An odd-shaped house in Asia is built at a angle. How many radians is this angle equal to?
The unit circle is the circle centered at the origin with radius equal to one unit. This means that the distance from the origin to any point on the circle is equal to one unit.
Using the unit circle, we can define another unit of measure for angles, radians. Radian measure is based upon the circumference of the unit circle. The circumference of the unit circle is ( , where ). So a full revolution, or , is equal to radians. Half a rotation, or is equal to radians.
One radian is equal to the measure of , the rotation required for the arc length intercepted by the angle to be equal to the radius of the circle. In other words the arc length is 1 unit for radian.
We can use the equality, to convert from degrees to radians and vice versa.
To convert from degrees to radians, multiply by .
To convert from radians to degrees, multiply by .
a. Convert to radians.
b. Convert to degrees.
a. To convert from degrees to radians, multiply by . So, .
b. To convert from radians to degrees, multiply by . So, .
Find two angles, one positive and one negative, coterminal to and find its reference angle, in radians.
Solution: Since we are working in radians now we will add/subtract multiple of instead of . Before we can add, we must get a common denominator of 3 as shown below.
Now, to find the reference angle, first determine in which quadrant lies. If we think of the measures of the angles on the axes in terms of and more specifically, in terms of , this task becomes a little easier.
Consider is equal to and is equal to as shown in the diagram. Now we can see that the terminal side of lies in the fourth quadrant and thus the reference angle will be:
Find two angles coterminal to , one positive and one negative, and find its reference angle, in radians.
Solution: This time we will add multiples of with a common denominator of 6, or . For the positive angle, we add to get . For the negative angle, we subtract to get .
In this case is equal to and is equal to as shown in the diagram. Now we can see that the terminal side of lies in the third quadrant and thus the reference angle will be:
Concept Problem Revisit
To convert from degrees to radians, multiply by . So, .
1. Convert the following angle measures from degrees to radians.
2. Convert the following angle measures from radians to degrees.
3. Find two coterminal angles to , one positive and one negative, and its reference angle.
3. There are many possible coterminal angles, here are some possibilities:
positive coterminal angle: or ,
negative coterminal angle: or
Using the coterminal angle, , which is from . So the terminal side lies in the second quadrant and the reference angle is .
For problems 1-5, convert the angle from degrees to radians. Leave answers in terms of .
For problems 6-10, convert the angle measure from radians to degrees.
For problems 11-15, find two coterminal angles (one positive, one negative) and the reference angle for each angle in radians.