Q:

# What is the importance of trigonometry?

A:

Trigonometry 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.

## Keep Learning

Trigonometry is a fundamental component of calculus. In statistics, trigonometric functions are necessary for the computation of the bell curve and for the study of seasonal periodicities. Most uses of trigonometry in other fields relate to the use of Fourier series, which cannot be calculated without the use of trigonometry.

A wide range of nonmathematical fields rely on trigonometric functions, even if members of those fields are not aware that trigonometry is involved. Aside from those already mentioned, trigonometry has contributed to advances in the fields of acoustics, architecture, cartography, civil engineering, geophysics, crystallography, electronics, medical imaging and pharmacology. Spherical trigonometry was used in astronomy to compute the location of stars and planets prior to the invention of linear algebra. Surveyors and engineers have been using trigonometry in their work for hundreds of years.

Common practical, modern applications of trigonometry include its use in satellite navigation, naval and aviation industries, the composition of music, and all types of digital imaging. It has also become critical in the construction of modern buildings.

Sources:

## Related Questions

• A:

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.

Filed Under:
• A:

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.

Filed Under:
• A:

Some college-level math courses are calculus, mathematics for teachers, probability, mathematical statistics and higher mathematics. For many majors, only college algebra is required, but students in particular areas of study must take several math courses.