# Trig Equations

A LevelAQAEdexcelOCRAQA 2022Edexcel 2022OCR 2022

## Trig Equations

Solving the basic trig equations is pretty easy, but what happens if we’ve got a function which has been stretched or translated?

Make sure you are happy with the following topics before continuing.

A Level   ## Inspection

First, we need to find an initial solution.

So, for example, let’s say we want to find the values of $x$ when $\textcolor{red}{\tan x} = \textcolor{purple}{\dfrac{1}{\sqrt{3}}}$.

We want to draw the graph, and mark on a horizontal line where the condition is met, i.e. where $\textcolor{red}{\tan x} = \textcolor{purple}{\dfrac{1}{\sqrt{3}}}$. By inspection, we know that the initial solution is at $30°$, and we can see it repeats at every $180°$.

We’ll denote this $30° ± 180°n$.

A Level   ## CAST Diagrams

The CAST diagram is a handy tool to show us where values of the standard trig functions are positive. So, here’s the breakdown:

• For $0° < x < 90°$ALL of $\textcolor{blue}{\sin x}, \textcolor{limegreen}{\cos x}$ and $\textcolor{red}{\tan x}$ are positive
• For $90° < x < 180°$, ONLY $\textcolor{blue}{\sin x}$ is positive
• For $180° < x < 270°$, ONLY $\textcolor{red}{\tan x}$ is positive
• For $270° < x < 360°$, ONLY $\textcolor{limegreen}{\cos x}$ is positive

Think back to plotting the Unit Circle, in the Trig Basics section.

Let’s say we want to find the values of $x$ such that $\textcolor{red}{\tan x} = \textcolor{purple}{\dfrac{1}{\sqrt{3}}}$, as before.

We know that there is a solution when $x = 30°$.

First, we plot the point on the diagram, then find the corresponding angles: From here, we can see that $\textcolor{red}{\tan x} = \textcolor{purple}{\dfrac{1}{\sqrt{3}}}$ when $x = 30° ± 360°n$ or $210° ± 360°n$, or, more concisely, $30° ± 180°n$.

We ignored the two solutions where $\textcolor{red}{\tan x}$ is not positive, i.e. $90° < x < 180°$ and $270° < x < 360°$.

A Level   ## Dealing With Trig Transformations

Transformations pose a little bit of a problem… See, CAST diagrams become much harder to navigate now. You’re much better off sketching out the function and solving using the horizontal line technique.

So, let’s just begin with an example.

We have $f(x) = \cos 3x$. Find the values of $x \in \lbrack 0°, 360°\rbrack$* such that $f(x) = \textcolor{purple}{\dfrac{1}{2}}$.

* This is just set notation, meaning $0° \leq x \leq 360°$ Well, we have a series of solutions, but they’re not immediately obvious.

What we can do instead is plot the regular $\textcolor{limegreen}{\cos x}$ graph on an interval three times as large as the proposed interval, and divide our solutions there by $3$. $\textcolor{limegreen}{\cos x} = \textcolor{purple}{\dfrac{1}{2}}$ has solutions $60°, 300°, 420°, 660°, 780°, 1020°$.

Therefore, $\cos 3x = \textcolor{purple}{\dfrac{1}{2}}$ has solutions $20°, 100°, 140°, 220°, 260°, 340°$.

A Level   ## Example Questions $x = \sin ^{-1} \left( \dfrac{\sqrt{3}}{2}\right) = -120°, -60°, 240°, 300°$

$\cos x = 0.2588$ gives $x = 75°$. By the CAST diagram, we can see that we also have a solution where $x = 270° + 15° = 285°$.

For $f(x) = 1$, we want $\sin \dfrac{3x}{2} = \dfrac{1}{2}$.

If we look for values of $-3\pi \leq x \leq 3\pi$ where $\sin x = \dfrac{1}{2}$, and multiply our values of $x$ by a scale factor of $\dfrac{2}{3}$, we have our new set of solutions.

$\sin x = \dfrac{1}{2}$ occurs at $\dfrac{-11\pi}{6}, \dfrac{-7\pi}{6}, \dfrac{\pi}{6}, \dfrac{5\pi}{6}, \dfrac{13\pi}{6}, \dfrac{17\pi}{6}$

Therefore the solution of $f(x) = 1$ is $x = \dfrac{-11\pi}{9}, \dfrac{-7\pi}{9}, \dfrac{\pi}{9}, \dfrac{5\pi}{9}, \dfrac{13\pi}{9}, \dfrac{17\pi}{9}$.

A Level

A Level

## You May Also Like... ### A Level Maths Revision Cards

The best A level maths revision cards for AQA, Edexcel, OCR, MEI and WJEC. Maths Made Easy is here to help you prepare effectively for your A Level maths exams.

£14.99 ### A Level Maths – Cards & Paper Bundle

A level maths revision cards and exam papers for Edexcel. Includes 2022 predicted papers based on the advance information released in February 2022! MME is here to help you study from home with our revision cards and practise papers.

From: £22.99 ### Transition Maths Cards

The transition maths cards are a perfect way to cover the higher level topics from GCSE whilst being introduced to new A level maths topics to help you prepare for year 12. Your ideal guide to getting started with A level maths!

£8.99