*World of Mathematics*. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Trigonometry is a branch of **applied mathematics** concerned with the relationship between angles and their sides and the calculations based on them. First developed as a branch of **geometry** focusing on triangles during the third century B.C., trigonometry was used extensively for astronomical measurements. The major trigonometric **functions**, including **sine**, **cosine**, and tangent, were first defined as **ratios** of sides in a right **triangle**. Since **trigonometric functions** are intrinsically related, they can be used to determine the dimensions of any triangle given limited information. In the eighteenth century, the definitions of trigonometric functions were broadened by being defined as points on a unit **circle**. This allowed the development of graphs of functions related to the angles they represent which were periodic. Today, using the periodic nature of trigonometric functions, mathematicians and scientists have developed mathematical models to predict many natural periodic phenomena.

The word trigonometry stems from the...

This section contains 2,571 words(approx. 9 pages at 300 words per page) |