# B Radians vs degrees

1. Feb 7, 2017

### johann1301h

Im teaching math and one of my students asked me something about trigonometry.

Say you are to generally solve:

sin(x + 1) = 0.5

And thats all the information you are given.

How would you know to solve for radians or degrees?

2. Feb 7, 2017

### Staff: Mentor

You don't. It's probably decided by the context: in mathematics alone I would always chose radians, but in a conversation with ordinary people, degrees might be a better choice. It's the same as with any units, take the appropriate ones in the context.

3. Feb 7, 2017

### Svein

If the problem is given as shown, the answer must be in radians. If degrees were meant, the problem should have been stated

sin(x + 1°) = 0.5

4. Feb 7, 2017

### Staff: Mentor

That's what I thought as well. "1" without degree sign means we are working with radians, otherwise adding 1 doesn't make sense. If the question is sin(2*x)=0.5 then we cannot tell.

5. Feb 8, 2017

### Svein

Then you indicate what type of answer you have given, such as x = 15° or x = π/12.

6. Feb 8, 2017

### malemdk

Generally it is degree.

7. Feb 8, 2017

### jbriggs444

Not if your degree is in mathematics.

8. Feb 8, 2017

### Staff: Mentor

The use of radians is much more prevalent in mathematics, especially at the level of calculus and above. All of the differentiation and integration formulas for the trig functions use radians exclusively.

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