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Algebra and Trigonometry

8.3 Inverse Trigonometric Functions

Algebra and Trigonometry8.3 Inverse Trigonometric Functions
  1. Preface
  2. 1 Prerequisites
    1. Introduction to Prerequisites
    2. 1.1 Real Numbers: Algebra Essentials
    3. 1.2 Exponents and Scientific Notation
    4. 1.3 Radicals and Rational Exponents
    5. 1.4 Polynomials
    6. 1.5 Factoring Polynomials
    7. 1.6 Rational Expressions
    8. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    9. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  3. 2 Equations and Inequalities
    1. Introduction to Equations and Inequalities
    2. 2.1 The Rectangular Coordinate Systems and Graphs
    3. 2.2 Linear Equations in One Variable
    4. 2.3 Models and Applications
    5. 2.4 Complex Numbers
    6. 2.5 Quadratic Equations
    7. 2.6 Other Types of Equations
    8. 2.7 Linear Inequalities and Absolute Value Inequalities
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    10. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  4. 3 Functions
    1. Introduction to Functions
    2. 3.1 Functions and Function Notation
    3. 3.2 Domain and Range
    4. 3.3 Rates of Change and Behavior of Graphs
    5. 3.4 Composition of Functions
    6. 3.5 Transformation of Functions
    7. 3.6 Absolute Value Functions
    8. 3.7 Inverse Functions
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    10. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  5. 4 Linear Functions
    1. Introduction to Linear Functions
    2. 4.1 Linear Functions
    3. 4.2 Modeling with Linear Functions
    4. 4.3 Fitting Linear Models to Data
    5. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Concepts
    6. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  6. 5 Polynomial and Rational Functions
    1. Introduction to Polynomial and Rational Functions
    2. 5.1 Quadratic Functions
    3. 5.2 Power Functions and Polynomial Functions
    4. 5.3 Graphs of Polynomial Functions
    5. 5.4 Dividing Polynomials
    6. 5.5 Zeros of Polynomial Functions
    7. 5.6 Rational Functions
    8. 5.7 Inverses and Radical Functions
    9. 5.8 Modeling Using Variation
    10. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    11. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  7. 6 Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
    1. Introduction to Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
    2. 6.1 Exponential Functions
    3. 6.2 Graphs of Exponential Functions
    4. 6.3 Logarithmic Functions
    5. 6.4 Graphs of Logarithmic Functions
    6. 6.5 Logarithmic Properties
    7. 6.6 Exponential and Logarithmic Equations
    8. 6.7 Exponential and Logarithmic Models
    9. 6.8 Fitting Exponential Models to Data
    10. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    11. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  8. 7 The Unit Circle: Sine and Cosine Functions
    1. Introduction to The Unit Circle: Sine and Cosine Functions
    2. 7.1 Angles
    3. 7.2 Right Triangle Trigonometry
    4. 7.3 Unit Circle
    5. 7.4 The Other Trigonometric Functions
    6. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    7. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  9. 8 Periodic Functions
    1. Introduction to Periodic Functions
    2. 8.1 Graphs of the Sine and Cosine Functions
    3. 8.2 Graphs of the Other Trigonometric Functions
    4. 8.3 Inverse Trigonometric Functions
    5. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    6. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  10. 9 Trigonometric Identities and Equations
    1. Introduction to Trigonometric Identities and Equations
    2. 9.1 Solving Trigonometric Equations with Identities
    3. 9.2 Sum and Difference Identities
    4. 9.3 Double-Angle, Half-Angle, and Reduction Formulas
    5. 9.4 Sum-to-Product and Product-to-Sum Formulas
    6. 9.5 Solving Trigonometric Equations
    7. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    8. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  11. 10 Further Applications of Trigonometry
    1. Introduction to Further Applications of Trigonometry
    2. 10.1 Non-right Triangles: Law of Sines
    3. 10.2 Non-right Triangles: Law of Cosines
    4. 10.3 Polar Coordinates
    5. 10.4 Polar Coordinates: Graphs
    6. 10.5 Polar Form of Complex Numbers
    7. 10.6 Parametric Equations
    8. 10.7 Parametric Equations: Graphs
    9. 10.8 Vectors
    10. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    11. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  12. 11 Systems of Equations and Inequalities
    1. Introduction to Systems of Equations and Inequalities
    2. 11.1 Systems of Linear Equations: Two Variables
    3. 11.2 Systems of Linear Equations: Three Variables
    4. 11.3 Systems of Nonlinear Equations and Inequalities: Two Variables
    5. 11.4 Partial Fractions
    6. 11.5 Matrices and Matrix Operations
    7. 11.6 Solving Systems with Gaussian Elimination
    8. 11.7 Solving Systems with Inverses
    9. 11.8 Solving Systems with Cramer's Rule
    10. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    11. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  13. 12 Analytic Geometry
    1. Introduction to Analytic Geometry
    2. 12.1 The Ellipse
    3. 12.2 The Hyperbola
    4. 12.3 The Parabola
    5. 12.4 Rotation of Axes
    6. 12.5 Conic Sections in Polar Coordinates
    7. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    8. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  14. 13 Sequences, Probability, and Counting Theory
    1. Introduction to Sequences, Probability and Counting Theory
    2. 13.1 Sequences and Their Notations
    3. 13.2 Arithmetic Sequences
    4. 13.3 Geometric Sequences
    5. 13.4 Series and Their Notations
    6. 13.5 Counting Principles
    7. 13.6 Binomial Theorem
    8. 13.7 Probability
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    10. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  15. A | Proofs, Identities, and Toolkit Functions
  16. Answer Key
    1. Chapter 1
    2. Chapter 2
    3. Chapter 3
    4. Chapter 4
    5. Chapter 5
    6. Chapter 6
    7. Chapter 7
    8. Chapter 8
    9. Chapter 9
    10. Chapter 10
    11. Chapter 11
    12. Chapter 12
    13. Chapter 13
  17. Index

Learning Objectives

In this section, you will:

  • Understand and use the inverse sine, cosine, and tangent functions.
  • Find the exact value of expressions involving the inverse sine, cosine, and tangent functions.
  • Use a calculator to evaluate inverse trigonometric functions.
  • Find exact values of composite functions with inverse trigonometric functions.

For any right triangle, given one other angle and the length of one side, we can figure out what the other angles and sides are. But what if we are given only two sides of a right triangle? We need a procedure that leads us from a ratio of sides to an angle. This is where the notion of an inverse to a trigonometric function comes into play. In this section, we will explore the inverse trigonometric functions.

Understanding and Using the Inverse Sine, Cosine, and Tangent Functions

In order to use inverse trigonometric functions, we need to understand that an inverse trigonometric function “undoes” what the original trigonometric function “does,” as is the case with any other function and its inverse. In other words, the domain of the inverse function is the range of the original function, and vice versa, as summarized in Figure 1.

A chart that says “Trig Functinos”, “Inverse Trig Functions”, “Domain: Measure of an angle”, “Domain: Ratio”, “Range: Ratio”, and “Range: Measure of an angle”.
Figure 1

For example, if f(x)=sinx, f(x)=sinx, then we would write f 1 (x)= sin 1 x. f 1 (x)= sin 1 x. Be aware that sin 1 x sin 1 x does not mean 1 sinx . 1 sinx . The following examples illustrate the inverse trigonometric functions:

  • Since sin( π 6 )= 1 2 , sin( π 6 )= 1 2 , then π 6 = sin 1 ( 1 2 ). π 6 = sin 1 ( 1 2 ).
  • Since cos( π )=1, cos( π )=1, then π= cos 1 ( 1 ). π= cos 1 ( 1 ).
  • Since tan( π 4 )=1, tan( π 4 )=1, then π 4 = tan 1 ( 1 ). π 4 = tan 1 ( 1 ).

In previous sections, we evaluated the trigonometric functions at various angles, but at times we need to know what angle would yield a specific sine, cosine, or tangent value. For this, we need inverse functions. Recall that, for a one-to-one function, if f(a)=b, f(a)=b, then an inverse function would satisfy f 1 (b)=a. f 1 (b)=a.

Bear in mind that the sine, cosine, and tangent functions are not one-to-one functions. The graph of each function would fail the horizontal line test. In fact, no periodic function can be one-to-one because each output in its range corresponds to at least one input in every period, and there are an infinite number of periods. As with other functions that are not one-to-one, we will need to restrict the domain of each function to yield a new function that is one-to-one. We choose a domain for each function that includes the number 0. Figure 2 shows the graph of the sine function limited to [ π 2 , π 2 ] [ π 2 , π 2 ] and the graph of the cosine function limited to [ 0,π ]. [ 0,π ].

Two side-by-side graphs. The first graph, graph A, shows half of a period of the function sine of x. The second graph, graph B, shows half a period of the function cosine of x.
Figure 2 (a) Sine function on a restricted domain of [ π 2 , π 2 ]; [ π 2 , π 2 ]; (b) Cosine function on a restricted domain of [ 0,π ] [ 0,π ]

Figure 3 shows the graph of the tangent function limited to ( π 2 , π 2 ). ( π 2 , π 2 ).

A graph of one period of tangent of x, from -pi/2 to pi/2.
Figure 3 Tangent function on a restricted domain of ( π 2 , π 2 ) ( π 2 , π 2 )

These conventional choices for the restricted domain are somewhat arbitrary, but they have important, helpful characteristics. Each domain includes the origin and some positive values, and most importantly, each results in a one-to-one function that is invertible. The conventional choice for the restricted domain of the tangent function also has the useful property that it extends from one vertical asymptote to the next instead of being divided into two parts by an asymptote.

On these restricted domains, we can define the inverse trigonometric functions.

  • The inverse sine function y= sin 1 x y= sin 1 x means x=siny. x=siny. The inverse sine function is sometimes called the arcsine function, and notated arcsinx. arcsinx.
    y= sin 1 xhas domain[−1,1]and range[ π 2 , π 2 ] y= sin 1 xhas domain[−1,1]and range[ π 2 , π 2 ]
  • The inverse cosine function y= cos 1 x y= cos 1 x means x=cosy. x=cosy. The inverse cosine function is sometimes called the arccosine function, and notated arccosx. arccosx.
    y= cos 1 xhas domain[−1,1]and range[0,π] y= cos 1 xhas domain[−1,1]and range[0,π]
  • The inverse tangent function y= tan 1 x y= tan 1 x means x=tany. x=tany. The inverse tangent function is sometimes called the arctangent function, and notated arctanx. arctanx.
    y= tan 1 xhas domain(−∞,)and range( π 2 , π 2 ) y= tan 1 xhas domain(−∞,)and range( π 2 , π 2 )

The graphs of the inverse functions are shown in Figure 4, Figure 5, and Figure 6. Notice that the output of each of these inverse functions is a number, an angle in radian measure. We see that sin 1 x sin 1 x has domain [ −1,1 ] [ −1,1 ] and range [ π 2 , π 2 ], [ π 2 , π 2 ], cos 1 x cos 1 x has domain [ −1,1 ] [ −1,1 ] and range [0,π], [0,π], and tan 1 x tan 1 x has domain of all real numbers and range ( π 2 , π 2 ). ( π 2 , π 2 ). To find the domain and range of inverse trigonometric functions, switch the domain and range of the original functions. Each graph of the inverse trigonometric function is a reflection of the graph of the original function about the line y=x. y=x.

A graph of the functions of sine of x and arc sine of x. There is a dotted line y=x between the two graphs, to show inverse nature of the two functions
Figure 4 The sine function and inverse sine (or arcsine) function
A graph of the functions of cosine of x and arc cosine of x. There is a dotted line at y=x to show the inverse nature of the two functions.
Figure 5 The cosine function and inverse cosine (or arccosine) function
A graph of the functions of tangent of x and arc tangent of x. There is a dotted line at y=x to show the inverse nature of the two functions.
Figure 6 The tangent function and inverse tangent (or arctangent) function

Relations for Inverse Sine, Cosine, and Tangent Functions

For angles in the interval [ π 2 , π 2 ], [ π 2 , π 2 ], if siny=x, siny=x, then sin 1 x=y. sin 1 x=y.

For angles in the interval [ 0,π ], [ 0,π ], if cosy=x, cosy=x, then cos 1 x=y. cos 1 x=y.

For angles in the interval ( π 2 , π 2 ), ( π 2 , π 2 ), if tany=x, tany=x, then tan 1 x=y. tan 1 x=y.

Example 1

Writing a Relation for an Inverse Function

Given sin( 5π 12 )0.96593, sin( 5π 12 )0.96593, write a relation involving the inverse sine.

Try It #1

Given cos(0.5)0.8776, cos(0.5)0.8776, write a relation involving the inverse cosine.

Finding the Exact Value of Expressions Involving the Inverse Sine, Cosine, and Tangent Functions

Now that we can identify inverse functions, we will learn to evaluate them. For most values in their domains, we must evaluate the inverse trigonometric functions by using a calculator, interpolating from a table, or using some other numerical technique. Just as we did with the original trigonometric functions, we can give exact values for the inverse functions when we are using the special angles, specifically π 6 π 6 (30°), π 4 π 4 (45°), and π 3 π 3 (60°), and their reflections into other quadrants.

Given a “special” input value, evaluate an inverse trigonometric function.

  1. Find angle x x for which the original trigonometric function has an output equal to the given input for the inverse trigonometric function.
  2. If x x is not in the defined range of the inverse, find another angle y y that is in the defined range and has the same sine, cosine, or tangent as x, x, depending on which corresponds to the given inverse function.

Example 2

Evaluating Inverse Trigonometric Functions for Special Input Values

Evaluate each of the following.

  1. sin 1 ( 1 2 ) sin 1 ( 1 2 )
  2. sin 1 ( 2 2 ) sin 1 ( 2 2 )
  3. cos 1 ( 3 2 ) cos 1 ( 3 2 )
  4. tan 1 ( 1 ) tan 1 ( 1 )
Try It #2

Evaluate each of the following.

  1. sin −1 (−1) sin −1 (−1)
  2. tan −1 ( −1 ) tan −1 ( −1 )
  3. cos −1 ( −1 ) cos −1 ( −1 )
  4. cos −1 ( 1 2 ) cos −1 ( 1 2 )

Using a Calculator to Evaluate Inverse Trigonometric Functions

To evaluate inverse trigonometric functions that do not involve the special angles discussed previously, we will need to use a calculator or other type of technology. Most scientific calculators and calculator-emulating applications have specific keys or buttons for the inverse sine, cosine, and tangent functions. These may be labeled, for example, SIN −1 −1 , ARCSIN, or ASIN.

In the previous chapter, we worked with trigonometry on a right triangle to solve for the sides of a triangle given one side and an additional angle. Using the inverse trigonometric functions, we can solve for the angles of a right triangle given two sides, and we can use a calculator to find the values to several decimal places.

In these examples and exercises, the answers will be interpreted as angles and we will use θ θ as the independent variable. The value displayed on the calculator may be in degrees or radians, so be sure to set the mode appropriate to the application.

Example 3

Evaluating the Inverse Sine on a Calculator

Evaluate sin 1 (0.97) sin 1 (0.97) using a calculator.

Try It #3

Evaluate cos 1 ( 0.4 ) cos 1 ( 0.4 ) using a calculator.

Given two sides of a right triangle like the one shown in Figure 7, find an angle.

An illustration of a right triangle with an angle theta. Adjacent to theta is the side a, opposite theta is the side p, and the hypoteneuse is side h.
Figure 7
  1. If one given side is the hypotenuse of length h h and the side of length a a adjacent to the desired angle is given, use the equation θ= cos 1 ( a h ). θ= cos 1 ( a h ).
  2. If one given side is the hypotenuse of length h h and the side of length p p opposite to the desired angle is given, use the equation θ= sin 1 ( p h ). θ= sin 1 ( p h ).
  3. If the two legs (the sides adjacent to the right angle) are given, then use the equation θ= tan 1 ( p a ). θ= tan 1 ( p a ).

Example 4

Applying the Inverse Cosine to a Right Triangle

Solve the triangle in Figure 8 for the angle θ. θ.

An illustration of a right triangle with the angle theta. Adjacent to the angle theta is a side with a length of 9 and a hypoteneuse of length 12.
Figure 8
Try It #4

Solve the triangle in Figure 9 for the angle θ. θ.

An illustration of a right triangle with the angle theta. Opposite to the angle theta is a side with a length of 6 and a hypoteneuse of length 10.
Figure 9

Finding Exact Values of Composite Functions with Inverse Trigonometric Functions

There are times when we need to compose a trigonometric function with an inverse trigonometric function. In these cases, we can usually find exact values for the resulting expressions without resorting to a calculator. Even when the input to the composite function is a variable or an expression, we can often find an expression for the output. To help sort out different cases, let f(x) f(x) and g(x) g(x) be two different trigonometric functions belonging to the set { sin(x),cos(x),tan(x) } { sin(x),cos(x),tan(x) } and let f 1 (y) f 1 (y) and g 1 (y) g 1 (y) be their inverses.

Evaluating Compositions of the Form f(f−1(y)) and f−1(f(x))

For any trigonometric function, f( f 1 ( y ) )=y f( f 1 ( y ) )=y for all y y in the proper domain for the given function. This follows from the definition of the inverse and from the fact that the range of f f was defined to be identical to the domain of f 1 . f 1 . However, we have to be a little more careful with expressions of the form f 1 ( f( x ) ). f 1 ( f( x ) ).

Compositions of a trigonometric function and its inverse

sin( sin 1 x)=xfor1x1 cos( cos 1 x)=xfor1x1 tan( tan 1 x)=xfor<x< sin( sin 1 x)=xfor1x1 cos( cos 1 x)=xfor1x1 tan( tan 1 x)=xfor<x<


sin 1 (sinx)=xonly for  π 2 x π 2 cos 1 (cosx)=xonly for 0xπ tan 1 (tanx)=xonly for  π 2 <x< π 2 sin 1 (sinx)=xonly for  π 2 x π 2 cos 1 (cosx)=xonly for 0xπ tan 1 (tanx)=xonly for  π 2 <x< π 2

Q&A

Is it correct that sin 1 (sinx)=x? sin 1 (sinx)=x?

No. This equation is correct if x x belongs to the restricted domain [ π 2 , π 2 ], [ π 2 , π 2 ], but sine is defined for all real input values, and for x x outside the restricted interval, the equation is not correct because its inverse always returns a value in [ π 2 , π 2 ]. [ π 2 , π 2 ]. The situation is similar for cosine and tangent and their inverses. For example, sin 1 ( sin( 3π 4 ) )= π 4 . sin 1 ( sin( 3π 4 ) )= π 4 .

Given an expression of the form f−1(f(θ)) where f(θ)=sinθ,cosθ, or tanθ, f(θ)=sinθ,cosθ, or tanθ, evaluate.

  1. If θ θ is in the restricted domain of f, then  f 1 (f(θ))=θ. f, then  f 1 (f(θ))=θ.
  2. If not, then find an angle ϕ ϕ within the restricted domain of f f such that f(ϕ)=f(θ). f(ϕ)=f(θ). Then f 1 ( f( θ ) )=ϕ. f 1 ( f( θ ) )=ϕ.

Example 5

Using Inverse Trigonometric Functions

Evaluate the following:

  1. sin 1 ( sin( π 3 ) ) sin 1 ( sin( π 3 ) )
  2. sin 1 ( sin( 2π 3 ) ) sin 1 ( sin( 2π 3 ) )
  3. cos 1 ( cos( 2π 3 ) ) cos 1 ( cos( 2π 3 ) )
  4. cos 1 ( cos( π 3 ) ) cos 1 ( cos( π 3 ) )

Try It #5

Evaluate tan 1 ( tan( π 8 ) )and tan 1 ( tan( 11π 9 ) ). tan 1 ( tan( π 8 ) )and tan 1 ( tan( 11π 9 ) ).

Evaluating Compositions of the Form f−1(g(x))

Now that we can compose a trigonometric function with its inverse, we can explore how to evaluate a composition of a trigonometric function and the inverse of another trigonometric function. We will begin with compositions of the form f 1 ( g( x ) ). f 1 ( g( x ) ). For special values of x, x, we can exactly evaluate the inner function and then the outer, inverse function. However, we can find a more general approach by considering the relation between the two acute angles of a right triangle where one is θ, θ, making the other π 2 θ. π 2 θ. Consider the sine and cosine of each angle of the right triangle in Figure 10.

An illustration of a right triangle with angles theta and pi/2 - theta. Opposite the angle theta and adjacent the angle pi/2-theta is the side a. Adjacent the angle theta and opposite the angle pi/2 - theta is the side b. The hypoteneuse is labeled c.
Figure 10 Right triangle illustrating the cofunction relationships

Because cosθ= b c =sin( π 2 θ ), cosθ= b c =sin( π 2 θ ), we have sin 1 ( cosθ )= π 2 θ sin 1 ( cosθ )= π 2 θ if 0θπ. 0θπ. If θ θ is not in this domain, then we need to find another angle that has the same cosine as θ θ and does belong to the restricted domain; we then subtract this angle from π 2 . π 2 . Similarly, sinθ= a c =cos( π 2 θ ), sinθ= a c =cos( π 2 θ ), so cos 1 ( sinθ )= π 2 θ cos 1 ( sinθ )= π 2 θ if π 2 θ π 2 . π 2 θ π 2 . These are just the function-cofunction relationships presented in another way.

Given functions of the form sin 1 ( cosx ) sin 1 ( cosx ) and cos 1 ( sinx ), cos 1 ( sinx ), evaluate them.

  1. If x is in [ 0,π ], x is in [ 0,π ], then sin 1 ( cosx )= π 2 x. sin 1 ( cosx )= π 2 x.
  2. If x is not in [ 0,π ], x is not in [ 0,π ], then find another angle y in [ 0,π ] y in [ 0,π ] such that cosy=cosx. cosy=cosx.
    sin 1 ( cosx )= π 2 y sin 1 ( cosx )= π 2 y
  3. If x is in [ π 2 , π 2 ], x is in [ π 2 , π 2 ], then cos 1 ( sinx )= π 2 x. cos 1 ( sinx )= π 2 x.
  4. If x is not in[ π 2 , π 2 ], x is not in[ π 2 , π 2 ], then find another angle y in [ π 2 , π 2 ] y in [ π 2 , π 2 ] such that siny=sinx. siny=sinx.
    cos 1 ( sinx )= π 2 y cos 1 ( sinx )= π 2 y

Example 6

Evaluating the Composition of an Inverse Sine with a Cosine

Evaluate sin 1 ( cos( 13π 6 ) ) sin 1 ( cos( 13π 6 ) )

  1. by direct evaluation.
  2. by the method described previously.

Try It #6

Evaluate cos 1 ( sin( 11π 4 ) ). cos 1 ( sin( 11π 4 ) ).

Evaluating Compositions of the Form f(g−1(x))

To evaluate compositions of the form f( g 1 ( x ) ), f( g 1 ( x ) ), where f f and g g are any two of the functions sine, cosine, or tangent and x x is any input in the domain of g 1 , g 1 , we have exact formulas, such as sin( cos 1 x )= 1 x 2 . sin( cos 1 x )= 1 x 2 . When we need to use them, we can derive these formulas by using the trigonometric relations between the angles and sides of a right triangle, together with the use of Pythagoras’s relation between the lengths of the sides. We can use the Pythagorean identity, sin 2 x+ cos 2 x=1, sin 2 x+ cos 2 x=1, to solve for one when given the other. We can also use the inverse trigonometric functions to find compositions involving algebraic expressions.

Example 7

Evaluating the Composition of a Sine with an Inverse Cosine

Find an exact value for sin( cos 1 ( 4 5 ) ). sin( cos 1 ( 4 5 ) ).

Try It #7

Evaluate cos( tan 1 ( 5 12 ) ). cos( tan 1 ( 5 12 ) ).

Example 8

Evaluating the Composition of a Sine with an Inverse Tangent

Find an exact value for sin( tan 1 ( 7 4 ) ). sin( tan 1 ( 7 4 ) ).

Try It #8

Evaluate cos( sin 1 ( 7 9 ) ). cos( sin 1 ( 7 9 ) ).

Example 9

Finding the Cosine of the Inverse Sine of an Algebraic Expression

Find a simplified expression for cos( sin 1 ( x 3 ) ) cos( sin 1 ( x 3 ) ) for 3x3. 3x3.

Try It #9

Find a simplified expression for sin( tan 1 ( 4x ) ) sin( tan 1 ( 4x ) ) for 1 4 x 1 4 . 1 4 x 1 4 .

Access this online resource for additional instruction and practice with inverse trigonometric functions.

Visit this website for additional practice questions from Learningpod.

8.3 Section Exercises

Verbal

1.

Why do the functions f(x)= sin 1 x f(x)= sin 1 x and g(x)= cos 1 x g(x)= cos 1 x have different ranges?

2.

Since the functions y=cosx y=cosx and y= cos 1 x y= cos 1 x are inverse functions, why is cos 1 ( cos( π 6 ) ) cos 1 ( cos( π 6 ) ) not equal to π 6 ? π 6 ?

3.

Explain the meaning of π 6 =arcsin( 0.5 ). π 6 =arcsin( 0.5 ).

4.

Most calculators do not have a key to evaluate sec 1 ( 2 ). sec 1 ( 2 ). Explain how this can be done using the cosine function or the inverse cosine function.

5.

Why must the domain of the sine function, sinx, sinx, be restricted to [ π 2 , π 2 ] [ π 2 , π 2 ] for the inverse sine function to exist?

6.

Discuss why this statement is incorrect: arccos( cosx )=x arccos( cosx )=x for all x. x.

7.

Determine whether the following statement is true or false and explain your answer: arccos( x )=πarccosx. arccos( x )=πarccosx.

Algebraic

For the following exercises, evaluate the expressions.

8.

sin 1 ( 2 2 ) sin 1 ( 2 2 )

9.

sin 1 ( 1 2 ) sin 1 ( 1 2 )

10.

cos 1 ( 1 2 ) cos 1 ( 1 2 )

11.

cos 1 ( 2 2 ) cos 1 ( 2 2 )

12.

tan 1 ( 1 ) tan 1 ( 1 )

13.

tan 1 ( 3 ) tan 1 ( 3 )

14.

tan 1 ( 1 ) tan 1 ( 1 )

15.

tan 1 ( 3 ) tan 1 ( 3 )

16.

tan 1 ( 1 3 ) tan 1 ( 1 3 )

For the following exercises, use a calculator to evaluate each expression. Express answers to the nearest hundredth.

17.

cos 1 ( 0.4 ) cos 1 ( 0.4 )

18.

arcsin( 0.23 ) arcsin( 0.23 )

19.

arccos( 3 5 ) arccos( 3 5 )

20.

cos 1 ( 0.8 ) cos 1 ( 0.8 )

21.

tan 1 ( 6 ) tan 1 ( 6 )

For the following exercises, find the angle θ θ in the given right triangle. Round answers to the nearest hundredth.

22.
An illustration of a right triangle with angle theta. Opposite the angle theta is a side with length of 7. The hypotenuse has a lngeth of 10.
23.
An illustration of a right triangle with angle theta. Adjacent the angle theta is a side of length 19. Opposite the angle theta is a side with length 12.

For the following exercises, find the exact value, if possible, without a calculator. If it is not possible, explain why.

24.

sin 1 ( cos( π ) ) sin 1 ( cos( π ) )

25.

tan 1 ( sin( π ) ) tan 1 ( sin( π ) )

26.

cos 1 ( sin( π 3 ) ) cos 1 ( sin( π 3 ) )

27.

tan 1 ( sin( π 3 ) ) tan 1 ( sin( π 3 ) )

28.

sin 1 ( cos( π 2 ) ) sin 1 ( cos( π 2 ) )

29.

tan 1 ( sin( 4π 3 ) ) tan 1 ( sin( 4π 3 ) )

30.

sin 1 ( sin( 5π 6 ) ) sin 1 ( sin( 5π 6 ) )

31.

tan 1 ( sin( 5π 2 ) ) tan 1 ( sin( 5π 2 ) )

32.

cos( sin 1 ( 4 5 ) ) cos( sin 1 ( 4 5 ) )

33.

sin( cos 1 ( 3 5 ) ) sin( cos 1 ( 3 5 ) )

34.

sin( tan 1 ( 4 3 ) ) sin( tan 1 ( 4 3 ) )

35.

cos( tan 1 ( 12 5 ) ) cos( tan 1 ( 12 5 ) )

36.

cos( sin 1 ( 1 2 ) ) cos( sin 1 ( 1 2 ) )

For the following exercises, find the exact value of the expression in terms of x x with the help of a reference triangle.

37.

tan( sin 1 ( x1 ) ) tan( sin 1 ( x1 ) )

38.

sin( cos 1 ( 1x ) ) sin( cos 1 ( 1x ) )

39.

cos( sin 1 ( 1 x ) ) cos( sin 1 ( 1 x ) )

40.

cos( tan 1 ( 3x1 ) ) cos( tan 1 ( 3x1 ) )

41.

tan( sin 1 ( x+ 1 2 ) ) tan( sin 1 ( x+ 1 2 ) )

Extensions

For the following exercises, evaluate the expression without using a calculator. Give the exact value.

42.

sin 1 ( 1 2 ) cos 1 ( 2 2 )+ sin 1 ( 3 2 ) cos 1 ( 1 ) cos 1 ( 3 2 ) sin 1 ( 2 2 )+ cos 1 ( 1 2 ) sin 1 ( 0 ) sin 1 ( 1 2 ) cos 1 ( 2 2 )+ sin 1 ( 3 2 ) cos 1 ( 1 ) cos 1 ( 3 2 ) sin 1 ( 2 2 )+ cos 1 ( 1 2 ) sin 1 ( 0 )

For the following exercises, find the function if sint= x x+1 . sint= x x+1 .

43.

cost cost

44.

sect sect

45.

cott cott

46.

cos( sin 1 ( x x+1 ) ) cos( sin 1 ( x x+1 ) )

47.

tan 1 ( x 2x+1 ) tan 1 ( x 2x+1 )

Graphical

48.

Graph y= sin 1 x y= sin 1 x and state the domain and range of the function.

49.

Graph y=arccosx y=arccosx and state the domain and range of the function.

50.

Graph one cycle of y= tan 1 x y= tan 1 x and state the domain and range of the function.

51.

For what value of x x does sinx= sin 1 x? sinx= sin 1 x? Use a graphing calculator to approximate the answer.

52.

For what value of x x does cosx= cos 1 x? cosx= cos 1 x? Use a graphing calculator to approximate the answer.

Real-World Applications

53.

Suppose a 13-foot ladder is leaning against a building, reaching to the bottom of a second-floor window 12 feet above the ground. What angle, in radians, does the ladder make with the building?

54.

Suppose you drive 0.6 miles on a road so that the vertical distance changes from 0 to 150 feet. What is the angle of elevation of the road?

55.

An isosceles triangle has two congruent sides of length 9 inches. The remaining side has a length of 8 inches. Find the angle that a side of 9 inches makes with the 8-inch side.

56.

Without using a calculator, approximate the value of arctan( 10,000 ). arctan( 10,000 ). Explain why your answer is reasonable.

57.

A truss for the roof of a house is constructed from two identical right triangles. Each has a base of 12 feet and height of 4 feet. Find the measure of the acute angle adjacent to the 4-foot side.

58.

The line y= 3 5 x y= 3 5 x passes through the origin in the x,y-plane. What is the measure of the angle that the line makes with the positive x-axis?

59.

The line y= 3 7 x y= 3 7 x passes through the origin in the x,y-plane. What is the measure of the angle that the line makes with the negative x-axis?

60.

What percentage grade should a road have if the angle of elevation of the road is 4 degrees? (The percentage grade is defined as the change in the altitude of the road over a 100-foot horizontal distance. For example a 5% grade means that the road rises 5 feet for every 100 feet of horizontal distance.)

61.

A 20-foot ladder leans up against the side of a building so that the foot of the ladder is 10 feet from the base of the building. If specifications call for the ladder's angle of elevation to be between 35 and 45 degrees, does the placement of this ladder satisfy safety specifications?

62.

Suppose a 15-foot ladder leans against the side of a house so that the angle of elevation of the ladder is 42 degrees. How far is the foot of the ladder from the side of the house?

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