CalcLab Demos: Trig Functions
Construction of the tan curve
The following animation may help you visualize the construction of
the tan graph.
To construct a line
whose length is tan q,
we draw a line tangent to the unit circle at the point (
1,0). The diameter line at the angle q
may be extended to intersect this tangent line forming a right triangle
whose base is on the x-axis. Let b
be the base and let a be the altitude. So
tan q = a/b.
Since this is a unit circle, b = 1.
Therefore, a = tan q.
Thus the altitude of the triangle becomes the height of a point on the
graph of tan q.
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Last Updated: September 24, 1998.
Maintained by: Philip B. Yasskin
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Copyright © 1998 Philip B. Yasskin