The two main branches of trigonometry are plane trigonometry and spherical geometry. Trigonometry in general deals with the study of the relationships involving the lengths of angles and triangles.
Know MorePlane trigonometry focuses on the relationships between the angles and sides of triangles that have three vertices located on the surface of a plane. Students studying plane trigonometry learn about concepts like right angles, straight angles, acute angles, complimentary angles and supplementary angles. Since the triangles are all located on a plane, the sum of the angles is always 180 degrees.
In spherical trigonometry, students study curved triangles drawn on the surface of a sphere. This design means the sum of the angles of these triangles is higher than 180 degrees. Spherical trigonometry is used in astronomy and navigation.
Learn more about TrigonometryTrigonometry is important to mathematics as an element of calculus, statistics and linear algebra. Outside of mathematics, it is important to physics, engineering, geography and astronomy as well as architectural design.
Full Answer >Trigonometry is used in many fields of applied and practical sciences, such as astronomy, geography, physics and engineering. Trigonometry is used in astronomy to determine the distance from Earth to various nearby stars by observing the parallax shift with Earth's orbit around the Sun as a baseline.
Full Answer >Ancient Egyptian and Greek philosophers used an early form of trigonometry that involved calculating chords to obtain the angles of a triangle. This method was effective for Euclidean plane geometry, but the heart of trigonometry, the sine, was developed in India in the sixth century.
Full Answer >Trigonometry developed in many parts of the world over thousands of years, but the mathematicians who are most credited with its discovery are Hipparchus, Menelaus and Ptolemy. Isaac Newton and Euler contributed developments to bring trigonometry into the modern age.
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