In this lesson, three trigonometric ratios (sine, cosine, and tangent) will be examined in right triangles which have specific

angle measurements of

.

First we will review the basics. In a right triangle, one angle is 90º and the side across from this angle is called the hypotenuse. The two sides which form the 90º angle are called the legs of the right triangle. We show a right triangle below. The legs are defined as either “opposite” or “adjacent” (next to) the angle A. We shall call the opposite side “opp,” the adjacent side “adj” and the hypotenuse “hyp.”

**Definitions:** In the following definitions, sine is called “sin,” cosine is called “cos” and tangent is called “tan.” The origin of these terms relates to arcs and tangents to a circle.

- sin(A) =
- cos(A) =
- tan(A) =

**Special triangles:**- We examine a triangle with angles of . To do this, we first look at an equilateral triangle with all three angles 60º. A diagram is shown below.

There is also a perpendicular from one vertex. This perpendicular line gives us two triangles of . All three sides of the triangle have the same length which we will call s. The other important segments have been labeled. We look at the right triangle on the left and see that s/2 is the side opposite the 30º angle. The hypotenuse is s. Therefore we have sin(30º) = . Using the Pythagorean Theorem we see that h = . Therefore cos(30º) = .

- We examine a triangle with angles of . To do this, we first look at a square with a diagonal which gives us two 45º angles and therefore a triangle to examine. A diagram is shown below.

We look at the right triangle in the upper left portion of the square with respect to its opp, adj, and hyp sides. The sides of the square are labeled s. The diagonal is labeled d. We see from the Pythagorean Theorem . This gives us . Therefore we have: sin(45º) = . Calculating the cosine will give us exactly the same answer.

**Summary of values:****Let's practice:**- The triangle below is a triangle. What is the measure of side
**a**?

. Therefore

- The triangle below is a triangle. What is the measure of side
**x**?

We have cos(45º) = . Therefore

- The triangle below is a triangle. What is the measure of side
**x**?

We have cos(45º) = Therefore

- An equilateral triangle has an altitude with length 15. What is a measure of a side of this triangle? A diagram is shown below.

Using the right triangle on the right side of the equilateral triangle, we see that 15 is opposite the 60º angle. Therefore sin(60º) = .

We solve for s: