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Easy trig question

  1. Sep 14, 2012 #1
    I feel kind of dumb asking this (it's been a while sense I took precalc) but I always thought that if I had something like

    arctan(stuff) = answer
    that if I added any whole integer multiple of 2pi to the answer I would get equivalent answers. Is this correct? Like
    answer - 4pi = answer -2pi = answer + 2pi = answer + 4 pi

    you get different angles but they can still act as correct answers to
    arctan(stuff)?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 14, 2012 #2

    SammyS

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    tan(x) is periodic with a period of π .

    So if you have arctan(stuff) = answer , then adding any integer multiple of π to 'answer,' will give 'another answer'.

    In other words, if tan('answer') = stuff, then it's also true that tan('another answer') = stuff .
     
  4. Sep 14, 2012 #3
    ok well in this case i can add multiples of two pi's as well than?
     
  5. Sep 14, 2012 #4

    SammyS

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    Sure, since 2π is an integer multiple of π .
     
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