Q:

What are some real-life examples of trigonometry?

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Trigonometry has applications in a number of scientific fields, ranging from geography and astronomy to engineering and physics. One of the most important early real-life examples of trigonometry involved using the knowledge that the earth was a sphere for navigation. Ptolemy put trigonometry to work in his work "Geography", and Christopher Columbus used trigonometry in finding his way from Spain to what he thought was India but ended up being the New World.

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Trigonometry's earliest applications had to do with spheres, but it has had more contributions to work with lanes. Surveyors have long used trigonometry in establishing property lines and boundaries, and military and construction engineers have long used trigonometry in their design and building of projects.

In terms of physics, statics and optics were the first fields to put trigonometry to use, but because trigonometry assists researchers in understanding the way that space works, just about all of the subsidiary fields of physics use trigonometry as well.

Other areas of mathematics also put trigonometry to work. Calculus, statistics, linear algebra and other advanced topics in mathematics rely heavily on trigonometry. It has uses throughout the natural and social sciences. People looking to advance to careers in any of those fields need to have a strong foundation in trigonometry to succeed.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How is trigonometry used in physics?

    A:

    Because it has such a strong ability to explain space and the relationships between angles, trigonometry is used in almost every branch of modern physics, according to Clark University. Any field of physics that includes the use of angles or sides uses trigonometry. Some of the first fields in physics, statics and optics relied heavily on trigonometry during their pioneering stages.

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  • Q:

    What is an example of an application of trigonometry in everyday life?

    A:

    One of the most common applications of trigonometry in everyday life is the use of triangulation to determine the height of buildings, mountains, trees and other very tall or distant objects. Similar trigonometric functions are used to measure distances between points, such as between an ocean-bound ship and land.

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  • Q:

    When was trigonometry invented?

    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.

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  • Q:

    Who invented trigonometry?

    A:

    The ancient Greeks were the first to develop the conceptual framework of trigonometry. The noted Greek astronomers Hipparchus, Menelaus and Ptolomy contributed in advancing the field.

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