We review trigonometric functions.

### What are trigonometric functions?

**trigonometric function**is a function that relates a measure of an angle of a right triangle to a ratio of the triangle’s sides.

The basic trigonometric functions are cosine and sine. They are called “trigonometric” because they relate measures of angles to measurements of triangles. Given a right triangle

At this point we could simply assume that whenever we draw a triangle for computing sine and cosine, that the hypotenuse will be . We can do this because we are simply scaling the triangle, and as we see above, this makes absolutely no difference when computing sine and cosine. Hence, when the hypotenuse is , we find that a convenient way to think about sine and cosine is via the unit circle:

If we consider all possible combinations of ratios of

adjacent, opposite, hypotenuse,

(allowing the adjacent and opposite to be negative, as on the unit circle) we obtain all of the trigonometric functions.

### Connections to inverse functions

Trigonometric functions arise frequently in problems, and often we are interested in finding specific angle measures. For instance, you may want to find some angle such that Hence we want to be able to “undo” trigonometric functions. However, since trigonometric functions are not one-to-one, meaning there are are infinitely many angles with , it is impossible to find a true inverse function for . Nevertheless, it is useful to have something like an inverse to these functions, however imperfect. The usual approach is to pick out some collection of angles that produce all possible values exactly once. If we “discard” all other angles, the resulting function has a proper inverse. In other words, we are restricting the domain of the trigonometric function in order to find an inverse. The function takes on all values between and exactly once on the interval .

In a similar fashion, we need to restrict the domain of sine to be able to take an inverse. The function takes on all values between and exactly once on the interval .

If we restrict the domain of to this interval, then this restricted function is one-to-one and thus has an inverse.

By examining both sine and cosine on restricted domains, we can now produce functions arcsine and arccosine:

The functions are called “arc” because they give the angle that cosine or sine used to produce their value. It is quite common to write However, this notation is misleading as and are not true inverse functions of cosine and sine. Recall that a function and its inverse undo each other in either order, for example, Since arcsine is the inverse of sine restricted to the interval , this does not work with sine and arcsine, for example though it is true that

Now that you have a feel for how and behave, let’s examine tangent.

Now we give some facts of other trigonometric and “inverse” trigonometric functions.

- means that and . The domain of is .
- means that and . The domain of is .
- means that and . The domain of is .
- means that and . The domain of is .
- means that and with . The domain of is all with absolute value greater than .
- means that and with . The domain of is all with absolute value greater than .

### The power of the Pythagorean Theorem

The Pythagorean Theorem is probably the most famous theorem in all of mathematics.

The Pythagorean Theorem gives several key trigonometric identities.

We can simplify expressions using the Pythagorean Theorem

We’ll also use the Pythagorean Theorem to help us simplify abstract expressions into ones we can compute with ease.