The angles that sub-divide a right angle sum to 90°.

A circle consists of 4 right angles, or 360°. On a graph of a circle, the radial angle enclosed by a right angle is called a quadrant, where quadrant 1 is from 0° to 90°.

A straight angle is the angle of a straight line, which is 180°. The angles that sub-divide a straight line sum to 180°.

When two straight lines intersect, they form two pairs of angles. The pairs are opposite in position and equal in magnitude.

A famous theorem for calculating the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle was invented 2500 years ago by a Greek called Pythagoras. His theorem states:

a^{2} + b^{2} = c^{2}, where a and b are the shorter sides of a right-angled triangle with hypotenuse c.

The Pythagoras or Pythagorean Theorem was devised by the Ancient Greek mathematician, Pythagoras (570 - 495 BCE).

For such a famous man, we actually know relatively little about him for sure. However, his legacy as a mathematician and philosopher has had a huge impact on Western culture in many fields. It is a pity most people today just know him for his eponymous triangle theorem, important as it is.

Angles of right-angled triangles may be calculated using trigonometric functions. The definitions of the three basic trig functions are:

The sine of an angle is equal to the length of the opposite side over the hypotenuse: $sinB = b/c$

If two sides of a triangle are known, it is possible to calculate the angle by in the inverse sine function: $B = sin^{-1}({b/c})$.

The cosine of an angle is equal to the length of the adjacent side over the hypotenuse: $cosB = a/c$

If two sides of a triangle are known, it is possible to calculate the angle by in the inverse cosine function: $B = cos^{-1}({a/c})$.

The tangent of an angle is equal to the length of the opposite side over the adjacent side: $tanB = b/a$

If two sides of a triangle are known, it is possible to calculate the angle by in the inverse tangent function: $B = tan^{-1}({b/a})$.

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Mathematics is the most important tool of science. The quest to understand the world and the universe using mathematics is as old as civilisation, and has led to the science and technology of today. Learn about the techniques and history of mathematics on ScienceLibrary.info.

1750 - 1848

Caroline Herschel has traditionally been neglected by history, living in the shadow of her famous brother, William Herschel. But recent research has demonstrated that she made valuable contributions to science in her own right.

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