What Is Arctangent?


Quick Answer

Arctangent is the inverse of tangent, and it refers to finding the angle whose tangent is given by a number or ratio. For example, the arctangent of 1 is equal to an angle that measures 45 degrees. This is the inverse of finding the tangent of 45 degrees, which equals 1.

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Full Answer

In trigonometry, tangent (tan) and arctangent (arctan) are functions associated with a right triangle. The tangent of an angle can be found by using the formula opposite side (O) of angle C divided by the adjacent side (A), or the ratio O/A. Therefore, tan(C) = O/A and angle C = arc tan (O/A).

An example of finding the arctan is the problem tan(C) = 3/4 or 0.75. Angle A equals the arctan(.75), and angle C equals 36.87 degrees. For inverse functions, the range is between -90 degrees and +90 degrees, while the domain is all real numbers.

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