Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Spherical Pythagorean theorem - finding length of longer side

  1. Feb 11, 2012 #1
    Picture of the problem:
    Untitled-3.jpg

    As seen by the diagram above, a2 < a1

    But the spherical Pythagorean theorem states that cos c = (cos a)(cos b).

    The triangle can either have a1,b,c or a2,b,c as its sides, which means the above equation contradicts itself. Am I missing something?

    thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 11, 2012 #2

    tiny-tim

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Hi Plutoniummatt! :smile:
    he he :biggrin:

    a1 isn't part of a great circle :wink:
     
  4. Feb 11, 2012 #3
    hehe thanks, this is what happens when I look up a formula and not bother to read the text that goes with it :P but I assume you meant a2
     
  5. Feb 12, 2012 #4

    tiny-tim

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Spherical Pythagorean theorem - finding length of longer side
  1. Spherical rolling (Replies: 2)

  2. Spherical Trigonometry (Replies: 6)

Loading...