hey, I was just wondering when i would use sine law, opposed to cosine law and vice-versa.

Thanks!

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- Jun 2nd 2008, 03:50 PMjays-9Sine Law and Cosine Law
hey, I was just wondering when i would use sine law, opposed to cosine law and vice-versa.

Thanks! - Jun 2nd 2008, 04:10 PMJonboy
You don't mean Law of Sines and Law of Cosines, right?

If you mean the law of sine, that is: $\displaystyle Sin\,\theta = \frac{opp}{hyp}$

And the law of cosine: $\displaystyle Cos\,\theta = \frac{adj}{hyp}$

Then you can use use either of them when you have a right triangle.

Which one depends on what you know, be it the opposite side, adjacent side, or the hypotenuse. - Jun 2nd 2008, 07:18 PMChris L T521
You use the law of sines when you have two known angles and one known side in a triangle (AAS, ASA).

Law of Sines: $\displaystyle \frac{\sin(\alpha)}{A}=\frac{\sin(\beta)}{B}=\frac {\sin(\gamma)}{C}$

You use the law of cosines when you have two known sides and one known angle (triangle is SAS).

$\displaystyle \begin{aligned}

\text{Law of Cosines: }&A^2=B^2+C^2-2BC\cos(\alpha) \\

&B^2=A^2+C^2-2AC\cos(\beta) \\

&C^2=A^2+B^2-2AB\cos(\gamma)

\end{aligned}$