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Math Help - tan

  1. #1
    Senior Member furor celtica's Avatar
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    tan

    im having a hard time keeping track of y values in tan function graphs. i know how to sketch the basic shape, obviously, but scaling and identifying f(alpha) in all that is very vague to me, and i find it impossible to find anything graphically from the graphs i draw including cotangents. any helpful hints?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member apcalculus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by furor celtica View Post
    im having a hard time keeping track of y values in tan function graphs. i know how to sketch the basic shape, obviously, but scaling and identifying f(alpha) in all that is very vague to me, and i find it impossible to find anything graphically from the graphs i draw including cotangents. any helpful hints?
    I would recommend memorizing vertical tangents and x-intercepts for the standard tangent function. Transformations of it can be thought of geometrically. If you're having trouble with the sign of y-values, think about the unit circle and the different combination of sine-cosine pairings in each quadrant.

    I hope this helps.

    PS: let's not hate Chelsea.
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  3. #3
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    You might find it helpful to sketch sin and cos first on your graph and remember that tan=sin/cos. This way you can work out rough values of tan by dividing the values of sin and cos. Also you'll be able to make sure your zeros and vertical asymptotes are in the correct place: tan=0 when sin=0 and tan tends to infinity when cos=0. Hope that's of some help.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member furor celtica's Avatar
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    i think that with that and tan pi/4 = 1 i should survive.
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