Are you aware of the CAST diagram?
Hi all! I need serious help with unit circle and exact values! I never know how to do the symmetry. I was wondering whether i could get some help with this question here:
I have to find the exact value:
tan (-π/6)
{In words: tan (negative pie divided by 6)}
Is it possible to have it explained step by step or perhaps by using a unit circle?
Help would be greatly appreciated =D
If you imagine it like a clock, the 'beginning' of the unit circle is at 3 O'clock.
pi is 180degrees, in otherwords 9 o'clock. You always move anticlockwise, unless it's a negative number. Ie: pi/2 = 12 o'clock and -pi/2 = 6 o'clock.
If you divide the unit circle into four quadrants (3 - 12, 12 - 9, 9 - 6 and 6- 3) different functions are positive in different quadrants.
Sine is positive in top left and top right
Cosine is positive in top right and bottom right
tangent is positive in top right and bottom left.
It is also very handy to memorise few basic triangles. The most common two are:
right angled, with two pi/4 angles.
right angled with a pi/6 and pi/3 angle.
Now we need to combine all of this knowledge. First work out tan(pi/6) and ignore the negative sign. From the triangles (the second one to be specific) this will yield .
Now that we have that exact value, we refer to the unit circle to see if it will be positive or negative.
We move around the unit circle in the negative direction (because it's -pi/6) and we will not reach 6 o'clock (-pi/2). From this we can see that it's in the bottom right quadrant. This is where only cosine is positive. Therefore tangent will be negative.
So our answer will be:
PS: sorry for the long winded explanation if you already knew most of this, also, if you don't understand the triangles it's probably best that you refer to another source for this as it's very difficult to explain without a diagram.
If you look at the diagram you see a CAST diagram with your angle of (-pi/6) illustrated on it. (Minus means measure clockwise ratther than anti-clockwise).
The angle is in the C quadrant which means only cos is positive in this quadrant and therefore sin and tan give negative values.
If you work out tan (pi/6) then either tan (-pi/6) = tan (pi/6) or tan (-pi/6) = -tan (pi/6)
pi/6 is in the A quadrant which stands for ALL meaning that sin, cos and tan are all positive in that quadrant.
But tan is negative in the C quadrant and positive in the A quadrant so this means tan (-pi/6) = -tan (pi/6)