Problem Solving Right Triangle Trigonometry

Problem Solving Right Triangle Trigonometry-7
Although many computer applications perform trigonometric calculations automatically, all the staff working in these industries will have an excellent knowledge of trigonometry and use it regularly.

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We will begin by solving right triangles, which means identifying all the measures of all three angles and the lengths of all three sides of a right triangle. You can use your knowledge of the Pythagorean Theorem and the six trigonometric functions to solve a right triangle.

Because a right triangle is a triangle with a 90 degree angle, solving a right triangle requires that you find the measures of one or both of the other angles.

How you solve will depend on how much information is given.

The following examples show two situations: a triangle missing one side, and a triangle missing two sides.

Here, to finish solving the triangle, we only need to find the measure of angle B: Notice that in both examples, one of the two non-right angles was given.

If neither of the two non-right angles is given, you will need new strategy to find the angles. You can use right triangles to find distances, if you know an angle of elevation or an angle of depression.

In this lesson we will return to right triangle trigonometry. In your previous study of geometry you may have used right triangles to solve problems involving distances, using the Pythagorean Theorem.

In this lesson you will solve problems involving right triangles, using your knowledge of angles and trigonometric functions.

The figure below shows each of these kinds of angles.

The angle of elevation is the angle between the horizontal line of sight and the line of sight up to an object.

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