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Math Help - Find the indicated trig function HELP ^_^

  1. #1
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    Find the indicated trig function HELP ^_^

    Find the indicated trig function of
    θ, if θ is an angle in standard position with the terminal side defined by the given

    point.
    (12, 16); Find cos
    θ.


    answer is 4 over 5 but how do i find this?

    please help :P
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  2. #2
    is up to his old tricks again! Jhevon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HelpMePleaseFriend View Post
    Find the indicated trig function of
    θ, if θ is an angle in standard position with the terminal side defined by the given

    point.
    (12, 16); Find cos
    θ.


    answer is 4 over 5 but how do i find this?

    please help :P
    (12, 16) means that the x-coordinate is 12 and the y-coordinate is 16. the x-coordinate gives the horizontal distance while the y gives the vertical distance. this means we form a right-triangle with an acute angle \theta at the origin that has a base length of 12 and a height of 16 (draw a diagram). now all we need to find is the hypotenuse (since cosine = (adjacent)/(hypotenuse)).

    use Pythagoras' theorem to find the hypotenuse (or you could notice this is a 3-4-5 triangle). once you do that just plug in the values into the equation:

    \cos \theta = \frac {\mbox{Adjacent}}{\mbox{Hypotenuse}}

    here, the adjacent side is 12 (you can see that from the diagram)
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