What do the Trigonometic functions mean?

• PhotonW/mass
In summary, trigonometric functions relate the angles of a triangle to the ratios of its sides. This is useful for various applications such as navigation, construction, and physics. These functions can be used to determine the size and shape of a triangle, and are widely used in many fields.
PhotonW/mass
I know what the Trigonometric functions are but I don't know what they mean.
For example sinθ=opp/hyp, but It just seems like I am plugging in the sides to get random numbers. I JUST started learning Trigonometry, I am not that advanced in math, so can you please explain it in such a way someone who knows diddly squat about this stuff can understand?

Thanks.

What they do is relate the angles in triangles to the length of the sides. And actually, it's not the length of one side, but a ratio of two lengths. Often, the sides of the triangles by themselves don't mean a whole lot. A lot of triangles are just rescaled versions of the same basic one. In this case, looking at the ratio of the sides gets rid of that unnecessary distinction.

In fact, if I tell you the three angles of a triangle (say, 30, 65 and 85 degrees) you will be able to exactly draw the triangle I have in mind, except for how big it is (unless I tell you the length of one of the sides).

Why is relating sides and angles so important? Well, just ask anyone who has ever used a sextant to convert angles into distances. Or a modern day road worker, who also uses that information to decide whether he's built a flat road. Or a builder, geologist, physicist, anyone placing a ladder against a building, etc.

For an impression of the number of trig functions around, see Wikipedia:

You can see that for basically any relevant measure relating to a straight line and a circle, a trig function is available.

CompuChip said:

What they do is relate the angles in triangles to the length of the sides. And actually, it's not the length of one side, but a ratio of two lengths. Often, the sides of the triangles by themselves don't mean a whole lot. A lot of triangles are just rescaled versions of the same basic one. In this case, looking at the ratio of the sides gets rid of that unnecessary distinction.

In fact, if I tell you the three angles of a triangle (say, 30, 65 and 85 degrees) you will be able to exactly draw the triangle I have in mind, except for how big it is (unless I tell you the length of one of the sides).

Why is relating sides and angles so important? Well, just ask anyone who has ever used a sextant to convert angles into distances. Or a modern day road worker, who also uses that information to decide whether he's built a flat road. Or a builder, geologist, physicist, anyone placing a ladder against a building, etc.

For an impression of the number of trig functions around, see Wikipedia:

You can see that for basically any relevant measure relating to a straight line and a circle, a trig function is available.

OH MY GOD THANKYOU! You saved me!

1. What are the basic Trigonometric functions?

The basic Trigonometric functions are sine, cosine, tangent, cotangent, secant, and cosecant. These functions are used to relate the angles and sides of a right triangle.

2. What do the Trigonometric functions represent?

The Trigonometric functions represent the ratios between the sides of a right triangle. For example, the sine function represents the ratio of the side opposite the angle to the hypotenuse.

3. How are Trigonometric functions used in real life?

Trigonometric functions are used in various fields such as engineering, physics, and navigation. They are used to calculate distances, heights, angles, and other measurements in real-world applications.

4. Do Trigonometric functions only work with right triangles?

No, Trigonometric functions can also be used with any type of triangle, not just right triangles. However, they are most commonly used with right triangles due to the relationship between angles and sides.

5. Why are Trigonometric functions important?

Trigonometric functions are important because they provide a way to solve various problems involving angles and sides of triangles. They are also used in many scientific and technological fields and have practical applications in everyday life.

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