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# Questions tagged [trigonometry]

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6 votes
1 answer
166 views

### When did trigonometry start using negative numbers?

I'm asking this question looking at the unit circle, and thinking that greek mathematicians didn't use negative numbers. Maybe that can give enough insight into what I'm asking?
5 votes
1 answer
99 views

### Where could I find the reference for the statement of Euler finding out the coefficients of Fourier series?

I am reading Carlslaw's "Introduction to the Theory of Fourier's Series and Integrals", first chapter on the history of Fourier series, page 3. The author asserts that Clairaut and Euler did ...
4 votes
2 answers
361 views

### Who published the law of tangents first?

The Law of Tangents is a rather obscure trigonometric identity that is sometimes used in place of its better-known counterparts, the law of sines and law of cosines, to calculate angles or sides in a ...
3 votes
1 answer
236 views

### Origin of "Inverse Pythagorean Theorem"

There is a lot of information on the history of the Pythagorean theorem, but not much on its closely related cousin; the Inverse Pythagorean Theorem. Would appreciate any resources on the the history ...
3 votes
0 answers
197 views

### Did the Maclaurin series for sine and cosine unsettle Indian mathematicians?

As many of you may know, sometime around the 14/15th centuries an Indian mathematician by the name of Madhava of Sangamagrama derived the Maclaurin series for sine and cosine for the first time in ...
3 votes
0 answers
225 views

### How were sine and cosine functions computed before the notion of Taylor series?

We know using modern analysis techniques that $\sin x$ and $\cos x$ can be computed by their Taylor series (in fact the Taylor series are given as the definitions of these functions in today's real ...
2 votes
3 answers
561 views

### Why do we still use degrees and cycles if we all implicitly use radians in trigonometric functions?

For various reasons already discussed in other stackexchange posts, we implicitly use radians in trigonometric functions by convention. For example, one period of $sin(x)$ lies in $0 \leq x < 2\pi$,...
• 131
2 votes
1 answer
743 views

### Etymology of 'sine'. The Arabic 'jayb' and 'jiba' derive from the Sanskrit 'jivā' ... but why not from the more common Sanskrit 'jyā'?

The Indian word for what we call sine was 'jyā'. The Surya-siddhanta mentions 'jyā' many many times. As does the Aryabhatiya. In contrast they mention the synonym 'jivā' only once or twice. So why was ...
• 31
1 vote
1 answer
244 views