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Trig problem please help test today

  1. Feb 9, 2005 #1
    trig problem please help test today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I dont understand what is being asked in these type of questions:

    determine the value of cot 4.0527 radians

    cot 4.0527=
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 9, 2005 #2

    dextercioby

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    The're asking you to use a scientific calculator.The one which computes the values of (circular) trigonometric functions.
    1.If your computer does not have the function "cotan",then split cotan in sine and cosine according to their definition.
    2.If you computer has the function "tan",then use the relation between "tan" & "cotan" to find the result.

    Such calculations wannot in general be done "by hand".

    Daniel.
     
  4. Feb 9, 2005 #3
    i dont get what your saying
     
  5. Feb 9, 2005 #4

    dextercioby

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    I said that u needed a calculator which is able to perform calculations with trigonometrical functions.

    Daniel.
     
  6. Feb 9, 2005 #5
    I don't quite understand the question

    it can be found by using calculator, right?

    or you're asking how to find the value without using a calculator or computer?
     
  7. Feb 9, 2005 #6
    how do you convert radians to degrees?
     
  8. Feb 9, 2005 #7

    dextercioby

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    Maybe that no.is a nice (like 4\pi/3) multiple of "pi" and the result could be found directly,without a calculator.I didn't bother to check,if it's a test problem,then they're probably not allowed to use such calculators...

    Weird,anyway.

    Daniel.
     
  9. Feb 9, 2005 #8

    dextercioby

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    IIRC
    180°------------------------->[itex] \pi [/itex] radians
    x° ---------------------------> 4.0527 radians


    Daniel.
     
  10. Feb 9, 2005 #9
    i can use a calculator..i just dont understand what the questions asking to be able to use the calculator
     
  11. Feb 9, 2005 #10

    dextercioby

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    Probably.Calculators were invented to spare humans of destructing a large amount of neurons for nonsatisfactory results.So yes,that can be the purpose of an exercise:learning how to handle calculators.

    Daniel.
     
  12. Feb 9, 2005 #11
    so can you help me out lol
     
  13. Feb 9, 2005 #12

    dextercioby

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    I already did tell you what to do... :tongue2: Check post #2

    Daniel.
     
  14. Feb 9, 2005 #13

    HallsofIvy

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    The problem is asking you to find the cotangent of 4.0527 radians. I can't put it any clearer than that.

    I would NOT recommend changing that to degrees. Just be sure your calculator is in "radian" mode. Any calculator that has trig functions has a way to change from degrees to radians and back again. I can't tell you how to do that because I don't know what calculator you have. Either read the manual that came with the calculator (another skill it is good to learn: how to read manuals) or take your calculator to your teacher and ask for help.

    I'm editing to add: most calculators do not have a "cotangent" key. cot(x) is defined as 1/tan(x). Find the tangent of 4.0527 radians and then invert it.
     
  15. Feb 9, 2005 #14
    ok thanks...my problem was that i wasnt in radian mode lol
     
  16. Feb 9, 2005 #15
    cot(x)= 1/tan(x)
     
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