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Very basic trigonometry question?

  • Thread starter freeofwork
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  • #1
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Homework Statement



Well basically i'm trying to learn trigonometry from a textbook. It shows a rule,
to change from degrees to radians, multiply by pi/180.
to change from radians to degrees, multiply by 180/pi .


Homework Equations





The Attempt at a Solution


I'm the type of person that wants to know why what works. I cannot sleep when i cannot understand the background work of an rule. why do those rules work? ty
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Dick
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It's because a full circle is 2*pi radians and it's also 360 degrees. So (2*pi radians)=(360 degrees). So (dividing both sides by 2*pi), 1 radian=(360/(2*pi)*degree=(180/pi)*degree. That's your first conversion, you do the second.
 
  • #3
phinds
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Dick's response is correct, but a more fundamental answer is that it is inherent in the definition of degrees and radians. They are just different units for the same thing, like miles and kilometers.
 
  • #4
ehild
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The length of an arc s in a circle belonging to the central angle φ is s=(φ(degree)/360°) (2Rπ). Instead of degrees, we can measure the angle with the ratio of (arc length / radius): φ(radian)=s/R. Comparing with the previous equation φ(radian)=s/R=2π ( φ(degrees)/360°).

ehild
 

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