I'm going to try this...It would go smoother if I could post a diagram, but my scanner is still acting like it's got a hangover.Originally Posted byc_323_h

The picture:

On a typical xy coordinate system, sketch a line segment of unit length starting at the origin and at an angle . For convenience of sketching, place this segment in the first quadrant. Label the endpoint of this segment to be the point Q. . (Note: I don't know why this isn't LaTeX!)

Sketch another line segment of unit length in the second quandrant (again for convenience) starting from the origin and label its endpoint P. This will be at an angle measured from the +x axis. . (Note that so I don't need extra negative signs on the components.)

Finally, connect PQ with a line segment. This gives a triangle POQ (O is the origin). The angle POQ is .

The calculations:

We are going to get the length of PQ in two different ways. The first uses the above diagram in the given coordinate system. Label the coordinates of point P as and Q as and simply use the distance formula.

Finally we get:

.

New diagram:

More precisely, new coordinate system. Make a new set of x'y' axes, with the x' axis along the line segment OQ. (This merely has the effect of rotating the previous diagram so that OQ now lies along the x axis.) The coordinates of Q are now (1,0) and P are now . Again we find the length of PQ. (The line segments OQ, OP, and QP all have the same lengths as they did in the original coordinate system, of course.)

Which eventually comes to:

Equating our two values for PQ gives us:

** .

You can use this formula to be clever and find a number of relationships.

1. By setting in ** we get .

2. Letting in the expression in 1 gives .

3. Putting into ** we get .

4. Expanding the cosine term in 1 using ** and putting we get .

We can now use these to get the other sine and cosine relations:

Using ** to expand the cosine on the RHS and relations 3 and 4 give:

.

Starting with 1: and putting gives:

.

Now we use ** to expand the RHS:

.

And finally, we use 1 and 2 to get:

.

For the last formula:

We use the above expression for sine to expand this and 3 and 4 to get:

.

The tangent formulas come from using and dividing both the numerator and denominator by .

-Dan