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Homework Help: Simple angle relationship question

  1. Feb 19, 2008 #1
    So I have a minor in mathematics yet I am confusing myself over the following - if I am given an angle, theta, in degrees and need to find a second angle, gamma, in degrees, and the relationship is tan(theta) = C*tan(gamma), where C is some constant, can I plug in theta in degrees and get gamma in degrees? Or do I need to convert theta to radians, find gamma in radians, then convert gamma to degrees again? If I do it with degrees I get 26.32, but if I do it the radians way i get 27.69.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 19, 2008 #2
    Careful, that constant is gonna be different if you're using radians or degrees or arcseconds or what have you, if you just bounce around units and use the same constant, you'll be wrong
  4. Feb 20, 2008 #3

    gamma = arctan ((24/13)*tan(15 degrees))

    gamma = 26.32
  5. Feb 20, 2008 #4
    Ah, but you got the answer in radians originally, didn't you? Then you had to convert it to degrees

    tan(15 degrees)=tan(.261...) they're the outright same number, that value for C will always without fail give you the answer in radians, regardless of what you use in the input
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