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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].
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