Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Basic trig question for physics

  1. Oct 12, 2006 #1
    I have to calculate the phase constant for a mass and spring system for simple harmonic motion. If I find that phi equals the arctan of some negative over another negative number, do I have to add pi to the answer for it to be in quadrant III?

    I know this is more of a precalculus question but I don't know if the rules are different for physics.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2006 #2
    yes, you have to add [tex] \pi [/tex].
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook