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Solving Triangles. My answer fluctuates from the real answer

  • #1
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Hey Guys. I'm having a bit of a problem with my solving triangles book. I'm finding the book really easy but there's this one thing that I keep getting wrong. Whenever I'm working with degrees with decimal points my answer aways fluctuates slightly from the real answer. I must be doing something wrong. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

MathProblemJpg.jpg
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Mentallic
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I'm getting 8.62. Can you show me your input into your calculator? How are you expressing the minutes for example?
 
  • #3
Mentallic
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Actually, I see what you've done. You expressed [itex]65^o5'[/itex] as 65.5 in your calculator. This is not correct!

[tex]65.5^o=65^o30'[/tex]

because [itex]0.5^o[/itex] is half of a degree, and that is equal to 30' since [itex]60'=1^o[/itex].

The opposite angle [itex]24^o55'[/itex] is NOT to be expressed as 24.55 in the calculator, but rather 24+55/60. Think about it in terms of time. The degree is the hour and the minute is the minute. What is 4 lots of 2 hours and 5 minutes equal to? Obviously it'll be 8 hours and 20 minutes. Let's check it though:

It's not 2.5*3 = 7.5, but rather 2 hours * 3 + 5/60 hours * 3 = 6 hours + 15/60 hours = 6 hours and 15 minutes.

This is what you want to put into your calculator:

[tex]\sin(65+5/60)*9.51[/tex]

if your calculator is expressed in degrees.
 
  • #4
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I'm getting 8.62. Can you show me your input into your calculator? How are you expressing the minutes for example?
I did think maybe I'm calculating the minutes wrong but for the life of me I couldn't find anything on the internet about it.
CalculatorJpg.jpg
 
  • #5
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Oh I see now. Thank you for helping me! Finally I've been stuck here for a while now.
 
  • #6
Mentallic
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You're welcome!

Also keep in mind that your calculator might also have a degrees, minutes and seconds button. You can use this button to easily express the degrees and minutes with [itex]65^o5^o[/itex] on the calculator, which would be equivalent to [itex]65^o5'=65+5/60[/itex]. Also, if you start using seconds too, then
[tex]65^o5^o20^o[/tex] on your calculator would be equivalent to [tex]65^o5'20''=65+5/60+20/60^2=65+5/60+20/3600[/tex]
 
  • #7
SteamKing
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  • #8
LCKurtz
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Little details like that are what makes space probes fail to go into orbit around Mars.
 

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