History of trigonometric functions

The 17th and 18th centuries saw the invention of numerous mechanical devices—from accurate clocks and navigational tools to musical instruments of superior quality and greater tonal range—all of which required at least some knowledge of trigonometry.

Egyptian mathematics The Egyptians, on the other hand, used a primitive form of trigonometry for building pyramids in the 2nd millennium BC.

The final major development in classical trigonometry was the invention of logarithms by the Scottish mathematician John Napier in The name tangent was first used by Thomas Fincke in The sine and cosine functions are also commonly used to model periodic function phenomena such as sound and light waves, the position and velocity of harmonic oscillators, sunlight intensity and day length, and average temperature variations through the year.

History of trigonometry

Inverse trigonometric functions The trigonometric functions are periodic, and hence not injective, so strictly they do not have an inverse function. That is to say, each is the additive inverse of its own second derivative.

Its author was the astronomer Regiomontanus — He lived in Alexandriathe intellectual centre of the Hellenistic world, but little else is known about him. The first known table of chords was produced by the Greek mathematician Hipparchus in about BC.

Generating trigonometric tables Prior to computers, people typically evaluated trigonometric functions by interpolating from a detailed table of their values, calculated to many significant figures.

Such calculations distinguish trigonometry from geometrywhich mainly investigates qualitative relations. The method was first carried out on a large scale by another Dutchman, Willebrord Snell ?

For example, problem 56 asks: In the circle in Fig. This was transliterated in Arabic as jiba, written jb, vowels not being written in Arabic. The length of shadows was also of importance in the sundial. The Rhind papyrusan Egyptian collection of 84 problems in arithmeticalgebra, and geometry dating from about bce, contains five problems dealing with the seked.

Applications to similar problems in more than one plane of three-dimensional space are considered in spherical trigonometry.

The abbreviated symbol sin was first used in by Edmund Gunteran English minister and instrument maker. Trigonometric functions have a wide range of uses including computing unknown lengths and angles in triangles often right triangles.

The secant and cosecant were not used by the early astronomers or surveyors. Its history spans thousands of years and has touched every major civilization.

A notable application was the science of artillery —and in the 18th century it was a science. These functions are properties of the angle A independent of the size of the triangle, and calculated values were tabulated for many angles before computers made trigonometry tables obsolete.

The trigonometric functions

Later, when Muslim scholars translated this work into Arabic, they retained the word jiva without translating its meaning. Uses of trigonometry The trigonometric functions, as the name suggests, are of crucial importance in trigonometry, mainly because of the following two results.

In Book I, he established a basis for spherical triangles analogous to the Euclidean basis for plane triangles. Thales used the lengths of shadows to calculate the heights of pyramids. See linear differential equation. The superposition of several terms in the expansion of a sawtooth wave are shown underneath.

Note that these values can easily be memorized in the form below but the angles are not equally spaced. The thirteen books of the Almagest are the most influential and significant trigonometric work of all antiquity. Until about the 16th century, trigonometry was chiefly concerned with computing the numerical values of the missing parts of a triangle or any shape that can be dissected into triangles when the values of other parts were given.

When European authors translated the Arabic mathematical works into Latin they translated jaib into the word sinus meaning fold in Latin. The British undertook an even more ambitious task—the survey of the entire subcontinent of India.


A cycle of the seasons of roughly days could readily be made to correspond to the system of zodiacal signs and decans by subdividing each sign into thirty parts and each decan into ten parts. In the works of Euclid there is no trigonometry in the strict sense of the word, but there are theorems equivalent to specific trigonometric laws or formulas.

A close analysis of the text, with its accompanying figures, reveals that this word means the slope of an incline—essential knowledge for huge construction projects such as the pyramids.

Two developments spurred this transformation: A History of Mathematics. In trigonometric language of today this would mean that the ratio of the distance of the moon to that of the sun the ration ME to SE in Fig.

Menelaus worked in Rome producing six books of tables of chords which have been lost but his work on spherics has survived and is the earliest known work on spherical trigonometry. The book is particularly strong on the sine and its inverse.The use of trigonometric functions arises from the early connection between mathematics and astronomy.

Early work with spherical triangles was as important as plane triangles. The first work on trigonometric functions related to chords of a circle.

Trigonometry, the branch of mathematics concerned with specific functions of angles and their application to calculations.

There are six functions of an angle commonly used in trigonometry. There are six functions of an angle commonly used in trigonometry.

The first step in computing any trigonometric function is range reduction—reducing the given angle to a “reduced angle” inside a small range of angles, say 0 to π/2, using the periodicity and symmetries of the trigonometric functions.

History of Trigonometry The first trigonometric table was apparently compiled by Hipparchus, who is. Systematic study of trigonometric functions began in Hellenistic mathematics, reaching India as part of Hellenistic astronomy. In Indian astronomy, the study of trigonometric functions flourished in the Gupta period, especially due to Aryabhata (sixth century CE).

The History Of Trigonometry. Tara Adamek, Kaitlyn Penkalski, and Gina Valentine – History of Mathematics May 11, 1 or as functions. and how their uses in the past relate to how they are currently used and taught may provide students with the extra understanding they need to put these concepts to use.

insured the importance of the subject in colonial times (Allen 71). and.

History of trigonometric functions
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