Thursday, 14 August 2008

How Trigonometric Functions Are Computed By Computer

We have been doing maths and dealing with trigonometric functions.

Computing "sin 45.61" is as simple as pressing the calculator or computer.

The answer is instantaneous.

But then how does the computer computes this "sine" function?

It is in text!

Thanks to past mathematicians and their ideas / research, trigonometric functions can be expressed in another form.

sin x = x - x3/3! + x5/5! - x7/7! + ......, and

cos x = 1 - x2/2! + x4/4! - x6/6! + .....

The computer (or calculator) therefore captures the numerical value of "x" and does the mathematical manipulation using the above expressions to get to the answer.

It is just the application of the 4 basic core maths operation (+, -, /, x) that does the trick!

Amazing and creative! The 4 "heroes" really are useful.


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