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Math Help - Trig problem

  1. #1
    Newbie
    Joined
    Sep 2008
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    24

    Trig problem

    I'm having a little trouble with this trig problem.

    tan(a) = -(3/2) and sin(a) < 0. Evaluate the following:
    sin(a)
    cos(a)
    sec(a)
    csc(a)
    cot(a)

    I've already gotten that cot(a) = -(2/3) but I have no clue how to get any of the others.
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  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Joined
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    34
    sec^2 a = tan^2 a + 1
    sec a = 1 / cos a
    Go from there.
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  3. #3
    MHF Contributor
    Joined
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,092
    Draw a triangle with y = -3a and x = 2a, and then calculate the value for r (the hypotenuse) by using the Pythagorean Theorem: x^2 + y^2 = r^2. Since all basic trig functions are functions of some combination of x, y, and r, you should be able to calculate all of them once you know r.
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