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30/07/2016

Solution of Triangles – StudyMaterial for IIT JEE | askIITians

Solution of Triangles

Solution of Triangles

In a triangle ABC, the vertices and the angles are denoted by capital

letters and the sides by small letters.

In the figure given below, the sides opposite to angles A, B, C are

denoted by a, b, c respectively. The area of the triangle is denoted by S

or Δ.

Basic Formulae and Results:

Some of the basic trigonometry formulae depicting the relationship

between the sides and angles of a triangle are listed below:

Sine rule

This rule states that the sides of any triangle are proportional to the

sines of the angle opposite to them in ?ABC, i.e.

a/ sin A = b/ sin B = c/ sin C

Note:

The rule can further be expressed as (sin A)/a = (sin B)/b = (sin C)/c

The rule is extremely useful for expressing the sides of a triangle in

terms of sines of angle or vice versa as per the requirement of the

question. Hence, for the form a/ sin A = b/ sin B = c/ sin C = k, we

have,

a = k sin A, b = k sin B, c = k sin C

and for (sin A)/a = (sin B)/b = (sin C)/c = l, we have

sin A = la, sin B = lb, sin C = lc

Cosine rule

In any triangle ABC, the following results hold good:

cos A = (b

cos B = (a

2

2

+ c

+ c

2

2

- a

- b

2

2

)/2ac

)/2ac

Trigonometry
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Solved Examples of
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Solved Examples
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Triangles
Circles Connected

30/07/2016

Solution of Triangles – StudyMaterial for IIT JEE | askIITians

cos C = (a

2

+ b

2

Note: In case

2

- c )/2ab

A = 60°, then b

2

+ c

2

- a

2

= bc

B = 60°, then a + c - b = ac

2

2

2

C = 60°, then a + b - c = ab

2

2

2

Trigonometric ratios of half-angles:

sin A/2 = (s-b) (s-c)/bc

sin B/2 = (s-b) (s-c)/bc

sin C/2 = (s-a) (s-b)/ab

cos A/2 = s(s - a)/bc

cos B/2 = s(s - b)/ca

cos C/2 = s(s - c)/ab

tan A/2 = (s - b) (s - c)/s(s - a)

tan B/2 = (s - c) (s - a)/s(s - b)

tan C/2 = (s - a) (s - b)/s(s - c)

Projection rule:

 a = b cosC + c cosB b = c cosA + a cosC c = a cosB + b cosA

Semi-perimeter of the triangle

If ‘s’ is assumed to be the perimeter of the triangle then s = a + b + c / 2

Area of a triangle

If Δ is the area of the triangle ABC then

Δ = 1/2 bc sin A = 1/2 ca sin B = 1/2 ab sin C

Δ = s(s - a) (s - b) (s - c), this is also called as the Hero’s Formula

Δ = (a

sin A sin B)/ 2 sin (A + B)

2

sin B sin C)/ 2 sin (B + C) = (b

2

sin C sin A)/ 2 sin (A + C) = (c

2

With Triangle
Circles Connected
With Triangle
Solution of

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Some illustrations based on these formulae

Illustration:

Find out the length of x in the figure given below

30/07/2016

Solution of Triangles – StudyMaterial for IIT JEE | askIITians

Solution:

Whenever we need to find the length of a side, a different sort of sine formula is used which simplifies the calculation of length:

Using the result, a/sin A = b/ sin B

Here, a = 7, b = x, A = 60°, B = 80°

7/ sin (60°)) = x / sin (80°)

Multiplying both sides by sin (80°) for simplification we get

(7/sin (60°)) sin (80°) = x

Hence, on simplification we get

x = 7.96, hence this is the required length.

Illustration:

Find the missing side in the diagram below:

Solution:

Here, we will have to apply the cosine formula.

a

Hence substituting the values we get,

h

2

= b

2

= 88

2

+ c

2

- 2bc cos A

2

+ 146

2

– 2×88×146×cos 53°

h

2

= 13595.761.

For more clarification, refer the video

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Some vital trigonometry theorems associated with solution of triangles:

In any triangle ABC, the following results hold good:
tan (B – C)/2 = (b – c)/(b +c) cot A/2
tan (C – A)/2 = (c –a)/(c + a) cot B/2
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30/07/2016

Solution of Triangles – StudyMaterial for IIT JEE | askIITians

tan (A – B)/2 = (a – b) /(a + b) cot c/2

m-n theorem

If D be the point on the side BC of a triangle ABC which divides the side

BC in the ratio m: n, then with respect to the figure given below, we

have:

(m + n) cot θ = m cot α – n cot ß.

(m + n) cot θ = n cot B – m cot C.

Apollonius theorem

Consider a triangle ABC. As depicted in the figure given below, D is the median through A.

Then AB

2

+ AC

2

2

2

+ BD ).

Process of Solution of Triangles:

A triangle is known completely if the three sides and angles are known.

These constitute the elements of the triangle. Thus, if we have any three elements of a triangle (other than the three sides) say two sides and the included angle or alike then we can easily find the rest of the elements using the various formulae. Hence the triangle is known completely and this process is called the solution of triangles.

We list below the various ways of preceding a given problem when some elements are unknown:

If the three sides a, b, c are given, angle A is obtained from

tan A/2 = (s - b) (s - c)/s(s - a) or cos A = b

2

+ c

2

- a

2

/ 2bc.

B and C can be obtained in the similar way.

The cosine formula should be used only when a, b and c are small numbers.

If two sides b and c and the included angle A are given, then

tan (B – C)/2 = (b – c)/ (b + c) cot A/2 gives (B – C)/2.

Also B + C/2 = 90

side is given by a = b sin A/sin B or a

o - A/2, so that B and C can be evaluated. The third

2

= b

2

+ c

2

– 2bc cos A.

If two sides b and c and the angle B (opposite to side b) are given,

30/07/2016

Solution of Triangles – StudyMaterial for IIT JEE | askIITians

o

then sin C = c/b sin B, A = 180 – (B + C) and b = b sin A/sin B give the remaining elements.

 If b < c sin B, there is no triangle possible (Fig. 1) If b = c sin B and B is an acute angle, then only one triangle is possible

(Fig. 2)

If c sin B < b < c and B is an acute angle, then there are two values of

angle C (Fig. 3).

If c < b and B is an acute angle, then there is only one triangle (Fig. 4).

This is, sometimes, called an ambiguous case.

Alternative Method:

By applying cosine rule, we have cos B = a

2

– (2c cos B) a + (c

a

2

– b

a = c cos B + (C cos B)

2

2

) = 0

- (c

2

- b

a = c cos B + b

2

2

- (c sin B) .

2

)

2

+ c

2

- b

2

/2ac

This equation leads to the following cases:

Case –I

If b < c sin B, no triangle is possible.

Case –II

Let b = c sin B. There are further the following cases:

 (a) B is an obtuse angle ⇒ cos B is negative. There exists no such triangle. (b) B is an acute angle ⇒ cos B is positive. There exists only one triangle.

Case –III

Let b < c sin B. We have the following cases:

B is an acute angle cos B is positive. In this case two values exist if

and only if c cos B > b

2

- (c sin B)

2

or

 c > b ⇒ Two triangles are possible. If c < b, only one triangle is possible.

B is an obtuse angle cos B is negative. In this case triangle will

exist if and only if b - (c sin B) > c cos B b > c. So in this case only one triangle is possible.

2

2

30/07/2016

Solution of Triangles – StudyMaterial for IIT JEE | askIITians

If

b < c there exists no triangle.

If one side a and angles B and C are given, then A = 180

b

= a sin B/sin A, c = a sin C/sin A .

o

– (B + C), and

If

sides a, b, c by using the sine rule (since there are infinite similar

triangles possible).

the three angles A, B, C are given, we can only find the ratios of the

You might like to refer some of the related resources listed below:

Look into the Revision Notes on Solution of Triangles for a quick

revision.

Various Recommended Books of Mathematics are just a click away.

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