and x?

    Quote Originally Posted by explodingtoenails View Post
    I'm so confused with trig...

    Why is the graph of sin(theta) different from the graph of sin(x)?
    In light of the correct responses given, it makes sense to ask:
    What makes YOU think that they are different?
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  5. #5
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    Re: Difference between theta and x?

    Another point "x" and "y" are typically used in a rectangular coordinate system and "r" and " \theta" are used in polar coordinates. You can, of course, use whatever letters you wish.

    The graph of "y= sin(x)", in rectangular coordinates is the "sine wave".
    The graph of " r= sin(\theta)", in polar coordinates is the circle with center at (0, 1/2) and radius 1/2, as \theta goes from 0 to \pi.

    But, again, the difference is because of the coordinate systems, not what the variables are called.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Difference between theta and x?

    Ahh I see. Thanks guys!!!
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