<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="1; url=/nojavascript/"> Inverse Trigonometric Ratios ( Read ) | Geometry | CK-12 Foundation
Dismiss
Skip Navigation
You are viewing an older version of this Concept. Go to the latest version.

Inverse Trigonometric Ratios

%
Best Score
Practice Inverse Trigonometric Ratios
Practice
Best Score
%
Practice Now

Inverse Trigonometric Ratios

The maximum slope of a wheelchair ramp is 1:12. For a wheelchair ramp made with these specifications, what angle does the ramp make with the flat ground?

Watch This

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypgcPKH4m4A James Sousa: Determine the Measure of an Angle of a Right Triangle Using a Trig Equation

Guidance

Recall that the sine, cosine, and tangent of angles are ratios of pairs of sides in right triangles. 

  • The sine of an angle in a right triangle is the ratio of the side opposite the angle to the hypotenuse.
  • The cosine of an angle in a right triangle is the ratio of the side adjacent to the angle to the hypotenuse .
  • The tangent of an angle in a right triangle is the ratio of the side opposite the angle to the side adjacent to the angle.

You can use the trigonometric ratios to find missing sides of right triangles when given at least one side length and one angle measure. You can use the inverse trigonometric ratios to find a missing angle in a right triangle when given two sides.

  • The inverse sine of a ratio gives the angle in a right triangle whose sine is the given ratio. Inverse sine is also called arcsine and is labeled  \sin^{-1} or arcsin .
  • The inverse cosine of a ratio gives the angle in a right triangle whose cosine is the given ratio. Inverse cosine is also called arccosine and is labeled  \cos^{-1} or arccos .
  • The inverse tangent of a ratio gives the angle in a right triangle whose tangent is the given ratio. Inverse tangent is also called arctangent and is labeled  \tan^{-1} or arctan .

Note that in each case the “-1” is to indicate inverse , and is not an exponent.

To find the measure of an angle using an inverse trigonometric ratio, you will need to use your calculator. Most scientific and graphing calculators have buttons that look like [\sin^{-1}], [\cos^{-1}] , and [\tan^{-1}] . You will want to make sure that your calculator is in degree mode so that the angle measure that the calculator produces is in degrees.

Example A

Solve for \theta .

Solution: The side opposite the given angle is length 10 and the hypotenuse is length 22. This is a sine relationship.

\sin \theta &= \frac{10}{22}\\\theta &= \sin^{-1} \left(\frac{10}{22}\right)\\\theta & \approx 27.04^\circ

Example B

Find m \angle B .

Solution:  The side opposite \angle B  is length 15 and the side adjacent to \angle B  is length 8. This is a tangent relationship.

\tan B &= \frac{15}{8}\\m \angle B &= \tan^{-1} \left(\frac{15}{8}\right)\\m \angle B & \approx 61.93^\circ

Example C

Find m \angle A .

Solution:  You only need to know two sides of the triangle in order to find the measure of one of the angles. Since you are given all three sides, you can choose which two sides you want to use.

The side adjacent to \angle A  is length 12.7 and the hypotenuse is length 15. These two sides are a cosine relationship.

\cos A &= \frac{12.7}{15}\\m \angle A &= \cos^{-1} \left(\frac{12.7}{15}\right)\\m \angle A & \approx 32.15^\circ

Concept Problem Revisited

The maximum slope of a wheelchair ramp is 1:12. For a wheelchair ramp made with these specifications, what angle does the ramp make with the flat ground?

Draw a picture to represent this situation.

The side opposite the given angle is length 1 and the side adjacent to the given angle is length 12. This is a tangent relationship.

\tan \theta &= \frac{1}{12}\\\theta &= \tan^{-1} \frac{1}{12}\\\theta &\approx 4.76^\circ

The wheelchair ramp makes approximately a 4.76^\circ  angle with the ground.

Vocabulary

The tangent (tan) of an angle within a right triangle is the ratio of the length of the side opposite the angle to the length of the side adjacent to the angle.

The sine (sin) of an angle within a right triangle is the ratio of the length of the side opposite the angle to the length of the hypotenuse.

The cosine (cos) of an angle within a right triangle is the ratio of the length of the side adjacent to the angle to the length of the hypotenuse.

The trigonometric ratios are sine, cosine, and tangent. 

Trigonometry is the study of triangles.

\theta , or “theta”, is a Greek letter. In geometry, it is often used as a variable to represent an unknown angle measure.

The inverse sine of a ratio gives the angle in a right triangle whose sine is the given ratio. Inverse sine is also called arcsine and is labeled  \sin^{-1} or arcsin .

The inverse cosine of a ratio gives the angle in a right triangle whose cosine is the given ratio. Inverse cosine is also called arccosine and is labeled \cos^{-1}  or arccos .

The inverse tangent of a ratio gives the angle in a right triangle whose tangent is the given ratio. Inverse tangent is also called arctangent and is labeled \tan^{-1}  or arctan .

Guided Practice

Use the triangle below for #1-#3.

1. Find m \angle A .

2. Find m \angle B .

3. Find AB .

Answers:

1. The given sides are opposite and adjacent to \angle A . This is a tangent relationship.

\tan A &= \frac{3.5}{6.2}\\\angle A &= \tan^{-1} \frac{3.5}{6.2}\\\angle A & \approx 29.45^\circ

2.  \angle A and \angle B  are complementary:

m \angle B &= 90^\circ-m \angle A\\&= 90^\circ-29.45^\circ\\&= 60.55^\circ

You could also use inverse tangent to find m \angle B .

3. With all angle measures and two sides, you could use sine, cosine, or the Pythagorean Theorem to find AB .  Using the Pythagorean Theorem:

AB^2 &= 3.5^2+6.2^2\\AB^2 &= 50.69\\AB & \approx 7.12

Practice

1. What is the difference between \sin^{-1}  and \sin ?  

2. When do you use regular trigonometric ratios and when do you use inverse trigonometric ratios?

Solve for \theta .

3.

4.

5.

6 .

7.

8.

9.

10. How could you have found \theta  in #9 without using an inverse trigonometric ratio?

Find all missing information (sides and angles) for each triangle.

11.

12.

13.

14. How are inverse cosine and inverse sine of the same ratio related?

15. How are inverse tangents of a  and \frac{1}{a}  related?

Image Attributions

Reviews

Email Verified
Well done! You've successfully verified the email address .
OK
Please wait...
Please wait...

Original text