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Verify the identity: tan ( π θ ) = tan θ .

tan ( π θ ) = tan ( π ) tan θ 1 + tan ( π ) tan θ = 0 tan θ 1 + 0 tan θ = tan θ
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Using sum and difference formulas to solve an application problem

Let L 1 and L 2 denote two non-vertical intersecting lines, and let θ denote the acute angle between L 1 and L 2 . See [link] . Show that

tan θ = m 2 m 1 1 + m 1 m 2

where m 1 and m 2 are the slopes of L 1 and L 2 respectively. ( Hint: Use the fact that tan θ 1 = m 1 and tan θ 2 = m 2 . )

Diagram of two non-vertical intersecting lines L1 and L2 also intersecting the x-axis. The acute angle formed by the intersection of L1 and L2 is theta. The acute angle formed by L2 and the x-axis is theta 1, and the acute angle formed by the x-axis and L1 is theta 2.

Using the difference formula for tangent, this problem does not seem as daunting as it might.

tan θ = tan ( θ 2 θ 1 ) = tan θ 2 tan θ 1 1 + tan θ 1 tan θ 2 = m 2 m 1 1 + m 1 m 2
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Investigating a guy-wire problem

For a climbing wall, a guy-wire R is attached 47 feet high on a vertical pole. Added support is provided by another guy-wire S attached 40 feet above ground on the same pole. If the wires are attached to the ground 50 feet from the pole, find the angle α between the wires. See [link] .

Two right triangles. Both share the same base, 50 feet. The first has a height of 40 ft and hypotenuse S. The second has height 47 ft and hypotenuse R. The height sides of the triangles are overlapping. There is a B degree angle between R and the base, and an a degree angle between the two hypotenuses within the B degree angle.

Let’s first summarize the information we can gather from the diagram. As only the sides adjacent to the right angle are known, we can use the tangent function. Notice that tan β = 47 50 , and tan ( β α ) = 40 50 = 4 5 . We can then use difference formula for tangent.

tan ( β α ) = tan β tan α 1 + tan β tan α

Now, substituting the values we know into the formula, we have

4 5 = 47 50 tan α 1 + 47 50 tan α 4 ( 1 + 47 50 tan α ) = 5 ( 47 50 tan α )

Use the distributive property, and then simplify the functions.

4 ( 1 ) + 4 ( 47 50 ) tan α = 5 ( 47 50 ) 5 tan α 4 + 3.76 tan α = 4.7 5 tan α 5 tan α + 3.76 tan α = 0.7 8.76 tan α = 0.7 tan α 0.07991 tan 1 ( 0.07991 ) .079741

Now we can calculate the angle in degrees.

α 0.079741 ( 180 π ) 4.57°
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Access these online resources for additional instruction and practice with sum and difference identities.

Key equations

Sum Formula for Cosine cos ( α + β ) = cos α cos β sin α sin β
Difference Formula for Cosine cos ( α β ) = cos α cos β + sin α sin β
Sum Formula for Sine sin ( α + β ) = sin α cos β + cos α sin β
Difference Formula for Sine sin ( α β ) = sin α cos β cos α sin β
Sum Formula for Tangent tan ( α + β ) = tan α + tan β 1 tan α tan β
Difference Formula for Tangent tan ( α β ) = tan α tan β 1 + tan α tan β
Cofunction identities sin θ = cos ( π 2 θ ) cos θ = sin ( π 2 θ ) tan θ = cot ( π 2 θ ) cot θ = tan ( π 2 θ ) sec θ = csc ( π 2 θ ) csc θ = sec ( π 2 θ )

Key concepts

  • The sum formula for cosines states that the cosine of the sum of two angles equals the product of the cosines of the angles minus the product of the sines of the angles. The difference formula for cosines states that the cosine of the difference of two angles equals the product of the cosines of the angles plus the product of the sines of the angles.
  • The sum and difference formulas can be used to find the exact values of the sine, cosine, or tangent of an angle. See [link] and [link] .
  • The sum formula for sines states that the sine of the sum of two angles equals the product of the sine of the first angle and cosine of the second angle plus the product of the cosine of the first angle and the sine of the second angle. The difference formula for sines states that the sine of the difference of two angles equals the product of the sine of the first angle and cosine of the second angle minus the product of the cosine of the first angle and the sine of the second angle. See [link] .
  • The sum and difference formulas for sine and cosine can also be used for inverse trigonometric functions. See [link] .
  • The sum formula for tangent states that the tangent of the sum of two angles equals the sum of the tangents of the angles divided by 1 minus the product of the tangents of the angles. The difference formula for tangent states that the tangent of the difference of two angles equals the difference of the tangents of the angles divided by 1 plus the product of the tangents of the angles. See [link] .
  • The Pythagorean Theorem along with the sum and difference formulas can be used to find multiple sums and differences of angles. See [link] .
  • The cofunction identities apply to complementary angles and pairs of reciprocal functions. See [link] .
  • Sum and difference formulas are useful in verifying identities. See [link] and [link] .
  • Application problems are often easier to solve by using sum and difference formulas. See [link] and [link] .

Questions & Answers

A laser rangefinder is locked on a comet approaching Earth. The distance g(x), in kilometers, of the comet after x days, for x in the interval 0 to 30 days, is given by g(x)=250,000csc(π30x). Graph g(x) on the interval [0, 35]. Evaluate g(5)  and interpret the information. What is the minimum distance between the comet and Earth? When does this occur? To which constant in the equation does this correspond? Find and discuss the meaning of any vertical asymptotes.
Kaitlyn Reply
The sequence is {1,-1,1-1.....} has
amit Reply
circular region of radious
Kainat Reply
how can we solve this problem
Joel Reply
Sin(A+B) = sinBcosA+cosBsinA
Eseka Reply
Prove it
Eseka
Please prove it
Eseka
hi
Joel
June needs 45 gallons of punch. 2 different coolers. Bigger cooler is 5 times as large as smaller cooler. How many gallons in each cooler?
Arleathia Reply
7.5 and 37.5
Nando
find the sum of 28th term of the AP 3+10+17+---------
Prince Reply
I think you should say "28 terms" instead of "28th term"
Vedant
the 28th term is 175
Nando
192
Kenneth
if sequence sn is a such that sn>0 for all n and lim sn=0than prove that lim (s1 s2............ sn) ke hole power n =n
SANDESH Reply
write down the polynomial function with root 1/3,2,-3 with solution
Gift Reply
if A and B are subspaces of V prove that (A+B)/B=A/(A-B)
Pream Reply
write down the value of each of the following in surd form a)cos(-65°) b)sin(-180°)c)tan(225°)d)tan(135°)
Oroke Reply
Prove that (sinA/1-cosA - 1-cosA/sinA) (cosA/1-sinA - 1-sinA/cosA) = 4
kiruba Reply
what is the answer to dividing negative index
Morosi Reply
In a triangle ABC prove that. (b+c)cosA+(c+a)cosB+(a+b)cisC=a+b+c.
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Source:  OpenStax, Algebra and trigonometry. OpenStax CNX. Nov 14, 2016 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11758/1.6
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