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Math Help - Basic Trig problem

  1. #1
    Member M670's Avatar
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    Basic Trig problem

    Simplify and write the trigonometric expression in terms of sine and cosine:


    I put this as my answer
    and I was told this Your answer isn't a number
    (it looks like a formula that returns a number) I am figuring I have to reduce this?
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  2. #2
    Super Member
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    Re: Basic Trig problem

    The answer is actually -1. To show this, we have

    \tan^2 x - \sec^2 x = \frac{\sin^2 x}{\cos^2 x} - \frac{1}{\cos^2 x}

    = \frac{\sin^2 x - 1}{\cos^2 x}

    = \frac{-\cos^2 x}{\cos^2 x}

    = -1
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