can someone explain this to me:

tan(theta) = 60/x

x = 60/tan(theta)

x = 60cot(theta)

i dont understand how the tangent switches to cotangent.

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- Feb 18th 2008, 02:27 PMalgebra2tangent and cotangent
can someone explain this to me:

tan(theta) = 60/x

x = 60/**tan**(theta)

x = 60**cot**(theta)

i dont understand how the tangent switches to cotangent. - Feb 18th 2008, 02:52 PMangel.white
Cotangent is just 1 over tangent so

In the same way that cosecant is 1 over sine, and secant is 1 over cosine.

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So your intitial equation is:

then multiply both sides by

Simplify (cancel out tangents on LHS and x's on RHS) to get your second equation.

You can partition the RHS like so:

And you see that on the RHS 1/tangent = cotangent so

Which is your last equation.

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__Some other things to note:__

since you can multiply both sides by tangent over cotangent and get

and also since

it follows that

so