Trigonometry - how has this field of mathematics developed and when do we use it?

Trigonometry is a branch of mathematics that deals with the measurement relationships between the angles and sides of triangles and the trigonometric functions. Its development was influenced by astronomical research. It is very useful - having an ordinary ruler or a protractor at our disposal, we can calculate the length of a river or the height of a mountain. What are the origins of trigonometry and what it serves in the article below.

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1. How has trigonometry developed?

The first mentions of the study of triangles appeared in Egyptian and Babylonian mathematics from the second millennium BC. Trigonometry was also common in Kuszyce mathematics.

The systematic study of trigonometric functions, however, began in Hellenistic mathematics, known in India as part of Hellenistic astronomy. In Indian astronomy, research on trigonometry intensified during the Gupta period.

During the Middle Ages, research on trigonometry was continued in Islamic mathematics. In Islam, where all six trigonometric functions were known, trigonometry became an independent discipline. Translating Arabic and Greek texts led to the adoption of this field as a subject in the Latin West.

The development of modern trigonometry changed during the Enlightenment in the West, from seventeenth-century mathematics to the form we know today.

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2. What is trigonometry?

Trigonometry is a branch of mathematics. He deals with the relationship between the measures of internal angles in triangles and the lengths of its sides. The so-called trigonometric functions, often appearing in mathematical analysis, extend the basic functions of this field.

The most important information about trigonometry:

  • there are 4 trigonometric functions: sine, cosine, tangent and cotangent that act on triangles;
  • they are defined in a right triangle as the ratios of the respective sides.

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3. Application of trigonometry

This branch of mathematics is very widely used in many areas of life - wherever it is necessary to measure and calculate real quantities.

Trigonometry is the basis for all kinds of measurements on the Earth's surface, thanks to it, navigation devices, such as GPS, work; it also allows for astronomical research.

In addition, certain infinite sums of trigonometric functions (the so-called Fourier series) enable the processing of various signals, such as, for example, compressing music to mp3 format or graphics to jpg format.

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